Illinois Files Churning Complaint Against James Markoski

shutterstock_185582James Markoski (Markoski) recently had a complaint filed against him from the State of Illinois, Securities Department. According to the complaint Markoski has a history of churning accounts, or engaging in excessive trading that is designed to generate huge commissions at the expense of the customer.

Markoski’ entered the financial industry in the early 1970’s and until 1991, Markoski worked for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. (Merrill). Thereafter, from September 1991, through June 2010, Markoski was a registered representative of David A Noyes & Company. From June 2010, through April 2012, Markoski worked for Birkelbach Investment Securities, Inc. Finally, Markoski currently is associated with Forest Securities, Inc. Markoski has been subject to 9 customer arbitrations throughout his career. Virtually all of the customer complaints involve claims of churning and excessive trading activity in the customer’s account. It is rare for a broker to have a complaint filed against them. It is even more rare for a broker to have more than 2 complaints filed against them.

The Illinois Secretary of State alleged that Markoski alleged that Markoski has a penchant for targeting widows and senior women to engage in his fraudulent churning conduct. In one of the alleged churning instances, Markoski inherited a client’s account from one of his colleagues. The complaint alleges that upon inheriting the client’s account, Markoski began selling off the client’s bond holdings that the client was relying upon the income from. The selling of the bonds before maturity allegedly resulted in $175,000 in losses.

Thereafter, Markoski engaged in a buying spree in mutual funds. According to the complaint Markoski simply purchased and sold the same funds over and over and over again over a period of approximately six years.   The excessive trading resulted in additional customer losses and $150,000 in commissions for the broker. The complaint also detailed some of the churning activity Markoski allegedly conducted in two other customer accounts.  The State of Illinois is seeking a bar against Markoski from selling securities within the state in addition to $3,500,000 in fines.

Investors who have suffered losses through excessive trading and churning may be able recover their losses through arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases where brokerage firms fail to supervise their representatives trading in client accounts. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.