Articles Tagged with promissory notes

shutterstock_175993865The investment fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the employment termination filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) by Morgan Stanley involving broker Brian Sak (Sak). According to BrokerCheck records Sak is subject to one customer complaint and one employment separation for cause, and one judgment or lien.

According to Morgan Stanley, the firm terminated Sak after alleging Sak engaged in outside real estate investment with a client that was not appropriately disclosed to the firm.  Often times such filings indicate that the broker is engaging potentially in private securities transactions, promissory notes, or loans away from the firm.  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”.

At this time it unclear the scope of Sak’s OBAs and/or private securities transactions.  According to BrokerCheck records Sak has one customer complaint alleging that the broker sold a promissory note concerning real estate and that Sak recommended that the client invest in an outside real estate investment opportunity of which the Sak was a manager from 2011 to 2014.  The complaint alleges $250,000 in damages and the dispute is currently pending.  In addition, Sak disclosed a civil judgment of $2,355.  An inability to pay debts may also be an indicator that a broker may solicit funds form his clients.

Sak’s records also disclose that he is involved in outside business activities including Southside Holdings, a rental property in Indiana and Chicago.   Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, real estate brokers, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

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shutterstock_133831631The investment fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Lizabeth Ty (Ty). According to BrokerCheck records Ty is subject to three pending customer complaints, while registered with Park Avenue Securities LLC (Park Avenue) in Houston, Texas.  The regulatory also filed a complaint against Ty attempting to investigate the circumstances of the sale of claimed unregistered securities. (FINRA No. 20160493150-01).  When Ty refused to cooperate with the investigation, FINRA automatically barred Ty from the industry.

According to BrokerCheck records Ty has three customer complaints pending concerning the sales of promissory notes.  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”.  At this time it unclear the nature and scope of Ty’s outside business activities and private securities transactions.  However, according to Ty’s public records her outside business activities include a real estate license in Texas.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, or insurance to clients of those side practices.

Ty was associated with brokerage firm Park Avenue from January 2006 until July 2015.

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shutterstock_179203760The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating at least four customer complaints brought before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against John McGinnis (McGinnis) working out of Escondido, California alleging the sale of promissory notes, private placements, and private loans.  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”.

At this time it unclear the nature and scope of McGinnis’ outside business activities and private securities transactions.  However, according to McGinnis’ public records his outside business activities includes Orchards of AZ LLC, a real estate business.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

McGinnis entered the securities industry in 1987.  Since July 2008 through September 2015 McGinnis has been associated with RBC Capital Markets, LLC.

In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm.  However, even though when these incidents occur the brokerage firm claims ignorance of their advisor’s activities the firm is obligated under the FINRA rules to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering investments in this fashion.  In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public.  Selling away misconduct often occurs where brokerage firms either fail to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fail to actually implement that system.  Supervisory failures allow brokers to engage in unsupervised misconduct that can include all manner improper conduct including selling away.

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shutterstock_128856874The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating a regulatory complaint (Disciplinary No. 1013038289101) filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker James Nixon (Nixon). FINRA alleged that Nixon failed to provide prior written notice to Bridge Capital Associates, Inc. (Bridge Capital), his then employing brokerage firm, before selling $600,000 of convertible promissory notes – practice referred to as “selling away” in the industry. FINRA found that Nixon provided detailed written notice to Bridge Capital only after he had already disseminated investor presentations to approximately 40 potential investors and completed sales to three accredited investor. In addition, FINRA alleged that Nixon provided investor presentations that contained exaggerated and misleading statements about the issuer of the promissory notes, by the initials BRT, and failed to include a meaningful risk disclosure.

Nixon entered the securities industry in 1987. Nixon was registered with Bridge Capital Associates since December 2007 until September 2013, when Bridge Capital discharged Nixon in connection with the conduct concerning FINRA’s allegations. Shortly after Bridge Capital terminated his registrations Nixon became registered with a different firm, Source Capital Group, Inc. out of the firm’s Westport, Connecticut office location.

FINRA found that the promissory notes were offered without a PPM and that instead the notes were offered through an investor PowerPoint presentation that Nixon prepared in conjunction with the issuer. FINRA found that the investor presentation was devoid of any cautionary language specific to the promissory notes and that the prospects for notes were presented in very optimistic terms and stated financial projections at aggressive multiples without sources or support for such representations. FINRA found these representations to violate its communications rules.

