Articles Tagged with JP Turner

shutterstock_112866430-300x199According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Ricky Mantei (Mantei), currently employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus Financial) has been subject to eight customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Mantei’s customer complaints allege that Mantei made unsuitable recommendations in certain corporate debt or other securities.

In November 2018 a customer alleged that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations. The complaint alleges $100,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that their investments were unsuitable based on their investment objectives.  The claim alleges $233,238,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In May 2018 the beneficiaries of a deceased customer allege that the Mantei recommended the client make unsuitable investments.  The claim alleges $100,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_71240-300x183According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Cindy Chiellini (Chiellini), currently employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus Financial) has been subject to four customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Chiellini’s customer complaints allege that Barber made unsuitable recommendations in certain corporate debt or other securities.

In August 2018 a customer alleged that investments in their account had less liquidity than they originally instructed the broker they desired resulting in a loss of principal.  The complaint alleges $175,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In June 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that investments presented and executed by the broker were not suitable.  The claim alleges $5,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_180968000-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor James and Lorraine Conaway (Conaway), formerly associated with USA Financial Securities Corporation (USA Financial) in Tustin, California was terminated by his firm concerning allegations of failure to comply with firm advertising and outside business activity (OBA) procedures, participating in financial transactions with securities clients, and failure to fully cooperate with a firm investigation.

In May 2018 FINRA sanctioned the Conaways and provided more details in their private securities transactions.  FINRA alleged that Conaway failed to timely and completely disclose the scope of his real estate related outside business activities in referring clients to Tycon Properties among other business relationships.  FINRA found that the Conaways established Tycon Properties to refer clients to investments in rental real estate properties.  FINRA found that Conaway began a business relationship with a vendor of distressed rental properties in St. Louis, Missouri which was controlled by an individual who had pleaded guilty to unrelated federal charges for submitting false loan applications to banks and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.  FINRA determined that Conaway’s company received over $450,000 in referral fees from the individual’s vendor company and referred more than 35 investors who contracted to purchase one or more rental properties.

At this time it is unclear the extent of Conaways outside business activities or private securities transactions.  However, Conaway disclosed a number of outside business activities including that he operates his securities business through a d/b/a C&C Wealth Advisory Group. Other OBAs include Lorcon Inc., Brancor Properties, LLC, and American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.

shutterstock_172034843-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating a customer complaint filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Daniel Kiefer (Kiefer). According to BrokerCheck records Kiefer has been subject to at least three customer complaints and one employment separations for cause. The customer complaints allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in August 2013, and alleged $1,090,718 in damages due to claims that the Kiefer, while employed at J.P Turner & Company, made unsuitable investment recommendations to the client and breached his fiduciary duty. The complaint settled in 2014 for $700,000. In October 2004, another customer filed a complaint alleging that the broker while employed at Grayson Financial, made unauthorized trades in clients account causing $25,000.00 in damages. The complaint settled in 2007 for $4,500.

Brokers have a responsibility to 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.  Advisors are also 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.

shutterstock_180341738Our investment attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Michael DiGaetano (DiGaetano) currently associated with Independent Financial Group, LLC (Independent Financial) alleging unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, fraud, negligence, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.  According to brokercheck records DiGaetano has been subject to three customer complaints and one regulatory sanction.

In May 2012 FINRA sanctioned DiGaetano alleging that as a supervisor he failed in responsibilities by not taking reasonable action to prevent another broker from committing securities fraud.  (FINRA No. 2009019209202) As part of the claim, FINRA alleged that DiGaetano failed to even contact customers who were subject to fraudulent mutual fund switches and never questioned the broker involved even though the trades were marked as unsolicited.

Brokers in the financial industry have the fundamental responsibility to treat investors fairly.  This obligation includes making only suitable investments for their client.  The suitable analysis has certain requirements that must be met before the recommendation is made.  First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation for the investment based upon the broker’s and the firm’s investigation and due diligence.  Common due diligence looks into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, the issuer, the likelihood of success or failure of the investment, and other relevant factors.  Second, if there is a reasonable basis to recommend the product to investors the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives.  These factors include the client’s age, investment experience, retirement status, long or short term goals, tax status, or any other relevant factor.

shutterstock_27597505The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Matthew Silato (Silato).  According to BrokerCheck records there are at least six customer complaints, two financial disclosures, and one criminal matter involving Silato.  The most recent customer complaints against Silato allege a number of securities law violations including breach of fiduciary duty and suitability among other claims.  The most recent claim alleging $250,627 filed in June 2016 is currently pending.  In December 2015, a customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investments and claiming $522,941 in damages.  That case is currently pending.

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.

The number of customer complaints against Silato is high relative to his peers.  According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records.  Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints.  In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters.  However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck.  More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

shutterstock_93851422The investment lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating the regulatory action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Christopher Burtraw (Burtraw) working out of Lakewood, Colorado alleging that the broker borrowed client funds.  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”.  According to the FINRA regulatory action (FINRA No. 20150472061-01) Burtraw consented sanctions in the form of a permanent bar because he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA during the course their investigation into allegations that he borrowed funds from multiple customers.

At this time it unclear the nature and scope of Burtraw’s outside business activities and private securities transactions.  However, according to Burtraw’s public records his outside business activities includes Pacific Life Prestige Wealth Management Group.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

Burtraw entered the securities industry in 2003.  From September 2004 until November 2009, Burtraw was associated with LPL Financial Corporation.  From November 2009 until November 2014, Burtraw was associated with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments.  Finally, from November 2014 until October 2015, Burtraw was associated with J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (JP Turner).

shutterstock_183525503The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against National Securities Corporation (National Securities) broker Daniel Alcide (Alcide).  According to BrokerCheck records Alcide has been subject to at least three customer complaints and two financial disclosures including a bankruptcy.  The customer complaints against Alcide alleges securities law violations that including unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and fraud among other claims.

In December 2015 a customer filed a complaint alleging $150,000 in damage stemming from a fraudulent private placement.  The complaint was denied.  In addition, in 2011 Alcide filed for bankruptcy.  Such disclosures 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.

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 National Securities is extraordinarily high.  The study ranked National Securities as the third worst brokerage firm finding that brokers at the firm had over a 31% misconduct rate.  The study stated that investors should stay away from National Securities “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.”

shutterstock_113632177The securities fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker John Prinzivalli (Prinzivalli).  According to BrokerCheck records Prinzivalli has been the subject of at least two customer complaints, three financial disclosures, and one judgement or lien.  The customer complaints against Prinzivalli allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

One complaint filed in October 2014 alleged $130,000 in damages due to unsuitable recommendations, high pressure sales tactics, and churning.  The complaint is currently pending.  Another complaint was filed in November 2010 alleging churning and unsuitable investments claiming $250,000 in damages.  The complaint 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.

shutterstock_132704474The securities fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Michael Androulakis (Androulakis).  According to BrokerCheck records Androulakis has been the subject of at least three customer complaints.  The customer complaints against Androulakis allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

One complaint filed in April 2015 alleged $134,350 in damages due to unsuitable recommendations and churning.  The complaint is currently pending.

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.