Category Archives: Affinity Fraud

Miguel A. Hernandez-Former Thrivent StockBroker-Barred From Securities Industry

El Paso, Texas

According to FINRA records, Miguel A. Hernandez  a broker who was formerly  registered  with Thrivent Investment Management in El Paso, Texas , has been permanently barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.

Without admitting or denying findings, Hernandez consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he obtained $25,000 in cash from an elderly customer he met at church  under false pretenses and converted the funds to personal use. Mr. Hernandez promised the elderly woman a stake in his purported tax business. After the misconduct was discovered, he repaid the elderly lady.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

Hernandez was registered with Thrivent Investment Management from 11/2003 until 5/2015 when he was discharged after the company discovered the misconduct.

If you have questions about  a brokerage account handled by Miguel A. Hernandez  , call to discuss your legal options.

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

Former WFG Investments Broker With 42 Customer Complaints Pleads Guilty on Fraud Charges-San Antonio, TX

March 8, 2015- San Antonio, Texas

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reports that Matthew A. Bell , 47 of Boerne, TX, a broker who formerly worked for WFG Investments and Securities America, has been named in 42 customer disputes alleging damages in excess of $2,.5M. There are three disputes that have not yet been resolved, all of which allege unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentation and seek damages ranging from $5,000 to $75,000.

Bell was permitted to resign from WFG Investments in 6/2013 and is not currently registered with any broker dealer. Bell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in a civil action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC had charged Bell and a group of other conspirators with pumping up the price of penny stocks and dumping them on unsuspecting investors. The companies involved in the pump and dump were CodeSmart Holdings Inc., Cubed Inc., StarStream Entertainment Inc. and The Staffing Group Ltd. 

Bell found many of his victims through the Oak Hills Church.

If you had an account handled by Bell that suffered losses, contact us to learn how you may be entitled to damages from his former employer.

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

Betsy Marcom-NEXT Financial Group Broker Fined/Suspended for Unsuitable Recommendation to Church-Georgetown, TX

November 19, 2015-Georgetown, Texas

Betsy Marcom (formerly Betsy Bratton Perryman) , entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that between June 1, 2009 and August 31, 2012, she made unsuitable investment recommendations to her client, a non-profit parish church.

In addition, FINRA alleges that Marcom , who was a member of the finance council for the church, recommended that they invest almost its entire portfolio in non-investment grade corporate bonds, resulting in an unsuitable concentration in such bonds, in violation of various NASD and FINRA rules.

“Investment Grade” is defined as a credit rating denoting only minimal risk for investors, and encompasses bonds rated BBB and above. Bonds that are rated BB. B, CCC, CC, C, and below are considered non-investment grade, or “junk” bonds. They are also frequently referred to as “high-yield” bonds.

AWC No.  2013037257201

Marcom was fined $15,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member firm in all capacities for a period of four months.

According to FINRA recordsMarcom  was registered with NEXT Financial Group  from 2/2009-11-2015. Prior to that she was registered with Investment Professionals, Inc. from 5/1995-1/2009.

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

FSC Securities Hit with $1.28M Award For Aubrey Lee Price Ponzi Scheme

Aubrey FSC brokerAugust 11, 2015 -Atlanta, Georgia

An arbitration panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) awarded $1.28 million to a group of individuals who were victims of a ponzi scheme conducted by Aubrey Lee Price, a former FSC Securities broker. FINRA Case# 14-02355.

Price , who went from devout Christian minister and trusted financial adviser, was registered with FSC Securities in McDonough, GA,  from 2006-2008. He made headlines when, after his scheme was uncovered,  he faked his suicide on a boat in Key West, FL, in 2012.  See this FBI story “The Fraudster Who Faked His Own Death: Inside the Aubrey Lee Price Case” for more details.

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

Eight South Florida Individuals Charged with Securities Fraud Targeting Elderly

July 27, 2015- Boca Raton, Florida

The FBI announced today the indictment of eight individuals for participating in securities fraud involving Thought Development Inc., a Miami Beach based company claiming invention of a green line on the football field visible, and Virgin Gaming, a fee based service facilitating on line gaming and fantasy sports leagues.

Those charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud are:

  • David Anthony Eratostene, 53, of Miramar, Florida,
  • Christopher J. Borgo, 41, of Boca Raton,
  • Alan D. Messina, 54, of Sunrise,
  • Michael T. Angeletti, 33, of Sunrise,
  • Michael J. Calash 34, of Boca Raton,
  • Stephen R. Reynolds, 38, of Pompano Beach,
  • Gary X. Schultz, 55, of Miramar,
  • Chazon Stein, 36, North Miami Beach

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

North Carolina Securities Division July 2015 Newsletter

July  2015- Raleigh, North Carolina

The North Carolina Securities Division of the Department of the Secretary of State issues a monthly newsletter highlighting recent enforcement actions for securities violations and other matters designed to educate and protect investors.

The July 2015 Securities Newsletter, which can be accessed here, includes the following:

  • The SEC alleges that Equity Trust Company, an Ohio based IRA provider, played an  active role in marketing the investments offered by Ephren Taylor, who was charged with running a Ponzi scheme targeting church members, and Randy Poulson. The SEC charges that  Equity Trust, ignored red flags which allowed Taylor and Paulson to raise over $5 million in their scheme.
  • Kristine Louse Johnson, 60, of Aurora, Colorado, charged in criminal complaint with operating a $6.8 million Ponzi scheme through sham internet company, The Achieve Community (TAC).
  • David Christopher Mayhew convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
  • Investor Alert for Seniors: Five Red Flags of Investment Fraud

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

Former Dolphin Will Allen Arrested on Securities Fraud

June 12, 2015

Will Allen, 36, a former Miami Dolphin cornerback  living in Davie, Florida, and Susan Daub, 55, of Coral Springs, Florida, were charged with securities fraud in connection with the operation of their business Capital Financial Partners.

Capital Financial was set up to provide loans to athletes who were waiting for their contracts to kick in during the off-season, however prosecutors contend that they were operating a ponzi scheme, using money from new investors to pay off earlier investors.

Allen signed with the New England Patriots in 2012 but never played due to injury and retired.

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