Articles Posted in Securities Lawyer

The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Nicholas Schiano (Schiano), currently employed by Spartan Capital Securities, LLC (Spartan Capital) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Schiano’s customer complaints allege that Schiano recommended unsuitable investments, and committed negligence, misrepresentations, and breach of fiduciary duty among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Schiano violated the securities laws by alleging misrepresentations, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty resulting in $208,000. The claim settled for $32,500.

In August 2017 a customer complained that Schiano violated the securities laws by alleging unsuitable transactions causing $128,541 in damages. The claim settled for $35,000.

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shutterstock_114128113-300x238According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Leon Almeida (Almeida), formerly employed by MML Investors Services, LLC (MML Investors) has been subject to four customer disputes and one criminal matter during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the customer complaints against Almeida concerns allegations over variable annuity sales practices.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Almeida violated the securities laws by alleging that Almeida sold him a new variable annuity in 2016, which was misrepresented, after first advising him that the company that held his existing account wouldn’t be remaining in business.  The claim is currently pending.

In March 2019 a customer complained that Almeida violated the securities laws by alleging that that the AIG Variable Annuity Almeida sold to him in 2018 was an inappropriate investment and he would like his money returned.  The claim was withdrawn.

In January 2019 a customer complained that Almeida violated the securities laws by alleging that the VAs Almeida sold to him in 2018 were misrepresented and he wants his investment returned.  The claim settled for $19,038.

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shutterstock_112866430-300x199The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Timothy Johnson (Johnson) was discharged by his employer after being accused of diverting client funds.  According to BrokerCheck records, Johnson is formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm MML Investors Services, LLC (MML).  In addition, Johnson disclosed one regulatory complaint. If you have been a victim of Johnson’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

In July 2019 MML discharged Johnson after alleging that he was terminated in connection with an investigation into the registered representative’s diversion of customer funds for his own use.

In September 2019 FINRA filed a regulatory action alleging that Johnson consented to the sanction and findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation into the allegations made concerning his termination.  FINRA’s suspension will automatically become a bar if Johnson fails to respond.

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shutterstock_188874428-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Christopher Watkins (Watkins), currently employed by Silver Oak Securities, Incorporated (Silver Oak Securities) has been subject to at least one employment termination for cause and one customer complaint during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Watkins’ customer complaint alleges that Watkin recommended unsuitable investments among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In November 2018 Watkins’ then employer, LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial), discharged Watkins claiming that he facilitated the distribution of advisory fee monies to an unregistered person.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Watkins violated the securities laws by alleging violations of the securities laws including unsuitable investments involving REITs and energy investments. The claim alleges $115,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_188631644-300x225As we have previously reported, according to BrokerCheck records financial advisor William Byrd (Byrd) had several customer complaints filed against him in connection with his management of client accounts.  Byrd is currently employed by B.B. Graham & Company, Inc. (BB Graham) and now been subject to at least five customer complaints and one civil lien for $47,782.23.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Byrd’s customer complaints allege that Byrd recommended unsuitable securities recommendations among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In March 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Byrd violated the securities laws by engaging in, among other violations, unsuitable concentrated mutual fund transactions and products, and lacking any reasonable investment strategy.  The claim alleges $300,000 and is currently pending.

In October 2018 a civil judgement was entered against Byrd.  Large tax liens, civil judgement, or bankruptcy filings on a broker’s CRD can be a red flag that the broker may be influenced to engage in high commission activity in order to satisfy personal debts.  In addition, a broker’s inability to manage their own finances is relevant in a customer’s decision to use their services.

