Articles Tagged with Invest Financial Corporation

shutterstock_176351714-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Judith Bufis (Bufis), formerly associated with Kovack Securities Inc. (Kovack Securities) in East Brunswick, New Jersey has been accused by FINRA over private securities transactions.

In October 2018 Bufis consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with potential private securities transactions.  In so doing she accepted a bar from the securities industry.

At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged outside business activities (OBAs) and private securities transactions.  Bufis public disclosures state that she engaged in the sale of insurance and annuities but discloses not other activities.

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shutterstock_103476707Our firm is investigating claims made by Castleview Partners, LLC (Castleview Partners) when the firm terminated broker Ralph Fetrow (Fetrow).  According to the firm, Fetrow was discharged in September 2016 after allegation were made that Fetrow violated firm policies and was under investigation for possible violations of firm policies and procedures prohibiting trading away and outside business activities.

According to Fetrow’s brokercheck records Fetrow disclosed outside business activities including Painted Hill Farms, Financial Planning Association, Shippensburg University, RAMS 88 Inc, and Ralph Fetrow Consulting.  At this time it is unclear whether the allegations stem from one of these disclosed entities or another business practice.  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”.  Often times brokers who engage in this practice use outside businesses in order to market their securities.

Fetrow entered the securities industry in 1999.  From October 2008 through December 2015 Fetrow was associated with Invest Financial Corporation.  Since February 2016, Fetrow has been registered with Kovack Securities Inc. out of the firm’s Lemoyne, Pennsylvania office location.

shutterstock_186555158According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Garyn Angel (Angel) has been sanctioned by the regulator in connection with allegations that Angel participated in two private securities transactions without providing prior written notice to his employing member firm, a practice referred to in the industry as selling away. FINRA also alleged that Angel settled a customer complaint without notifying his firm. In addition to FINRA’s claims Angel has been the subject of at least three customer complaints. The customer complaints against Angel allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, negligence, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims. Many of the customer complaints against Angel involve allegations relating to certain non-traded real estate investment trusts (Non-Traded REITs). Those Non-Traded REITs include Wells REIT and Inland American REIT.

From February 1999 through March 31, 2009, Angel was registered with FINRA and associated with brokerage firm Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (Transamerica). Thereafter, Angel became associated with Invest Financial Corporation (Invest) through February 2013.

FINRA alleged that in December 2008, Angel recommended that a Transamerica customer purchase shares of Baron Energy, Inc. (Baron Energy), a pink-sheet traded penny stock that was trading at approximately $.50 per share. After making the recommendation, FINRA found that Angel put the customer in contact with a specific individual at Baron Energy and the client purchased 168,000 shares of Baron Energy for $84,000. According to FINRA, Angel did not provide written notice to Transamerica of his participation in the client’s purchase of Baron Energy.