Articles Tagged with criminal

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Scott Muirhead, who was recently barred from the industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Allegedly, Muirhead engaged in unapproved private securities transactions, also known as “selling away.” This is when a broker offers and sells a security that is not held by his brokerage firm. It is typically to gain commissions that do not need to be shared with his firm. It is against securities rules and regulations. If you invested money with Scott Muirhead, you may be able to recover your losses in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. To talk about your possible claim with one of our securities attorneys, please call our Chicago-based offices at 312-332-4200 today. The call is free with no obligation. We sue firms such as Merrill Lynch to recover money lost.

Muirhead was registered with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp in Dallas, Texas from June 2006 until April 2008, Princor Financial Services Corp in Sachse, Texas from April 2008 until September 2010, Bright Trading in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 2010 until March 2011, Signator Investors in Dallas, Texas from June 2011 until June 2012, Multi-Finance Securities in Sachse from June 2012 until November 2012 and Merrill Lynch in Jacksonville, Florida from March 2014 until December 2014. He has one criminal disposition against him. He is not licensed and has been barred from the industry, according to his FINRA online BrokerCheck report.

Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking to those individuals who may have invested money with Steven Orr, a registered broker with H. Beck Inc. in Houston, Texas. Orr was accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresenting products, including direct participation products (DPPs) and private placements including oil and gas partnerships, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other alternative investments. Products such as these (oil and gas partnerships, REITs, and other alternative investments) are only appropriate for a select few investors under certain market conditions, due to the risk, high fees and illiquidity associated with these products. A broker must take into account the aforementioned market conditions, and the client’s age, net worth, investment objectives and investment sophistication before recommending and/or selling these products. If the broker does not do so, his brokerage firm can be liable for investment losses, because the firm has a duty to supervise each broker. Please call our Chicago-based securities law firm today at 312-332-4200 to speak to one of our attorneys about your options of suing H. Beck if you have suffered losses with Steven Orr. We may be able to help you bring a claim against H. Beck in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum to recover your financial losses on a contingency fee basis.

According to his online FINRA BrokerCheck report, Orr was registered with AAL Capital Management Corp in Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 1987 until November 1994, H. Beck in Victoria, Texas from December 1994 until April 2009 and DeWaay Financial Network in Victoria from April 2009 until May 2011. He is currently registered with H. Beck in Victoria and has been since April 2011. He has five customer disputes against him, two of which are currently pending and two criminal matters against him.

Did you lose money with Michael Oppenheim, formerly of JP Morgan Chase? Oppenheim was recently barred from the industry after admitting that he stole more than $20 million from clients for trading stocks online, paying personal bills and gambling on sporting events. Oppenheim settled fraud charges with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week. Earlier this year, he pled guilty to criminal embezzlement and securities fraud charges in US District Court for the Southern District of New York and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also agreed to pay $20,185,225 to settle the criminal charges and pay restitution to JP Morgan Chase. He allegedly took client funds to buy himself cashier’s checks, which were deposited into brokerage accounts he controlled. The money was then used to engage in options trading. In 2008, he persuaded at least two customers to withdraw more than $12 million from their accounts, and he told them the funds would be used to buy municipal bonds or municipal bond funds. Instead, he used the money to pay a home loan, gambling debts and credit card bills and to buy luxury clothing and travel. He also covered up the scam by falsifying client account statements to show bonds owned by other customers, and by moving cash from one customer account to another to inflate balances. The SEC barred him from the industry.

Oppenheim was registered with Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from April 1998 until May 1999, Prudential Securities in New York from May 1999 until July 2001, Chase Investment Services in Chicago, Illinois from February 2002 until February 2004, Wachovia Securities in St. Louis, Missouri from February 2004 until May 2004, Chase Investment Services Corp in New York from May 2004 until October 2012 and JP Morgan Securities in New York from October 2012 until April 2015. He has one customer dispute against him. He is not licensed within the industry and the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have permanently barred him.

According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Robert Heath, a former AXA Advisors broker was accused of borrowing money from a customer in violation of FINRA rules. He was suspended from the industry for three months and fined $5,000. He was also ordered to pay the customer $7,500 in interest. Allegedly, on July 20, 2012, Heath borrowed $7,500 from his customer. The loan was undocumented and Heath was to make monthly payments to the customer equaling six percent simple interest until the loan was repaid. There was no fixed maturity date for the loan. Heath has not repaid any principal to the customer since taking the loan.

According to his online public FINRA BrokerCheck page, Heath was registered with The Variable Annuity Marketing Company in Houston, Texas from September 1990 until December 2001, AIG Retirement Advisors in Lakewood, Colorado from March 1998 until December 2008, AXA Advisors in Highlands Ranch, Colorado from December 2008 until December 2012 and Presidential Brokerage in Colorado Springs, Colorado from December 2012 until September 2015. He has two criminal dispositions against him and one customer dispute. He is not currently licensed within the industry.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Nathan Silva, who was barred from the industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA was investigating him for allegedly commingling customer funds and communicated with customers without approval from Ameritas. This is against securities rules and regulations. Brokerage firms such as Ameritas have a responsibility to adequately supervise all representatives who are registered through their firm. The firm must also take steps to ensure that their financial advisors follow all securities rules and regulations as well as internal firm policies. When they fail to do so, they may be held liable for investment losses sustained by customers. Please call 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney about your options of suing Ameritas in the FINRA arbitration forum. Silva was registered with Ameritas Investment Corp in Omaha, Nebraska from September 2007 until November 2014. He has two customer disputes against him and one criminal final disposition.

