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This profile was last updated on 12/3/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.
Email: r***@***.com
 
Background

Employment History

  • Owner
    Pinnacle Financial Consulting LLC of Lawrence
  • Chief Executive Officer
    Pinnacle Financial Consulting LLC of Lawrence

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts , Political Science
    Stony Brook University
  • Massachusetts School of Law at Andover
8 Total References
Web References
Boroff fined and sanctioned Robert ...
www.forghanylaw.com, 1 April 2014 [cached]
Boroff fined and sanctioned Robert R. Burton, the owner of Pinnacle Financial Consulting, for violating 11 U.S.C. §110, a consumer protection measure in the federal Bankruptcy Code that governs the conduct of non-lawyers who prepare and file bankruptcy documents for compensation.
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Burton and Pinnacle Financial were ordered to pay a total of $35,000 in fines to the U.S. trustee and disgorge fees and damages totaling $18,000 to six debtors.
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Bankruptcy lawyers applauded the Office of the U.S. Trustee for prosecuting the case against Burton, a law school graduate, and Pinnacle.
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Burton, meanwhile, said the decision is too harsh, will eliminate low-cost alternatives for those who cannot afford a lawyer, and interprets §110 so restrictively as to render any petition-preparation business untenable.
"I think it was a very anti-business decision," Burton said. "Most attorneys know most of these clients - but for me - wouldn't have been able to file for bankruptcy."
Burton was represented by Darrell Mook of Donovan Hatem in Boston.
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According to Boroff's decision, Burton and Pinnacle began preparing bankruptcy petitions in 2007 or 2008. While Burton publicly touted the fact that he graduated from law school, neither his business card nor website noted that he was not licensed to practice law.
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For example, Boroff found that Burton compiled information from the clients' credit reports and other documents to enter himself; that Pinnacle employees advised debtors on how to value their property; and that Burton would discuss and summarize client materials and answer clients' questions.
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The adversary proceeding against Burton in Bankruptcy Court is part of the trustee program's increased focus on petition preparers.
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While Burton complains that Boroff's ruling makes it virtually impossible for non-attorneys to help debtors prepare bankruptcy petitions for compensation, lawyers interviewed for this story suggested that is probably the way it should be.
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When confronted with his violations, Boroff said, Burton became obstinate and flippant.
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In person, Robert R. Burton's composed and confident manner is both convincing and disarming. During an interview at the offices of Pinnacle Holdings, which he said is the parent company for Pinnacle Financial Consulting and other endeavors, the Lawrence bankruptcy petition preparer is quick to say that he respects Judge Henry J. Boroff and his ruling in In Re: Rosario, Felix, et al., that he persisted with the case in hopes of receiving guidance on what he is allowed to do as a petition preparer, and that Boroff's judgments about his demeanor and credibility were misperceptions.
"I think he got a wrong read of me," said Burton, who was taken to task by the bankruptcy judge. "I'm passionate about what I'm doing.
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Burton said he conducted the petition preparation work in two separate downtown Lawrence locations that are now closed.
In shiny wingtip oxfords and a shirt with a monogrammed cuff, Burton said that petition preparation "was a small portion of our business, but I did it because I saw a huge need" and that "most of our clients have been very happy with us."
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A former classmate of Burton's at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover also did not defend him.
"One of my clients was robbed by them," were the first words out of Lamya A. Forghany's mouth when a reporter called to ask about Burton and Pinnacle.
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According to Forghany, her client had gone to Burton for help with her mortgage.
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Burton allegedly took the client's money, but made no effort to obtain a home loan modification for her. When the client got a foreclosure notice, Forghany said, Burton pressured the woman to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
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Burton allegedly accepted more fees, but the bankruptcy case was dismissed and the client ultimately lost her house. Forghany said her client gave Burton a total of $4,000 to $5,000.
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The most damning condemnation of Burton, however, can be found at Suffolk Superior Court, where Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing Burton and Pinnacle for unfair and deceptive acts and practices in connection with foreclosure-related services and practicing law without a license.
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The most damning condemnation of Burton, however, can be found at Suffolk Superior Court, where Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing Burton and Pinnacle for unfair and deceptive acts and practices in connection with foreclosure-related services and practicing law without a license.
