Articles Tagged with Paulson Investment Company

shutterstock_61848763-300x203According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Andre Davis (Davis), currently associated with Paulson Investment Company LLC (Paulson Investment), has been subject to at least 15 customer complaints and two criminal matters during his career.  The majority of the customer complaints against Davis concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Davis made unsuitable investment recommendations, excessive trading, and unauthorized trading. The claim alleges $350,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In June 2019 a customer complained that Davis churned their account and made unauthorized trades. The claim alleges $152,400 in damages and is currently pending.

In May 2019 a customer complained that Davis violated the securities laws by excessive trading, unauthorized trades, and unsuitable investments. The claim alleges $461,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Davis violated the securities laws by excessive trading and unauthorized trades. The claim alleges $300,000 in damages and 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.

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shutterstock_113872627-300x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Ahmed Gheith (Gheith), in August 2017, was terminated by his employer Paulson Investment Company, LLC (Paulson Investment) after the firm alleged that Gheith was terminated subsequent to discovery of violations of firm supervisory procedures, failure to provide honest answers on annual questionnaires, violations of FINRA Rule 3280, and due to initiation of customer arbitration alleging fraud, negligence, and unjust enrichment.  The firm referenced that the product involved was a promissory note.  Thereafter, in April 2018 FINRA Suspended Gheith.

FINRA alleged that two registered representatives informed Gheith about a private offering related to a real estate development in Belize. The investment was described as a short-term note meant to raise money for the development of an airport and Gheith thereafter referred several customers to invest.  FINRA found that Gheith’s communications with four customers included a description of the Private Offering and leading the customers to invest a total of $3.5 million in the offering. FINRA alleged that Gheith was paid $93,165 for his role in soliciting and referring the customer.

FINRA’s allegations concerning promissory notes, a private securities transaction, –is known in the industry as “selling away”.

shutterstock_12144202The securities fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Steven Luftschein (Luftschein). According to BrokerCheck records there are at least 12 customer complaints against Luftschein. The customer complaints against Luftschein allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, negligence, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims. The most recent customer complaint filed in July 2015 alleged unsuitable investments, failure to supervise, unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentations from March 2010 until September 2011. The case is still pending.

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.

The number of customer complaints against Luftschein 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_156367568According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Edward Jeffery (Jeffery) has been the subject of one customer complaint and one regulatory action. The Customers complaint against Jeffery alleges securities law violations that focus primarily on churning and excessive trading. In addition to the churning claims, the customer have complained of unauthorized trading among other claims. In the regulatory action, FINRA alleged that from July 2004 through November 2007, Jeffery effected 682 discretionary transactions in a customer’s accounts without written discretionary authority and without having the customer’s accounts accepted as discretionary accounts in violation of NASD rules. As a result Jeffery was suspended for thirty days and a fine of $10,000.

Jeffery entered the securities industry in 1992 with Paulson Investment Company, Inc until April 2012. Thereafter, from Apirl 2012 until July 2015, Jeffery was a registered representative of JHS Capital Advisors, LLC. Finally, since July 2015, Jeffery has been associated with Aegis Capital Corp. where he remains registered out of the Portland, Oregon office location.

Churning is investment trading activity in the client’s account that serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is transacted solely to profit the broker. The elements to establish a churning claim, which is considered a species of securities fraud, 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_103610648According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Louis Baudendistel (Baudendistel) has been the subject of at least 4 customer complaints. Customers have filed complaints against Baudendistel alleging securities law violations that focus primarily on churning and excessive trading. In addition to the churning claims, customers have complained of unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence among other claims.

Baudendistel entered the securities industry in 1965. From 1983, until August 2010, Baudendistel was associated with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated. From August 2010, until April 2012, Baudendistel was associated with Paulson Investment Company, Inc. Thereafter, from April 2012, until July 2015, Baudendistel was a registered representative of JHS Capital Advisors, LLC. Finally, since July 2015, Baudendistel has been associated with Aegis Capital Corp. where he remains registered out of the Portland, Oregon office location.

Churning is investment trading activity in the client’s account that serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is transacted solely to profit the broker. The elements to establish a churning claim, which is considered a species of securities fraud, 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_186468539The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently barred broker Mark Weindling (Weindling) concerning allegations that Weindling failed to respond to the regulator’s requests to provide information and documents concerning the an investigation into claims that Weindling effected transactions within the account of a deceased customer.

Weindling entered the securities industry in 1982. From October 2007 until April 2012, Weindling was associated with Paulson Investment Company, Inc. Thereafter, in April 2012, Weindling became registered with JHS Capital Advisors, LLC (JHS). On May 16, 2014, JHS filed a Form U5 that terminated Weindling’s registration with JHS.

On the form, JHS reported that Weindling effected transactions within the account of a deceased customer and that he was aware of journal requests containing the forged signature of the deceased customer. Thereafter, FINRA sought to investigate JHS’s statements by sending Weindling requests for information. On January 27, 2015, FINRA sent a letter to Weindling’s counsel requesting that Weindling provide documents and information. Despite, multiple requests for information, Weindling acknowledged receipt of FINRA’s requests but confirmed that he did not intend to provide the requested documents and information.

shutterstock_163404920The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctioned broker Raymond Clark (Clark) and imposed findings: (1) suspending the broker for three months and fined $6,000 for using his personal email account to communicate with a customer; (2) suspended for four months and fined $10,000 for making false statements to his firm; and (3) suspended for two months and fined $4,000 for failing to report a customer complaint to his firm. FINRA imposed the suspensions to run consecutively and suspended Clark for an additional three months in all supervisory capacities and ordered him to requalify by examination as a securities representative and securities principal.

According to Clark’s BrokerCheck, the broker was registered with Paulson Investment Company, Inc. from December 2008 through May 2009. From June 2007 through January 2009, Clark was registered with J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. From May 2009 until August 2010, Clark was registered with First Midwest Securities, Inc. Finally, from August 2010, through August 2014, Clark was registered with Dynasty Capital Partners, Inc. (Dynasty Capital). Clark’s background check also reveals two regulatory complaints and at least nine customer complaints. Only a relatively small percentage of brokers have any complaints on their records and fewer still have as many as Clark.

The complaints against Clark include claims of unauthorized trading, inappropriate use of margin, securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unsuitable investments, churning, and misrepresentations.