Articles Tagged with Network 1 Financial Securities

shutterstock_76197331-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Wesley Clinton (Clinton), currently employed by Network 1 Financial Securities Inc. (Network 1 Financial) has been subject to eight customer complaints during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaints against Clinton concern allegations of unsuitable investments among other allegations.

In August 2018 a customer complained that Clinton recommended investments that violated the securities laws including unsuitable investments and failure to supervise.  The customer alleged $145,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In January 2017 a customer complained that Clinton recommended unsuitable investments leading to $50,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In June 2015 a customer complained that Clinton recommended unsuitable investments and engaged in fraud and churning leading to $250,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $30,000.

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shutterstock_38114566Investment attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against David Lerner (Lerner) currently associated with Network 1 Financial Securities Inc. (Network 1) alleging unsuitable investments and failure to follow instructions among other claims.  According to brokercheck records Lerner has been subject to 10 customer complaints, one regulatory sanction, one employment separation for cause, and three judgments/liens.

In July 2015, Lerner received a tax lien in the amount of $16,388.  Earlier in April 2015 Lerner was subject to another tax lien of $81,986.  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.

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_20354401The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker James Bernthal (Bernthal). According to BrokerCheck records there are at least 4 customer complaints against Bernthal and 1 judgments or liens. The customer complaints against Bernthal allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, excessive trading, and unauthorized trading, among other claims.

According to the disclosures, the most recent customer complaint against Bernthal was filed in February 2013 and alleged $100,000 in damages due to unsuitable trades and excessive transactions. The case was resolved for $50,000.

As a background, 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_103681238The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brought and enforcement action (FINRA No. 2015045289901) against broker Jeffrey Snyder (Snyder) resulting a permanent bar from the securities industry. In addition, according to the BrokerCheck records kept by FINRA, Snyder has been the subject of at least 6 customer complaints, and 1 regulatory event. The customer complaints against Snyder allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, engaged in churning (excessive trading), misrepresentations, negligence, fraud, and unauthorized trading other claims.

FINRA’s findings stated that although Snyder appeared for an on-the-record interview, he refused to respond to certain questions concerning allegations that he paid a customer compensation for investment losses without the knowledge or authorization of his member firm. Snyder’s refusal resulted in an automatic bar.

An examination of Snyder’s employment history reveals that Snyder moves from troubled firm to troubled firm. The pattern of brokers moving in this way is sometimes called “cockroaching” within the industry. See More Than 5,000 Stockbrokers From Expelled Firms Still Selling Securities, The Wall Street Journal, (Oct. 4, 2013). In Snyder’s 12 year career he has worked at 6 different firms. Snyder entered the securities industry in 2003. From February 2006, through June 2008, Snyder was associated with New Castle Financial Services LLC. Thereafter from June 2008 until August 2008, Snyder was a registered representative of The Concord Equity Group, LLC. From August 2008, until April 2012, Snyder was registered with Spartan Capital Securities, LLC. From April 2012 until April 2015, Snyder was associated with Rockwell Global Capital LLC. Finally, in March 2015, Snyder was registered with Network 1 Financial Securities Inc. until September 2015 out of the firm’s Danbury, Connecticut office location.

shutterstock_128655458According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Patrick Teutonico (Teutonico) has been the subject of at least nine customer complaints and one regulatory action over the course of his career. Customers have filed complaints against Persaud alleging a litany of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trades, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, negligent supervision, excessive mark ups, and fraud among other claims. In addition to customer complaints, Teutonico was also subject to a regulatory action by FINRA where the regulator found that Teutonico effected unauthorized trades and was fined and suspended.

An examination of Teutonico’s employment history reveals that Teutonico moves from troubled firm to troubled firm. The pattern of brokers moving in this way is sometimes called “cockroaching” within the industry. See More Than 5,000 Stockbrokers From Expelled Firms Still Selling Securities, The Wall Street Journal, (Oct. 4, 2013). In Teutonico’s 17 year career he has worked at 10 different firms. Since 2008 Teutonico has been registered with First Midwest Securities, Inc., A&F Financial Securities, Inc. QA3 Financial Corp., Obsidian Financial Group, LLC. Since December 2012, Teutonico has been associated with Network 1 Financial Securities Inc. located in Lynbrook, New York.

Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading. Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. The broker must first discuss all 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.