Boutique Financial Consulting Firm | Lawrence, MA
www.pinnacle-fc.com, 22 Feb 2013 [cached]
Robert Burton is the chief executive officer of Pinnacle Financial Consulting, LLC. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2000.
Robert worked at 2 prominent Wall Street firms before starting law school in 2002. He is a 2005 graduate of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. After law school, Robert worked for Foley Hoag LLP, a law firm in Boston, and Deutsche Bank, the fifth largest investment bank in the world. Robert currently holds the Chartered Wealth Manager designation and is pursuing his Chartered Financial Consultant designation.
Courtesy photo Robert ...
www.eagletribune.com, 24 Mar 2013 [cached]
Courtesy photo Robert Burton, owner of Pinnacle Financial Consulting LLC of Lawrence, is under investigation by the state Attorney General's office for numerous illegal acts and misappropriation of clients' funds.Courtesy photo
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ANGIE BEAULIEU/Staff photo According to the state's Secretary of State office, Robert Burton has opened a new business called Pinnacle Immigration at 225 Essex Street in Lawrence. Burton has not responded to numerous attempts for comment. NGIE BEAULIEU/Staff photo
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Burton, 35, owner of Pinnacle Financial Consulting LLC of Lawrence, told Castillo that his money would be placed in an IRA account with a diversified portfolio of publicly traded securities. A year ago, after losing confidence in the way Burton was managing his investments, Castillo asked him to return all of his funds.
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"Rob is a parasite to the entire Commonwealth. What he did in Lawrence he will do elsewhere if he is not stopped."
State Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has filed a lawsuit against Burton and his firm Pinnacle Financial, alleging numerous illegal acts and misappropriation of clients' funds.
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Burton runs his business from the second floor of a century-old three-story brick office building at 170 Common St. overlooking Campagnone Common, located next to Lawrence Superior Court and several doors down from Lawrence City Hall. From there, the Attorney General's office alleged that Pinnacle Financial has been "engaging in unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection with their charging of advance fees and providing dozens of Massachusetts consumers purported mortgage loan modification services, bankruptcy petition preparation services, and financial and investment advice."
The Eagle-Tribune attempted to get comment from Burton for this story, but telephone and hand-delivered messages left at Pinnacle Financial's office were not returned.
The primary focus of the lawsuit filed by Coakley's Office is that Pinnacle and Burton allegedly exploited the foreclosure crisis to prey upon homeowners facing financial troubles and the loss of their home - particularly minority and non-native English speakers.
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"After receiving consumers' investment funds, however, (Pinnacle and Burton) fail to invest the monies as promised, and instead use the funds for their own benefit. Even after repeated demands, (Pinnacle and Burton) fail and refuse to return the funds to consumers," Assistant Attorney General Justin Lowe alleged in his complaint.
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Initially, Burton told him that he would open an IRA account and invest his savings in index funds and a diversified equities portfolio. During 2008, he said Burton told him he was putting all of his $25,000 in cash reserve because of the stock market crash.
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"I began to lose confidence in Burton's competency when he could not provide a reasonable explanation for why my money had remained in cash reserves since 2008 when the market had rebounded significantly over the past several years," Castillo said in a signed affidavit in February that's included in the court records of the lawsuit against Pinnacle and Burton.
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"At first, Burton stated that the market was not safe and that I should seek out other investment alternatives such as gold or foreign markets. However, Burton provided no explanation for why he had not done anything with my money since 2008. At that point, I decided to withdraw all of my money from under Burton's management and invest it on my own through the Army," he said.
Castillo said he suspected that Burton "had defrauded me when he would not return my money. He said he asked Burton to transfer all of his funds into an Army Thrift Savings Plan account, a U.S. government-sponsored retirement savings and investment plan similar to a 401(k) account. Even after he had arranged for a conference call between Burton and an Army Thrift Savings Plan customer service agent, Burton still didn't make the transfer and made excuses for the delay, according to court records.
Burton later offered to send him a check for $10,000, claiming that's what would be left after taxes.
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"I could not understand why Burton would be withholding $8,000 in taxes when I had given him $25,000 in after-tax money in 2007," Castillo said.
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But Castillo said Burton never sent him any money back - "Not a dime."
