Category Archives: Stockbroker Malpractice

Investigation of Capital Financial Services Brokers-Mark & Herminia Sitter-The Woodlands, TX

August 2017- The Woodlands, Texas

We are investigating  Capital Financial Services stockbroker Mark Raymond Sitter of the Woodlands, TXand  his wife Herminia C. Sitter, who until June 2017, was also a  broker with Capital Financial Services TX.

Our investigation is on behalf of an elderly Texas retiree who alleges that they recommended she invest most of her retirement funds into unsuitable real estate investments, including American Realty Hospitality Trust and Cole Office and Industrial REIT.

The FINRA records of Mark Sitter disclose an outstanding lien to the Internal Revenue Service of $83,527. Mark Sitter has been registered with Capital Financial Services since 1/2006. Mark Sitter discloses a business affiliation with Chasewood Wealth Management of the Woodlands, TX.

The FINRA records of Herminia Sitter disclose an outstanding lien to the Internal Revenue Service of $83,527. Herminia Sitter was registered with Capital Financial Services from 9/2005-6/2017.

Capital Financial Services has been a FINRA member since 1981 and is headquartered in Minot, North Dakota.

If you have information you believe may be helpful to this investigation please contact our office.

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

Cesar Rodriguez-Former Avenir Financial Group Broker- Discloses Customer Disputes & Termination- Wheaton, IL

August 2017, Wheaton, IL

According to publicly available records  Cesar Omar Rodriguez (CRD#4451732) , a former stockbroker who was previously registered with Avenir Financial Group, disclose a regulatory event , three prior customer disputes , two terminations from employment and an outstanding judgment lien.

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 April of 2015  Rodriquez  was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA to resolve allegations that “he defrauded investors by knowingly misrepresenting the true use of investors’ proceeds and improperly misusing investors’ funds for personal expenses unrelated to the operation of his member firm’s branch office…..”

In October of 2015, an  Avenir Financial Group  customer filed a complaint alleging unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, manipulation, misrepresentation, suitability, negligence, indemnification, recovery of commissions, theft, swindling, and forgery.  Claimant alleged that Rodriguez purchased shares in his account and traded on his margin without permission.  Claimant further alleged that Rodriguez falsified account documents.   In FINRA case 15-02744 the Claimant was awarded the sum of $133,989.04 in compensatory damages, plus interest.   He was also awarded the sum of $22,500 in punitive damages, plus interest.

In April of 2015,  Rodriguez was discharged from Avenir Financial Group .

In November of 2008, Rodriguez was discharged from Charles Morgan Securities, Inc. who alleged that he violated the rules of the industry standards of conduct.

 Rodriguez was with Avenir Financial Group from July of 2013 until he was barred by FINRA in April of  2015.  His prior employment includes American Trust Investment Services, National Securities Corp. and Chicago Investment Group.   Rodriguez also discloses an affiliation with Bull Run Capital Holdings LLC.

If you have questions about an account handled by Cesar O. Rodriguez, contact us 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.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Texas Securities Board Appoints New Commissioner-Austin, TX

August 2017-Austin, Texas

Travis J. Lies was appointed Securities Commissioner of the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) effective September 1, 2017. Lies has worked for the TSSB for 16 years and has been serving as Deputy Commissioner for the past year. He will succeed current Commissioner John Morgan who will retire August 31 after 33 years with TSSB.

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

Wedbush Securities Ordered to Pay Customer $1.8M For Elder Abuse-Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA-July 2017

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel comprised of three public arbitrators ordered Wedbush Securities to pay two former customers (husband and wife) compensatory damages of $250,000. In addition the arbitration panel, who found that Wedbush subjected the couple to elder abuse,  awarded punitive damages of over $1 million and attorney fees of $277,000 pursuant to the California Elder Abuse and Adult Civil Protective Act, interest and costs.

The former customers alleged a number of causes of action, including unsuitable recommendations, failure to supervise the broker, misrepresentation and elder abuse in connection with investments in long term municipal bonds and structured certificates of deposit. Dancy, et al vs. Wedbush Securities, FINRA Case #16-0847.

FINRA ARBITRATION

Arbitration is similar to going to court, however it is generally less costly and a shorter process than court litigation. Most cases are resolved in about 12-14 months. If you have losses in your brokerage account which you believe are the result of negligent or fraudulent advice given to you by the broker, or if you believe your broker has made trades in your account without your permission (unauthorized trading) call to learn how 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

Additional Individuals Indicted In Chimera Energy Corp. Fraud-Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas – July 2017

According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, a second superseding indictment has been issued by a  federal grand jury naming additional individuals and companies related to the Chimera Energy Corp. pump and dump fraud. Losses due to the fraud may exceed $25 million.

