Articles Posted in Selling Away

shutterstock_173864537-300x200The investment attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating previously registered broker Bradley Tennison (Tennison). According to BrokerCheck Records, the Financial Industry Regulative Authority (FINRA) barred Tennison indefinitely from the financial industry for failing to appear to an on the record testimony regarding an investigation of Tennison’s outside business activities at Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. (Geneos Wealth Management). In addition, Tennison has been subject to three customer disputes, one of which is still pending. The majority of these disputes involve unsuitable limited partnerships and selling away. Tennison has also been subject to termination from two firms of employment.

In April 2018, a customer alleged that in 2016, Tennison recommended a former client to invest $300,000 in “The Joseph Project”, which he represented to be a 12 month investment with 5 % returns. The customer never received any statements or returns on her principal payment. The customer has requested $300,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

Subsequently, in April 2018, Tennison was terminated from Geneos Wealth Management for failing to be in compliance with the firm’s policies and regulations regarding outside business activities and selling away.

In July 2018, FINRA found that Tennison was in violation of FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 for failing to show up to an on-the-record testimony regarding the customer complaint alleging selling away at Geneos Wealth Management. Without admitting or denying the findings, Tennison consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings. Consequently, Tennison was barred from the financial industry. The extent of Tennison’s outside business activities is still unclear. Continue Reading

shutterstock_103610648-300x212According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Ralph Adamo (Adamo), formerly associated with FSC Securities Corporation (FSC Securities) in Newport Beach, California was terminated by his firm concerning allegations that he engaged in an unapproved financial transaction with a client.  Adamo has been subject to two customer complaints including one for over $4 million in claimed damages.  That complaint alleges a solicitation of a personal loan and is still pending.  In addition, Adamo has been subject to two prior regulatory actions.  One action in 2005 alleged that Adamo paid customers privately to resolve complaints without telling his firm.

At this time it is unclear the extent of Adamo’s outside business activities or private securities transactions.  Adamo disclosed a number of outside business activities including that he operates his securities business through a d/b/a Integrity Wealth Management.

The allegations concern private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – a serious violation of the securities laws.

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shutterstock_128856874-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating previously registered broker John James (James). According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in March 2016, James was discharged  by his firm, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Merrill Lynch) based on allegations that James was engaging in outside business activities, private investments, and borrowing money from clients without disclosing the activities to the firm.  Subsequently, in September 2016, James was also discharged from Stifel Nicolaus for providing inaccurate information on his employment application (U5) regarding the status of an internal inquiry at his prior firm, Merrill Lynch.

In December 2017, FINRA barred James from the industry after James failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information regarding these allegations and activities.  FINRA sought documents concerning the circumstances surrounding Jones’s termination from his member firm and of certain outside business activities that James was involved in while registered with the firm. After James refused to show up to an on-the-record testimony regarding these allegations, he was barred from the industry for being in violation of F1NRA Rule 8210, James violates FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010.

In addition, James has been subject to one customer complaint. In May 2009, a customer alleged that James recommended unsuitable investments. The case was settled at $160,000 in damages. Continue Reading

shutterstock_102242143-300x169According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Mark Solomon (Solomon), formerly associated with M Holdings Securities, Inc. (M Holdings) in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania was suspended by FINRA concerning allegations that he engaged private securities transactions in a real estate private placement.  M Holdings terminated Solomon in January 2016 during an ongoing internal review that centered around potential violations of investment related statues and the firm’s policies and procedures.

Thereafter in January 2018 FINRA found that Solomon solicited seven investors to purchase a total of $1,400,000 in interests in a private placement without providing his firm written notice of that activity or obtaining the firm’s written approval prior to doing so. FINRA found that Solomon first provided written notice of his sales activity to his firm after responding to inquiries made by FINRA during an examination of the firm.  FINRA suspended Solomon for 12 months and imposed a fine.

At this time it is unclear the extent of Solomon’s outside business activities or private securities transactions.  Solomon disclosed a number of outside business activities including that he is the control person limited partnerships, is involved with Devon Park Partnership, Horsham Business Center, and 1000 Howard Blvd Partners LP.

The FINRA allegations concern private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – a serious violation of the securities laws.

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shutterstock_20354398-300x200The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating previously registered broker Robert Meyers (Meyers).

According to the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck records, in October 2017, Meyers was terminated from Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC (Wells Fargo) for recommending investments to customers that he did not notify the firm about.

In addition, Meyers has been subject to eight customer disputes. In August 2005, a customer alleged that Meyers failed to follow the customer’s instructions regarding the investment. The customer requested $1,000,000 in damages.

Meyer was recommending investments to customers that his firm had never pre-approved. The practice in which a broker engages customers to invest in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm is known as selling away.  All member firms have the duty to supervise their advisors under FINRA rules. Each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public.