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An Attleboro resident who once had Burton as his next-door neighbor said he was befriended by Pinnacle Financial's chief executive officer, too, and said it cost him about $34,500 - for misplacing his trust in somebody who later misappropriated a $40,000 investment.
Burton promised to double his neighbor's money in just 30 days, according to court documents.
To the neighbor, Burton "appeared very successful."
"His home is new and large, and he drives two late model Mercedes Benz vehicles, including a 2008 S550 and a 2009 ML350," the neighbor wrote in an affidavit last month. "Because I considered Burton a good friend of mine, and because I trusted that he would make good on his promises to me, I agreed to participate in the July 30, 2012 investment opportunity."
The neighbor said he gave Burton a check for $40,000 - half of it was his money; the other half was invested by his 71-year-old mother.
The 30 days passed, and the neighbor never received the $80,000 he was expecting. Last September, Burton told him he had mailed out two $40,000 checks, but added the neighbor could pick up "replacement checks" at Pinnacle Financial if the neighbor didn't want to wait for the mail.
Both checks were returned, marked "insufficient funds. But Burton still insisted the funds were in the company's account.
Eventually, all the neighbor received was $5,500.
"Aside from numerous excuses and false assurances, Burton has not provided any explanation for what happened to my money," the neighbor said.
ANGIE BEAULIEU/Staff photo According to ...
www.eagletribune.com, 24 Mar 2013 [cached]
ANGIE BEAULIEU/Staff photo According to the state's Secretary of State office, Robert Burton has opened a new business called Pinnacle Immigracion at 255 Essex Street in Lawrence. Burton has not responded to numerous attempts for comment. NGIE BEAULIEU/Staff photo
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Courtesy photo Robert Burton, owner of Pinnacle Financial Consulting LLC of Lawrence, is under investigation by the state Attorney General's office for numerous illegal acts and misappropriation of clients' funds.Courtesy photo
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"After the call, I feared that Burton and Pinnacle had also mismanaged my loan modification and immediately contacted the mortgage lender for my home in Dracut to determine what Burton had done," the woman said.
"My lender's representative advised me that the lender had denied my loan modification request on Jan. 23, 2012, and that it had informed Burton of this fact immediately thereafter," she said.
"The representative also told me that it first received a loan modification application from Pinnacle in November 2011, even though Pinnacle and Burton said that they had submitted my paperwork in August soon after I hired them."
Despite meeting with the woman on several occasions after Jan. 23, Burton never told her that her loan modification had been denied, according to the affidavit.
"Instead, Burton specifically told me that I needed to file bankruptcy and pay him an additional fee in order to buy time to complete my loan modification process a week after my loan modification request had already been denied," she said.
Robert Burton, owner of ...
www.eagletribune.com, 19 Nov 2013 [cached]
Robert Burton, owner of Pinnacle Financial Consulting, was held in contempt of court last Thursday for ignoring orders prohibiting him from concealing assets, destroying records and advertising, soliciting or providing loan modifications and legal advice, according to a statement by Attorney General Martha Coakley.
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Attempts to reach Burton and an attorney representing him were unsuccessful. His business line is no longer in service.
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Coakley filed suit against Pinnacle in March, accusing Burton of using the foreclosure crisis to prey upon homeowners, targeting minorities and non-English speakers and providing legal advice without a license.
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According to the suit, Burton would identify and contact homeowners close to losing their homes, offering to get modifications to their loans and demanding advance payments for the service contrary to state regulations, according to Coakley's suit. After repeatedly failing to negotiate any modification to the loans, he pressured dozens of homeowners to pay him thousands of dollars to file for bankruptcy to delay a foreclosure sale.
The allegations also included misrepresenting to consumers the services the company could provide, exaggerating the benefits of its services, practicing law without a license, failing to take any action to provide the promised services after receiving payment and refusing to provide refunds upon request.
Burton is not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts.
On the financial advisory side of his business, Burton solicited money from people to invest, but did not make any investments and failed to return any of the money.
The suit is still ongoing, according to the attorney general's office.
Ariel Castillo, an Army lieutenant who served two tours of duty in Iraq, said he turned over his savings to Burton to invest, including a hefty re-enlistment bonus. Burton was, a friend of his sister's and wife's who attended his wedding. But when he began to suspect Burton was not managing his investment competently and tried to withdraw his money, Burton would not return it.
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