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shutterstock_189006551-207x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Joseph Ambrosole (Ambrosole) has been subject to two customer complaints, two regulatory actions, and one tax lien during his career.  Ambrosole is currently employed by Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C. (Joseph Stone Capital).  One of the the customer complaints against Ambrosole concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning and unsuitable investments.

In August 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Ambrosole violated the securities laws by engaging in common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence causing $100,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In March 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Ambrosole violated the securities laws by engaging in churning, unsuitable investments, and overconcentration causing $275,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

In addition, Ambrosole has one financial disclosure concerning a tax lien for $57,199.  This information has been found to be material for investors to have because an advisor who cannot manage his own finances is a relevant factor for investors to consider.  In addition, a broker in financial distress may be influenced to recommend high commission products or strategies.

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shutterstock_120556300-300x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Nicholas Radke (Radke), formerly associated with MML Investors Services, LLC (MML Investors) in December 2018, was sanctioned and barred from the securities industry by FINRA over accusations of potentially selling unapproved products.

In December 2018 FINRA alleged that Radke consented to the sanction and a bar from the industry because he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information in connection with allegations that Radke participated in a private securities transaction without prior approval from his member 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 is unclear the nature and scope of Radke’s activities.  Radke’s disclosures include outside business activities (OBAs).  At this time it is unclear whether the unapproved products involve any of these entities.

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shutterstock_62862913-259x300Advisor Wenjinn Chang (Chang), currently employed by Independent Financial Group, LLC (Independent Financial) has been subject to at least two customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Chang violated the securities laws by alleging over-concentration of non-traded REITs that were not suitable and that resulted in losses. The claim alleged $50,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.

In September 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Chang violated the securities laws by Alleging that the broker failed to advise of the risks of the investments made and that the Claimant has suffered losses as a result of the investments made.  The claim alleged $75,000 in damages and the claim settled for $10,000.

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shutterstock_184430645-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Lynn Faust (Faust), currently employed by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. (Stifel Nicolaus) has been subject to at least three customer complaints and one employment termination for cause during her career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaints against Faust concern allegations of unsuitable investments in market linked notes.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Faust recommended investments that violated the securities laws concerning misrepresented market linked notes.  The complaint alleges $59,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2018 Faust was terminated by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (Raymond James) due to allegations that the firm had concerns relating to the nature of advisor’s UIT activity.

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shutterstock_154681727-300x178According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Noel Carino (Carino), formerly associated with General Securities Corp., in November 2018, was sanctioned and barred from the securities industry by FINRA over accusations of potentially selling unapproved products.

In November 2018 FINRA alleged that Carino consented to the sanction and bar from the industry after he refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into whether he engaged in outside business activities without written notice to his member firm, whether he engaged in private securities transactions without written notice to or approval from the firm, and whether he reported all outside brokerage accounts in which he had an interest to 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 is unclear the nature and scope of Carino’s activities.  Carino’s disclosures include outside business activities (OBAs) including B & N Investments, LLC and Fidelity Wealth Management LLC.  At this time it is unclear whether the unapproved products involve any of these entities.

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shutterstock_140186524-300x298According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor David Phillips (Phillips), formerly employed by Moloney Securities Co., Inc. (Moloney Securities) has been subject to one customer complaint and one tax lien during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaint against Phillips concerns allegations of unsuitable investments in Future Income Payments, Inc. (FIP).

In October 2018 a customer complained that Phillips recommending an investment in Future Income Payments, Inc. that was misrepresented and improperly recommended.  The claim alleges $106,368 in damages and is currently pending.

The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating investor recovery options due to the alleged pay advance fraud scheme orchestrated by Future Income Payments, LLC (Future Income Payments) also known as Pensions, Annuities, and Settlements, LLC, and its owner Scott Kohn (Kohn). Future Income Payment is an unregistered and illegal security offering.  Numerous state and local regulators and agencies also have concluded that FIP product violates a host of laws including securities, loan laws, usury laws, elder abuse, and consumer protection laws.

At the heart of the alleged scheme is the misrepresentation that Future Income Payments engages in agreements that are sales of pensions and not loans. However, regulators have claimed that the company misstates the effect of the contract and that in fact pensioners are entering into a consumer loan and not a sale.  The purpose of the misrepresentations are to try to exempt Future Income Payments loans from consumer lending laws and regulations and to collect interest on loans at illegal rates.

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shutterstock_27786601-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Thomas Williams (Williams) has been subject to five customer complaints and one termination for cause during his career.  Williams is currently employed by IFS Securities.  Several of the the customer complaints against Williams concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning and unsuitable investments.

In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging their account was excessively traded, churning, and unsuitable investments.  The claim alleged $50,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In August 2010 Williams was terminated by First Allied Securities, Inc. (First Allied) in connection with allegations that a customer complained over unsuitable investments, misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty.

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shutterstock_182371613-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Mitchell Rock (Rock), currently employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) has been subject to nine customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Rock’s customer complaints allege that Rock made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of investments structured products.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Rock violated the securities laws by telling the cliet that the accounts were subject to a certain rate for fees and commissions that were not correct and that his accounts were charged more than the rate that was told to him.  The customer alleges $500,000 in damages.  The claim was denied by the firm.

In November 2012 a customer complained that Rock violated the securities laws by making an investment that the broker represented would make a profit.  The claim was denied by the firm.

In September 2012 a customer complained that Rock violated the securities laws by making unsuitable investments in structured products causing $175,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $61,000.

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shutterstock_836360-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Scott Mass (Mass), currently employed by David Lerner Associates, Inc. (David Lerner) has been subject to five customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Mass’ customer complaints allege that Mass made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of investments including REITs, Puerto Rico bonds, and mutual funds.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud and breach of contract in connection with the sale of Puerto Rico Bonds.  The customer alleges $500,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In December 2016 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments from June 2007 through July 2015 causing $90,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $15,000.

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shutterstock_132317306-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Christhian Palacios (Palacios) has been subject to two customer complaints and four tax liens during the course of his career.  Palacios is currently employed by Garden State Securities, Inc. (Garden State Securities).  One of the customer complaints against Palacios concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning and unsuitable investments.

In June 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging their account was excessively traded and unsuitable from January 2009 until March 2016.  The claim alleged $298,109 in damages and is currently pending.

In July 2016 Palacios disclosed a tax lien of $140,000.  Tax liens can be sign that a broker may have a conflict of interest to recommend or engage in high risk trades and improper recommendations due to the need to obtain funds.  FINRA discloses tax liens information because it is important for investors to know whether or not a broker can manage their own finances.

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