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shutterstock_186772637The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating Clifford Morgan (Morgan) bar from the securities industry. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently brought an enforcement action (FINRA No. 2011025610501) against Morgan alleging that between November 2011 and December 2014, while he was associated with brokerage firm Uhlmann Price, Securities, LLC (Uhlmann Price) Morgan participated in private securities transactions – also referred to as “selling away” in the industry – without providing notice to his firm. FINRA also found that in engaging in the private securities transactions Morgan made material misrepresentations to customers and also participated in numerous outside business activities without providing the required notice to the firm.

Clifford Morgan entered the securities industry in January 2004. Between January 2007 and December 2014, Morgan was associated with Uhlmann Price. On December 5, 2014, Uhlmann Price filed a Form U5 reporting that Morgan had been “permitted to resign” with the explanation that the ”registered representative participated in private securities transactions in conflict with firm policies.”

It is unclear from the regulatory filings what companies were invested in but from publicly available information, Morgan’s brokercheck disclosures reveal several outside business activities including US College Planning, W&C Business Management, Strategis Wealth Consulting, and Strategis Wealth Advisory Group.

FINRA alleged that between September 2013 and August 2014, Morgan referred approximately 20 people to an investment in promissory notes in a company that was a private trading and financial services company. In connection with the referrals FINRA alleged that Morgan participated in meetings and telephone calls regarding the promissory notes offered, provided marketing materials to the investors, and answered questions regarding the offering. In total, FINRA found that Morgan referrals purchased approximately $1.8 million of the companies notes. In addition, FINRA found that Morgan personally invested more than $200,000 of the notes.

FINRA also found that Morgan participated in two additional private securities transactions. One in March 2012, resulted in a customer investing $25,000 in return for an equity stake in a company and another in May 2013, where Morgan referred a customer to invest in another company.

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shutterstock_189276023The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred (FINRA AWC No. 20150454876-01) former PFS Investments, Inc. (PFS Investments) broker Malcolm Babin (Babin) after the broker failed to respond to a letter from the regulator requesting information. While BrokerCheck records kept by FINRA do not disclose the nature of the regulatory inquiry, in May 2015, Babin was permitted to resign from PFS Investments stating that the broker was terminated for 1 being involved in a misappropriation; 2) unlicensed security solicitation, and 3) an undisclosed outside business activity and potentially a private securities transaction – also referred to in the industry as “selling away.”

Babin entered the securities industry in 2007 with PFS Investments as a Series 6 broker. A Series 6 license only allows the broker to solicit variable contracts and open-end mutual funds and does not allow the broker to solicit general securities. FINRA alleged that on July 7, 2015 FINRA was investigating allegations that Babin converted customer funds and engaged in undisclosed outside business activities. FINRA requested that Babin provide documents and information by July 14, 2015. The regulatory stated that they received an email from Babin acknowledging receipt of FINRA’s requests for documents but informed staff that he would not cooperate. Consequently, the regulator barred Babin from the securities industry.

The conduct alleged against Babin constitutes a potential “selling away” securities violations. In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. However, even though when these incidents occur the brokerage firm claims ignorance of their advisor’s activities the firm is obligated under the FINRA rules to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering investments in this fashion. In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public. Selling away misconduct often occurs where brokerage firms either fail to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fail to actually implement that system. Supervisory failures allow brokers to engage in unsupervised misconduct that can include all manner improper conduct including selling away.

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shutterstock_180735251The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently sanctioned and barred David Chu (Chu) concerning allegations Chu refused cooperate with requests made by FINRA in connection with an investigation into possible outside business activities and private securities transactions. Such activities are often referred to as “selling away” in the industry. According to FINRA BrokerCheck records Chu has no outside business activities listed. It is unclear what businesses or investments FINRA’s investigation concerns.

Chu entered the securities industry in 2004, when he became associated with NYLife Securities LLC (NYLife). Chu held a Series 6 license which is a license that only allows the broker to sell investment companies (i.e. mutual funds) and variable contracts products. On March 16, 2015, NYLife filed a termination notice (known as a Form U5) with FINRA disclosing that Chu was discharged from the firm under circumstances that included a notification from the SEC that the agency was reviewing Chu’s books and records including his outside business activities and private securities transactions. NYLife conducted its own review and believed that Chu’s activities exceeded the scope of his approved activities with the brokerage firm.

