Articles Tagged with JP Turner

shutterstock_172034843-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating a customer complaint filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Daniel Kiefer (Kiefer). According to BrokerCheck records Kiefer has been subject to at least three customer complaints and one employment separations for cause. The customer complaints allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in August 2013, and alleged $1,090,718 in damages due to claims that the Kiefer, while employed at J.P Turner & Company, made unsuitable investment recommendations to the client and breached his fiduciary duty. The complaint settled in 2014 for $700,000. In October 2004, another customer filed a complaint alleging that the broker while employed at Grayson Financial, made unauthorized trades in clients account causing $25,000.00 in damages. The complaint settled in 2007 for $4,500.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_180341738Our investment attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Michael DiGaetano (DiGaetano) currently associated with Independent Financial Group, LLC (Independent Financial) alleging unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, fraud, negligence, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.  According to brokercheck records DiGaetano has been subject to three customer complaints and one regulatory sanction.

In May 2012 FINRA sanctioned DiGaetano alleging that as a supervisor he failed in responsibilities by not taking reasonable action to prevent another broker from committing securities fraud.  (FINRA No. 2009019209202) As part of the claim, FINRA alleged that DiGaetano failed to even contact customers who were subject to fraudulent mutual fund switches and never questioned the broker involved even though the trades were marked as unsolicited.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_27597505The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Matthew Silato (Silato).  According to BrokerCheck records there are at least six customer complaints, two financial disclosures, and one criminal matter involving Silato.  The most recent customer complaints against Silato allege a number of securities law violations including breach of fiduciary duty and suitability among other claims.  The most recent claim alleging $250,627 filed in June 2016 is currently pending.  In December 2015, a customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investments and claiming $522,941 in damages.  That case is currently pending.

Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client.  In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements.  First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors.  Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.

The number of customer complaints against Silato is high relative to his peers.  According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records.  Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints.  In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters.  However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck.  More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_93851422The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the regulatory action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Christopher Burtraw (Burtraw) working out of Lakewood, Colorado alleging that the broker borrowed client funds.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  According to the FINRA regulatory action (FINRA No. 20150472061-01) Burtraw consented sanctions in the form of a permanent bar because he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA during the course their investigation into allegations that he borrowed funds from multiple customers.

At this time it unclear the nature and scope of Burtraw’s outside business activities and private securities transactions.  However, according to Burtraw’s public records his outside business activities includes Pacific Life Prestige Wealth Management Group.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

Burtraw entered the securities industry in 2003.  From September 2004 until November 2009, Burtraw was associated with LPL Financial Corporation.  From November 2009 until November 2014, Burtraw was associated with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments.  Finally, from November 2014 until October 2015, Burtraw was associated with J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (JP Turner).

Continue Reading

shutterstock_183525503The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against National Securities Corporation (National Securities) broker Daniel Alcide (Alcide).  According to BrokerCheck records Alcide has been subject to at least three customer complaints and two financial disclosures including a bankruptcy.  The customer complaints against Alcide alleges securities law violations that including unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and fraud among other claims.

In December 2015 a customer filed a complaint alleging $150,000 in damage stemming from a fraudulent private placement.  The complaint was denied.  In addition, in 2011 Alcide filed for bankruptcy.  Such disclosures on a broker’s record can reveal a financial incentive for the broker to recommend high commission products or services.  A broker’s inability to handle their personal finances has also been found to be relevant in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.

According to a recent study conducted by the Securities Litigation and Consulting Group entitled “How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct?” the incidents of investor harm at National Securities is extraordinarily high.  The study ranked National Securities as the third worst brokerage firm finding that brokers at the firm had over a 31% misconduct rate.  The study stated that investors should stay away from National Securities “Given their coworkers’ disclosure record as of 2014, 83.7% of the brokers at these six firms would be in the highest risk quintile as defined in the FINRA study and should be avoided by investors. The BrokerCheck reports for most of the brokers at these six firms should prominently display a skull and crossbones warning.”

Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client.  In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements.  First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors.  Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_113632177The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker John Prinzivalli (Prinzivalli).  According to BrokerCheck records Prinzivalli has been the subject of at least two customer complaints, three financial disclosures, and one judgement or lien.  The customer complaints against Prinzivalli allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

One complaint filed in October 2014 alleged $130,000 in damages due to unsuitable recommendations, high pressure sales tactics, and churning.  The complaint is currently pending.  Another complaint was filed in November 2010 alleging churning and unsuitable investments claiming $250,000 in damages.  The complaint was settled.

