Articles Tagged with National Securities

shutterstock_175137287-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Michael Bastardi (Bastardi) has been subject to at least two customer complaints, one regulatory action, and one tax or lien judgment during his career.  Bastardi was formerly employed by Chelsea Financial Services (Chelsea Financial) and National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  The majority of the customer complaints against Bastardi concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning.

In May 2019 Bastardi consented sanctions and an industry bar from FINRA due to the findings that he refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into the allegations disclosed on a termination statement.  FINRA found that the termination disclosure stated that Bastardi was the subject of a customer complaint alleging that he had engaged in unsuitable margin trading, unauthorized trading, fraud and forgery when he was registered through two member firms, resulting in damages of approximately $250,000.

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shutterstock_20354398-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Gabriel Block (Block) has been subject to at least 12 customer complaints and five regulatory actions during his career.  Block is currently barred from the industry but was formerly employed by First Standard Financial Company LLC (First Standard Financial) and National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  The majority of the customer complaints against Block concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning.

In May 2019 the New Jersey Bureau of Securities revoked Block’s license in his home state of New Jersey finding that Block engaged in dishonest or unethical business practices in the securities business. The state went on to find that Block engaged in a device, scheme, or artifice to defraud.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Block violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable and excessive trading causing $2,000,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

In March 2019 a customer complained that Block violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable trading. The claim is currently pending.

In February 2019 a customer complained that Block violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor engaged in unsuitable and unauthorized trading causing $668,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_152933045-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Mohamed Yassin (Yassin) has been subject to at least two customer complaints, one employment termination for cause, and two regulatory matters during his career.  Yassin is formerly employed by Morgan Stanley and National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  The customer complaints against Yassin concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as excessive trading or churning.

In October 2018 FINRA alleged that Yassin failed to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request to provide information concerning the status of compliance which triggered an industry bar and suspension.

In June 2017, Morgan Stanley discharged Yassin claiming that he failed to verbally confirm transactions prior to execution in clients’ accounts.

In April 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Yassin violated the securities laws including excessive trading from 2012 until 2016 causing $2 million in damages.  The claim settled for $602,717.

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shutterstock_34872913-300x209According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Ronald Rothchild (Rothchild), currently employed by National Securities Corporation (National Securities) has been subject to at least four customer complaint, two financial disclosures, and an employment termination for cause.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Rothchild’s customer complaints allege that Rothchild made was negligent, breached his fiduciary duty, made unsuitable investments, and made misrepresentations.

In July 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Rothchild violated the securities laws including negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and unsuitable investments causing $100,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In March 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Rothchild violated the securities laws including that investments were misrepresented to her and were unsuitable based on her investment objectives and risk tolerance which were also incorrectly stated on new account paperwork.  The claim is currently settled.

In December 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Rothchild violated the securities laws including negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentations causing $170,000 in damages.  The claim is settled for $48,000.

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shutterstock_20354401-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Robert Abramowitz (Abramowitz), currently employed by National Securities Corporation (National Securities) has been subject to at least three customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Abramowitz’s customer complaints allege that Abramowitz made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of investments including equities including energy related stocks.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Abramowitz violated the securities laws by engaging in unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence.  The customer alleges $100,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.

In March 2018 a customer complained that Abramowitz violated the securities laws by engaging in conduct alleges investments were misrepresented to her and were unsuitable based on her investment objectives. The customer also alleged that her investment objectives and risk tolerance were incorrectly stated on new account paperwork. The customer alleges $149,236 in damages.  The claim was settled for $75,000.

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shutterstock_120556300-300x300According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Thomas Kelly (Kelly), currently employed by Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis) has been subject to an astonishing 19 customer complaints during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaints against Kelly concern allegations of unsuitable investments and allegations of unauthorized trading, misrepresentations and negligence mostly in equity products.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Kelly recommended investments that violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence.  The customer alleges $500,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.

In October 2018 a customer complained that Kelly recommended investments that violated the securities laws including misrepresentations, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty. The customer claimed $230,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In August 2018 a customer complained that Kelly recommended investments that violated the securities laws including unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty. The customer claimed $750,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_26813263-300x199According to BrokerCheck records former financial advisor Thomas Kelley (Kelley), currently employed by Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis) has been subject to an astonishing 19 customer complaints in his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Kelley concern allegations of unsuitable investments.

In November 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Kelley engaged in unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty causing $500,000 in damages.  The complaint is currently pending

In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Kelley engaged in misrepresentations, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty causing $230,000 in damages.  The complaint is currently pending.

In August 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Kelley engaged in unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations, and breach of fiduciary duty causing $750,000 in damages.  The complaint is currently pending.

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shutterstock_97819226The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating a customer complaint filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Robert Rotunno (Rotunno).  According to BrokerCheck records Rotunno has been subject to at least six customer complaints.  The customer complaints against Rotunno allege securities law violations that including unsuitable investments, churning, and excessive trading among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in July 2016 alleging $80,000 in damage stemming from churning and unsuitable investments.  The complaint settled for $20,000.

Rotunno is currently associated with National Securities Corporation (National Securities), a firm recently featured in a study ranking brokerage firms by incidents of misconduct.  According to a 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_184430498The securities fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Sean McCabe (McCabe).  According to BrokerCheck records McCabe has been the subject of at least four customer complaints.  The customer complaints against McCabe allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in March 2016 and alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, misrepresentation, and negligence causing $550,000 in damages.  The complaint is currently pending.  Also in March 2016 another investor filed a similar complaint and alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, misrepresentation, and negligence causing $150,000 in damages.  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.

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.