Articles Tagged with St. Petersburg

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Jeffrey Jacobson who is a registered broker with Dougherty & Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jacobson allegedly “did not adequately supervise a representative who initiated hundreds of trades for elderly customers without contacting them, and unsuitably recommended transactions to those customers. He also recommended unsuitable trading strategies short term trading in corporate and municipal bonds and unnecessary uses of margin to those customers on numerous occasions.” The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) also found that he “did not adequately investigate warning signs, such as the customers’ repeated appearances on certain monthly exception reports addressing accounts with high levels of trading activity. He never communicated with the customers, relying instead on ‘activity letters’ that did not adequately describe the representative’s trading activity or adequately inform the customer about the concerns that prompted the letters. He also did not alert any other supervisory personnel about the representative’s trading activity.” For this, he was suspended for 15 days and fined $7,500.

Jacobson was registered with AG Edwards & Sons in St. Louis, Missouri from January 1993 until May 1996, Painewebber in Weehawken, New Jersey from May 1996 until December 1998, LM Financial Partners in New Orleans, Louisiana from November 1998 until November 2002 and Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida from October 2002 until December 2002. He is currently registered with Dougherty & Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has been since December 2002. Please call our securities law firm in Chicago, Illinois today for a free consultation with an attorney. We may be able to help you bring an arbitration claim against Dougherty & Co. in the FINRA arbitration forum. The call is free with no obligation.

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.

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Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Michael Foote, a registered representative with Client One Securities in Manhattan, Kansas. Foote has been the subject of at least four customer complaints. These complaints allege securities law violations that include making unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentations among other claims. Many of the complaints involve direct participation products (DPPs) and private placements including non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), variable annuities, and other alternative investments. A broker has a duty to recommend only those products that are suitable for clients. He must take into account the client’s age, net worth, investment objectives and sophistication. If he does not, his firm can be responsible for losses. Please call our securities law firm to find out more by speaking to an attorney for free. Our number is 312-332-4200 and attorneys are standing by.

Foote was registered with Intersecurities Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida from February 1994 until November 1999, SII Investments in Salina, Kansas from November 1999 until March 2007, Broker Dealer Financial Services in Manhattan, Kansas from February 2007 until December 2009 and Sterne Agee Financial Services in Manhattan, Kansas from January 2010 until August 2011. He is currently registered with Client One Securities in Manhattan, and has been since August 2011. He has four customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating James Noto, a registered representative with Summit Brokerage Services. Noto was the subject of a regulatory event and seven customer disputes. He was fined by Florida’s Department of Financial Services in 2013 after allegedly engaging in the insurance business without proper licensing. If you have lost money with Noto, please call our offices in Chicago at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney. The call is free with no obligation.

Noto was registered with Cigna Securities in Radnor, Pennsylvania from September 1982 until April 1993, Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from March 1993 until January 1998, Vanguard Capital in Del Mar, California from January 1998 until September 1998 and Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida from October 1998 until February 2005. He is currently registered with Summit Brokerage Services in Trinity, Florida and has been since March 2005. He has seven customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Bill Utanski, a broker with Ameriprise Financial Services in St. Petersburg, Florida. According to publicly available records from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Utanski was accused of recommending unsuitable investments in products including closed-end funds and Dendreon stock, and engaged in churning. Churning is excessively trading in a customer’s account to generate large commissions for the broker himself. It is against securities rules and regulations. Utanski was registered with Salomon Smith Barney in New York, New York from January 1995 until June 1999, UBS in Weehawken, New Jersey from June 1999 until June 2001, Prudential Securities in New York from June 2001 until November 2002 and Ameriprise in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from October 2002 until October 2009. He is currently registered with Ameriprise in Ft. Lauderdale and has been since October 2009. He has three customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending.

According to the Tampa Bay Times last week, it was reported that Raymond James, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, was among the top ten firms with the highest misconduct rate of financial advisors. Raymond James ranked 8th highest on the list. Other brokerage firms on the list include Oppenheimer, with the greatest concentration at 19.6%, Wells Fargo Advisors with 15.3% and UBS at 15.14%. Raymond James had a concentration of 13.74%. The findings were relayed in a large-scale study documenting misconduct among financial advisers, “The Market for Financial Adviser Misconduct” issued last month by business professors at the University of Minnesota and the University of Chicago business schools. The researchers found the aforementioned firms to be more tolerant of misconduct than the others, hiring more advisers with records. The researchers also found that many advisers who committed misconduct and were fired, were then hired at another firm within one year. Florida remains a state where there is much broker misconduct because of the large number of elderly retirees who tend to make good targets for unscrupulous brokers. Other firms who made the list were First Allied Securities, Cetera Advisors, Securities America, National Planning Corp, Stifel, Nicolaus and Janney Montgomery Scott. To sue any of these firms on a contingency fee basis, please call us for a free consultation.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Jason Sayles, Michael Hajek and Karen Hajeck. Allegedly, the three recommended the investors invest in privately held corporations and private placements. The brokers were registered with Genworth Financial Securities and Cetera Financial Specialists. For this, Jason Sayles was fined $15,000 and suspended for 10 months. Michael Hajek was fined $35,000 and suspended for eight months and Karen Hajek was fined $15,000 and suspended for six months. All of them worked at a branch office in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Jason Sayles was registered with FFP Securities in St. Petersburg, Florida from September 2003 until December 2007, Cetera Financial Specialists in St. Petersburg from December 2007 until June 2013 and NFP Securities in St. Petersburg from June 2013 until February 2014. He is not currently registered with any firm. Michael Hajek was registered with Intersecurities in St. Petersburg from December 1998 until November 1993, Cetera Financial in St. Petersburg from November 2003 until June 2013 and NFP Securities in St. Petersburg from June 2013 until February 2014. He is not currently registered with any firm. Karen Hajek was registered with Intersecurities Inc. in St. Petersburg from December 1998 until November 2003, Cetera Financial Specialists in St. Petersburg from November 2003 until June 2013 and NFP Securities in St. Petersburg from June 2013 until February 2014. She is not currently registered with any member firm.

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Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Barry George Hartman, a former registered representative with FSC Securities. Hartman was terminated from FSC on March 5, 2015 for participating in an undisclosed outside business activity and an undisclosed private securities transaction. It is alleged that in 2004, Hartman made a telephone call to an insurance company regarding a variable annuity it had issued to that customer. Hartman told the insurance company that he was a branch manager, and he did this without the branch manager’s knowledge or authorization to do so. Hartman then entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), wherein FINRA imposed on him a 15-day suspension and a $2,000 fine.

Hartman also served on the board of directors of an unaffiliated privately-held company without providing written notice to his member firm. This was between 2004 and 2015. Hartman engaged in an undisclosed outside business activity and this is against FINRA rules and regulations. During the same time period, Hartman also participated in private securities transactions by personally investing $450,000 in the privately held company, and recommending that 13 of those customers invest in the company. He also did not provide written notice of his actions to his member firm. This is referred to as selling away, and is when a broker recommends a security that is not held by his member firm, for the sole purpose of garnering commissions for the broker. For this he was barred from the industry.

Hartman was registered with Prudential Insurance Company of America in Newark, New Jersey from June 1985 until December 1993, Pruco Securities Corp in Newark from June 1985 until November 2000, Raymond James Financial Services in St. Petersburg, Florida from October 2000 until February 2002, and FSC Securities in Missoula, Montana from February 2002 until March 2015. He has 10 customer disputes against him, eight of which are currently pending. He is not licensed within the industry and FIRNA permanently barred him from acting as a broker.

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