Category Archives: Excessive Markups/Markdowns

First Dallas Securities Sanctioned by Regulators for Overcharging Commissions-Dallas, TX

March 2017- Dallas, TX

According to publicly available records First Dallas Securities Inc.  (CRD# 24549) ,  a  brokerage firm with about 24 brokers headquartered in Dallas, Texas, discloses a recent regulatory sanction.

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.

First Dallas Securities consented to the entry of findings that it improperly charged ticket charges in at least 449 transactions involving 129 accounts for clients of its affiliated registered investment advisor (RIA). FIrst Dallas did not have an adequate supervisory system to ensure that customers of its affiliated RIA were not overcharged, according to FINRA.

First Dallas Securities was censured and fined $45,000.

 

If you have questions about how your account has been handled at First Dallas Securities, call to discuss your 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

Christopher R. Hickman-Former Cetera Advisors Broker-Discloses Settlement of Customer Disputes-Delray Beach, FL

June 2017-Delray Beach, FL

The FINRA records of  Christopher R. Hickman ,  a  former stockbroker who was last employed as a broker by Cetera Advisors and who is not currently registered, disclose a final regulatory matter, a pending customer dispute and  6 prior  customer disputes.

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.

In June 2017 FINRA suspended Hickman for five months , ordered restitution of over $115,000 and assessed a $5,000 fine to resolve allegations that he engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs) in six customer accounts. The findings state that Hickman repeatedly recommended the purchase of UITs and then the sale of them within a year of purchase, notwithstanding the fact that the UITs had 24 month maturity dates and sales charges of 3.95%. In addition, on several occasions, Hickman recommended that his customers use proceeds from the sale of the UITs to purchase another nearly identical UIT.

In currently pending FINRA arbitration 17-01056, a customer of Cetera Advisors seeks damages of $265,000 and alleges breach of fiduciary duty, violation of FINRA rules and elder abuse.

The prior customer disputes include:

  • FINRA Case 9-05733-A customer of Banc of America Investment Services alleged damages of $334,942 for unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading. That case was settled for $75,000.
  • FINRA Case 9-5493-A customer of Banc of America Investment Services alleged damages of $1.5 million for unsuitable investments and misrepresentations. That case was settled for $650,000.

Hickman  was employed by Cetera Advisors from 9/2009-7/2015. Prior to that he was employed by Banc of America Investment Services from 3/2006-8/2009. Hickman also discloses a business affiliation with Premier Client Investments.

In 2015, Cetera Advisors was censured, fined $250,000 and ordered to pay restitution of over $450,000 for charging excessive sales fees to customers who purchased unit investment trusts (UITs).

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Christopher R. Hickman , you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

Berthel Fisher & Broker Jeffrey Dragon Named in FINRA Complaint for Overcharging Commissons

April 2017-Burlington, MA

Berthel Fisher & Company and one of their brokers Jeffrey P. Dragon were named in a FINRA complaint alleging that Dragon generated more than $421,000 in concessions for himself and the firm, at the expense of customers, by recommending and effecting a pattern of unsuitable short-term trading of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs).

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.

The FINRA complaint further alleges that by failing to apply sales charge discounts from 2010-2014, more than 2700 customers did not receive applicable sales charge discounts resulting in excessive charges of about $667,000.

Berthel Fisher, which has about 350 brokers in 230 branch offices, was fined over $700,000 by FINRA 3 years ago for various failures in supervision related to sales of real estate investment trusts and leveraged exchange-traded funds from 2008-2012. Follow this link to review their FINRA record. 

Jeffrey Dragon was discharged by Berthel Fisher in 9/2016. The company made the following allegation in connection with his termination: “The firm believes that the representative did not adhere to a term of his heightened supervisions agreement, which required him to run all business, including fixed indexed annuities, through the firm’s commission grid.” Link to Dragon’s FINRA record. 

Investors who suffered losses on purchases of UITs, REITs or other investments in an account at Berthel Fisher may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

Barry M. Kiront-Craft Capital Management Broker Discloses Customer Disputes

October 2016-Garden City, NY

The FINRA records of  Barry M. Kiront,  a  stockbroker who is currently employed by  Craft Capital Management  disclose 10 prior customer disputes that are final and one currently pending customer dispute.

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.

In March 2015, Kiront disclosed that a customer of his former employer Woodstock Financial Group brought a complaint alleging damages of $196,323 for churning , unsuitability and possibly fraud. That case was settled for $30,000.

In the currently pending matter, FINRA Case 15-0458, a customer of Kiront while he was employed by Woodstock Financial Group alleges damages of $118,375 for churning, excessive commissions, unsuitable trading, violations of Mississippi securities laws and other claims.

Kiront has been registered with Craft Capital Management since 3/2015. He was registered with Woodstock Financial Group from 3/1998-3/2015.

 

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Barry M. Kiront , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

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

Further Lane Securities Named In Regulatory Complaint for Excessive Markups on Bonds

July 2016-New York

The FINRA records of Further Lane Securities, L.P. ,  disclose a currently pending regulatory event and 2 prior regulatory events.

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.

In currently pending FINRA Case 2012034242501, FINRA alleges that Further Lane Securities and one of their brokers charged customers excessive markups in corporate bond transactions. FINRA further alleges that the bonds were sold at prices that were not fair, taking into consideration all relevant circumstances.

If you have questions about your account at Further Lane Securities call to learn how you may be entitled to collect damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

Emil Botvinnik-Salomon Whitney Broker-Discloses Customer Disputes

UPDATED APRIL 2017Botvinnik discloses the settlement FINRA Case 16-3284 filed by a customer of Salomon Whitney Financial (SW Financial ) alleging damages of$50,000 for unsuitable and high frequency trades, highly leveraged account and not minimizing risk. In February 2017 the case was settled for $30,000.

Original Post—July 2016

The FINRA records of Emil Botvinnik  , a stockbroker who is currently employed by  Salomon Whitney Financial  disclose 4 prior customer disputes , a pending customer dispute and a termination from employment.

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.

In July 2014 a customer of Meyer Associates alleged damages of $385,000 for excessive commissions. That matter was settled for $385,000 with Botvinnik contributing $192,500 toward the settlement.

In currently pending FINRA Case#16-01051 a customer of Meyers Associates alleges damages of $99,000 for suitability and churning.

Botvinnik has been  employed by   Salomon Whitney Financial since 11/2015.  Prior to that he was with Newport Coast Securities from 11/2014-11/2015 and before that with Meyers Associates 6/2012-11/2014.

In 9/2009 Botvinnik was permitted to resign from Liberty Partners Financial Services who alleged unauthorized trades and use of discretion over a client.

Investors who suffered losses in an account handled by Emil Botvinnik may be entitled to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

Leigh M. Garber-Former Ridgeway & Conger Broker-Discloses Regulatory Investigation Over Excessive Markups

Jericho, New York

According to FINRA records Leigh M. Garber ,   a stockbroker who formerly worked for  Ridgeway & Conger   discloses a pending regulatory matter and a prior final regulatory matter.

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.

In January 2016, FINRA name Leigh Garber in a complaint alleging that her firm and two other representatives  sold an unregistered security. Garber was the designated supervisor and failed to supervise. The complaint alleges that the firm charged excessive markups of 14-33%. FINRA Case 2010022046101. That matter is currently pending.

Garber is currently employed by Adirondack Trading of New Woodstock, NY, and  National Securities Corporation of New Woodstock, NY, and Boca Raton, FL.

 

Investors with losses in accounts handled by Leigh M. Garber may be able to recover damages from his former employer through FINRA arbitration.

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