Articles Tagged with San Antonio

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently barred James Mahan from the securities industry. He was being investigated for selling investments without approval from his firm, JP Morgan. This is against securities rules and regulations. Brokerage firms such as JP Morgan have a responsibility to adequately supervise their representatives who are registered through their firm. Firms must also take steps to ensure that all of their financial advisors follow all securities rules and regulations, as well as internal firm policies. If the firm fails to adequately supervise its brokers, it may be held liable for investment losses sustained by customers.

Mahan was registered with Chase Investment Services Corp in New Braunfels, Texas from May 2010 until January 2011, Merrill Lynch in San Antonio, Texas from January 2011 until May 2015, JP Morgan in New Braunfels from July 2013 until May 2015 and Raymond James in New Braunfels from May 2015 until July 2016. He has one customer dispute against him and is not licensed. FINRA permanently barred him from the industry. If you invested money with James Mahan, please call our securities law firm today to speak to an attorney about your options of suing JP Morgan Securities in the FINRA arbitration process on a contingency fee basis. We may be able to help you recover your losses.

According to a recent Disciplinary Proceeding with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Dion R. Padilla effected an unauthorized purchase of a variable annuity for a firm customer and concealed this information from the customer for over nine months through repeated misrepresentations that he had not invested the customer’s funds into a variable annuity. According to the Disciplinary Proceeding, Padilla was told by a customer couple that they did not want any of their funds invested in a variable annuity due to the high fees associated with them, and because they desired liquidity in their portfolio. Padilla then proceeded to put a significant amount of money into a variable annuity investment, and subsequently told the couple that the investment was not. This was false. The net commission Padilla earned for this transaction was approximately $42,000. Once the customer realized the investment was a variable annuity, he was told by Padilla that he would be charged a surrender fee of $62,000 to exit the product.

According to his FINRA BrokerCheck online report, Padilla was registered with Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from August 2001 until March 2002, Valic Financial in Houston, Texas from August 2002 until March 2003, UBS Financial in Weehawken, New Jersey from December 2002 until August 2003 and Securities America in Lavista, Nebraska from October 2003 until March 2008. He is currently registered with NEXT Financial Group in San Antonio, Texas and has been since February 2006. He has two customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. Please call us today if you would like to file an arbitration claim against Padilla’s firm, NEXT Financial Group in the FINRA arbitration forum. We may be able to help you recover your financial losses.

Did you lose money with Jose Zapata, a former registered representative with Argentus Securities in Dallas, Texas? Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in talking to you about your financial loss recovery options, if so. We are securities attorneys based in Chicago, Illinois, who sue firms such as Argentus Securities in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis in order to recover money for retail investors. Argentus Securities may be responsible for your investment losses because they were responsible for Zapata and his actions while he was employed with them. The call is free and you are not obligated to make any claim. We are available to discuss your options with you regarding suing Argentus Securities.

Jose Zapata was recently barred from the securities industry by FINRA after allegedly misrepresenting the value of an account to his customer. The customer resided in Mexico and requested that account statements not be sent to her home. Zapata would call the customer over the telephone to relay the value of her account, and FINRA alleged that between September 2012 and October 2013, Zapata misrepresented the value of the customers account. It was valued at $108,000 but Zapata told the client it was valued at $170,000. This is against securities rules and regulations and Zapata was barred from the industry because of it.

According to his online FINRA BrokerCheck report, Jose A. Zapata Jr. was registered with Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from May 1998 until September 1998, Chase Securities of Texas Inc. in Houston, Texas from November 1998 until March 1999, Chase Investment Services Corp in Chicago, Illinois from March 1999 until June 2000, Wells Fargo in San Francisco, California from June 2002 until October 2005, GBM International in Sugar Land, Texas from January 2006 until August 2007, Financial Counseling Corp in Houston, Texas from August 2007 until December 2008, Argentus Securities in Houston from January 2009 until December 2013 and Titleist Asset Management in San Antonio, Texas from December 2013 until May 2015. He has one customer dispute against him and it is currently pending. He is not licensed and has been barred from the industry.

