Articles Posted in Churning (Excessive Trading)

shutterstock_66745735-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Jean-Matthieu Josse (Josse) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during his career.  Josse is currently employed by A.G.P. / Alliance Global Partners (Alliance Global).  The customer complaints against Josse concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning and unsuitable investments.

In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Josse violated the securities laws by engaging in churning and unauthorized trading.  The claim alleged $45,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $14,990.

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.

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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_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_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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shutterstock_177792281-300x198According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Paul DiPietro (DiPietro) has been subject to eight customer complaints during the course of his career.  DiPietro is currently employed by Dawson James Securities, Inc. (Dawson James).  Many of the customer complaints against DiPietro concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitable investments.

In April 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging his account was churned and placed in unsuitable securities by the representatives at Dawson James and Spartan form January 2015 through September 2015.  The claim alleged $100,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In December 2015 a customer filed a complaint alleging that DiPietro failed to follow instructions and failed to execute orders causing losses of $126,105.  The claim was withdrawn.

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shutterstock_145123405-200x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Stephen Murray (Murray) has been subject to seven customer complaints, two financial disclosures or tax liens, and one regulatory action.  Murray was formerly employed by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (Raymond James) prior to his bar from the financial industry.  Many of the customer complaints against Murray concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitable investments.

In May 2018 FINRA barred Murray after he failed to respond to FINRA’s requests for documents and information concerning his activities.

In May 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging churning unauthorized trading, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty.  The claim alleged $100,000 in damages and settled.

In addition, Murray has two financial disclosures concerning debts and tax liens.  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_184430498-300x225According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Michael Polyakov (Polyakov) has been subject to three customer complaints and eight financial disclosures.  Polyakov is currently employed by Westpark Capital, Inc. (Westpark Capital).  Many of the customer complaints against Polyakov concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitable investments.

In January 2013 a customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investments, churning, and excessive trading.  The claim alleged $157,178 in damages and settled.

In March 2010 a customer filed a complaint alleging churning, unauthorized trades, and unsuitable investments claiming $250,000 in damages.  The complaint was settled.

In addition, Polyakov has eight financial disclosures concerning debt compromises.  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_24531604-200x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker William Brunner (Brunner) has been subject to five customer complaints, one bankruptcy, two regulatory actions, and one termination for cause.  Brunner was formerly registered with Investment Planners, Inc. (Investment Planners) until May 2017.  Many of the customer complaints against Brunner concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitable investments.

In April 2018 FINRA barred Brunner from the industry stating that Brunner consented to the sanction and declined to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into excessive trading and use of discretion without written authorization in customers’ accounts.  In May 2017 Investment Planners terminated Brunner claiming that allegations were made by a client concerning unauthorized trading.

In June 2017 a customer filed a complaint claiming that Brunner engaged in negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitable investments claiming $1,000,000 in damages.  The claim was settled.

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shutterstock_146470052-300x205According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Erik Pica (Pica) has been subject to three customer complaints.  Pica is currently registered with Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C. (Joseph Stone).  Many of the customer complaints against Pica concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning, unauthorized trading, unsuitable investments, and speculative investment strategies.

The last customer complaint occurred in May 2018 when a customer alleged unauthorized trading in Rite Aid and Valeant Pharmaceutical leading to $7,613 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

Also in May 2018 another customer alleged negligent supervision, overconcentration, and unsuitable investments causing $293,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In March 2018 another customer alleged $500,000 after claiming that Pica engaged in unsuitable investments, churning, and other claims.  The claim is currently pending.

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Acshutterstock_123758422-300x200cording to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Dana Davis (Davis) has been subject to seven customer complaints and one termination for cause.  Davis is currently employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge Securities).  Many of the customer complaints against Davis concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitable investments.

In January 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging misrepresentation, unsuitable and excessive trading, negligent supervision, and breach of fiduciary duty.  The claim alleges $250,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2011 a customer filed a complaint alleging excessive transactions claiming $9,078 in damages.  The complaint was closed.

In September 2006 Davis was terminated from First Montauk Securities Corp. after allegations were made that Davis failed to follow procedures concerning unauthorized trading.

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