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Mar 9, 2017

Voya To Pay $3.1M Fine For Disclosure Violations

By |March 9th, 2017|Failure To Disclose|

Voya Financial Advisors will pay nearly $3.1 million because of payments it got from its clearing broker in relation to mutual fund sales. The firm settled a cease-and-desist order from the SEC and will pay $2.6 million in disgorgement, $175,000 in prejudgment interest, and $300,000 in civil penalties. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, [...]

Jan 10, 2017

John Rafal Barred From Securities Industry

By |January 10th, 2017|Failure To Disclose, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC barred Connecticut investment adviser John Rafal for hiding a referral fee from a client and then attempting to thwart the SEC's investigation. He was also pay $577,297 in penalties. Rafal, the former president and CEO of Essex Financial Services Inc. in Essex, Connecticut, obtained a new customer with accounts valuing over $100 [...]

Dec 29, 2016

Phil Fiore Jr. Fired By UBS For Multiple Violations

By |December 29th, 2016|Broker Check, Failure To Disclose, FINRA, Press Releases & News, UBS|

UBS Financial Services Inc. fired Phil Fiore Jr., one of its top brokers based in Stamford, Connecticut, for failing to keep the firm informed of outside business activities, even while he was under heightened supervision. Fiore was terminated at the close of November for violating firm policies, including not disclosing an unpaid directorship at a not-for profit [...]

Aug 5, 2016

Brian James Egan Barred by FINRA

By |August 5th, 2016|Broker Check, Failure To Disclose, FINRA, FINRA News, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News|

FINRA barred Brian James Egan from the securities industry after allegedly failing to disclose trading accounts he held beyond his employer, Independent Financial Group. According to a settlement notice accepted by FINRA, Egan did not disclose eighty-seven brokerage accounts he held with a separate firm from April 2010 to July 2015. He allegedly held trading [...]

Jul 28, 2016

Thomas Conrad Jr. Defrauds Investors 40 Years After Ban

By |July 28th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

According to the SEC, Thomas Conrad Jr.--an 85 year old man from Alpharetta, Georgia who was barred from the securities industry 45 years ago for fraud--was defrauding investors all over again with the assistance of his 55 year old son, Stuart P. Conrad. The two allegedly defrauded investors in a group of hedge funds they [...]

Jul 20, 2016

FINRA Bars Broker Bernard McGee

By |July 20th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

FINRA barred broker Bernard McGee and ordered him to pay about $250,000 in penalties for fraudulent annuity recommendations he made to an elderly customer. According to FINRA, he surrendered four variable annuity policies owned by the 71 year old customer valued at roughly $500,000 and used the money to purchase a charitable gift annuity from [...]

Jul 14, 2016

SEC Fines Firm $300K For Failing To Disclose Fees

By |July 14th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC|

The SEC fined RiverFront Investment Group of Richmond, Virginia $300,000 for charging clients additional fees beyond their wrap program for investment management. The firm agreed to the penalty without admitting or denying the allegations. The Commission censured the firm as well. This case was the result of the SEC prioritizing wrap account examinations previously [...]

Jul 11, 2016

AL Man Charged With $1.5M Securities Fraud Involving Church

By |July 11th, 2016|Alabama, Alabama Securities Commission, Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Joseph Borg, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Private Placements, Securities Law Violations, Unregistered broker dealer, Unregistered Securities|

Terry Earl Hester of Pike County, Alabama was charged with violating the Alabama Securities Act after allegedly making false promises to a Tuscaloosa County church involving $1.5 million in funds. Hester turned himself into authorities on June 15. The charges are the result of a six-count indictment by a Tuscaloosa County grand jury, according [...]

Jul 6, 2016

Adviser To Plead Guilty To $21M Ponzi Scheme

By |July 6th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations, Wire Fraud|

Patrick E. Churchville, an investment adviser from Rhode Island, is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges for running a $21 million Ponzi scheme, according to a statement made by the U.S. Attorney's Office. In addition, Churchville used $2.5 million of his clients' cash to buy a house, and he failed to pay over $820,000 [...]

