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Mar 2, 2017

Craig David Dima Barred By FINRA

By |March 2nd, 2017|FINRA, FINRA News, Legal Matters, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability, Unauthorized Trading|

Craig David Dima, an ex-registered representative with K.C. Ward Financial in Ronkonkoma, New York, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA for making unauthorized and unsuitable trades amounting to roughly $15 million in a seventy-three (73) year old retiree's account, as well as for misrepresenting the reasons for all the trades to the customer. [...]

Feb 8, 2017

Hamilton Ticket Resale Ponzi Scheme Investor Sues

By |February 8th, 2017|Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

Adam Blank, an investor in the alleged $81 million Ponzi scheme pertaining to the buying and selling of tickets to popular shows, including Adele concerts and Broadway's Hamilton, sued his broker-dealer, alleging the firm made several false and misleading statements about its due diligence and investigation into the ticket operation. The suit was [...]

Feb 2, 2017

SEC: Meyers Associates, L.P. Ignored Pump-And-Dump Scheme

By |February 2nd, 2017|Fraud, Legal Matters, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Pump-And-Dump, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC announced administrative proceedings against John D. Telfer, who worked for Meyers Associates, L.P. as the firm's former anti-money laundering officer. The commission alleges that the firm failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports for $24.8 million worth of suspect transactions, which includes transactions in accounts controlled by Raymond H. Barton and William G. Goode [...]

Feb 1, 2017

Dwayne Edwards Accused Of Fraud By SEC

By |February 1st, 2017|10b-5, Alabama, Bonds, Fraud, Legal Matters, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Act of 1933, Securities and Exchange Act, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC charged Dwayne Edwards with fraud and obtained an emergency asset freeze against the South Carolina businessman. The SEC alleges that he funneled money he obtained from investors who believed their money would be used for buying and renovating senior housing facilities. According to the commission, Dwayne Edwards illicitly commingled funds from a number [...]

Jan 26, 2017

Michael J. Breton Banned For Cherry Picking Trades

By |January 26th, 2017|Fraud, Legal Matters, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

Michael J. Breton, a Massachusetts investment adviser who the SEC accused of securities fraud, has agreed to be banned from the industry after the SEC discovered he was operating an illicit cherry-picking stock scheme. The commission filed suit against Breton and his firm, Strategic Capital Management, in federal district court in Massachusetts. claiming that they [...]

Jan 25, 2017

Buffer Annuities: Why Regulators Are Seeing Complaints

By |January 25th, 2017|FINRA, FINRA News, Legal Matters, Press Releases & News, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

Regulators are beginning to shift their attention toward buffer annuities, a new kind of variable annuity. These annuities are extremely complicated and utilize structured products, rather than mutual funds, in the sub-account as the underlying investment. Donald Lopezi, Senior Vice President and Regional Director of FINRA's western region, has noted that the regulator [...]

Jan 24, 2017

FINRA January 2017 Disciplinary Actions

By |January 24th, 2017|Alabama, Bonds, Broker Check, Churning, Conflict of Interest, Conspiracy, Failure To Supervise, Fiduciary Duties, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Georgia, Hedge, Bond & Mutual Funds, Legal Matters, Master Limited Partnership, Misappropriated Funds, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, Private Placements, Pump-And-Dump, REIT, SEC, Securities Law Violations, Selling Away, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

FINRA takes disciplinary actions against firms and individuals for violations of FINRA rules; federal securities laws, rules, and regulations; and the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. Below are a number of penalties announced by the regulator in January 2017. If you have been a victim of any of the below behavior, you may [...]

Jan 23, 2017

Charles Schwab Sued Over Own 401(k) Plan

By |January 23rd, 2017|401(k), Fiduciary Duties, Legal Matters, Press Releases & News|

A participant in the Charles Schwab Corp. 401(k) plan has sued the plan and corporate executives, claiming they violated their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by offering Schwab funds that were “more expensive than comparable alternatives available in the marketplace.” The suit was filed in United States District Court in [...]

