Articles Tagged with Citigroup

AdobeStock_82110313-1-300x125According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), former Robert W. Baird broker Patrick Phillips has violated securities laws. Mr. Phillips allegedly accepted two loans from a firm customer totaling $70,000. He also used a personal email account for business purposes in contravention of policies. This prevented CGMI from discovering emails related to the customer loan. For this misconduct, he was fined $10,000 and suspended from the industry for five months.
Patrick Jermaine Phillips, according to online records, is not currently registered as a broker, and has been suspended from the securities industry. He has one customer dispute against him, alleging the taking of a loan from a firm customer, and one regulatory matter against him. He was previously registered with MSI Financial Services in Chicago, Illinois from October 2016 until December 2016, Citigroup Global Markets in Orland Park, Illinois from August 2013 until July 2016, Ameriprise Financial Services in Chicago from August 2010 until August 2013, and Robert W. Baird in Chicago from December 2006 until August 2010. Robert W. Baird may be liable for Phillips losses on a contingency fee basis in the arbitration forum. The firm had a duty to reasonably supervise its brokers.

AdobeStock_199789587-300x200According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), RBC Capital Markets broker Cheryl George has violated securities laws and internal firm rules. Allegedly, George received an email from an individual purporting to be a customer of RBC requesting that she transfer funds for a wire transfer. In order to generate funds for that request, Cheryl George sold securities from the customer’s account without authorization from the customer or from the firm. She told RBC that she had received the customer’s transfer request verbally, when, in fact, she had only received the request over email. This is against securities laws. A broker must receive a verbal request from a customer in order to transfer funds. This misconduct occurred in June of 2017. She was suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm in any capacity for 20 days and was fined $5,000.
According to her online, FINRA BrokerCheck report, Cheryl A. George was previously registered with Citigroup Global Markets in Williamsville, New York from March 2001 until June 2009, Morgan Stanley in Williamsville from June 2009 until December 2009, and RBC Capital Markets in Williamsville from December 2009 until April 2018. She is not currently registered as a broker within the industry.

AdobeStock_90383187-1-300x194Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating former Western International Securities broker Jorey Bernstein. A customer alleged that Mr. Bernstein participated in illegal interactions and outside business activities with a third party. This can create conflict of interest within the firm. Another customer alleged that Bernstein excessively traded his account and requested damages of $3,000,000. The dispute is currently pending. Excessively trading is also referred to as “churning,” and is when a broker trades in and out of a customer’s account, sometimes daily. This is a tactic used by brokers to generate large commissions for themselves and typically results in the customer paying unnecessary fees. It is against securities laws and internal firm rules. A brokerage firm has a duty to oversee its employees so they do not violate securities laws. If the firm does not, it may be liable for investment losses in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis.
According to his online, FINRA BrokerCheck report, Jorey Bernstein was previously registered with Citigroup Global Markets in Los Angeles, California from October 2005 until June 2009 and Morgan Stanley in Beverly Hills, California from June 2009 until December 2015. He is currently registered with Western International Securities in Pasadena, California and has been since December 2015. He has one customer dispute against him alleging excessive trading with respects to trades in accounts and one employment separation after allegations.

AdobeStock_200379710-300x200According to AdvisorHub, former broker Dean Mustaphalli is facing 99 counts of criminal charges. He allegedly forged signatures on account documents, submitted fake email addresses and misled investors about the nature of a hedge fund whose value at one point tanked 80%. Dean Mustaphalli is facing criminal charges on 99 counts over the $5 million fraud scheme. The criminal indictment, which cover alleged misconduct from June 2014 until March 2017, comes almost a year after the Attorney General’s office filed a separate civil lawsuit against him. He allegedly solicited elderly clients, some of whom he had served while a registered broker, and invested their money into a hedge fund that he opened: Mustphalli Capital Partners Fund.
Dean Mustaphalli was previously registered with Citigroup Global Markets in Jamaica, New York from May 2007 until December 2009, and Sterne Agee Financial Services in Forest Hills, New York from December 2009 until September 2011. He has customer disputes against him, and one regulatory matter, according to his online, FINRA BrokerCheck report.

AdobeStock_91053286-1-300x194If you or someone you know has lost money with James O’Keefe, you may be able to recover those losses by suing his former firm, Morgan Stanley, in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. Mr. O’Keefe was accused of recommending unsuitable stocks from 2001 until 2015. In 2014, he was accused of recommending unsuitable stock investments from October 2007 until September 2014. In a separate complaint, O’Keefe, while registered with Merrill Lynch, was accused of making unsuitable investments and churning accounts. Churning is an especially egregious violation of securities laws, in that it typically leads to large commissions for the broker when he trades in and out of securities, sometimes on a daily basis. It also typically leads to unnecessary fees for the client. Please call us today to speak to an attorney for free about your options of suing Morgan Stanley in the FINRA arbitration forum. The call is free with no obligation.
James W. O’Keefe was previously registered with Thomas James Associates from February 1988 until March 1988, Waddell & Reed from June 1988 until October 1988, Merrill Lynch in New York from January 1990 until August 2001, and Citigroup Global Markets in New York from August 2001 until June 2009. He is currently registered with Morgan Stanley in New York, and has been since June 2009. He has four customer disputes against him, alleging unsuitable stock purchases, churning, and other things. He has one criminal final disposition against him.

