Dennis Van Patter Investigation -First Financial Services Group-Plano,TX

November 20, 2015-Plano, Texas

Dennis Van Patter , a broker with VSR FInancial Services operates his financial service business through First Financial Services Group in Plano, Texas.

Van Patter recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he violated numerous NASD and FINRA rules by recommending investments that were not suitable for the customer.

According to the AWC,  while associated with VSR Financial Services from 2008-2010, he recommended that a  customer invest $1.6 million in alternative investments such as REITs, note programs, oil & gas drilling partnerships and private placements.

Per FINRA, the investments recommended by Van Patter were all described in the offering documents as being “speculative,” “highly speculative,” “highly risky,” and/or involving a “high degree of risk.” This was contrary to the customer’s expressed desires.  The customer had ranked his top four objectives and risk tolerance on the VSR new account forms as: 1-Moderate Income, 2- Moderate Growth and Income, 3- Moderate Growth, and 4-Conservative Growth.

In addition to making recommendations that were far riskier that the customer’s expressed wishes, FINRA noted that as a result of Van Patter’s recommendations the customer had approximately 52% of his liquid net worth concentrated in high risk alternative investments.

AWC No.  2013036647401

Van Patter was suspended from association with any FINRA member for 45 days and fined $10,000.

FINRA records reveal that Van Patter has been named in 7 customer disputes that have been finalized. In May 2015 a customer filed an arbitration seeking damages of $495,000 alleging misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. The products involved were:

  • Annuity-variable
  • Direct Investments-DPP & LP Interests
  • Equipment leasing
  • Equity Listed
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate security
  • Other: Gold

That matter, FINRA Case #14-01249, was settled for $215,000.

According to FINRA records, Van Patter has been registered with VSR Financial Services since 1997.

VSR FINANCIAL’S PRIOR FINRA SANCTION FOR SALE OF ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS

In May 2013 VSR Financial was sanctioned and assessed a fine of $550,000 by FINRA in connection with the sale of alternative investments, non-conventional investments and private placements. See our prior posting on that matter. 

If you have losses in an account handled by Van Patter, you may be able to recover damages. Call to discuss your options with an experienced securities attorney.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Texas State Securities Board Fines Carrollton, TX, Investment Adviser

December 10, 2015 Austin, Texas

John Morgan, Securities Commissioner of the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) issued a disciplinary order against Mike Reed Hall of Carrollton, TX, and assessed a fine of $5,000 for selling shares of unregistered stock issued by a public company through a private offering.

The TSSB concluded that Hall, an investment adviser with ETF Wealth Management System  was not registered with the Securities Commissioner as a dealer or as an agent of a registered dealer when he sold over $300,000 of stock through a public offering, receiving a commission of over $30,000 as compensation.

“Just because someone is registered as an investment adviser doesn’t mean he or she can sell securities for a commission,” Commissioner Morgan said.  “There are distinctions between the duties owed to clients by dealers and investment advisers. A key reason is the expectation that an investment adviser will not benefit financially from a client’s investment in a specific product.”

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Marvin Slater of Dallas Suspended by Texas State Securities Board for Sale of Verto Capital Management Notes

December 10, 2015 Austin, Texas

John Morgan, Securities Commissioner of the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) issued a disciplinary order suspending investment adviser Marvin M Slater of Dallas, TX, for 90 days for the sale of promissory notes issued by Verto Capital Management that he claimed were backed by life settlements.

The TSSB concluded that Slater was not registered with the Securities Commissioner as a dealer or as an agent of a registered dealer when he sold the Verto notes in violation of Section 12A of the Texas Securities Act.

“Just because someone is registered as an investment adviser doesn’t mean he or she can sell securities for a commission,” Commissioner Morgan said.  “There are distinctions between the duties owed to clients by dealers and investment advisers. A key reason is the expectation that an investment adviser will not benefit financially from a client’s investment in a specific product.”

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Nine Indicted in South Florida in Oxford City Football Club Securities Fraud

December 11., 2015-  Miami, Florida

The FBI reports that nine individuals have been indicted for operating a Broward County telemarketing scheme (aka “boiler room”) that caused investors nationwide to lose over $6.6 million.

Charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud are:

  • Thomas A. Guerriero, 39, of Deerfield Beach
  • Diana P. Lovera (D. Lovera), 32, of Deerfield Beach
  • Victor Lovera (V. Lovera), 28, of Deerfield Beach
  • Edward R. Sachs, 56, of Boca Raton,
  • Andrew J. Bourdeaux, 28, of Davie
  • Joseph Loish, 58, of Pompano Beach
  • Steven Goldstein, 60, of Sunrise
  • Steven Sharaf, 63, of Pembroke Pines
  • Frank Penaloza, 29, of Pompano Beach

According to allegations contained in the indictment Guerriero, D. Lovera, V. Lovera, Sachs, Bourdeaux, Loish, Goldstein, Sharaf, and Penaloza solicited investors throughout the United States to buy stock shares of Oxford City Football Club, Inc. (“Oxford City”), a Deerfield Beach, Florida corporation that claimed to manage a portfolio involving sports, education, media, and real estate businesses. The defendants sold stock directly from the company in private placement offerings.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Texas Attorney and Texas Stock Promoter Sentenced in Connect-A-Jet Stock Fraud Conspiracy

December 15, 2015- Dallas, Texas

The FBI reports that Martin Cantu, 59, of San Antonio, TX, was sentenced to 35 months in federal prison and ordered to surrender his law license on felony convictions related to a conspiracy to deceive investors about the business of  Connect-A-Jet (CAJT).

Co-defendant Jason Wynn, 33, a stock promoter from  Lantana, TX, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay over $400,000 in restitution. The pair faces substantial additional SEC restitution orders: almost $11 million for Wynn and $800,000 for Cantu.

Co-conspirator Ryan Reynolds, a former stockbroker, previously pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Florida.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

UDF Shares Plummet From Over $17 to Under $9 in a Week-Hedge Fund Victim?

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2016- FBI RAIDS UDF OFFICES IN GRAPEVINE, TEXAS—See this for details. 

December 16, 2015-Grapevine, Texas

United Development Funding IV (UDF) , a real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Texas, saw its shares fall over 50% last week, from over $17.50 to under $9.

In a filing Securities & Exchange Commission filing dated December 14, 2015, the company claims that it is the victim of anonymous allegations that was operating like a Ponzi scheme. In the filing UDF reports that they were attacked by a hedge fund or funds that they believe has built a significant short position in UDF with the intention of unlawfully manipulating the price of UDF shares.

UDF reports that they believe the anonymous negative internet postings are part of a UDF‘short and distort” scheme. By posting misleading and speculative rumors, the anonymous posters hope is to drive the price of the stock down and profit from their short position. UDF is cooperating with regulators in the investigation.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

LPL Financial Stock Broker Barred from Industry Following Allegations that Funds Were Improperly Taken

October 7, 2015-Fishers, IN

Barbara D. Fife , entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that she failed to provide information and documents in connection with a FINRA investigation into allegations that Fife converted funds from a firm customer.

Conversion is the intentional and unauthorized taking ofand/or exercise of ownership over property by one who neither owns the property nor is entitled to possess it. Conversion of customer funds violates NASD Rule 2330(a) and FINRA Rule 2150(a), which prohibit persons associated with a FINRA-regulated broker-dealer from making”improper use” of a customer’s funds.

Conversion also violates NASD Rule 2110 and FINRA Rule 2010, which require associated persons to observe ”high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.”

Conversion is a civil wrong where a person ‘converts’ the property or another to his/her own use. It is a fancy way of saying ‘steals’.

AWC No.  2015046218901

Fife was barred from the securities industry.

According to FINRA records, Fife  was registered with LPL Financial   from 9/2007-6/2014.

Fife has been named in five customer complaints . Most recently, in 2013 a customer sought damages of $200,000 alleging that checks were never deposited in the customer account.  That matter  was settled for $257,500.

If you have losses in an account handled by Fife, you may be able to recover damages from the firm that employed her.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870