Stoltmann Law Offices continues to investigate Akron, Ohio-based KGTA Petroleum. On December 8th, 2014, criminal charges were brought against KGTA’s co-owner and operator, Kenneth A. Grant, who was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud and money laundering. The FBI, IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Cleveland office continue to investigate the company and its owners after it was alleged that Grant defrauded more than 70 investors and received over $17 million from those investors. Recently, Jeffrey Gainer, Mark George and Thomas Abdallah, all co-conspirators in the scheme, pled guilty to the criminal matter.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently brought actions against Jeffrey Gainer, Jerry Cicolani and Kelly Hood, all brokers who allegedly made recommendations to their clients to invest in KGTA Petroleum between October 2012 and February 2014. KGTA was supposedly an investment in oil and fuel, but the SEC found it to be nothing but a scam. On April 14th, 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office brought criminal charges against Cicolani Jr. and Hood related to the scheme, who both pled guilty. The SEC alleged that Cicolani himself recommended KGTA to at least 39 investors, and, because of this, earned over $5 million in commissions for himself. The SEC is now seeking to permanently bar Cicolani and Hood from the securities industry. Both were brokers at PrimeSolutions Securities at the time of the fraud. Both have been terminated from the firm.

Firms such as PrimeSolutions have a duty to reasonably supervise their brokers so they do not make unsuitable recommendations to clients. If the firm does not reasonably supervise its brokers, it may be liable for investment losses suffered by clients. We sue firms such as PrimeSolutions in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration process on a contingency fee basis to recover money for clients. The call to us is free with no obligation so please call today.

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) barred Chen from the securities industry, alleging that she participated in a pyramid scheme. The scheme was called CKB186 and it targeted the Asian American community between May 2012 and August 2013. She told the investors that their investments were in an internet-based company that sold children’s books. Chen pled guilty to a related criminal matter in March 2016. Ms. Chen was a former registered representative of TransAmerica Financial Advisors Inc., working out of a branch office in Alhambra, California during the time. She no longer is registered with any firm. Firms such as TransAmerica have a duty to reasonably supervise advisors like Toni Chen while they are registered there. If they do not, they could be liable for losses that investors suffer. Please call our law firm to speak to an attorney for free to determine whether or not you may have a claim to bring against TransAmerica for Ms. Chen’s transgressions.

According to her online Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, Ms. Chen was registered with WMA Securities in Duluth, Georgia from December 1996 until April 2002, World Group Securities in Duluth from April 2002 until January 2012 and TransAmerica Financial Advisors in St. Petersburg, Florida from January 2012 until August 2012. She has three customer disputes against her. She is not licensed and both FINRA and the SEC have permanently barred her from the industry.


Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Winston Wade Turner, a former broker with Pruco Securities. Turner was barred from the industry permanently by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Turner may have engaged in wrongful conduct while registered with the firm. He also allegedly made an unsuitable variable annuity recommendation and provided inaccurate information to the company concerning the transaction. He allegedly falsified firm books and records and made fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions to three customers regarding their variable annuity investments. Turner was registered with MetLife Securities in Atlanta, Georgia from December 2011 until July 2013 and Pruco Securities in Sarasota, Florida from July 2013 until August 2015. He has 16 customer disputes against him, five of which are currently pending. He has one criminal disposition against him. He is not licensed within the industry and has been permanently barred. Please call our securities law offices today to speak to an attorney for free. You may be able to bring a claim against Pruco Securities for failing to properly supervise Turner.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Frederick Monroe has been permanently barred from acting as a broker. Monroe was registered with New York-based Voya brokerage services. In February 2016, Monroe pled guilty to charges, among others, that he engaged in money laundering and “engaged in a scheme to defraud at least 20 people from 2002 until May 2015.” He was also accused of misappropriating funds, among other things. Monroe was registered with Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from July 1994 until January 2002, Northwestern Mutual Investment Services in Latham, New York from July 1994 until February 2006 and Voya Financial Advisors in Albany, New York from February 2006 until June 2015. He has 15 customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. He has one criminal disposition against him. He is not licensed and has been permanently barred from the industry. Anyone who may believe he or she has a claim against Monroe is encouraged to call our law offices today. The call is free.

According to a recent InvestmentNews article, Anthony Diaz, a Pennsylvania broker, is under federal indictment for fraudulent sales of illiquid alternative investments. The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania filed criminal charges against him for allegedly lying about the suitability of alternative investments to his clients. These unsuitable investments included nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITs). Diaz was barred from the industry last year by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is currently facing six federal charges of wire fraud. During his career, Mr. Diaz was terminated, or permitted to resign from six of the 11 financial investment firms at which he worked over 15 years. According to the article, FINRA claimed Diaz “induced approximately 80 customers to enter into variable annuity exchanges, often subject to significant surrender charges, without a reasonable basis for recommending those exchanges.” He also “falsely told” seven clients that investments in REITs were “guaranteed or guaranteed to pay certain amounts of interest.” In reality, REITs are highly unsuitable and illiquid investments that are not suitable for most clients, and only garner large commissions for the brokers who sell them.

Mr. Diaz went on to provide false information on the REIT documents concerning his clients’ net worth, income, risk tolerance and/or investment experience in order to make it appear that these clients met the net worth and/or income requirements to invest in these products. He subsequently signed disclosure forms for them. This will lead to the government trying to prove that he had a deliberate intent to defraud. He will be on trial in federal court next month.

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