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shutterstock_180341738-200x300The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Dean Kajouras (Kajouras), currently employed by Fordham Financial Management, Inc. (Fordham Financial) has been subject to at least eight customer complaints, one employment termination for cause, one regulatory matter, and six judgement or liens during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Kajouras’ customer complaints alleges that Kajouras recommended unsuitable investments, negligence, fraud, misrepresentations, and breach of fiduciary duty among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In June 2019 a customer complained that Kajouras violated the securities laws by alleging misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, statutory and common law fraud, suitability. The claim alleges $1,600,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2016 the State of Massachusetts entered into a cease and desist order against Kajouras concerning claims that Kajouras unsuitably overconcentrated a retired investor’s portfolio in a single security.  The State of Massachusetts fined Kajouras $60,000.

In May 2019 one of Kajouras’ tax liens entered totals $391,153.  Large tax liens on a broker’s CRD can be a red flag that the broker may be influenced to engage in high commission activity in order to satisfy personal debts.  In addition, a broker’s inability to manage their own finances is relevant in a customer’s decision to use their services.

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shutterstock_184430612-300x225The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims against broker Jeffrey Poosch (Poosch), currently associated with Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. (Summit Brokerage) out of Fort Gratiot, Michigan.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Poosch has been subject to at least four customer disputes during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Poosch’s customer complaints concern allegations of unauthorized trading and misrepresentations among other claims.

In February 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Poosch made unauthorized trading and failed to disclose fees associated with a variable annuity.  The customer requested over $500,000 in damages.  The claim was denied.

In December 2016 a customer alleged that Poosch failed to disclose penalties to them.  The amount of damages was not specified.  The claim settled for $6,269.

Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading.  Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. All brokers are under an obligation to first discuss trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b).  These rules explicitly prohibit brokers from making discretionary trades in a customers’ non-discretionary accounts. The SEC has also found that unauthorized trading to be fraudulent nature because no disclosure could be more important to an investor than to be made aware that a trade will take place.

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shutterstock_156562427-300x200Advisor Richard Braverman (Braverman), currently employed by Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. (Geneos Wealth) has been subject to at least five customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints mostly concerns alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented investors who suffered losses caused by these types of products.

In August 2018 a customer complained that Braverman violated the securities laws by alleging that the investments were subject to unsuitable recommendations, breach of fiduciary duty and failure to adequately disclose the risks in real estate investments and direct investments interests purchased between March of 2008 and November of 2015. The claim is currently pending.

In July 2017 a customer complained that Braverman violated the securities laws by alleging that the investments were subject to unsuitable recommendations of an oil & gas investment in June 2008. The claim sought $47,000 in damages and was denied by the firm.

In September 2008 Braverman was permitted to resign from FSC Securities Corporation (FSC) over allegations that he violated the firm’s policies with respect to non-traded REITs.

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shutterstock_176284139-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP is currently investigating advisor Anthony Conti (Conti), currently associated with Boenning & Scattergood, Inc. (Boenning & Scattergood) out of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Conti has been subject to at least one customer dispute during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Conti’s customer complaints concern allegations of unsuitable investments.

In October 2016 it was alleged that Conti’s previous employer, Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC (RSA), three clients of RSA commenced an arbitration claim against the firm. The clients alleged that RSA misrepresented the safety and security of film tax credit notes purchased from the issuer, leading clients to believe their principal was not subject to significant risk. The clients allege that these misrepresentations and negligence caused the loss of principal.  The claim alleged $2,200,000 in damages.  This dispute is currently still pending.

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shutterstock_182371613-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating advisor Paul Soll (Soll), formerly registered with Western International Securities, Inc. (Western International) and Financial West Group (FWG) out of Los Angeles, California.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Soll was barred from the financial industry for failing to provide the regulator with information about his trading activities that concern possible excessive trading a securities law violation that is similar to churning.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Soll also disclosed at least one customer complaint alleging breach of fiduciary duty.

In July 2018, FINRA stated that Soll violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 by failing to provide the regulator with information about his potential trading abuses.  Soll was thereby barred from the securities industry.

Moreover, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Soll engaged in breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and misrepresentation in the sale of bonds.  The amount of damages was not specified.  The claim settled for $660,574.

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