Articles Tagged with American Capital Partners

shutterstock_177082523-243x300The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have reviewed BrokerCheck records reports that broker Erik Drewes (Drewes), currently employed by American Capital Partners LLC, has been subject to at least three customer complaints during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Drewes’s customer complaints allege that he participated in churning and failed to perform adequate due diligence on REIT investments.  However, these complaints have been expunged from Drewes’ record under FINRA’s notoriously flawed expungement procedures.  The expunged complaints are as follows:

In April 2020, a customer complained that Drewes violated securities laws by alleging that Drewes failed to do adequate due diligence on a REIT before investing in it. The claim settled in the amount of $14,900.

In November 2014, a customer complained that Drewes violated securities laws by alleging Drewes engaged in unsuitable investment advice and churning. The claim settled in the amount of $110,000.

In April 2008, a customer complained that Drewes violated securities laws by alleging Drewes failed to supervise in relation to unauthorized and excessive trading. The claim settled in the amount of $12,795.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_20354398-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Anthony Vultaggio, Jr. (Vultaggio), in September 2017, was accused by FINRA of failing to cooperate in an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Vultaggio alleged sale of undisclosed securities through an undisclosed outside business.  Vultaggio is formerly associated with American Capital Partners, LLC (American Capital).  According to the FINRA action, Vultaggio was barred by the regulator after the broker failed to respond to requests for documents and information during the investigation.

At this time the extent of Vultaggio’s outside business activities and securities sales are unknown.  The only public disclosure on Vultaggio’s BrokerCheck contains is Vultaggio’s investments in commercial and residential real estate.

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”.

shutterstock_174922268According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Donald Fowler (Fowler) has been the subject of at least 10 customer complaints. The customer complaints against Fowler allege securities law violations that claim churning and excessive trading, unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, unauthorized trading, fraud, overconcentration, purchasing securities on margin, and misrepresentations among other claims.   At least three of the complaints have been filed in 2015 alone. One complaint alleged that Fowler caused $419,372 in damages.

Fowler entered the securities industry in 2005. From September 2005 until February 2007, Fowler was associated with American Capital Partners, LLC. From January 2007, until November 2014, Fowler was associated with J.D. Nicholas & Associated, Inc. Since November 2014, Fowler has been associated with Worden Capital Management LLC out of the firm’s Garden City, New York office location.

Churning is investment trading activity in the client’s account that serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is transacted solely to profit the broker. The elements to establish a churning claim, which is considered a species of securities fraud, 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.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has permanently barred broker Mark Christopher Hotton (Hotton) alleging that the broker engaged in numerous and repeated frauds including forgery, falsification of documents, conversion, misuse of funds, manipulating account records, churning, unauthorized trading, false testimony, and providing false information and documents to FINRA.

FINRA alleged that starting from at least 2006, Hotton engaged in numerous fraudulent investment schemes to steal at least $5,932,000 from his brokerage customers.  FINRA admitted that due to the complexity of the fraud that it had not been able to track down Hotton’s entire use and receipt of ill-gotten funds.  According to FINRA, Hotton converted funds from his customers by using his control over the bank accounts of various corporate entities to divert funds that his customers believed were being invested in legitimate businesses.

Fom November 2002 until November 2005, Hotton was associated with Ladenburg, Thalmann & Co., Inc., From November 2005 until February 2009, Hotton was associated with Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. (Oppenheimer).  While at Oppenheimer, Hotton focused on clients with an average net worth of between $1,000,000 and $20,000,000.  Thereafter, Hotton was a registered representative of American Capital Partners, LLC until August 2010.  From September 2010 until March 2012, Hotton was associated with Alexander Capital, L.P.  Finally, from February 2012 until May 2012, Hutton was associated with Obsidian Financial Group, LLC.  Obsidian terminated Hotton’s registration on May 31, 2012.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently entered a default decision against George Alexander Kardaras (Kardaras) and Brian Matt Borakowski (Borakowski) after having alleged that the two brokers perpetrated a Ponzi scheme.  FINRA found that the two solicited at least 12 customers over four years to invest more than $665,000 in total in Echo Canyon promissory notes.  The notes bore interest rates between 14 to 56 percent and had quarterly, semiannual, and annual maturity dates.

Kardas’ and Borakowski’s scheme involved soliciting customers to purchase promissory notes in Echo Canyon LLC, a limited liability company in Arizona.  Kardas and Borakowski told investors that their investment would be used to purchase used vehicles in U.S. auto auctions and shipped to Russia for re-sale.  FINRA determined that Kardaras and Borakowski never intended to use the customer funds as represented.  Instead, only two automobiles for EchoCanyon in or around late 2007 or early 2008 were actually purchased.

FINRA found that 95 percent of the funds raised, approximately $634,000 were used by the two brokers in order to pay personal expenses, to cover expenses at their employer firms’ branch office businesses, and to make payments to earlier investors in furtherance of the Ponzi scheme.

Contact Information