Articles Posted in Churning (Excessive Trading)

shutterstock_85873471-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Leon Rehak (Rehak) has been subject to two customer complaints.  Rehak is currently registered with LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial).  In November 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging a number of securities law violations including that the broker made engaged in churning (excessive trading), unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.  The claim alleged $600,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2017, another customer filed a complaint alleging Common Law Fraud, Common Law Negligent Misrepresentation, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Negligence, Suitability, and Excessive Trading from May 2011 through September 2017.  The claim alleged $499,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_184430612-300x225According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Frank Giacalone (Giacalone) has been subject to two customer complaints.  Giacalone is currently registered with Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis).  In June 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging a number of securities law violations including that the broker made engaged in churning (excessive trading), unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.  The claim alleged $128,319 in damages and was settled.

In June 2015, another customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investment recommendations and claiming $107,969 in damages.  The claim 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.

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shutterstock_153667934-300x200The investment attorneys at Gana LLP are investigating claims against former LPL Financial Broker Jason Anderson (Anderson). A pair of elderly customers are suing Anderson and alleging churning and inflated mutual fund charges.

According to news sources, A pair of elderly customers of LPL Financial are suing the firm and Anderson.

The customers, each of whom are over 65, claim to have suffered a combined $630,000 loss in retirement accounts that were originally valued at $3.5 million.

shutterstock_123758422-300x200Gana LLP is investigating claims made by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker David Menashe (Menashe). According to BrokerCheck records, Menashe was ordered to pay a restitution of $15,000 by the state of Montana for alleged excessive trading and unauthorized trading in June 2016.

Menashe entered the industry in 2009. He is currently registered and employed at Newbridge Securities, where he has been employed since January 2017. His past employment includes:

• Joseph Stone Capital LLC (February 2013 – January 2017)

shutterstock_180341738-200x300According to BrokerCheck records Terry Brodt (Brodt) has been sanctioned by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) over allegations that, while associated with Garden State Securities, Inc. (Garden State) the broker exercised discretion in a customer’s account without obtaining written authorization or written approval of the account as discretionary from his brokerage firm.  FINRA found that Brodt exercised discretion in accounts maintained by customers without written authorization and without approval from Garden State to treat those customer accounts as discretionary. FINRA also found that Brodt provided inaccurate responses about his use of discretion in connection with his firm’s annual compliance questionnaires.

In addition, to the FINRA sanctions Brodt has been subject to five customer complaints, two financial disclosures including a bankruptcy filing in July 2016, and ten judgment or tax liens.  Some of the complaints against Brodt allege securities law violations including that the broker engaged in churning (excessive trading) and unauthorized trading among other claims.

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shutterstock_1081038-300x200According to BrokerCheck records Kevin Curry (Curry) has been sanctioned by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) over allegations that the broker exercised discretion in a customer’s account without obtaining written authorization or written approval of the account as discretionary from his brokerage firm.  FINRA found that Curry and spoke to the customer and agreed upon investments but that Curry exercised time and price discretion in executing transactions on dates when he had not spoken with the customer in violation of the rules.

In addition, to the FINRA sanctions, two customers have lodged complaints against Curry alleging a number of securities law violations including that the broker made engaged in churning (excessive trading), unauthorized trading, and fraud among other claims.

In June 2014, a customer complaint was filed alleging churning, unauthorized trading, fraud, and failure to supervise claiming $400,000 in damages.  The claim was settled.

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shutterstock_114128113-300x238According to BrokerCheck records The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed a complaint against Dennis Mehringer (Mehringer) over allegations that Mehringer made unsuitable recommendations that caused a customer to engage in excessively expensive short-term trading of mutual fund Class A shares. According to FINRA, Mehringer repeatedly recommended, and caused the customer to engage in, short-term purchases and sales of 84 mutual fund Class A positions in five of the customer’s accounts. FINRA alleged that in 47 of the 84 purchase transactions, the customer paid front-end sales loads ranging from four to five percent and that all but 17 of these 84 mutual fund positions were held for less than six months while 35 of them were held for less than three months. FINRA found that Mehringer received $169,735 in commissions from the transactions and that the trades were without reasonable grounds to believe that the recommendations were suitable for the customer in light of the frequency and nature of the transactions based on the customer’s investment objectives.

Class A mutual fund share investments are long-term trades that come with significant sales loads.  Frequent trading and switching between the mutual funds and mutual fund families is unsuitable for any customer.

Mehringer is currently associated with Western International Securities, Inc. (Western International) and has been subject to nine customer complaints alleging unsuitable investments, overconcentration, excessive commission charges among other claims.  The securities lawyers of Gana LLP continue to investigate the customer complaints against Mehringer.

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shutterstock_184149845-300x246Broker David Sheppard (Sheppard) was recently sanctioned by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in an enforcement action that led to a permanent bar against the broker.  According to BrokerCheck, FINRA found that Sheppard consented to sanctions that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA to investigate potential churning (excessive trading) in customer accounts.

The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are also investigating customer complaints against Sheppard.  There have been at least three customer complaints against Sheppard, one regulatory action, and two judgements or liens in Sheppard’s 21 year career.  The customer complaints against Sheppard allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.

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.

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shutterstock_115937266-300x237The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Thomas Sullivan (Sullivan).  According to BrokerCheck records Sullivan has been the subject of at least six customer complaints and two terminations for cause.  The customer complaints against Sullivan allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

In May 2010 Sullivan was discharged by Hallmark Investments on allegation that Sullivan stole revenue from the brokerage firm.  The most recent customer complaint was filed in November 2016 alleging $23,616 in damages stemming from excessive trading and churning.  The claim was settled

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shutterstock_185582-300x225The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating a pending customer complaint filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Silvano Rolando Trino (Trino). According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck record for Trino, there are at least 4 disclosures on Trino’s records, all pertaining to customer complaints. The customer complaints against Trino allege unauthorized use of margin, unsuitable trading, and churning.

All brokers who are registered with FINRA are required to disclosure customer complaints and arbitrations, regulatory actions, employment terminations, bankruptcy filings, and criminal or civil judicial proceedings.

The most recent customer complaint against Trino was filed with FINRA in September 2014 alleging unauthorized use of margin, unsuitable trades, and churning. This claim occurred during Trino’s current employment at Northeast Securities, Inc.