Articles Tagged with National Planning Corporation

shutterstock_182004416-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor David Volpe (Volpe) engaged in private securities transactions and borrowed customer funds that were not approved by his brokerage firm.  Volpe, formerly registered with First Financial Equity Corporation (First Financial) and LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial) was subject to an investigation by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) over these allegations.  In addition, Volpe disclosed one bankruptcy filing, and two employment terminations for cause.

In August 2019 FINRA alleged that Volpe consented to the sanctions resulting in a bar from the industry and to the entry of findings that Volpe refused to produce information and documents requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into whether he engaged in a private securities transaction or borrowed funds from a customer.

In April 2019 Volpe was discharged by First Financial after the firm claimed that Volpe failed to notify firm of private securities transaction involvement and violation of firm policy regarding borrowing funds from a client.

In December 2018 Volpe was discharged by LPL Financial after the firm claimed that Volpe violated the firm’s private securities transactions policy for involvement in capital raising efforts without prior disclosure.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_171721244Our investment attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Kenneth Saunders (Saunders) currently associated with National Planning Corporation (NPC) alleging unsuitable investments among other claims.  According to brokercheck records Saunders has been subject to six customer complaints.  Some of the complaints involve direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other alternative investments.

Saunders has also disclosed a number outside business activities including his d/b/a Saunders Investment & Tax Advisory Group, Inc., Heron Bay Association, and Parke Place HOA.  The most recent customer complaint was filed in March 2016 and alleged that Saunders recommended unsuitable alternative investments causing $150,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

Our firm has represented many clients wo have invested in Direct Participation Products and REITS.  Many of these types of investments come with high costs and have historically underperformed various benchmarks.  For example, according to FINRA, products like REITs, and DPPs are only appropriate for a narrow band of investors under certain conditions due to the high costs, illiquidity, and huge redemption charges of the products, if they can be redeemed at all.  Further, investors often fail to understand that they have lost money in these illiquid investments until many years after investing. 

shutterstock_186471755According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Stephen Kipp (Kipp) has been the subject of at least 6 customer complaints, 1 regulatory action, and 1 employment termination. Customers have filed complaints against Kipp alleging securities law violations including, unsuitable investments, securities fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims. The employment termination was from National Planning Corporation (NPC) in August 2010 where the firm terminated Kipp alleging that the representative was permitted to resign under allegations that the he authorized his assistant to sign his name on firm related documents.

The regulatory actions brought against Kipp by FINRA alleged that when Kipp was employed by NPC permitted Julie Pritchard (Pritchard), who was also registered with NPC, to affix his signature to approximately 160 documents that were business records of NPC. FINRA found that NPC was not informed that Pritchard had placed Kipp’s signature on the records and therefore maintained these falsified documents. FINRA also found that from January 30, 2003 through June 10, 2010 Pritchard falsified the signatures of two brokers of NPC on approximately 293 total documents without disclosing that she had signed the documents instead of the brokers.

Kipp entered the securities industry in 1984. From January 2000, till August 2010, Kipp was associated with NPC. Thereafter since August 2010, Kipp has been associated with NFB Financial Group, LLC out of the firm’s Ventura, California office location.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctioned broker Matthew Westfall (Westfall) concerning allegations that from June 2011, through December 2012, while associated with the National Planning Corporation (National Planning), Westfall engaged in business activities outside the scope of his employment with the Firm.  FINRA found that Westfall solicited 18 customers to purchase lraqi Dinar currency as an investment without firm approval to engage in this outside business activity. In addition, FINRA found that National Planning had internal guidelines that limited the amount customers were permitted to invest in illiquid investments, such as non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).  According to FINRA, Westfall submitted falsified documents that exaggerated the net worth for customers permitting investments in amounts that National Planning would have otherwise prohibited.

Westfall entered the securities industry in 1983. From 2003 until August 2010, Westfall was associated with Securities America, Inc.  From September 2010 to December 2012, Westfall was associated with National Planning.  Thereafter, in May 2013, Westfall became associated with Primex

FINRA found that Westfall engaged in an undisclosed outside business activity of selling Dinars to 18 National Planning customers.  FINRA alleged that the 18 firm customers purchased $87,954 in Dinars through Wcstfall through a personal account that he had with an online company that sold Dinars.  For these sales, Westfall received approximately $8,344 in compensation.