Articles Tagged with registration

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged former Lynnwood, Washington-based Mutual of Omaha broker Ronald Fossum, with fraud. In December 2017, the SEC alleged that Mr. Fossum participated in a scheme to defraud “three pooled investment funds, as well as investors in those funds.” Allegedly, from March 2011 until June 2016, he raised more than $20 million from more than 1,000 investors in three pooled funds: Smart Money Secured Income Fund, Turnkey Investment Fund, and Accelerated Asset Group, all managed by Fossum himself. Smart Money’s holdings were mostly in real estate, websites, oil and gas and other securities, Turnkey’s were mostly in oil and gas ventures, and Accelerated’s were mostly in distressed consumer debt.

While raising money for and managing these funds, Mr. Fossum allegedly misappropriated funds for his personal use, commingled fund assets, transferred monies between the funds in an indiscriminate manner and hid one of the fund’s “inability to redeem investments,” which its offering documents promised. He also allegedly offered and sold interests in Turnkey Fund and Smart Money without a registration statement or exemption from registration, and he allegedly acted as an unregistered broker when he executed transactions in Turnkey Fund. He also took compensation for those transactions. The funds filed for bankruptcy in June 2016 because of Mr. Fossum’s violations, mismanagement and fraud.

Ronald Fossum was previously registered with Mutual of Omaha Investor Services in Lynnwood, Washington from July 2000 until August 2008. He has one civil claim pending against him. He is not currently registered as a broker, according to his online, public record with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). You may be able to recover your investment losses with Ronald Fossum by bringing a claim against Mutual of Omaha in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. The firm had a duty to reasonably supervise Mr. Fossum while he was registered there.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating claims against broker Neal Scott, a broker with Meyers Associates. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) alleged that Scott violated a number of securities laws including breaching fiduciary duty and suitability, among other claims. He also has seven judgments or liens against him. The Virginia Securities Department also alleged that Scott failed to complete his registration process in time and denied his registration in the state.

Scott was registered with E.G. Frances Co., Philips, Appel & Walden, Emanuel and Company, First Asset Management, Joseph Gunnar & Co., US Securities & Futures Corp, JP Turner & Co., Westpark Capital, Bishop, Rosen & Co., and Euro Pacific Capital. He is currently registered with Meyers Associates in New York, New York and has been since September 2015. He has four customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending.

If you lost money with Neal Scott, you may be able to recover your investment losses by calling our securities law offices at 312-332-4200 and speaking to an attorney for free. We sue firms such as Meyers Associates in the FINRA arbitration forum for not properly supervising their brokers. The firm may be responsible for money losses because of this and you may be able to recover your losses on a contingency fee basis.

Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in hearing from investors who may have complaints regarding investments in the Vertical US Recovery Fund or the Vertical US Recovery Fund II. Both funds are securities offered through a private placement vehicle designed to raise capital for investments in mortgages or distressed mortgage notes. They were marketed by broker-dealers to retail investors. At least one of the funds may have stopped performing and may be subject to an Assignment for Benefit of Creditors, which is an alternative bankruptcy. It is possible that this has significantly depleted the value of certain investors’ interests in Vertical US Recovery Fund and Vertical US Recovery Fund II.

Private placements such as these are non-public offerings that are exempt from registration under federal securities laws. They allow broker-dealer firms to raise billions of dollars in the offering of private placements free from the cumbersome disclosures required of public securities. Typically, they are illiquid securities and issuers generally have no duty to offer liquidity to investors wishing to sell the placement back. Investors in these placements may only receive limited information about the placement’s issuer, as well as limited financial reporting about the security and its management. Many companies do not need to disclose information about their well-being or how well or poorly their investments are performing.

If you or someone you know has lost money in the Vertical US Recovery Fund or the Vertical US Recovery Fund II, we may be able to help recover that lost money in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims process. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to speak to an attorney for free so we can discuss your options of recovering your investment losses.

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.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently barred New Hampshire investment advisor, Nicholas Rowe, after charges surfaced claiming he allegedly used leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in a manner that was unsuitable for his clients. Rowe was the former owner of registered investment advisor Focus Capital Wealth Management. The state also alleged that he made misrepresentations regarding the fees to be charged and regarding his qualifications as an investment advisor, violating laws prohibiting advisors from engaging in unethical practices. The state launched an investigation into Rowe and his company in 2011, after claiming that they placed assets from elderly investors with low risk tolerances into unsuitable strategies without informing the clients. Many of the clients were widows between the ages of 60 and 74 who allegedly lost $1.9 million among them. The state then revoked Focus’s registration in March 2013 and ordered Rowe to pay $20,000 in fines and investigation costs, as well as more than $2 million in restitution to investors. Other investor claims against Rowe and Focus included Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) claims alleging negligence and civil fraud, resulting in one ruling against the RIA that forced it to pay $1.8 million in restitution payments. Rowe was also registered with Jefferson Pilot Securities Corp in Bedford, New Hampshire from December 1990 until January 2006 and he has one customer dispute against him. The SEC permanently barred him from the industry.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Protected Investors of America, a brokerage firm headquartered in San Francisco, California for certain customer complaints and transgressions. Allegedly, Protected Investors was fined by the NASD in 2001 for allowing one of their employees to act as a broker, while his registration was inactive. A Protected Investors broker, Robert M. Dahlestedt, had a customer complaint filed against him, alleging that he made unsuitable investment recommendations and committed fraud while at a former firm. The complaint settled for $225,000. Another broker, Malena R. Yatim, had a $13,000 civil judgment/lien placed against her in 2008. Finally, Russel Wayne Ketron, a broker with the company had a customer complaint against him in 2005. Ketron was also named as a co-defendant in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) civil action regarding the sale of gold coins.