The following individuals were  named in September 15, 2016 indictment for a securities fraud scheme involving the stock of Chimera Energy Corp:

  • Andrew Ian Farmer, 38 , Houston, TX
  • Thomas Galen Massey, 46, Houston, TX

In a superseding indictment April 26,2017, a federal grand jury charged five additional individuals for their roles in the Chimera Energy fraud:

  • Eddie Douglas Austin, Jr. , 66, Houston, TX
  • Carolyn Price Austin, 62, Houston, TX
  • Charles Earl Grob, Jr. 37, Houston, TX
  • John David Brotherton, 57, League City, TX
  • Scott Russell Sieck, 58, Winter Park, FL

On July 20, 2017, a grand jury returned a second superseding indictment against Farmer, Eddie and Carolyn Austin, Brotherton, Sieck and Grob for roles in a broader securities fraud conspiracy involving at least 12 other companies from 2011 to 2017.

The release indicates that Massey pleaded guilty to his role on April 18,2017, and is set for sentencing in June 2018.

Pump and Dump Scheme

In a pump and dump scheme, the fraudsters engage in fraudulent trading practices in a company’s stock by publishing false and misleading information about the company with the intention of inflating the price of the stock. Once the stock rises as a result of this fake information, the fraudsters dump their stock on the market to the investors who have been misled by the false information.

Victims who may have been advised by a registered stockbroker to invest in any of these companies may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Call to learn about 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

SEC Charges 13 with Fraud Boiler Room Scam Targeting Senior Citizens-Long Island

July 2017

Thirteen individuals from two Long Island-based boiler rooms were charged with securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission who alleges that they made hundreds of thousands of cold calls, many of which targeted senior citizens.

The SEC press release makes quite a few shocking allegations and demonstrates just how far the unscrupulous will go to take advantage of the general public, for example:

  • It is estimated that over $10 million was scammed from innocent and unknowing victims.
  • A boiler room salesman allegedly claimed that Walt Disney Co. was buying into a company that would cause the penny stock he was touting to soar.
  • Victims were harassed and intimidated by sale personnel…One allegedly told a victim “Do you have any rope at home? If so tie a know and hang yourself or get a gun and blow your head off”.
  • The telemarketers would instruct victims to place trades and a specific price and number of shares and then the scammers would place opposing sell orders to dump their own shares.

Scott W. Friestad, Associate Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, added, “The defendants allegedly used boiler rooms and high-pressure sales tactics to swindle seniors into investing their life savings in microcap securities they were secretly manipulating for their own profit.  But, through a combination of technology and innovative investigative approaches, we were able to unravel the alleged scheme and prevent further investor harm.”

Defendants named in the SEC complaint are:

  • POWERTRADERSPRESS.COM, INC.
  • ELITE STOCK RESEARCH, INC.
  • ERIK MATZ
  • RONALD HARDY
  • ANTHONY VASSALLO
  • STEPHANIE LEE
  • JEFFREY CHARTIER
  • LAWRENCE D. ISEN
  • ROBERT GLECKMAN,\
  • MICHAEL WATTS
  • BRIAN HEEPKE
  • DENNIS J. VERDEROSA
  • EMIN COHEN
  • SERGIO RAMIREZ
  • ASHLEY ANTOS

If you were recommended to deal with any of these individuals by a registered stock broker, you may be able to recover damages from that broker’s employer. Call for 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

Richard W. Martin-Former G.F. Investments Services Broker-Discloses Issues Over Sale of ETFs

July 2017-Malaysia

The FINRA records of  Richard William Lunn Martin ,  a  former stockbroker who was last  employed by  G.F. Investment Services, disclose a  prior regulatory matter, 15 customer disputes, a current investigation and 2 terminations 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 April 2017, Martin was permanently barred by FINRA to resolve allegations that he solicited, purchased and recommended that his customers hold non-traditional exchange traded funds (ETFs) in their accounts for lengthy periods of time, despite the enormous risks of holding non-traditional ETFs for more than one trading period.

Martin discloses numerous settlements to customers who invested in ETFs, including the following:

In FINRA case #15-2500 a customer of G.F. Investment Services  sought damages of $450,000 for unsuitable recommendations to invest in ETFs. That case was settled for $290,000 in May 2016.

In FINRA case #14-3679 a customer of G.F. Investment Services  sought damages of $2,000,000 for unsuitable recommendations to invest in ETFs. That case was settled for $500,000 in December 2014.

IN 7/2009 Martin was ‘permitted to resign’ from Latam Investments who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “A painting belonging to the CEO of the firm was discovered missing. Upon review of the video recording from the office monitoring system the firm positively identified Mr. Martin removing the painting from the CEO’s office early in the morning and then exiting the main door with the painting”. 

In July 2015, Martin was ‘permitted to resign’ from G.F. Investment Services who made the following allegation; “FINRA Case 20150445876 opened 3/25/2015. Wells Letter received by Mr. Martin 7-7-2015”

Martin’s prior employers include:

  • G.F. Investment Services
  • Global Strategic Investments
  • Latam Investments
  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

If you have losses in an account handled by Richard William Lunn Martin, call to learn about 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