Articles Tagged with Aegis Capital

shutterstock_185582-300x225According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Kenneth Jones (Jones), in May 2017, was terminated by his firm, Aegis Capital Corp. (Aeigs Capital) based on allegations that Jones was under investigation for failure to disclose outside business activities.  Subsequently, Jones was barred from the industry by FINRA after FINRA requested documents and information and he failed to provide the FINRA requested documents and information.  FINRA sought documents concerning the circumstances surrounding Jones’s termination from his member firm and of certain municipal bond trades that Jones performed while registered with the firm.

At this time it is unclear the extent and scope of Jones’ outside business activities or if they involve private securities transactions.  Jones’ CRD lists that he is engaged in insurance an outside business activity at the Mather Christian Church.  Often times undisclosed outside business activities can lead to private securities transactions.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.

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shutterstock_70999552-300x200The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating claims against Aegis Capital broker, Paul Falcon (Falcon). Falcon allegedly recommended unsuitable investments, executed unauthorized trades, made excessive transactions and recommended investments that performed properly.

According to BrokerCheck records, Falcon has received four customer complaints and one pending customer complaint.

In April 2017, a customer alleged Falcon recommended unsuitable investments, executed unauthorized trades, made excessive transactions and recommended investments that performed poorly. The customer is seeking $190,000 in damages and the complaint is still pending.

In 2001, a customer alleged Falcon failed to follow the customer’s instructions. The complaint settled for $2,000.

In 1999 a customer alleged, while employed at Citicorp Investment Services, Falcon failed to fully explain an investment. The complaint settled for $15,000.

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shutterstock_184430612-300x225According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Frank Giacalone (Giacalone) has been subject to two customer complaints.  Giacalone is currently registered with Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis).  In June 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging a number of securities law violations including that the broker made engaged in churning (excessive trading), unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.  The claim alleged $128,319 in damages and was settled.

In June 2015, another customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investment recommendations and claiming $107,969 in damages.  The claim was settled.

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_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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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