Jul 5, 2016

SEC Accuses Breitling Energy Of $80M Fraud

By |July 5th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Oil / Gas Investments, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC charged Breitling Energy Corp., its CEO, and seven others with defrauding investors out of nearly $80 million by misleading them about the value of oil and gas assets The Commission's suit alleges that CEO Christ Faulkner of Breitling, an oil and gas driller from Texas, had worked with numerous accomplices to defraud [...]

Jun 30, 2016

SEC Bans MA Brokerage Firm Owner From Industry

By |June 30th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC has banned Massachusetts resident Lee Weiss from the brokerage and investment advisory industry for a fraudulent scheme pertaining to a French company that claimed it could reduce the harmful effects of tobacco smoking. Weiss, of Newton, Massachusetts, and his firm, Family Endowment Partners LLC, will pay roughly $8.4 million in relief to investors [...]

Mar 23, 2016

TX Bars Adviser For Fraudulent Sales

By |March 23rd, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations|

James Poe, a Forth Worth, Texas-based adviser and president of Jim Poe & Associates, Inc. has been barred by Texas state securities regulators from acting as an investment adviser representative and broker in the state for fraudulent practices pertaining to the sale of life settlements. Poe got undisclosed payments from another firm he owned, [...]

Mar 14, 2016

Morgan Stanley Subject Of Arbitration Filed By NC Couple

By |March 14th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fiduciary Duties, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Master Limited Partnership, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Arbitration, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

Two North Carolina investors have filed an arbitration claim with FINRA against Morgan Stanley  over unsuitable investments involving the firm’s Cushing MLP High Income Exchange Traded Note. The married couple, who are retirees in their sixties, are accusing the brokerage firm of common law fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, and failure to [...]

Feb 29, 2016

Most Common Investment Adviser Violations

By |February 29th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Failure To Supervise, Fiduciary Duties, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC|

Six investment adviser violations make up roughly 60% of all deficiencies the SEC's staff find when they investigate adviser offices, according to Renee Esfandiary, assistant director of the SEC's Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations. The investment adviser violations include: Compliance Rule Violations include not have written policies and procedures to ensure firm operations adhere to [...]

Feb 23, 2016

FINRA Bars Broker For Market Manipulation

By |February 23rd, 2016|Conflict of Interest, Failure To Disclose, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News|

FINRA barred broker George Johnson from the securities industry for operating a manipulative trading scheme to artificially inflate the market price and trading volume for the common stock of IceWEB, Inc. FINRA additionally sanctioned Christoper Wynne, Johnson's supervisor, suspending him for two years in all capacities, barring him in a principal capacity, and fining him [...]

Feb 9, 2016

Broker Lies About Charging $11M In Commissions For Nontraded REITs and BDCs

By |February 9th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Failure To Supervise, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, REIT|

FINRA charged a broker for lying to a Native American tribe about the $11 million in commissions he charged when he sold the tribe $190 million in nontraded real estate investment trusts and business development companies. Between June 2011 and January 2015, broker Gopi Krishna Vungarala “regularly lied to his customer, a Native American tribe, regarding [...]

Jan 13, 2016

SEC Seeks $2.5M From Texas Attorney For Securities Fraud

By |January 13th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

Last year, the SEC charged a Texas attorney with defrauding investors with regard to two securities offerings, one pertaining to an oil and gas exploration venture and the other a fracking water filtration business deal. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against attorney Gregory G. Jones [...]

Jan 8, 2016

Massachusetts Regulator Charges Securities Firm With Unsuitable Sale To Elderly Client

By |January 8th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fiduciary Duties, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

William Galvin, secretary of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, has charged a securities firm operating at Citizens Bank locations with "dishonest and unethical conduct" for selling an elderly woman funds that were riskier than her stated investment tolerance. Galvin seeks restitution from Citizens Securities for the anonymous investor, who lost roughly $7,000 when she got out [...]

Oct 21, 2015

Texas Man Convicted Of Securities Fraud

By |October 21st, 2015|Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Wire Fraud|

A federal jury on Monday convicted a Rockwall, Texas man of securities fraud arising from an investment scheme he ran, according to U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. Mark Lee Cleaton was found guilty on four counts of wire fraud and is facing a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison [...]

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