Articles Tagged with securities

According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), James Wright allegedly used unapproved personal emails and text messages to communicate with an unregistered administrative assistant regarding firm customers. Allegedly, from August 21st, 2015, through May 26th, 2016, Wright communicated with his unregistered administrative assistant using two personal email addressed and the text message function of his personal smartphone, none of which were networked to the firm’s retention system for electronic communications. The emails included information regarding the customers’ assets, securities holdings, and financial goals. This is against securities laws and internal firm rules. For this, he was suspended from the industry for 10 business days and fined $5,000.

James Wright was previously registered with IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 2000 until July 2006, Ameriprise Financial Services in Garden City, New York from February 1987 until January 2014, and Raymond James in New York, New York from February 2014 until February 2015. He is currently registered with American Portfolios Financial Services in New York, and has been since March 2015. He has three customer disputes against him, alleging delays in transferring mutual funds to a moneymarket fund, a customer not being advised of potential tax consequences from a redemption, and lost money in investments due to the advice of the advisor. These are all against securities laws. This is according to Wright’s BrokerCheck report with FINRA online.

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, between 2001 and 2016, Paul W. Smith raised $2.35 million from 30 investors by telling them he would invest their money in publicly traded securities through The Haverford Group. This was an outside partnership that Smith formed and did not disclose to his broker-dealer employers. Many of his victims were retired and/or elderly. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that Smith made very few securities investments and instead largely used the money to repay other investors and for his own personal use. He allegedly fabricated phony account statements that reflected fictitious balances and gains and used money from investors to repay others to avoid suspicion. Smith was misappropriating investors’ money and lying about it. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) permanently barred him from industry last June for failing to provide requested documents.

According to his online, FINRA BrokerCheck report, Paul W. Smith was previously registered with Prudential-Bache Securities from December 1982 until February 1987, E.F. Hutton from January 1987 until April 1988, Shearson Lehman Hutton in New York, New York from April 1988 until January 1990, Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from January 1990 until July 2000, Tucker Anthony Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts from June 2000 until February 2002, Philadelphia Brokerage Corp in Wayne, Pennsylvania from January 2002 until May 2007 and Bolton Global Capital in Wayne from May 2007 until February 2017. He has 11 customer disputes against him, eight of which are currently pending. He has been permanently barred from the industry.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating the Woodbridge Group of Companies, a southern California real estate and investment company, which has allegedly raised over $1 billion from investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating it to determine whether the company has been operating as a fraud. The company’s president, Robert Shapiro, is also being investigated. The SEC is “investigating the offer and sale of unregistered securities, the sale of securities by unregistered brokers and the commission of fraud in connection with the offer, purchase and sale of securities.” According to Woodbridge’s website, the group, Woodbridge Wealth, sells three types of investment: first position commercial mortgages with an annual yield of 5%, secondary market annuities with above average, risk adjusted yields, and a commercial bridge loan fund that potentially returns 6%.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) website, BrokerCheck, there is no broker-dealer named Woodbridge Wealth. If your broker recommended or sold to you Woodbridge Wealth, please call our securities law firm today at 312-332-4200 in order to speak to an attorney about your losses. We are based in Chicago, Illinois and we help investors recover their investment losses on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you recover your losses. The call is free with no obligation. We sue firms in the FINRA arbitration forum. Your brokerage firm may be liable for investment losses, as the firm has a reasonably duty to oversee its brokers while they are employed there.

This blog posting is not affiliated with, maintained, authorized, endorsed or sponsored by the Woodbridge International, Inc. (“Woodbridge”), or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial website. All information contained on this site is Unofficial.

AdobeStock_66548440-1-300x169This week, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel comprised of three arbitrators, ordered RBC Capital Markets, and its broker, Bruce Cameron, to pay a former client $723,000 for losses sustained. The client was an elderly woman, and her portfolio suffered losses because of an overconcentration of oil and gas master limited partnerships (MLP) which included:

Breitburn Energy Partners

Enable Mistream Partners

Accelerated Capital Group entered into a Disciplinary Proceeding with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to the Proceeding, Accelerated allegedly failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures (WSPs), reasonably designed to achieve compliance with federal securities laws and FINRA rules. “The firm failed to reasonably supervise trading activity to ensure that all securities transactions were suitable, not excessive, and properly authorized by the firm’s customers; failed to monitor mutual fund switches, exchanges and sales for suitability; failed to ensure that its registered representatives informed customers of potential breakpoints when purchasing mutual fund products; and, failed to reasonably identify or respond to red flags of broker misconduct.” These are all against securities laws.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Donald Devito, a former registered broker with Wells Fargo. Mr. Devito was terminated from the bank in December 2016, after it was revealed the firm had concerns over the level of trading in client accounts. In 2016 through 2017, Devito has had six complaints filed against him concerning the level of trading and fees generated in his accounts. Customers have claimed that Devito violated securities laws by engaging in churning, unauthorized trading and unsuitable recommendations among other claims. This means the broker will trade in and out of securities, sometimes the same stock, many times over a short period of time. The account will sometimes “turnover” every month with different securities. This is only to profit the broker through the generation of commissions created by the trades, and serves no other purpose. Oftentimes, there are unnecessary fees related to the investments, that the client is forced to pay.

Mr. Devito was previously registered with Individual’s Securities from March 1983 until February 1984, Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from March 1984 until January 2000, Morgan Stanley in Albany, New York from January 2000 until February 2007 and Wells Fargo Advisors in Albany from February 2007 until December 2016. He has 10 customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. He is not currently registered as a broker within the industry.

Former Cuna Investment Services broker Michael Grant recently resigned from his former employer after allegations surfaced that he violated securities rules. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mr. Grant is not affiliated with any broker-dealer. In October 2017, he was permitted to resign from his position at Cuna following allegations he violated firm policy as well as FINRA rules when he exercised discretion in customer accounts for which he lacked discretionary trading authority. A brokerage firm such as Cuna has a duty to reasonably supervise its employees to make sure that they do not violate securities laws. If the firm does not do so, it can be held liable for investment losses on a contingency fee basis, in the FINRA arbitration forum.

According to FINRA records, Mr. Grant was previously registered with Northwestern Mutual Investment Services in Tampa, Florida from June 2005 until January 2008, OneAmerica Securities in Tampa from January 2008 until November 2008 and Cuna Brokerage Services in Panama City, Florida from January 2009 until November 2017. He has three criminal final dispositions against him, and is not currently registered as a broker.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined New York-based Meyers Associates, now known as Windsor Street Capital, $700,000 and barred Bruce Meyers, its principal, from serving as a principal of a firm or as a supervisor. FINRA called the firm’s disciplinary history “highly troubling,” and said that the firm had been the subject of 16 final disciplinary actions since 2000. Since that year, it has paid approximately $390,000 in monetary sanctions as a result of the actions, which included supervisory failure, making untrue statements or omitting to state material facts in connection with a securities offering, failing to keep adequate books and records, inadequate review of electronic correspondence, and failing to report or timely report customer complaints. In September, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied Mr. Meyers’ appeal of a FINRA decision in which he was disqualified from serving as his firm’s chief executive. Mr. Meyers also served a four-month suspension in all principal and supervisory capacities.

Recent records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) indicated that former MML Investors Services broker Clifford Marks has received numerous resolved or pending customer disputes. These allege him taking unauthorized loans against his customer’s insurance policy while he was registered with NYLife Securities, and another customer alleged that Marks “made him sign blank forms and then attempted to coordinate a 401k rollover” without the customer’s authorization or knowledge. He also allegedly did not clearly explain unsuitable investments and provided misinformation and misdirection in the process of overselling him insurance products. These are all against securities rules and regulations and internal firm policies.

According to public, online records, Mr. Marks was previously registered with NYLife Securities in Mobile, Alabama from May 2011 until July 2016 and MML Investors Services in Mobile from August 2016 until January 2017. He has 10 customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. He is not currently registered as a broker within the industry.

According to records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Oppenheimer broker Leslie Flaum has allegedly violated securities laws. He was accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations, churning accounts, breaching fiduciary duty, failing in supervisory duties from December 2010 through December 2016 in connection to investments in listed equities and closed-end funds, and other violations. These are all against securities laws. Churning, also referred to as excessive trading, is a particularly egregious violation, because it typically results in unnecessary fees for the client. It also typically results in large commissions for the broker. Leslie Brian Flaum was previously registered with David Lerner, Christopher Weil & Company, Integrated Resources Equity Corp, HYM Financial, Reich & Company, and Oppenheimer & Co. in Melville, New York from August 1994 until August 2017. He has two customer disputes pending against him and is not currently registered as a broker within the industry, according to FINRA records.

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