A Florida executive, Navin Xavier, was charged for his role in two fraud schemes which cost 100 investors more than $30 million. Xavier was the former CEO of Essex Holdings and convinced investors to purchase interests in sugar transportation and iron ore mining in Chile, and another involving economic development funds in South Carolina. He was charged with 15 counts of wire fraud. He ran the scheme from September 2010 until May 2014 while operating Essex Holdings. Eventually, the scam turned into a ponzi scheme. Xavier also used forged documents and false promises when soliciting investments, and spent the money on jewelry, luxury vehicles and cosmetic surgery. Xavier used Essex to secure $1.2 million in funds and about $1.5 million in commercial real estate from the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development. He was supposed to develop an older industrial property into a diaper plant and rice packaging facility. Instead, Xavier spent that money on personal expenses as well.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently brought a regulatory action against Financial West Group, a California-based securities brokerage firm. FINRA alleged that the firm failed to provide adequate procedures to perform due diligence on private placements. This misconduct occurred between October 2008 and June 2015. FINRA alleged that Financial West Group’s written supervisory procedures failed to address many elements of a firm’s due diligence process for private placements and Financial West paid a $40,000 fine to settle the allegations. Private placements are securities sold to a relatively small number of select investors as a way of raising capital. Usually these investors are large banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and pension funds. They are not for sale on the open market to any type of investor. A complaint was also brought against Gene C. Valentine, the firm’s Chairman and CEO. FINRA alleged that Valentine allowed a statutory disqualified individual to act as a registered representative of the firm. He paid a $10,000 fine and was suspended from the industry in a principal capacity for 30 days. If you would like to find out how to sue Financial West Group for private placement violations and investment losses, please call our securities law firm today. We may be able to help you bring a claim against them to recover your losses.
JSG Capital Investments, a San Francisco hedge fund, has been accused of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, with its CEO and a colleague having spent the money at strip clubs, casinos and sporting events. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims JSG Capital took close to $9.3 million in a ponzi scheme. The men reportedly sold fake pre-IPO shares of Uber, Airbnb and Alibaba, before transferring the money to their own personal accounts. Jason Gill, the CEO and founder, along with Javier Carlos Rios, allegedly defrauded 200 investors out of their money, taking new money and paying it to old investors. They used companies such as Airbnb, and Uber Technologies to entice investors, promising them that they would invest their money this way. Both men have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, according to the Department of Justice. Of the $9.3 million they are accused of raising, they are said to have stolen in excess of $5.5 million. Gill and Rios allegedly transferred less than 1% of investor funds to JSG Entity brokerage accounts and no pre-IPO company shares were ever purchased.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently sanctioned Ameriprise for failures to deliver account records to clients at account openings, Banca IMI Securities Corp for CEO supervisory failures and Coburn & Meredith Inc. for the sale of UITs. FINRA censured Ameriprise Financial Services in Minneapolis and fined it $150,000 after alleging that it failed to create and send to approximately 219,000 customers an account record within 30 days of opening the account. The firm created the account records but only sent them to customers if the systems ran in a particular sequence, otherwise no records were sent. FINRA found that Ameriprise’s supervisory system and written supervisory procedures were what allowed the failing of the system.
Banca IMI Securities Corp was censured and fined $250,000 by FINRA when the regulatory authority found that the firm failed to have an adequate supervisory system in place. The firm’s CEO also spent almost $900,000 of the firm’s funds on certain works of art created and sold by his relatives and fund charitable donations to entities with which he had a personal connection or interest.