When brokers engage in excessive trading, sometimes referred to as churning, the broker will typical trade in and out of securities, sometimes even the same stock, many times over a short period of time.  Often times the account will completely “turnover” every month with different securities.  This type of investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is engaged in only to profit the broker through the generation of commissions created by the trades.  Churning is considered a species of securities fraud.  The elements of the claim are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions.  A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements.  Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim.  These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_132704474The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Michael Androulakis (Androulakis).  According to BrokerCheck records Androulakis has been the subject of at least three customer complaints.  The customer complaints against Androulakis allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

One complaint filed in April 2015 alleged $134,350 in damages due to unsuitable recommendations and churning.  The complaint is currently pending.

When brokers engage in excessive trading, sometimes referred to as churning, the broker will typical trade in and out of securities, sometimes even the same stock, many times over a short period of time.  Often times the account will completely “turnover” every month with different securities.  This type of investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is engaged in only to profit the broker through the generation of commissions created by the trades.  Churning is considered a species of securities fraud.  The elements of the claim are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions.  A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements.  Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim.  These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_112866430The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Shaun Stein (Stein). According to BrokerCheck records there are at least 3 customer complaints against Stein. The customer complaints against Stein allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims. The most recent customer complaint filed in July 2015 alleged churning and mishandling of the account claiming $60,000 in damages. The claim is still pending. In June 2014, another client filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investments, fraud, unfair trade practices and other claims claiming damages of $75,000. The claim has been closed.

As a background, when brokers engage in excessive trading, sometimes referred to as churning, the broker will typical trade in and out of securities, sometimes even the same stock, many times over a short period of time. Often times the account will completely “turnover” every month with different securities. This type of investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is engaged in only to profit the broker through the generation of commissions created by the trades. Churning is considered a species of securities fraud. The elements of the claim are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions. A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements. Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim. These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_128856874The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints against Frank Marinelli (Marinelli). According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Marinelli has been the subject of at least 3 customer complaints, 1 employment termination, 2 judgment or liens, and 1 criminal matter. The customer complaints against Marinelli allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, churning (excessive trading), misrepresentations, negligence, fraud, and unauthorized trading other claims.

The most recent customer complaint was filed in March 2014 and alleges unsuitable investments and churning causing $120,000 in damages. Another complaint filed in March 2012 alleges high pressure sales tactics unauthorized trading and mismanagement of the client’s account leading to $200,000 in damages.

Marinelli also has two liens listed, both filed in 2010 related to taxes. One lien is for $123,240 and the other is for $41,306. A broker with large liens are an important consideration for investors to weigh when dealing with a financial advisor. An advisor may be conflicted to offer high commission investments to customers in order to satisfy liens and debts that may not be in the client’s best interests.

Marinelli entered the securities industry in 1999. From September 2001 through December 2011, Marinelli was associated with J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. Since December 2011 Marinelli has been registered with Southeast Investments, N.C., Inc. out of the firm’s Brooklyn, New York office location.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_20354401According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Robert Gill (Gill) has been the subject of at least 9 customer complaints, 2 criminal matters, 2 employment terminations, and 5 regulatory complaints. The customer complaints against Gill allege securities law violations that claim churning and excessive trading, unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, unauthorized trading, fraud, and misrepresentations among other claims. Gill’s first employment separation in 2003 from Grayson Financial LLC alleged that Gill abused margin, failed to execute trades, engaged in unauthorized trades, and misappropriated firm information. Gill’s second firm termination in October 2013 was due to allegation by J.P. Turner & Company LLC (JP Turner) that Gill borrowed money from a client without prior firm approval.

FINRA’s action against Gill involves the circumstances alleged by JP Turner. FINRA sanctioned Gill by suspending the broker and imposing a fine for allegations involving a loan for $100,000 that he received from a firm customer.

Gill entered the securities industry in 1996. From April 2003, until October 2013, Gill was associated with JP Turner. Since November 2013 Gill has been associated with Chelsea Financial Services out of the firm’s Tinton Falls, New Jersey branch office location.

Churning is investment trading activity in the client’s account that serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is transacted solely to profit the broker. The elements to establish a churning claim, which is considered a species of securities fraud, are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions. A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements. Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim. These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.

Continue Reading