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May 8, 2018

FINRA SANCTIONS FIFTH THIRD SECURITIES, INC. OVER VARIABLE ANNUITY EXCHANGES

By |May 8th, 2018|Misrepresentation and Fraud, SEC, Securities Law Violations, Variable Annuity|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has announced a fine of $4 million and required an additional $2 million in restitutionary damages from Fifth Third Securities, Inc. for its failures to consider and accurately describe the costs and benefits of variable annuity exchanges, and for recommending variable annuity exchanges without a reasonable basis to believe [...]

May 18, 2017

Barclays To Pay $97M To Customers

By |May 18th, 2017|SEC|

Barclays Capital has reached a settlement with the SEC to refund over $97 million in advisory and mutual fund fees to customers the firm allegedly overcharged. The firm also agreed to set up a fund to repay advisory fees to the overcharged customers, the SEC said. This fund will consist of $49.8 million in disgorgement [...]

Apr 26, 2017

Demitrios Hallas Accused By SEC Of Selling Unsuitable Investments

By |April 26th, 2017|SEC, Securities Act of 1933, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC accused former broker Demitrios Hallas with trading leveraged Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) in clients' accounts and swindling $170,000 from one of his clients. The Commission claims he trade one hundred seventy-nine daily leveraged ETFs and ETNs in client accounts from September 2014 to October 2015, creating $128,000 in [...]

Apr 13, 2017

Robert Tricarico Sentenced To 3.5 Years In Prison For Client Theft

By |April 13th, 2017|FINRA, Fraud, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

Robert Tricarico, a former LPL broker, pleaded guilty to stealing $1.2 million from a client by a federal court in Hartford, Connecticut and was sentenced to forty-one (41) months in jail. The Court also ordered him to pay restitution. Tricarico started his career as a broker in 1992 and spent ten years with Merrill Lynch. [...]

Mar 16, 2017

Aegis Capital Investigated By FINRA, SEC, And FINCEN

By |March 16th, 2017|FINRA, SEC|

Aegis Capital Corp., which is a mid-sized brokerage firm out of New York City and has 415 registered representatives, is currently under investigation from three regulators, according to a document filed by the SEC. These regulators include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement [...]

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 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 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 [...]

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 2, 2016

FINRA Files Complaint Against Dawn Bennett

By |December 2nd, 2016|Broker Check, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Legal Matters, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

FINRA filed a complaint against Dawn Bennett for failing to testify in its investigation of possible fraud related to her clothing company. Bennett did not appear for testimony on four different occasions between April and September of this year, violating FINRA's rules, according to FINRA's complaint. The charges come roughly a year after the regulator [...]

Nov 28, 2016

Levi David Lindemann Receives 6-Year Sentence For Ponzi Scheme

By |November 28th, 2016|Broker Check, Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

Levi David Lindemann, a Minnesota investment advisor, received a six-year prison sentence for stealing from clients and operating a Ponzi scheme, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Lindemann was sentenced to 74 months imprisonment by a U.S. District Court, having pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal mail fraud and money-laundering charges. He was the [...]

Oct 19, 2016

Paul Lebel Barred By SEC For Churning

By |October 19th, 2016|Churning, Hedge, Bond & Mutual Funds, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

Paul Lebel, a broker formerly with LPL Financial from 2008 to 2014, was barred by the SEC for churning and excessively trading mutual funds in customer accounts and generating excess fees. According to the SEC administrative proceeding, Lebel "defrauded four customers by churning several of their accounts. In particular, Lebel exercised de facto control [...]

Oct 19, 2016

SEC Hits UDF With Wells Notice

By |October 19th, 2016|Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, NASDAQ, Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, REIT, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

The Frankowski Firm, LLC currently represents multiple investors who have invested in troubled United Development Funding REITs. Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a Wells notice against the Texas company, which indicates that the SEC has made a preliminary determination to potentially recommend an enforcement action against it. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ stock [...]

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