Articles Posted in Churning (Excessive Trading)

shutterstock_94127350-300x205According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Debra Bourne (Bourne) has been subject to at least five customer complaints during her career.  Bourne is formerly employed by First Standard Financial Company LLC (First Standard Financial) and National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  The majority of the customer complaints against Bourne concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Bourne violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable and excessive trading causing $2,000,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

In March 2019 a customer complained that Bourne violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable trading, excessive trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence among other claims alleged. The claim seeks $300,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In February 2019 a customer complained that Bourne violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable and unauthorized trading causing $668,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_135103109-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Steven Woods (Woods) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during his career.  Woods is currently employed by Worden Capital Management LLC (Worden Capital) and was formerly registered with Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. (Laidlaw).  The majority of the customer complaints against Woods concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Woods violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unauthorized trading, misrepresentation, and unsuitability in 2016 causing $41,607 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

In May 2018 a customer complained that Woods violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitability from 2015 through 2017 causing $157,588 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_175137287-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Michael Bastardi (Bastardi) has been subject to at least two customer complaints, one regulatory action, and one tax or lien judgment during his career.  Bastardi was formerly employed by Chelsea Financial Services (Chelsea Financial) and National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  The majority of the customer complaints against Bastardi concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning.

In May 2019 Bastardi consented sanctions and an industry bar from FINRA due to the findings that he refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into the allegations disclosed on a termination statement.  FINRA found that the termination disclosure stated that Bastardi was the subject of a customer complaint alleging that he had engaged in unsuitable margin trading, unauthorized trading, fraud and forgery when he was registered through two member firms, resulting in damages of approximately $250,000.

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shutterstock_20354398-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Gabriel Block (Block) has been subject to at least 12 customer complaints and five regulatory actions during his career.  Block is currently barred from the industry but was formerly employed by First Standard Financial Company LLC (First Standard Financial) and National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  The majority of the customer complaints against Block concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning.

In May 2019 the New Jersey Bureau of Securities revoked Block’s license in his home state of New Jersey finding that Block engaged in dishonest or unethical business practices in the securities business. The state went on to find that Block engaged in a device, scheme, or artifice to defraud.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Block violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable and excessive trading causing $2,000,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

In March 2019 a customer complained that Block violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable trading. The claim is currently pending.

In February 2019 a customer complained that Block violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable and unauthorized trading causing $668,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_112866430-300x199According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Peter Viglione (Viglione) has been subject to at least four customer complaints during his career.  Viglione is currently employed by Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. (Laidlaw).  The majority of the customer complaints against Viglione concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning.

In May 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Viglione violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Viglione’s activities from 2015 through 2017 caused $20,179 in damages.  The claim settled.

In May 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Viglione violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Viglione engaged in unauthorized trading and excessive trading from 2015 through 2016 caused $200,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In July 2012 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Viglione violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Viglione engaged in unauthorized trading, excessive trading, and misrepresentations causing $780,000 in damages.  The claim was settled for $125,000.

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shutterstock_152933045-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Mohamed Yassin (Yassin) has been subject to at least two customer complaints, one employment termination for cause, and two regulatory matters during his career.  Yassin is formerly employed by Morgan Stanley and National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  The customer complaints against Yassin concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as excessive trading or churning.

In October 2018 FINRA alleged that Yassin failed to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request to provide information concerning the status of compliance which triggered an industry bar and suspension.

In June 2017, Morgan Stanley discharged Yassin claiming that he failed to verbally confirm transactions prior to execution in clients’ accounts.

In April 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Yassin violated the securities laws including excessive trading from 2012 until 2016 causing $2 million in damages.  The claim settled for $602,717.

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shutterstock_143094109-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Philip Sparacino (Sparacino) has been subject to at least two customer complaints, three debt liens or judgements, and one criminal matter during his career.  Sparacino is currently employed by First Standard Financial Company LLC (First Standard Financial) but has worked for a total of six firms during his 11 year career.  One of the customer complaints against Sparacino concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning and unsuitable investments.

In December 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Sparacino violated the securities laws including churning and unsuitable trading causing $90,198 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In September 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Sparacino violated the securities laws including unsuitable trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and unauthorized trading causing $38,084 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

Sparacino also has three debts including a $3,774 lien from March 2017.  The fact that a broker cannot manage his own personal finances is material information for a client to consider.  In addition, the types of products clients have alleged were unsuitable are high commission products that may be recommended to generate high profits for the advisor at the expense of the client.

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shutterstock_180412949-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Yousuf (Joe) Saljooki (Saljooki) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints, two regulatory actions, two employment terminations for cause, and one debt lien or judgement during his career.  Saljooki is formerly employed by Worden Capital Management LLC (Worden Capital) but has worked for a total of nine firms during his 12 year career.  The customer complaints against Saljooki concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning and unsuitable investments.

In July 2018 FINRA suspended Saljooki after he failed to respond to the regulator’s requests for information.

In April 2018 Saljooki was discharged from Worden Capital for failing to disclose and outstanding tax lien to the State of Arkansas during the application process for registration with the state.

In February 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Saljooki violated the securities laws by engaging in churning, unsuitable investments, and fraud.  The claim alleged $523,930 in damages.  The claim settled for $50,000.

In December 2017 SW Financial discharged Saljooki after the firm alleged that Saljooki opened a branch office under another name without the permission of the firm in violation of FINRA Rule 3270.  The firm also accused him of violating Reg S-P by obtaining client information.

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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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