Category Archives: Bank Secrecy Act

Dallas Based VCA Securities Censured by Securities Regulators

August 12, 2015- Dallas, Texas

VCA Securities  (formerly Bluffview Securities)  , entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that from January 2012 to June 2014 VCA failed to have an adequate supervisory system and control procedures designed to review and monitor the transmittal of funds from customer accounts to third party accounts.

As a result, FINRA found that VCA processed two unauthorized Letters of Authorization sent from a cyber-hacker resulting in over $250,000 in wire transfers from a VCA customer account to an unauthorized their party bank account.

AWC No. 2014042049901

VCA Securities was censured  and fined $35,000 .

VCA Securities has been a FINRA member since 2004, , and  has  13 brokers. VCA is headquartered in Dallas Texas.

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

Souza Barros Securities Sanctioned by Securities Regulator

February 4, 2015

Souza Barros Securities  entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent  (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that from August 2009 through July 2013 they failed to implement an adequate anti-money laundering program designed to detect and report suspicious transactions as required under the Bank Secrecy Act.

In addition, from September 2009-October 2011, Souza Barros Securities failed to retain electronic correspondence of a registered foreign associate, including correspondence with Firm customers.

Souza Barros Securities was censured and fined $75,000.

FINRA Case # 2012033169201

Souza Barros Securities has been a FINRA member since 2009. It has six registered representatives and one office in Miami, 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

Oppenheimer to Pay $20 Million to Resolve Penny Stock Violations

January 27, 2015-Washington DC

In a Press Release from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Oppenheimer & Co. will pay $10 million to the SEC and $10 million to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to resolve charges that they violated federal securities laws while improperly selling penny stocks in unregistered offerings.

According to the order, Oppenheimer executed sales of billions of shares of penny stocks for a supposed proprietary account for Gibraltar Global Securities, a brokerage firm in the Bahamas that is not registered in the U.S.

The SEC’s order finds that Oppenheimer failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports as required under the Bank Secrecy Act to report potential misconduct by Gibraltar and its customers, and the firm failed to  remit more than $3 million in backup withholding taxes from sales proceeds in Gibraltar’s account.

If you have questions about losses on penny stocks in your brokerage account, call to speak 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

Houston-Global Financial Services LLC Fined $100,000 by Securities Regulator

Global Financial Services, LLC. entered into a Letter of Waiver Acceptance and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that from October 1, 2008-August 23, 2012, the firm failed to establish policies and procedures reasonably designed to detect and cause reporting of suspicious activities and failed to achieve compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act. Case#2012030724501

At issue was the liquidation of Venezuelan and other foreign debt for a customer which resulted in 53 outgoing wires totaling over $89 million in 2009. Similar trading in 2010 resulted in outgoing wires over $37 million.

According to the pleading this activity triggered a number of red flags indicative of potential suspicious trading. The red flags were listed in the firms written anti money laundering procedures and include:

  • wire activity that is unexplained, repetitive, unusually large or shows patterns or with no apparent business purpose;
  • appears to be acting as an agent for an undisclosed principal, but declines or is reluctant, without legitimate commercial reason, to provide information or is otherwise evasive regarding that person or entity

Global Financial Services is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and has about 18 registered representatives. They were censured and fined $100,000.

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

Edward Jones Sanctioned $100,000 Over Inadequate Anti-Money Laundering Procedures

September 22, 2014

Edward  D. Jones & Co entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations between August 2008 and June 2013 that the firm failed to develop and implement anti-money laundering procedures for reviewing deposits and liquidations of third-party stock certificates in customer accounts. Case # 2012031611301.

Due to this failure, a broker was able to facilitate the sale of stock for individuals who were ineligible to open an Edward Jones account because they did not have either a valid Social Security number of US permanent resident card.

Edward Jones was censured and fined $100,000. Edward Jones is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. They have about 11,000 branch offices with more than 15,000 registered brokers.

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

Global Strategic Investments Fined $200,000 for Suspicious Activity -Venezuelan Bonds

UPDATE 4/27/2015-FINRA censured Global Strategic investments and fined the firm $200,000 to resolve action discussed below.

September 18, 2014- Miami FL

FINRA Enforcement filed a complaint against Global Strategic Investments alleging that it failed to detect, investigate and report suspicious activity related to bond transactions and subsequent wire activity.

The complaint alleges that a new business line involving the liquidation of $650 million worth of Venezuelan bonds for correspondent accounts in Venezuela and Curacao, high -risk jurisdictions, generated the majority of its revenues and the firm failed to establish an adequate anti money laundering policy and its internal controls were not reasonably designed to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act.

To access the FINRA records for Global Strategic Investments, follow this link.

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

Aegis Capital Corp. Named In FINRA Action Alleging Sale of Unregistered Securities

In August 2014 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Department of Enforcement filed a complaint against Aegis Capital Corp. and two Aegis brokers who served as Chief Compliance Officer: Charles D. Smulevitz and Kevin C. McKenna.

Aegis is a retail and institutional broker-dealer with 20 branch offices and about 430 registered representatives, most of whom work in Melville, New York or New York City, the company’s headquarters.

The FINRA complaint alleges that between April 2009-June 2011, they liquidated 3.9 billion shares of five micro-cap stocks:

  • AterNet Systems (ALYI)
  • China Crescent Enterprises (CCTR)
  • TAO Minerals Ltd.  (TAON)
  • NewMarket Technology (NWMI)
  • Numobile Inc.  (NUBL)

that were not registered with the SEC and were not exempt from registration. The sales generated nearly $25 million gross proceeds on which Aegis collected over $1.1 million in commissions.

The complaint alleges that the customers selling the shares were referred to Aegis by a person who had been the subject of three prior regulatory actions involving securities fraud, including a charge for aiding and abetting a scheme to avoid registration of securities. Aegis is charged with violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering policies.

FINRA alleges that Smulevitz and McKenna, while serving their respective terms as CCO of Aegis ignored “red flags” indicating that the sales could be illicit distributions of unregistered stocks and that Aegis failed to supervise. FINRA seeks sanctions, including disgorgement of ill gotten gains. The complaint was filed by the Boca Raton, FL FINRA Department of Enforcement, Michael A. Gross, Senior Litigation Counsel.

Rex Securities Law provides nationwide representation to investors 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.

Rex Securities Law

561 391 1900