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shutterstock_164634200The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstien LLP are currently investigating previously registered broker Donnell Bowen (Bowen). According to BrokerCheck Records held by the Financial Industry Regulative Authority (FINRA), Bowen has been subject to 13 customer disputes, one financial action, one regulatory action, termination from employment, and a civil lien. The majority of these disputes concern unauthorized changes and forgery of customer signatures on life insurance/variable annuity forms.

In December 2016, a customer alleged that Bowen forged the customer’s signature on nonvariable insurnace documents to convert the term life insurance policies into whole life insurance policies. The case was settled at $50.

Shortly after, in January 2017, Bowen was permitted to resign from Northwestern Mutual Investment Services LLC (Northwestern Mutual) while under investigation for alleged forgery of customer signatures on documents.

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_102242143-300x169According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Roy Failla (Failla) has been subject to three customer complaints.  Failla is currently employed by First Standard Financial Company LLC (First Standard Financial).  Many of the customer complaints against Failla concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as excessive trading, churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitable investments.

In May 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable and unauthorized trading.  The claim alleges $1,500,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In May 2010 a customer filed a complaint alleging churning, unsuitable trades, and misrepresentations claiming $417,000 in damages.  The complaint was settled for $40,000.

In February 2010 a client filed a complaint alleging unauthorized trading, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and excessive trading and claimed $299,817 in damages.  The claim was settled for $75,000.

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shutterstock_120556300-300x300The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating Morgan Stanley broker Barry Garapedian (Garapedian). According to BrokerCheck Records, Garapedian has been subject to 14 customer disputes, two of which are still pending. The majority of these disputes concern unsuitable investment recommendations.

Most recently, in April 2018, a customer alleged that Garapedian recommended investments that were unsuitable and over-concentrated the customers funds into the investments. The customer also alleged that the account had excessive fees. The customer has requested $713,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In March 2018, another customer similarly alleged that from 2013 to 2015, Garapedian was recommending unsuitable investments that didn’t align with the customer’s needs and goals. This dispute is currently still pending.

In March 2018, a customer alleged that from March 2013 to December 2017, Garapedian was recommending unsuitable investments that didn’t align with the customer’s investment objectives. The customer requested $106,178 in damages.

In March 2008, a customer alleged that Garapedian’s recommendation of Auction Rate Securities (ARS) was unsuitable to the customer’s investment needs and falsely represented. The case was settled at $125,000.

Auction Rate Securities are debt securities sold through a dutch auction at an interest rate that will clear the market at the lowest possible yield in order to ensure that all bidders receive the same yield. Since 2008, most auctions have failed and the market has largely collapsed – leaving many investors with illiquid investments that have long-term maturities. Continue Reading

shutterstock_176198786-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating previously registered broker Laurence Greene (Greene). According to BrokerCheck Records held by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Greene has been subject to two pending customer disputes concerning unsuitable investments.

Most recently, in May 2018, a customer alleged that Greene placed the customer’s funds into risk oil and gas securities which were unsuitable to to the customer’s investment objectives. In addition, the customer alleges churning of the account. This dispute is currently still pending.

In November 2017, a customer alleged that during 2013, Greene placed the customer in unsuitable investments, churned the account, breached fiduciary duty and excessively traded the accounts. The customer has requested $375,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

Our firm handles claims and is also investigating securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendations of oil & gas and commodities products such as exchange traded notes (ETNs), structured notes, private placements, master limited partnerships (MLPs), leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks.

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shutterstock_185582-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor George Puliafico (Puliafico), employed by Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (Raymond James), has been subject to one customer complaint.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Puliafico has been accused by a customer of unsuitable investment advice concerning various investment products including energy stocks most likely including master limited partnerships (MLPs).  The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP continue to report on investor related losses and potential legal remedies due to recommendations to investor in oil and gas and commodities related investments.

The claim was filed in April 2018 and alleges breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, and breach of contract.  The customer claimed $2,000,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.

Our firm handles claims and is also investigating securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendations of oil & gas and commodities products such as exchange traded notes (ETNs), structured notes, private placements, master limited partnerships (MLPs), leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks.

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shutterstock_112866430-300x199According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Alan Siegel (Siegel), currently employed by G.A. Repple & Company (GA Repple) has been subject to four customer complaints, one regulatory complaint, and one criminal matter.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in July 2018 Siegel was subject to a regulatory complaint by the Massachusetts Securities Division alleging that Siegel published false information on his website and failed to update this information for at least seven years.  Siegel drew a $10,000 fine and agreed to submit to heightened supervision.

In July 2018 a customer filed complaint alleging unsuitability, over concentration, and material omissions with respect to a bond purchase and a limited partnership investment in 2007 and a 2015 variable annuity transaction that was not suitable.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_160350752-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Farrukh Kazmi (Kazmi), currently employed by Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. (Berthel Fisher) has been subject to one customer complaint, two terminations for cause, one financial disclosures, and one regulatory complaint.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in August 2018 Kazmi was subject to a regulatory complaint by FINRA alleging a number of securities laws violations.

The FINRA complaint alleged that Kazmi regularly used instant messaging and text messaging to communicate with his member firm’s customers to conduct securities business and ignored Berthel Fisher’s explicit instruction that he discontinue using instant messaging to communicate with his customers. FINRA also claims that Kazmi did not inform his firm that he used text messaging or instant messaging to conduct securities business, nor did he provide copies of these communications to the firm. The complaint further alleges that Kazmi repeatedly made false statements to Berthel Fisher and to FINRA about using instant messaging to conduct securities business.

FINRA is also claiming that Kazmi exercised discretion on hundreds of occasions when placing trades in the accounts of customers, without prior written authorization from the customers or written approval from his firm. FINRA also alleges that Kazmi is falsely denying exercising discretion in customer accounts in statements to both Berthel Fisher and FINRA.

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shutterstock_188631644-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Michael Barnett (Barnett), employed by J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC (JJB Hilliard), has been subject to six customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Barnett has been accused by a customer of unsuitable investment advice concerning various investment products including energy stocks most likely including master limited partnerships (MLPs).  The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP continue to report on investor related losses and potential legal remedies due to recommendations to investor in oil and gas and commodities related investments.

The most recent claim was filed in June 2018 and alleges breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, violation of Kentucky’s blue sky laws, and violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act with respect to an over-concentration and losses in Breitburn Energy (BBEP) and that BBEP was unsuitable.  The claim alleges $42,791.95 in damages and is currently pending.

Our firm handles claims and is also investigating securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendations of oil & gas and commodities products such as exchange traded notes (ETNs), structured notes, private placements, master limited partnerships (MLPs), leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks.

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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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