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shutterstock_180968000-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor James and Lorraine Conaway (Conaway), formerly associated with USA Financial Securities Corporation (USA Financial) in Tustin, California was terminated by his firm concerning allegations of failure to comply with firm advertising and outside business activity (OBA) procedures, participating in financial transactions with securities clients, and failure to fully cooperate with a firm investigation.

In May 2018 FINRA sanctioned the Conaways and provided more details in their private securities transactions.  FINRA alleged that Conaway failed to timely and completely disclose the scope of his real estate related outside business activities in referring clients to Tycon Properties among other business relationships.  FINRA found that the Conaways established Tycon Properties to refer clients to investments in rental real estate properties.  FINRA found that Conaway began a business relationship with a vendor of distressed rental properties in St. Louis, Missouri which was controlled by an individual who had pleaded guilty to unrelated federal charges for submitting false loan applications to banks and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.  FINRA determined that Conaway’s company received over $450,000 in referral fees from the individual’s vendor company and referred more than 35 investors who contracted to purchase one or more rental properties.

At this time it is unclear the extent of Conaways outside business activities or private securities transactions.  However, Conaway disclosed a number of outside business activities including that he operates his securities business through a d/b/a C&C Wealth Advisory Group. Other OBAs include Lorcon Inc., Brancor Properties, LLC, and American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.

The allegations concern private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – a serious violation of the securities laws.

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Accorshutterstock_114775264-300x200ding to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Oscar Francis (Francis), formerly associated with MML Investor Services, LLC (MML) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was terminated for cause by MML concerning allegations that he engaged in private securities transactions.  MML stated that Francis’ was “terminated in connection with an investigation into an undisclosed outside business activity, potential selling away and an unauthorized non-securities life insurance transaction.”  In addition, Francis has been subject to three customer complaints concerning unapproved investments.  Further, in April 2017, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into Francis’ investment activities.

At this time it is unclear the extent and nature of the outside business activities or private securities transactions that occurred.  The allegations concerning private securities transactions is a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – a serious violation of the securities laws.

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shutterstock_174922268-300x215According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Brian Travers (Travers), operating under the d/b/a Travers and Associates, Inc., in December 2017, was barred from the financial industry by FINRA concerning allegations that he engaged in private securities transactions.  According to FINRA Travers consented to the sanction and bar due to the fact that he refused to appear and provide FINRA with testimony in connection with their investigation into potential undisclosed outside business activities and private securities transactions.  At this time it is unclear the extent and nature of the outside business activities or private securities transactions that occurred.

Travers employer, MML Investors Services, LLC (MML) discharged Travers in March 2017 alleging that Travers engaged in undisclosed outside business activities.  The only activity listed on Travers’ public records is his insurance business. FINRA’s allegations concern private securities transactions– a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – is a serious violation of the securities laws.

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shutterstock_178565714-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are interested in hearing from investors who lost money due to the mishandling of their accounts by broker Keith Michelfelder (Michelfelder).

According to BrokerCheck records, in August 2017, FINRA sanctioned Keith Michelfelder (Michelfelder) for allegedly effecting “at least 16 transactions in the accounts of a member firm customer without having obtained prior written authorization from the customer and written acceptance of the accounts as discretionary by his firm. The findings stated that the firm’s policies prohibited the use of non-firm email addresses to conduct firm business. In 2010 and 2011, Michelfelder signed annual certifications agreeing to use the firm’s domain email only for communications with customers and concerning firm business. Nevertheless, during July 2012, Michelfelder knowingly used a non-firm email address to communicate with the above customer.”  Michelfelder was fined $10,000 and was suspended for 60 days. In November 2017, Keith’s FINRA registration was revoked for failure to pay fines.

In August 2012, a customer alleged he discovered numerous unauthorized trades in his account. The customer was granted an award of $702,037.

In March 2011, a customer alleged Michelfelder engaged in unauthorized trading. This dispute settled for $61,500.

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shutterstock_140186524-300x298The investment lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating the regulatory action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Kenneth Savino (Savino).

According to BrokerCheck records, Savino allegedly purchased shares of a security for $100,000 without providing prior notice to his member firm and Savino inaccurately indicated on an annual compliance questionnaire that he had not participated in any private securities transactions. Savino was suspended for 15 days and fined $5,000. Without admitting or denying the findings, Savino consented to the sanctions and the entry of findings.

Savino was discharged from LPL Financial in October 2015 for allegedly entering into a loan transaction with another company, receiving shares of the company in return, with no pre-approval by the firm. Additionally, Savino allegedly made private securities transaction that he did not have pre-approved by the firm. Savino also allegedly introduced a client to a potential outside investment opportunity that was not approved by the firm.

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