Articles Tagged with securities

According to his recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Todd Kimm, a former broker with Merrill Lynch, allegedly engaged in unsuitable short-term trading in a customer’s account with respect to closed-end funds and mutual funds. He also allegedly recommended over 100 unsuitable short-term trades of long-term investment products and eight unsuitable mutual fund switches in the same customer account. During the time period of July 2010 through July 2013, Kimm allegedly exercised discretion without written authorization in the same customer account. These are all against securities laws. For this misconduct, FINRA fined him $5,000 and suspended him from the industry for six months.

According to his online, FINRA BrokerCheck report, Mr. Kimm was previously registered with Merrill Lynch in Syracuse, New York from November 1996 until September 2014 and Commonwealth Financial Network in Syracuse from September 2014 until December 2017. He has two customer disputes against him that allege unsuitable investment recommendations, unauthorized trading, unsuitable variable annuity recommendations and sales and excessive trading. He is not currently registered as a broker. Excessive trading is also referred to as “churning,” and is when a broker trades in and out of securities daily, sometimes the same security. It is a particularly egregious misconduct because it typically results in large commissions for the broker, but unnecessary fees for the client. Merrill Lynch can be held liable in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis if it does not reasonably supervise its brokers like Todd Kimm.

According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Kevin Jedlicka allegedly violated securities laws. Mr. Jedlicka was previously registered through Chapin Davis. Allegedly, between January 30th, 2015 and January 22nd, 2016, he engaged in a pattern of unsuitable short-term trading of Class A mutual fund shares and Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) in customer accounts. This led to his suspension from the industry for six months. It was against securities laws and internal firm rules. UITs tend to be high-risk and illiquid investments that are not suitable for all investors, and a broker has a duty to only recommend and sell those securities that are suitable for the investor based on his age, net worth, investment objectives and investment sophistication. If he does not, his brokerage firm can be held liable for losses.

According to his online, FINRA BrokerCheck report, Mr. Jedlicka was previously registered with Alex Brown & Sons Inc., Global Financial Group, Dean Witter Reynolds, First Union Brokerage Services, Wells Fargo, Chapin, Davis in Baltimore, Maryland from October 2010 until July 2013, BB&T Securities, Chapin, Davis in Baltimore from January 2015 until February 2016 and Capital Portfolio Management. He is not currently registered as a broker.

Did you or someone you know invest money with John Raleigh, a registered broker with Summit Brokerage Services in Sarasota, Florida? If so, the attorneys at Stoltmann Law Offices are interested in speaking with you. Mr. Raleigh was accused of recommending an unsuitable investment in CNL Lifestyle Properties common stock and insurance. He also allegedly recommended an annuity whose distribution “resulted in rates going forward,” experiencing a reduction. These are against securities laws and internal firm rules and regulations. According to his profile online with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mr. Raleigh was previously registered with IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota from April 1993 until September 1998 and American Express Financial Advisors in Minneapolis from April 1993 until September 1998. He is currently registered with Summit Brokerage Services in Sarasota, and has been since September 1998. He has two customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending.

Did you or someone you know lose money with John James and Merrill Lynch? Mr. James was barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after he failed to respond to an investigation against him. He allegedly engaged in undisclosed outside business activities and private securities transactions, without disclosing these to Merrill Lynch, his firm at the time. James was also alleged to have borrowed money from clients, which is not allowed in the securities industry. Merrill Lynch can be held liable for losses on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum, as the firm did not reasonably supervise Mr. James while he was registered there.

According to his online, public BrokerCheck record with FINRA, Mr. James was previously registered with Piper Jaffray in Wayzata, Minnesota from January 2003 until June 2006, Merrill Lynch in Wayzata from June 2006 until March 2016 and Stifel, Nicolaus in Golden Valley, Minnesota from March 2016 until September 2016. He has one customer dispute against him, alleging unsuitable investment recommendations, and is not currently registered as a broker within the industry.

According to his Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), John Bernard allegedly violated securities laws. Mr. Bernard was accused of exercising discretion without written authorization in the accounts of seven customers, while he was registered with LPL. Between January 2013 and December 2014, Mr. Bernard exercised discretion in the accounts of seven customers, and LPL had not accepted the accounts for discretionary trading. For this misconduct, he was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member firm in any capacity for 20 business days.

According to his online FINRA BrokerCheck report, Mr. Bernard was previously registered with Morgan Stanley in Purchase, New York from October 1995 until November 2005, and LPL in Shell Beach, California from November 2005 until March 2015. He is currently registered with Independent Financial Group in San Luis Obispo, California, and has been since February 2015. He has two customer disputes against him, alleging unsuitability, churning, failure to supervise and alleged unauthorized trading. Churning is a particularly egregious form of misconduct, because it is excessive trading in a customer’s account. It typically results in losses and unnecessary fees for the client and large commissions for the broker. It is against securities laws.

