Articles Tagged with Aegis Capital

shutterstock_103610648-300x212The investment fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are examining multiple customer disputes filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker David Silberg (Silberg). According to BrokerCheck, Silberg has a multitude of disclosures concerning: churning, excessive trading, unauthorized trading, unsuitability, and breach of fiduciary duty. His BrokerCheck records also show 2 disclosures concerning an employment separation after allegations.

The most recent customer complaint filed against Silberg occured in August 2016. The customer alleged that Silberg made unsuitable recommendations to the client’s account. Additionally, the broker allegedly misrepresented and omitted material facts regarding an investment in a corporate debt security. The alleged damages were worth $100,000 and the case was settled for $29,750.00.

In November 2009, another customer complaint was filed against Silberg alleging that during his employment at Gunnallen Financial, the broker failed to supervise, engaged in unauthorized trading, and made unsuitable investments to their account. The alleged damages were worth $375,000 and the case was settled for $50,000.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_173864537-300x200The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the allegations made by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) resulting in a bar of broker Norman Ferra Jr. (Ferra) who was previously registered with International Assets Advisory, LLC working out of the Tampa, Florida office.  Ferra has 20 years of experience in the securities industry and three disclosures on his record.

In March 2017, Ferra was barred after he consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to respond to letters requesting that he produce documents and information in connection with an investigation regarding undisclosed outside business activities and private securities transactions.  No other disclosure concerning the extent and nature of the activity is disclosed.

However, Ferra has disclosed several outside business activities including his d/b/a Rockport Global Advisors.  Ferra has also disclosed entities including EG Advisory LLC  It is unclear at this time what entities Ferra’s outside business activities that were the subject of the FINRA bar involve.

The providing of loans, selling of promissory notes, or recommending investments outside of the firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_27786601The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Larry Wolfe (Wolfe). According to BrokerCheck records, Reda has been subject to nine disclosures including eight customer complaints and one employment termination for cause. The customer complaints against Wolfe allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, fraud, unauthorized trading, and omissions of material information among other claims.

In December 2015, brokerage firm Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc. (Herbert J. Sims) terminated Wolfe for cause alleging that the broker exercised discretion, in a non-discretionary account, in making trades for an account without speaking with client before trades in violation of firm policies among other causes for the broker’s termination.

The most recent customer complaint was filed In May 2016 claims $1,500,000 in damages and alleges seriously-egregious broker and broker/dealer misconduct upon the client including unauthorized trading, unsuitable investment recommendations, fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions of material information, violation H.J Sims policies and procedures.

Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client.  In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements.  First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors.  Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_12144202The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints against broker Nicholas Tsikitas (Tsikitas).  According to BrokerCheck records Tsikitas has been subject to at least five customer complaints and three regulatory sanctions. The customer complaints against Tsikitas allege securities law violations that including unsuitable investments, churning, overconcentration of investments, negligence, and failure to supervise among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in October 2014, and alleged $851,988 in damages due to claims that the broker, from 2008 through 2010 made unsuitable investments and recommendations to the client.

In 2011 the State of Connecticut censured Nicholas Tsikitas following allegations he caused the filing of certain documents “that were materially false or misleading.”

Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client.  In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements.  First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors.  Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_85873471The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints against broker Cory Bataan (Bataan).  There are at least four customer complaints against Bataan and one employment termination for cause.  The customer complaints against Bataan allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker engaged in churning, unauthorized trading, unsuitable trades, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentations among other claims.  In addition, in August 2012, Empire Asset Management terminated Bataan alleging that their were violations of the firms policies and procedures.

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.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_184430498The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints against broker Barry Jin (Jin).  There are at least three customer complaints against Jin.  The customer complaints against Jin allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unauthorized trading among other claims.

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.

One of the firm’s Jin was registered with, Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis), has been identified as brokerage firm that employs troublesome brokers.  According to a recent study conducted by the Securities Litigation and Consulting Group entitled “How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct?” the incidents of investor harm at Aegis is extraordinarily high.  The study ranked Aegis as the worst brokerage firm finding that brokers at the firm had over a 35% misconduct rate.  The study stated that investors should stay away from Aegis “Given their coworkers’ disclosure record as of 2014, 83.7% of the brokers at these six firms would be in the highest risk quintile as defined in the FINRA study and should be avoided by investors. The BrokerCheck reports for most of the brokers at these six firms should prominently display a skull and crossbones warning.”

Continue Reading

shutterstock_27597505The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Shadi “Sean” Barakat (Barakat).  According to BrokerCheck records Barakat has been the subject of at least two customer complaints and two judgements or liens.  The customer complaints against Barakat allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, misrepresentations, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

One complaint filed in June 2013 alleged $500,000 in damages due to unsuitable recommendations and churning.  The complaint was settled.  Barakat has disclosed several large tax liens including a $1,758 lien in April 2015 and a tax lien of $14,331 in May 2014.  Substantial judgements and liens on a broker’s record can reveal a financial incentive for the broker to recommend high commission products or services.  A broker’s inability to handle their personal finances has also been found to be relevant in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.

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.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_123758422The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Gregg Templeton (Templeton). According to BrokerCheck records Templeton is subject to six customer complaints and one employment separation. The recent customer complaints against Templeton allege securities law violations that including misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent supervision among other claims.   The claims appear to largely relate to allegations regarding promissory notes and penny stocks.

The most recent complaint filed in January 2016 alleges that between December 2013 and May 2015 the customer claims to have been defrauded out of $6,750,000 through misrepresentations in what appear to be penny stocks while Templeton was associated with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (Oppenheimer) out of the firm’s New York, New York office location. The dispute is currently pending.

Our firm has represented many clients in who have suffered losses due to inappropriate penny stock trading and manipulation claims. Penny stocks and low priced securities are favorite targets for investment fraud because they are easily manipulated and allow schemers to profit from their victims investments.

Templeton entered the securities industry in 1993. From January 2007 until August 2015, Templeton was associated with Oppenheimer. Thereafter, from September 2015 until January 2016, Templeton was associated with FSC Securities. Then, from January 2016 until March 2016, Templeton was associated with Aegis Capital Corp.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_85873471The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Bruce Stark (Stark). According to BrokerCheck records Stark has been the subject of at least three customer complaints and one judgement or lien. The customer complaints against Stark allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in August 2015 and alleged that the customer’s account was traded without authority, unsuitable, and churned causing $534,150 in damages. The complaint is currently pending. In addition, in March 2009 a tax lien of $37,875 was filed. Substantial judgements and liens on a broker’s record can reveal a financial incentive for the broker to recommend high commission products or services. A broker’s inability to handle their personal finances has also been found to be relevant in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.

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.

Continue Reading