Russel Wayne Ketron was registered with Putnam Financial Services from October 1969 until July 1978 and Belmont Reid Securities from October 1979 until July 1980. He is currently registered with Protected Investors of America in Novato, California and has been since June 1978. He has two customer disputes against him. This is according to his online Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report.

On Monday, the Idaho Department of Finance released its annual list of top investor threats. Among the things to look out for are unsolicited investments, especially those involving promissory notes, oil and gas deals and real estate investment opportunities, including real estate investment trusts (REITs). The top threats were determined by surveying members of the North American Securities Administrators Association. They include:

  1. Unregistered Products/Unlicensed Salesmen: The offer of securities by an individual without a valid securities license should be a red flag for investors, as should pitches of investments as “limited or no risk” and high returns.
  2. Promissory Notes: Most promissory notes available to retail investors must be registered as securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the states in which they are sold. Average investors should be cautious about offers of promissory notes with a duration of nine months or less, which in some instances, do not require registration at the federal level. Short term notes that appear to be exempt from securities registration have been the source of most fraudulent activity involving promissory notes.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Phillip Andrew Johnson, who entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to his AWC, Johnson borrowed $322,000 from a firm customer, but did not notify SunTrust of his activities. This is against securities rules and regulations. FINRA fined him $5,000 and suspended him from the industry for three months. In 1980, the state of Tennessee ordered Johnson to cease and desist from selling securities in the state, revoked his registration and suspended him for 30 days.

Johnson was registered with Tanley and Oakley Investment Co. from March 1976 until March 1982, The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States in New York, New York from August 1981 until January 2000, AXA Advisors in New York from August 1981 until February 2003 and SunTrust Investment Services in Nashville, Tennessee from February 2003 until May 2015. He has one customer dispute against him. He is not licensed within the industry. If you invested and lost money with Phillip Andrew Johnson, you may be able to bring a claim against his former firm, SunTrust, for investment losses. They had a duty to reasonably supervise him while he was employed there. Please call 312-332-4200 for a free consultation with an attorney. There is no obligation and we take cases on a contingency fee basis.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) permanently barred Jeffrey George Nunez from acting as a broker or associating with public securities firms. Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking with investors who may have invested money with Jeffrey George Nunez, formerly of Chicago Investment Groups in Chicago, Illinois. He has been accused of failing to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement, participating in an unregistered distribution of securities, and offering to sell securities when no registration was filed. He was also accused of failing to execute trades, failing to supervise representatives and breaching fiduciary duty. These are all violations of securities rules and regulations.

Nunez was registered with McLaughlin, Piven, Vogel Inc. from January 1987 until January 1989, Lehman Brothers in New York, New York from January 1989 until June 1992, Prudential Securities in New York from May 1992 until December 1993, Gilford Securities Inc. in New York from February 1994 until November 1995, Commonwealth Associates in New York from November 1995 until February 1997, Fordham Financial Management in New York from February 1997 until October 1999, Providential Securities in Fountain Valley, California from December 1999 until October 2000 and Chicago Investment Group in Chicago, Illinois from October 2000 until November 2003. He has two customer disputes against him. He is not licensed within the industry and was permanently barred by FINRA.

If you lost money with Jeffrey George Nunez, his former firm, Chicago Investment Group, can be sued in the FINRA arbitration process. They had a duty to reasonably supervise him while he was employed there, and, because they did not, can be held liable for financial losses. Please call our securities law office in Chicago to speak to an attorney about your options of recovering money from Chicago Investment Group. The call is free with no obligation and we take cases on a contingency fee basis. 312-332-4200.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ordered Aegis Capital Corp to pay $950,000 over allegations of improper sales of billions of shares of unregistered penny stocks and anti-money-laundering supervisory lapses. FINRA also fined and suspended two former chief compliance officers at the firm. Robert Eide, the firm’s president and chief executive, was suspended for 15 days and fined $15,000. He was accused of failing to disclose more than $640,000 in outstanding liens. Charles D. Smulevitz and Kevin C. McKenna the firm’s Chief Compliance and AML Compliance Officers, respectively, served 30 and 60 day suspensions, and fines of $5,000 and $10,000.

FINRA alleged that Aegis facilitated a penny stock scheme in August of 2014 that led to $24.5 million in profits for its customers and $1.1 million in commissions for the firm. From April 2009 until June 2011, Aegis liquidated 3.9 billion shares of five unregistered penny stocks that were not exempt from registration requirements. Most securities must be registered with the SEC. Also, some customers of the firm were referred to Aegis by a former broker who had been previously barred from the industry. Later, the broker was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with abetting securities fraud.

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