AdobeStock_78306447-1-300x199According to a Decision heard before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), former Morgan Stanley broker Kenneth Mathieson was suspended for one year in all capacities and fined $50,000 for participating in private securities transactions and engaging in outside business activities without prior written notice to, and permission from, Morgan Stanley. FINRA also found that he submitted a false compliance questionnaire to the firm. In 2013, Morgan Stanley found that Mathieson had engaged in certain activities in connection with a company running an online education business, Aspen University, a private, for-profit school offering online degrees. He also personally invested in Aspen, up to a total of $66,000. He also made purchases in Aspen for his children totaling $30,550, and did not provide Morgan Stanley with notice of this. Mathieson expected to join Aspen’s board of directors and to receive stock options in the company because of his involvement with it. Shortly after Morgan Stanley found this, Mathieson was suspended and then terminated. This was against securities laws and internal firm rules. A broker must not engage in outside business activities.
Kenneth Mathieson, according to his online, public BrokerCheck report with FINRA, was previously registered with Prudential Securities Inc. in New York, New York from September 1987 until November 1999, Citigroup Global Markets in New York from November 1999 until June 2009, Morgan Stanley in New York from June 2009 until April 2014 and Raymond James in New York from June 2014 until March 2017. He is currently registered with Laidlaw & Company in New York, and has been since February 2017. He has two customer disputes against him, alleging that he falsely and fraudulently induced claimants to hold on to positions they would have otherwise have sold, breach of fiduciary duty, and failure to supervise, and that he was involved in illegal activities involving a customer’s account including unauthorized trading.
Please call our securities law offices in Chicago today if you suffered losses with Kenneth Mathieson. You may be able to bring a claim against Morgan Stanley on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum. Attorneys are standing by to take your call and there is no obligation with it.

AdobeStock_33766885-1-300x200On Thursday, a U.S. regulator stated that Citigroup has failed in its promise to beef up anti-money-laundering procedures. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said its deposit-taking bank, Citibank N.A., hasn’t adhered to a 2012 order that accused the bank of failing to report suspicious activities and take more measures to prevent potential money laundering. According to its 2012 cease-and-desist order, the bank had inadequate internal controls and independent testing. This prevented the bank from conducting adequate due diligence on customers in correspondent banking and retail banking. At the time, the OCC ordered the bank to fix the problems, but didn’t fine it. This time, Citigroup was fined $70 million. Recently, it shut down a small unit called Banamex USA after it was fined for its controls. The bank in May also settled an anti-money-laundering investigation by the Justice Department that focused on the Banamex USA unit. It has also scaled back the number of countries where it operates in recent years.

AdobeStock_35532974-1-300x200The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) once again has forced Citigroup to pay at least $11.5 million in fines and restitution due to claims that it displayed the wrong research ratings on more than 1,800 stocks. On Thursday, FINRA stated that Citigroup Global Markets Inc. showed incorrect ratings such as “buy” instead of “sell” to brokers, customers and supervisors on 38% of the equities covered by its research department from February 2011 until December 2015. FINRA fined the company $5.5 million over the charges and ordered it to pay at least $6 million to customers. Citigroup allegedly failed to timely fix the wrongly displayed ratings, despite numerous red flags. Because of this, brokers solicited thousands of transactions and negligently made inaccurate statements premised on wrong ratings, and many customers owned stocks with “sell” ratings despite a prohibition on such ownership.

AdobeStock_123495998-1-300x197Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Stuart Pearl, a former registered representative with Ameriprise. According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mr. Pearl allegedly effected securities transactions in a customer’s account on several occasions on a discretionary basis without prior written authority and approval to use discretion. He also allegedly made unsuitable recommendations in a second customer’s account when he recommended the customer use margin to effect several trades. This is in violation of securities rules and regulations. In June 2010, two customers of Pearl’s who were retired and in their 70s, opened a joint brokerage account with him at Ameriprise. Their risk was “conservative” and their objective was “growth and income.” Between September 2011 and March 2012, Pearl recommended that the customers purchase four securities valued at $122,000 on margin. As a result of these purchases, the customers experienced a significant increase in their margin debt balances in relation to their available funds and their account was subject to margin calls during this period.
A broker’s duty is to only recommend and sell those securities that are suitable for every customer based on his net worth, investment objective, risk tolerance and age, among other factors. If he does not recommend and sell suitable investments, his brokerage firms may be liable for losses. Stuart L. Pearl was previously registered with Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from May 1986 until April 2001, Citigroup in Deerfield, Illinois from April 2001 until June 2009, Morgan Stanley in Deerfield from June 2009 until June 2010 and Ameriprise Financial in Deerfield from June 2010 until July 2015. He is currently registered with David A. Noyes in Chicago, Illinois, and has been since July 2015. He has three customer disputes against him, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of contract, unauthorized trading and use of margin borrowing, among other things.

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Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), barred Robert Tricarico from the industry. Between 2010 and 2012, Tricarico was accused of stealing at least $1.2 million from Emily Anderson, an elderly Connecticut woman. Anderson died in 2013 and the missing funds were discovered by the managers of her estate after her death. Last October, Tricarico was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay back full restitution to Anderson’s estate, as well as $20,000 he borrowed from another elderly client that he used for personal gain.

Robert Neil Tricarico was previously registered with First Associated Financial Group from May 1986 until February 1987, Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from October 1992 until June 2003, Citigroup in Westport, Connecticut from June 2003 until April 2009, Wells Fargo in Westport from March 2009 until May 2011, and LPL Financial in Westport from May 2011 until January 2015. He has six customer disputes against him and one criminal dispute. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has also barred him from the industry.

Tricarico’s former firms, Wells Fargo and LPL can be sued in the FINRA arbitration forum for investment losses. Please call our securities law firm today if you suffered losses with Tricarico. Firms such as Wells Fargo and LPL must reasonably supervise their employees and, if they do not, can be held liable for money losses. We take cases on a contingency fee basis only so we don’t make money unless you recover yours. Please call today. The call is free with no obligation. 312-332-4200.

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