Stoltmann Law Offices is continuing to investigate Matthew A. Bell, a San Antonio stockbroker, who, last year, was indicted on charges of participating in a $300 million stock-manipulation scheme. In 2014, Bell pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Bell was initially charged in a 10-count indictment with a group of brokers that included A.J. Discala, the ex-husband of actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Discala was accused of allegedly overseen a scheme that involved pumping up the price of penny stocks before dumping their shares, a classic “pump-and-dump” scheme involving four publicly traded companies: CodeSmart Holdings Inc., Cubed Inc., StarStream Entertainment Inc. and The Staffing Group Ltd. A pump-and-dump scheme is a scheme that attempts to boost the price of a stock through recommendations based on false or misleading or greatly exaggerated statements. The perpetrators of the scheme, who already have an established position in the company’s stock, sell their positions after the hype has led to a higher share price. The practice is illegal and is against securities rules and regulations.

In a separate and simultaneous action with the criminal case, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed civil charges against Bell and others seeking the return of profits from the alleged scheme and penalties. CodeSmart was suspended from trading last week. Also last week, a Manhattan lawyer and two brokers were arrested in the case. Separately, Bell allegedly recommended share in Palmaz Scientific Inc., a private placement investment. This is commonly referred to as “selling away” and is when a broker recommends a security that is not held or offered by his member firm. It is a tactic used to generate large commissions for the broker himself, and is against securities rules and regulations. Palmaz Securities had been in financial distress when Bell recommended it. Bell allegedly found his investors through the Oak Hills Church, a mega-church on the north side of San Antonio.

Matthew A. Bell was registered with Kercheville & Co. in San Antonio, Texas from August 1998 until April 2001, Prudential Securities Inc. in New York, New York from April 2001 until March 2003, Raymond James & Associates in San Antonio from March 2003 until August 2009, WFG Investments in San Antonio from July 2009 until June 2013 and Securities America in San Antonio from August 2013 until October 2013. According to his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, he has 38 customer disputes against him, 12 of which are currently pending. He also has one civil action against him. He is not licensed within the securities industry.

Did you lose money while a client of the UBS branch office in San Antonio, Texas (200 Concord Plaza Drive, Suite 300, 78216)? If so, the FINRA arbitration claims process can be used to recover those losses. Margin balances, taking home equity loans out to buy stocks, lines of credit to buy stocks, trading of unit investment trusts and other related activity are potentiality unsuitable investment recommendations. Clients of brokerage firms like UBS can sue through the FIRNA arbitration process of through a lawsuit for the recovery of losses associated with this sort of activity. If you lose money through this activity while a client of the UBS office in San Antonio, please call our law firm for a free review by an attorney.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Shannon Braymen and Braymen, Lambert and Noel Securities, who entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Braymen was a registered representative with BLNS. BLNS, acting through Shannon Braymen, failed to supervise its private placement securities business and the actions of its registered representatives in two of its offices and also failed to register those two branch office locations. They also failed to conduct adequate branch office inspections and had inadequate written supervisory procedures regarding inspections of those locations. The firm also failed to capture, review and retain certain email correspondence and failed to enforce its WSPs regarding documenting reviews of other email correspondence from April 2007 until November 2011. FINRA rules require firms and their representatives to properly supervise the sale of private placements and to have written supervisory rules in effect. If not, the firm can be held liable for investment losses. BLNS was censured and fined $70,000 and Braymen was fined $20,000 and suspended from association with any member firm for one month.

Shannon Braymen was registered with Walch Financial Services in San Antonio, Texas from April 1995 until November 1995 and Presidio Financial Services in San Antonio from August 1996 until November 2002. She is currently registered with Braymen, Lambert and Noel Securities in San Antonio and has been since March 2003. If you lost money with Shannon Braymen or BLNS, please call our securities law firm in Chicago at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney about your options. We sue firms such as BLNS for investment losses in the FINRA arbitration forum. The call is free with no obligation.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating former Wells Fargo broker Joseph DiRago, who entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). DiRago was fined $5,000 and suspended from associating with any FINRA member firm for 15 business days. According to his AWC, DiRago effected transactions while exercising discretion in a customer account without the customer’s prior written authorization and without his firm’s permission. This is a violation of FINRA rules and regulations.

