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Jul 21, 2017

Frankowski Firm Investigating Jerry McCutchen for Multiple Acts of Broker Negligence and Fraud

By |July 21st, 2017|REIT, Suitability|

The Frankowski Firm is continuing its investigation of now-expelled securities broker Jerry McCutchen. McCutchen has been the subject of a multitude of customer complaints since 2000, the vast majority of which were filed since 2012. These complaints contain various allegations of securities law violations, including unsuitable investment recommendations, negligence, and fraud, among other causes of [...]

Jul 20, 2017

Frankowski Firm Investigating Westpark Capital for Potential Broker Fraud and Negligence

By |July 20th, 2017|Churning, FINRA, Suitability|

The law offices of The Frankowski Firm, LLC are investigating customer complaints concerning Westpark Capital, Inc. for the potential sale of unsuitable investments to their customers and failure to diversify these customers' accounts. The firm has its headquarters in Los Angeles, California, and FINRA records show it has been registered with both the SEC and [...]

May 3, 2017

Discretionary versus Non-Discretionary Investment Accounts

By |May 3rd, 2017|Suitability|

Many investors wonder about the differences between discretionary and non-discretionary investment accounts or do not even realize that there are two types of such accounts that function quite differently from each other. Simply put, a discretionary account is one in which a broker makes trades, buying or selling securities, in an investor's account without the [...]

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. [...]

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 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 [...]

Oct 21, 2016

Mark Tauzin Suspended For Unsuitable Trading

By |October 21st, 2016|Broker Check, FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

FINRA suspended former LPL Financial broker Mark Tauzin for engaging in unsuitable short-term trading of unit investment trusts as well as maintaining blank, signed forms in customer files. He was suspended for eight months from any FINRA registered broker-dealer, fined $20,000 and required to pay $205,000 plus interest to 14 sets of clients. That sum represents the [...]

Oct 11, 2016

FINRA Bars Jay Jules Gruenebaum

By |October 11th, 2016|Broker Check, FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, Suitability|

FINRA has permanently banned former broker Jay Jules Gruenebaum, who was terminated by his most recent employer, Stifel Nicolaus, for making unauthorized payments to clients. FINRA began its investigation of Gruenebaum after his June 16 termination and two customer complaints about mishandled accounts and particular representations he made to them, in addition to the unauthorized payments. [...]

Oct 10, 2016

Mickey Long Banned From Selling Alt. Investments

By |October 10th, 2016|Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Press Releases & News, Private Placements, Suitability|

The Texas State Securities Board has banned broker Mickey Long from recommending alternative investments, including nontraded REITs, after he concentrated a client's account with too many such investments. The state also suspended him for forty-five days and put him on heightened supervision by his firm, Calton & Associates Inc., for two years. Regulators have [...]

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

Broker To Pay $331k For Unsuitable Investments

By |July 14th, 2016|Broker Check, FINRA, FINRA News, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Private Placements, Securities Arbitration, Suitability|

A FINRA Arbitration panel ordered Frederick Baerenz, president and CEO of AOG Wealth Management, to pay $331,000 in compensatory damages after finding him liable of unsuitable trading. Baerenz allegedly misled his investors, Barbara and Roger Bond, regarding the risks of their direct private placements while investing in them between 2006 and 2008. Of the $1.3 [...]

May 27, 2016

Alabama Man Sentenced For Securities Fraud

By |May 27th, 2016|Alabama, Alabama Securities Commission, Broker Check, FINRA, Fraud, Huntsville, Madison County, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, Securities Arbitration, Securities Law Violations, Suitability, Unregistered Securities|

Keith Michael Rogers of Huntsville, Alabama was sentenced by Madison County Circuit Court Judge Alison Austin to three years in prison for securities fraud. He received a ten year split sentence and will serve three years and has seven suspended. Judge Austin also ordered Rogers to pay $1.7 million in restitution. The sentencing follows [...]

Apr 28, 2016

Complaints Against Merrill Lynch Broker For Unsuitable Recommendations

By |April 28th, 2016|Broker Check, FINRA, FINRA News, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Arbitration, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

According to FINRA's BrokerCheck, Merrill Lynch broker Heather Weber has been the subject of at least seven customer complaints. The complaints claim that Weber violated securities laws, including soliciting unsuitable investments and making misrepresentations of materials facts. In January 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging $200,000 in damage stemming from unsuitable investment recommendations [...]

Apr 14, 2016

Frankowski Firm Investigating Former Broker Jerry McCutchen

By |April 14th, 2016|Broker Check, FINRA, Press Releases & News, REIT, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

The Frankowski Firm is investigating ex-broker Jerry McCutchen. If you purchased real estate investment trusts ("REITs") from him and lost money, you may have grounds to bring a securities claim. According to FINRA's BrokerCheck, McCutchen has been accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations. He has also been the subject of numerous broker fraud claims alleging [...]

Apr 12, 2016

Investors File Churning Complaints Against John Prinzivalli

By |April 12th, 2016|Broker Check, Churning, Fiduciary Duties, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Arbitration, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

According to FINRA's BrokerCheck, broker John Prinzivalli has been the subject of two churning complaints since 2010. Other complaints against Prinzivalli have alleged a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty. One complaint filed in October 2014 alleges $130,000 in damages due to unsuitable recommendations, [...]

Apr 8, 2016

Investors File Complaints Against James Hayne

By |April 8th, 2016|Alabama, Broker Check, Churning, Failure To Supervise, Fiduciary Duties, FINRA, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Suitability, Unauthorized Trading|

The Frankowski Firm is investigating complaints regarding Texas-based Cetera Advisors broker James Hayne (CRD# 3257845). He has spent sixteen years in the securities industry and has been registered with Cetera Advisors in Mansfield, Texas since 2014. Previous registrations include Questar Capital Corporation in Glendora, California (2013-2014); First Allied Securities in Glendora, California (2008-2013); Edward Jones in Pomona, [...]

Apr 5, 2016

Ex-Broker Charged With Improper Trading

By |April 5th, 2016|Broker Check, FINRA, FINRA News, Hedge, Bond & Mutual Funds, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

FINRA charged David Randall Lockey, a former broker, with profiting as a result of improper trading of customer accounts over a span of nearly two years. According to FINRA's complaint, Lockey “engaged in unsuitable short-term trading and switching in” mutual funds and unit investment trusts in four accounts between May 2012 and March 2014 during his time [...]

Mar 30, 2016

Kansas Man Sentenced For Securities Fraud

By |March 30th, 2016|FINRA, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability, Unregistered Securities|

Dennis D. Bailey of Bel Aire, Kansas has been sentenced to five years in prison for securities fraud. In addition to his 61 month prison sentence, Bailey was ordered to pay $875,000 in restitution. The former financial adviser had previously pleaded guilty to one count of felony securities fraud under the Kansas Uniform Securities Act. [...]

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