Jan 19, 2017

Henry Al Dean Watson Barred By FINRA

By |January 19th, 2017|Broker Check, Churning, FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, Unauthorized Trading|

FINRA announced that it barred an ex-Hilliard Lyons broker, Henry Al Dean Watson, who recently settled a customer complaint accusing him of excessive trading and commissions, unauthorized trades, and portfolio mismanagement. Watson broke FINRA rules by failing to appear to give testimony before the regulator. Watson began in the securities business in 1984. He was registered [...]

Jan 16, 2017

Richard Gearhart & George McKown Charged With Securities Fraud

By |January 16th, 2017|401(k), Conspiracy, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations, Unregistered broker dealer, Variable Annuity|

Richard Gearhart of Lowell, Indiana and George McKown of Indianapolis, Indiana have been indicted on fraud charges after prosecutors claim they sold securities to investors despite not being registered to do so. The two were charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, and wire fraud, said U.S. Attorney David Capp. According [...]

Jan 13, 2017

Morgan Stanley Fined $13M By SEC

By |January 13th, 2017|Legal Matters, Press Releases & News, SEC|

The SEC announced today that Morgan Stanley agreed to pay a $13 million fine to resolve allegations that it overbilled investment advisory clients due to coding and other billing system errors. Morgan Stanley also violated the custody rule regarding annual surprise examinations. The firm overcharged over 149,000 advisory clients because it failed to [...]

Jan 11, 2017

Gregory Dean And Donald Fowler Charged By SEC

By |January 11th, 2017|Broker Check, Churning, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC charged two brokers, Gregory Dean and Donald Fowler, with violations of securities laws for a fraudulent excessive-trading scheme designed to profit themselves at the expense of their clients. The SEC accused Dean and Fowler of using a “high-cost trading strategy consisting of the excessive buying and selling of stocks” that led to “enormous losses” for [...]

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 [...]

Jan 2, 2017

Valic Financial Advisors Fined $1.75M

By |January 2nd, 2017|FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, Variable Annuity|

Referring to several conflicts of interest regarding how the firm paid brokers selling annuities, FINRA announced that it fined Valic Financial Advisors Inc. $1.75 million. FINRA found that VFA "failed to have a reasonable system to address and review the conflict of interest created by its compensation policy,” the regulator stated. It specifically pointed to occasions [...]

Jan 2, 2017

VFG Securities Settles Claims With FINRA

By |January 2nd, 2017|FINRA, FINRA News, Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Press Releases & News, Suitability|

VFG Securities Inc., a small broker-dealer, and its owner, Jason Vanclef, reached a settlement agreement with FINRA regarding allegations that he and the firm had customers overly concentrated in illiquid investments and had used a book he had written to pump up these alternative investments. FINRA had filed a complaint claiming that the firm failed [...]

Dec 30, 2016

Ash Narayan Banned For Defrauding Pro Athletes

By |December 30th, 2016|Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

Former financial adviser Ash Narayan agreed to be barred from associating with brokerage or advisory firms to settle regulators' allegations that he secretly received nearly $2 million from companies that he invested his professional athlete clients in for at least five years. Narayan additionally placed clients in unsuitable private investments and misrepresented himself as a [...]

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 [...]

Dec 21, 2016

Twelve Firms Fined For Cybersecurity Issues

By |December 21st, 2016|FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News|

FINRA dished out $14.4 million in fines to twelve firms for breaches pertaining to the retention of broker-dealers' and clients' electronic records, which the regulator says made the firms vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. The firms include Wells Fargo & Co. and RBC Capital networks, RBS Securities Inc., SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc., LPL Financial, Georgeson Securities Corp. [...]

Dec 7, 2016

Morgan Stanley Fined For Failing To Deliver Fund Prospectuses Online

By |December 7th, 2016|Failure to Deliver, FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News|

FINRA fined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney $1.5 million for technical failures, including a faulty website link that obstructed client's from viewing fund prospectuses. For a number of years before 2013, Morgan Stanley made mandated fund prospectuses available to customers online. However, as the FINRA settlement states, in November 2013, Morgan Stanley updated its [...]

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