Category Archives: Theft

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

Stephen Hatch-Texas Real Estate Investor Sentenced to Five Years on Ponzi Scheme Targeting Christians

The Arizona Republic reports that Texan Stephen J. Hatch, 68, pleaded guilty to felony fraud and was sentenced to five years for operating a $70 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Christians who were promised double digit returns on real estate investments.

According to the press release, Hatch solicited investments in partnerships named after biblical verses and sent emails containing biblical quotes to his investor victims. Hatch told investors he was already a wealthy man and that he didn’t need the money but rather was trying to help them make money in the name of God.

Rather than use the victim’s money to invest in real estate as represented, Hatch used it for extravagant salaries for his children and friends, an investment in a restaurant, luxury items for himself, including a California ranch.

AFFINITY FRAUD

This type of fraud is known as ‘affinity fraud’Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups. See this for more information about affinity 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

Jill Cody (Tramontano)-Former Concorde Investment Services Broker-Barred From Securities Industry-Spring Lake, NJ

According to publicly available records Jill M. Cody , (CRD# 4333419) ,  a  former stockbroker who last worked for Concorde Investment Services  , has numerous disclosures: 

  • 1 prior regulatory events
  • 7 currently pending customer disputes
  • 1 currently pending regulatory investigation

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 2/2017 Jill Cody (aka Jill Tramontano)  was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA to resolve allegations that she permitted Richard Cody, to whom she was then married, and who had been suspended by FINRA to engage in the securities business while suspended.

Currently pending customer disputes include:

  • 3/2017-A customer of Westminster Financial Securities & Concorde Investments  seeks damages in an unstated amount and alleges that funds were taken by Cody.
  • 3/2017-A customer of Merrill Lynch, Park Avenue Securities, Columbia Management, Westminster Financial Securities and Concorde Investment Services seeks damages in an unstated amount and alleges that Cody misappropriated funds and forged documents.

For information on Jill Cody’s former husband, Richard Cody, follow this link. Cody discloses a business affiliation with Boston Investment Partners.

We are interested in speaking with former customers of Jill Cody (aka Jill Tramontano ) and Richard G. Cody. 

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

Lawrence A. DeShetler-Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud-Beaumont, TX

June 2017-Beaumont, Texas

Lawrence A. DeShetler, a certified financial planner from the the Woodlands, Texas, pleaded guilty mail fraud according to a release from the Department of Justice for the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the Texas State Securities Board, DeShetler fraudulently obtained $1.9 million from five of his advisory business clients who were convinced to withdraw money from their investments and give it to DeShetler who promised them higher returns.

One client was convinced to liquidate her IRA of over $700,000 and transfer the funds to DeShetler who spent the money on restaurant bills, country club fees, clothing and other personal expenses.

DeShetler was arrested in August 2016. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

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

Investigation of NEXT Financial Group Brokers Alleged to Have Converted Customer Funds-West Palm Beach, FL

May 2017-West Palm Beach, FL

In connection with a currently pending lawsuit, we are investigating thefts from customer accounts by brokers who were affiliated with NEXT Financial Group, a FINRA registered broker dealer headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Publicly available records disclose that the following four former brokers employed by NEXT Financial  have allegedly converted customer funds:

  • Tye Williams-Frisco, TX . See this for more details.
  • Eduardo Diaz-Ocean Springs, MS. In June 2016, Diaz, who pleaded to wire fraud,  was sentenced to 70 months, fined $15,000 and ordered to pay restitution of over $640,000 to his victims which include a 70 year old widow. See this for more detail. 
  • James McGilvrey-San Antonio, TX-Charged with Theft from The Elderly, sentenced to 20 years in state prison, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay over $1.9 million in restitution. See this for more detail.
  • Douglas P. Simanski-Altoona, PA-In June 2016, Simanski, without admitting or denying the findings, consented to a permanent bar from the securities industry and entry of findings that he failed to provide documents and information related to an investigation into allegations related to the conversion of funds. FINRA Case 2016049621301.

Gwendolyn M. Berry , of Dallas, TX, was associated with NEXT Financial group from 2009-2015 as a non-registered fingerprint person working as a non-registered assistant and bookkeeper for a Series & General Securities Representative and Series 24 General Securities Principal. After initiating an investigation into Berry regarding possible misappropriation and mismanagement of customer assets, FINRA repeatedly requested that Berry produce documents and information. Berry failed to produce the documents and information and was barred from association with any FINRA regulated broker-dealer in any capacity in April 2016. FINRA AWC No. 2015047059701.  

If you have information you believe would be helpful to our investigation please contact us.

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

Darren McFadden-Cowboy Running Back- Files Lawsuit Against Ameriprise Financial

May 2017- Dallas, TX

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

Nemelee Liwanag Jiao Indicted for Fraud-Philippine School Ponzi Scheme-Dallas, TX

April 2017-Dallas, TX

Nemelee Liwanag Jiao, 47, of Irving, Texas, was indicted on two counts of wire fraud for operating a Ponzi scheme that bilked 35 people out of at least $1 Million , according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. 

The indictment alleges that from 2/2009-3/2016, Jioa convinced individuals to invest in promissory notes purportedly issued by Shepherd’s Light Learning Center and Lord of Peace Learning Center, non-profit schools in the Philippines. Investors were promised returns ranging from 10% to 100% on their investment.

The indictment alleges Jioa used the funds for personal expenses, including a country club membership.

The statutory penalty for wire fraud is 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

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

Investment Loss Recovery-Information on recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers. Nationwide representation.