AdobeStock_35532974-1-300x200According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Jermaine Joseph violated securities laws and PFS Investments firm policies. Allegedly, from June 2015 until March 2016, Mr. Joseph comingled more than $30,000 worth of customer funds with his own funds by depositing a check from the customer into an account he controlled. In April 2016, he also allegedly made false statements to PFS in connection with the firm’s investigation into him. In January 2014, he submitted a false compliance attestation to PFS in which he attested that he had no outside securities accounts. For this, he was barred from the industry. According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Mr. Joseph was registered with PFS Investments in Hialeah Gardens, Florida from April 2013 until February 2015, and PFS Investments in Hialeah Gardens from June 2015 until May 2016, and is not currently registered as a broker.

According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) public records, Edward Murphy, a broker with David A. Noyes & Company in Chicago, Illinois, allegedly violated securities laws. He allegedly made unsuitable unit investment trusts (UIT) trades, recommended unsuitable investments, and misrepresented material facts related to an investment. These are all against securities laws. According to BrokerCheck online, Murphy was previously registered with The Milwaukee Company from November 1985 until October 1988, Dain Bosworth Inc. from October 1988 until April 1990 and Hamilton Investments from March 1990 until September 1994. He is currently registered with David A. Noyes in Chicago, Illinois, and has been since September 1994. He has four customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending.

According to records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Albany, New York-based Merrill Lynch broker Vincent Sciabica has customer disputes against him. He was accused of executing transactions without authorization at the time of the transactions, and misrepresenting the commissions associated with exchange-traded fund investments. These are both against securities laws. A brokerage firm like Merrill Lynch has an obligation to oversee its employees in order to make sure that they do not violate securities laws. If it does not, it can be held liable for investment losses in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis.

Mr. Sciabica was previously registered with Blinder, Robinson & Co. from November 1986 until February 1988, Morgan Stanley in Albany, New York from January 2002 until April 2007, Morgan Stanley in Albany from April 2007 until June 2009 and Morgan Stanley in Albany from June 2009 until September 2014. He is currently registered with Merrill Lynch and has been since September 2014. He has one customer dispute against him. This is according to public, online records with FINRA’s BrokerCheck report.

According to records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Jeffrey Wilson, a broker with Wells Fargo in Las Cruces, New Mexico, has been accused of making unsuitable investment advice concerning various investment products including energy stocks that likely include master limited partnerships (MLPs). In or around August 2014, according to BrokerCheck records with FINRA, Mr. Wilson recommended the purchase of unsuitable energy securities, and, in May 2016, allegedly made unsuitable investments in oil and energy investments. Oil, gas and energy investments are not suitable for every investor. Since the price of oil has dropped over the past few years, investors have lost money in these investments, which tend to be risky ones in general. Wells Fargo has a responsibility to reasonably supervise its brokers to make sure that they do not violate securities laws. If the bank fails to do so, it may be liable for losses on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum.

Jeffrey Randolph Wilson was previously registered with New York Life Securities Corp from October 1983 until August 1985, Merrill Lynch in Las Cruces, New Mexico from September 1985 until October 2007, Morgan Stanley in Las Cruces from October 2007 until June 2009 and Morgan Stanley in Las Cruces from June 2009 until June 2014. He is currently registered with Wells Fargo in Las Cruces, and has been since May 2014. He has four customer disputes against him, alleging excessive trading, unsuitable investments, unsuitable investments in oil and gas securities, and excessive risk, among other things. One of the customer disputes is currently pending. This is according to his online, public BrokerCheck report.

AdobeStock_78306447-1-300x199According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Jaime Aguilar allegedly borrowed funds totaling $22,100 from two customers without disclosing the loans to the firm. He also falsely stated in an annual compliance questionnaire that he had not borrowed money from customers in the past 24 months at Morgan Stanley, when, in fact, he had. For this, he was issued a $5,000 fine and suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for 45 days. Aguilar was associated with Citigroup in San Diego, California from September 1998 until June 2009 and Morgan Stanley in San Diego from June 2009 until June 2016. He has three customer disputes against him alleging engaging in an inappropriate and unsuitable investment strategy as well as liquidating and transferring funds without authorization, misrepresentations and investing in unsuitable securities and mutual fund purchases without authorization. All of these are against securities rules and Morgan Stanley can be sued in the FINRA arbitration forum for failing to properly supervise Aguilar. We are Chicago-based securities attorneys who may be able to help you bring a claim against the firm on a contingency fee basis.

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