Articles Tagged with Ameritas Investment

shutterstock_143179897-300x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Kristian Gaudet (Gaudet), formerly associated with Ameritas Investment Corp. (Ameritas) in Cut Off, Louisiana has been terminated by the firm for using client funds for personal use.  Thereafter, in January 2019, Gaudet consented to the sanction and findings that he refused to appear for and provide FINRA on-the-record testimony concerning the internal investigation by Ameritas that Gaudet was found to have utilized client funds for personal use. Accordingly, Gaudet was barred by FINRA from the securities industry.

According to newsources, Gaudet arrested for stealing nearly $1 million from his clients.  Gaudet was a former vice president of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and owner of Kris Gaudet Insurance and Financial Services.  Authorities received a complaint form a couple that found issues with a $350,000 investment made to “Winston Financial” in 2012.  Authorities claim that the money was used for purposes other than the investment purposes for which it was intended.  Authorities also accused Gaudet of using funds received in May from another couple to buy a home in Larose.  Gaudet has been accused of frequently using money he received from investors for personal gain including using money clients paid for insurance to buy real estate.

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shutterstock_176283941The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has sanctioned broker Douglas Cmelik(Cmelik) concerning allegations that Cmelik improperly marked order tickets for penny stock purchases as “unsolicited” when the purchases were solicited. Cmelik’s conduct allegedly violated NASD Conduct Rule 3110 and FINRA Rule 2010.

Penny stocks are securities that carry significant investment risks. A “penny stock” is defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a security issued by a company with less than $100 million in market capitalization. Penny stocks are also often called “low-priced securities” because they typically trade at less than $5 per share. Many penny stocks are very thinly traded and consequently liquidity for the stock can vary day-to-day.

Penny stocks are typically not suitable for many retail investors and consequently many firms prohibit their advisors from soliciting investments in these issuers. First, penny stocks may trade infrequently or very thinly making it difficult to liquidate a penny stock holding. Consequently, penny stocks often fluctuate wildly day-to-day. Penny stocks are often the target of unscrupulous individuals for fraudulent purposes. One scheme employed is the “pump and dump” scheme. In a pump and dump scheme, an unfounded hype for a penny stock the pumper already owns is created to boost the stock price temporarily. The penny stock pumper then sells their shares for a profit causing intense downward pressure on the penny stock and the security quickly loses value. The defrauded investors suffer huge losses as a result of the scheme.