DiRago was associated with Merrill Lynch, Prudential Securities, Investment Professionals, Citigroup Global, and Morgan Stanley in San Antonio, Texas from June 2009 until December 2012. He is currently registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in San Antonio, and has been since December 2012. He has five customer disputes against him. If you lost money with Joseph DiRago, please call our law firm in Chicago at 312-332-4200 to speak with an attorney about your options. His firm, Wells Fargo, may be held liable for not reasonably supervising him. We take cases on a contingency fee basis.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Emily Pena, a former registered representative with NYLife. Pena entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to the AWC, while working at NYLife, Pena used $7,868 in personal funds to pay life insurance premiums for three customers. The policies were sold to the customers by agents recruited by Pena. She did this in order to keep the policies and to recruit overrides paid to her on policies she sold. She also allegedly created three electronic transfer fund forms that stated customer authorization. These forms were falsified.

Pena also allegedly converted funds from an affiliate of her firm and provided a customer with a credit reimbursement letter that was fake. This letter guaranteed that a client would not incur losses on his investment because of surrender fees. In that letter, Pena told the client that he would receive $2,173 in credit to his variable annuity account as a replacement for those surrender fees. Pena did not receive authorization from her firm to promise the fees to the client, nor did her firm have any knowledge of it. She created the letter on firm letterhead and included a signature of a fake variable annuity service center representative. She also provided a telephone number for the representative, but the number was that of her husband’s cell phone. For this, she was barred from the industry.

Emily Pena was registered with NYLife Securities in San Antonio, Texas from May 2009 until May 2014. She has one customer dispute against her. She is not licensed within the industry and was permanently barred by FINRA. If you invested money with Emily Pena, and would like to sue her former firm, NYLife Securities, you may do so by calling Stoltmann Law Offices at 312-332-4200 and speaking to an attorney. We may be able to help you recover your money in the FINRA arbitration process, because NYLife Securities can be sued for Ms. Pena’s transgressions and activities. Their duty was to supervise her while she was employed there.

Todd Schoenberger, a former financial advisor with USAA Investment Management Company in San Antonio, Texas, was recently barred from the securities industry for allegedly soliciting clients to invest in promissory notes issued by LandColt Capital, an unregistered advisory firm. He allegedly promised that the notes would be repaid by a private fund launched by him at a later time. He used $67,000 of the $130,000 he secured for personal use. Before being registered with USAA, Schoenberger was registered with Merrill Lynch, Legg Mason Wood Walker, Rydex Distributors, Annuitynet Insurance Agency and Investors Security Company. He has two customer disputes against him. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permanently barred him from acting as a broker or investment adviser, or associating with firms that sell securities or provide investment advice to the public because of the charges against him.

Michael Thomas, another financial advisor was charged with misrepresenting his achievements to investors and clients. He told the clients he was named as a “Top 25 Rising Business Star” by Fortune magazine, when the award does not actually exist. If you would like to sue Todd Schoenberger or Michael Thomas, or USAA Investment Management Company, you may do so by calling us at 312-332-4200. We are securities attorneys who help investors recover financial losses.

Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking to any investors who may have lost money after investing with Barry S. Brower, a former broker with Ameriprise Financial in San Antonio, Texas. You may be able to recover some of that money by calling our securities fraud law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. We concentrate on suing brokerage firms such as Ameriprise Financial, for their inability to supervise their brokers such as Mr. Brower. They can be held liable for money losses, as they have a duty to reasonably supervise their employees. 312-332-4200. We concentrate on suing brokerage firms such as Ameriprise Financial for their failure to reasonably supervise financial advisors affiliated with their firm.

Brower entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in order to resolve allegations that he exercised discretion over customer accounts and made trades without written authorization from those clients. According to Brower’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, he was registered with IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota from September 1987 until July 2006 before being registered with Ameriprise from 1987 until March 2014. He is not currently licensed within the industry.

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