According to FINRA, in April 2015, the agency began investigating whether Chu had engaged in outside business activities by soliciting investments or promissory notes. As part of its investigation FINRA sent a request to Chu for certain documents and information. According to FINRA, Chu provided a partial response to FINRA but thereafter through subsequent communications stated on a call with FINRA staff that he will not cooperate with the investigation. Consequently, Chu was barred by FINRA.

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shutterstock_180735251The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently sanctioned and barred broker Douglas Melzer (Melzer) concerning allegations that between November 2011, and May 2012, while registered with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC (Wells Fargo), Melzer solicited four customers to invest $2,000,000 in an outside investment without providing his firm notice. According to FINRA Melzer was compensated at least $26,500. Unapproved sales activities and transactions are referred to as “selling away” in the industry.

Melzer entered the securities industry in 2008 when he became registered with Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo terminated Melzer’s registration in January 2013 in connection with his unapproved sales activity. Melzer was registered with Park Avenue Securities LLC from March 2013, through January 2015.

The conduct alleged against Melzer is a “selling away” securities violations. In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. However, even though the brokerage firm claim ignorance of their advisor’s activities, under the FINRA rules, a brokerage firm owes a duty to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering investments in this fashion. In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public. Selling away misconduct often occurs where brokerage firms either fail to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fail to actually implement that system. Supervisory failures allow brokers to engage in unsupervised misconduct that can include all manner improper conduct including selling away.

In cases of selling away the investor is unaware that the advisor’s investments are improper. In many of these cases the investor will not learn that the broker’s activities were wrongful until after the investment scheme is publicized, the broker is fired or charged by law enforcement, or stops returning client calls altogether.

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shutterstock_182004416The law offices of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints concerning Patric Baccam (Baccam) (a/k/a Khanh Sengpraseuth) sale of promissory notes in securities transactions that appear to have been away from the firm (also referred to as “selling away”). According to The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck records Baccam was registered with brokerage firm Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus) from February 2002 until December 2011. According to the records Baccam’s outside business activities include flipping real estate, vending machine leasing, and health and life insurance.

Baccam has also been subject to at least five customer complaints. Some of these complaints allege that Baccam solicited clients to invest in promissory notes through The Moret Group LLC, The PR Group, and The Precision Research Group, LLC. The complaints allege fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of California securities laws.

The allegations against Baccam are consistent with “selling away” securities violation. In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. However, even though the brokerage firm claim ignorance of their advisor’s activities, under the FINRA rules, a brokerage firm owes a duty to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering investments in this fashion. In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public. Selling away often occurs in brokerage firm that either fail to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fail to actually implement that system. Supervisory failures allow brokers to engage in unsupervised misconduct that can include all manner improper conduct including selling away.

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shutterstock_836360The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctioned and barred broker Jerry Chancy (Chancy) concerning allegations that Chancy potentially engage in outside business activities and/or the sales of private securities. When a broker’s outside business activities also include the recommendation of investments the activity is referred to in the industry as “selling away.”

FINRA Rule 8210 authorizes FINRA to require persons associated with a FINRA member to provide information with respect to any matter involved in the investigation. In December 2014, FINRA alleged that it pursued an investigation into allegations that Chancy engaged in undisclosed outside business activities. On January 29, 2015, FINRA requested that Chancy appear and provide testimony. FINRA stated that Chancy told the regulator that he would not provide information or cooperate in the investigation. Consequently, he was barred from the industry It is unclear what organization or product Chancy was involved with or selling that FINRA was investigating.

Chancy first became registered with FINRA through his association with a member firm in 1988. From November 2006 through January 2015, Cadwallader was associated with Legend Equities Corporation.

The allegations against Chancy are consistent with “selling away” securities violation. In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. However, even though the brokerage firm claims to be unaware of these activities, under the FINRA rules, a brokerage firm owes a duty to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering such products. In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public. Selling away often occurs in brokerage firm that either fail to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fail to actually implement that system. Supervisory failures allow brokers to engage in unsupervised misconduct that can include all manner improper conduct including selling away.

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