FINRA also fined Coburn & Meredith Inc. $75,000 and censured the firm. Coburn was also ordered to pay $203,097.47, plus interest in restitution to customers with respect to the sale of unit investment trusts (UITs). The firm allegedly failed to identify and apply sales charge discounts to certain customers’ eligible purchases of UITs. This resulted in the customers paying excess charges of $203,097.47. FINRA also found that the firm failed to have supervisory systems in place.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently charged a microcap company, RVPlus, and it’s CEO, Cary Lee Peterson with falsely claiming to have a lucrative relationship with the United Nation and billions of dollars in clean energy contracts with foreign governments. The SEC also claimed that Peterson and RVPlus also made bogus claims in the company’s public filings and in statements to private investors, and that he and RVPlus participated in an unlawful distribution of the company’s stock. The SEC then charged the company and Peterson with violating the antifraud provisions of the securities laws and an SEC antifraud rule. It also charged them with violating the registration provisions of the securities laws and Peterson with aiding and abetting RVPlus’s violations of the antifraud provisions. According to a statement, Peterson allegedly “inflated RVPlus’ finances and expected profitability. He also used a pseudonym, posted hundreds of messages to an online investors’ forum calling RVPlus’ stock ‘undervalued,’ and urged investors to ‘buy up as much as possible.’” He repeatedly claimed that his company had a lucrative relationship with the United Nations worth $2.8 billion. He had no relationship with them and the contracts were false. For these transgressions, the SEC is seeking a permanent injunction, return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, and penalties. It is also seeking to bar Peterson as a corporate officer or director and from participating in the penny-stock business. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced it would bring criminal charges against him.
According to a Notice of Hearing with the State of Illinois Secretary of State Securities Department, Scott D. Goldstein, the President and CEO of European Assets Inc, is accused of engaging in the business of loan brokering without being registered to do so. Goldstein was accused of employing devices, schemes or articles to defraud, making any untrue statements of material facts and engaging in any act, practice or course of business that operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit. Goldstein was attempting to provide consulting services to clients to bring on investor or venture capitalists to fund his company. A hearing will be held to determine whether European Assets and Goldstein will be prohibited from offering, advising the sale of, and selling securities in the State of Illinois. If you invested any money with Scott D. Goldstein or European Assets, please call our securities law firm to speak to an attorney about your options. He and his company, European Assets Inc., can be held liable for investment losses.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Travis Shannon, a former financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Shannon was accused of participating in outside business activities. This is also referred to as “selling away” and is when a broker sells a security that is not held or offered by his member firm. It is against securities rules and regulations and is used to generate large commissions for the broker. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) alleged that Shannon sold a number of investments in three companies to his customers: Aerobat Aviation Inc., TC and Zindigo. Shannon was the CEO of Aerobat Aviation, TC bought and sold used computer network equipment. Zindigo was a social commerce platform for the fashion industry. If you invested money with Travis Shannon, you may be able to recover your losses in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration process. We may be able to help you do so. We are securities attorneys who sue firms when they may be liable for investment losses because of their inability to properly supervise their brokers.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Robert P. DePalo, CEO and Chairman of Arjent LLC and its UK-based affiliate, Arjent Limited, as well as Managing Director and co-owner Joshua B. Gladtke for allegedly making false representations to investors. They did this in an attempt to keep both companies afloat, as they were on the brink of insolvency, and to fund their personal, extravagant lifestyles. They did this by telling possible investors that they should buy shares in a holding company, Pangaea Trading Partners. They then told the investors that their funds would be used to fund the company. Instead, the men used $2.3 million for their own use.
If you invested money with Robert P. DePalo, Joshua B. Gladktke, or their companies, Arjent LLC, Arjent Limited or Pangaea Trading Partners, please call us at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney. We are securities lawyers who represent retail investors in order to recover investment losses for them. The call is free with no obligation.
Please call Stoltmann Law Offices at 312-332-4200 if you would like to discuss your options about bringing claims against Jon G. Sanchez, CEO of Sanchez Wealth Management. Two complaints were filed against him, alleging that on May 29th, 2014, he made unsuitable investment recommendations in leveraged Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) between 2008 and 2010. He was the CEO of Sanchez Wealth Management in Reno, Nevada. All investments offered by the company are offered through Independent Financial Group, LLC.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brought enforcement claims against ACN Securities. The disciplinary actions were issued because of the failure of a CEO to terminate an employee that asked to be terminated, improper withdrawal of almost $100,000 from a bank account, operating without required capital and accepting a loan from a customer. FINRA named Simon Taylor in a complaint because of his failure to file notice of an employee termination after one of its registered employees asked to leave.
Taylor is the CEO and COO of ACN. He is also the firm’s majority owner for the past five years. The employee who requested to leave did so for the first time in May 2014, and continued to request it many times after that. Simon failed to disclose the requests to FINRA in a timely manner. If you made investments with ACN Securities, you could be entitled to recover them through the FINRA arbitration process. Please call our securities law firm at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney about your options. We are based in Chicago, Illinois.