Articles Tagged with Westpark Capital

shutterstock_88744093-297x300According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Victor Sibilla (Sibilla), currently associated with Westpark Capital, Inc. (Westpark Capital), has been subject to 6 customer complaints, one regulatory action, and two civil judgments.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Sibilla has been accused by customers of unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, excessive trading, and misuse of margin among other claims.

In May 2017, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Sibilla was not licensed in the state where he transacted business seeking $108,400 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.  In June 2013 another customer filed a complaint alleging that Sibilla misrepresented that his stock would double claiming $175,000 in damages.  The claim was closed.  In September 2012, a customer alleged excessive trading and unsuitable investments causing $300,000 in damages.  The claim was settled.

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shutterstock_115937266-300x237The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Thomas Sullivan (Sullivan).  According to BrokerCheck records Sullivan has been the subject of at least six customer complaints and two terminations for cause.  The customer complaints against Sullivan allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.

In May 2010 Sullivan was discharged by Hallmark Investments on allegation that Sullivan stole revenue from the brokerage firm.  The most recent customer complaint was filed in November 2016 alleging $23,616 in damages stemming from excessive trading and churning.  The claim was settled

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shutterstock_106111121The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Matthew Turner (Turner).  According to BrokerCheck records Turner has been subject to at least five customer complaints and one pending bankruptcy.  The customer complaints against Turner allege securities law violations that including unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, unsuitable use of margin, and churning among other claims.

In July 2014 a customer filed a complaint alleging $40,000 in damage stemming from unsuitable investment recommendations from 2010 through 2012.  The complaint settled.  In November 2012, another customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investments causing $450,000.  The claim settled.  In addition, in April 2015, Turner 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.

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.

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shutterstock_189302954According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Michael Bell (Bell) has been the subject of at least 8 customer complaints, two financial disclosures, two firm terminations, and two regulatory actions. Customers have filed complaints against Bell alleging a litany of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trades, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations and false statements, churning, and fraud, among other claims. Some of these claims involve recommendations in penny stocks, private placements, and other speculative securities.

An examination of Bell’s employment history reveals that Bell 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 Bell’s 25 year career he has worked at 18 different firms.

Since 2008 Bell has been registered with Brewer Financial Services, LLC, Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc., and most recently Westpark Capital, Inc. (Westpark) until July 2014.

In Bell’s most recent regulatory action, FINRA alleged that Bell used his personal email address to communicate with current and prospective customers by sending about 20 emails from this personal email account. The communications related to customers’ investments at Westpark and were also used to solicit existing and potential customers to make new investments. According to FINRA, Bell had been previously disciplined by Westpark for the misuse of e-mail and that Bell knew that use of personal email was unauthorized.

FINRA also alleged that Bell sent six emails to two prospective customers concerning a private placement investment referred to by the initials “MD.” FINRA found that Bells’s representations were unbalanced, misleading, promissory, and projected performance that lacked a reasonable basis. One such emails stated that “ipo price must be at least $3 per share…assuming stock simply holds the price for 6 months, a $50 thou[sand] investment is worth $116,664…of course nothing is a guarantee, but we expect stock to trade higher since company is expanding so rapidly…expecting over $80 million this year revenue.”

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