Category Archives: Theft

SEC Files Action vs. FL and TN Oil and Gas Deal Scammers

August 2017-Ft. Lauderdale, FL/ Gallatin, TN

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two men from Tennessee and a man from Florida with allegedly defrauding investors by false promises of high returns from an oil drilling investment.

The SEC Complaint, filed in Savannah, GA, alleges that David R. Greenlee and David A. Stewart, Jr. orchestrated a $15 million scheme through a network of salesmen who raised money from investors who were promised profits of 15-55% per year for decades on wells that would use enhanced recovery techniques to boost production.

Neither Greenlee nor Stewart was registered to sell investments and they routinely used fake names , like “Dave Johnson”, when speaking with investors in order to hide their past criminal records. According to the SEC, only a small fraction of the money raised was actually used as intended.

The SEC alleges that Richard “Ric” Underwood helped draft brochures and oversaw a boiler room sales team of telemarketers in Florida who solicited victims nationwide.

The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Georgia has instituted criminal charges in a parallel action.

Companies listed by the SEC as being used in the scam include:

  • Tennstar Energy
  • Black Gold Resources (BRG)
  • Southern Energy Group

Other individuals involved, but not named defendants, per the SEC complaint are Robert Dorrance, 60, of Gallatin, TN, and Jared G. Forrester, 33, of Glasgow, KY.

If you invested in this scheme at the suggestion of a licensed stock broker , you may be able to recover damages from the 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.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Tye C. Williams-Former NEXT Financial Group Broker-Named in $1M Customer Dispute-Frisco, TX

September 2017 – Frisco, Texas

According to publicly available records  Tye C. Williams (CRD#1271046) , a former stockbroker  who was most recently employed by NEXT Financial Group , disclose  a regulatory event that resulted in his bar from the securities industry and 2 pending 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.

Williams was employed by NEXT Financial Group from 11/2008-8/2016.

Without admitting or denying the findings, WIlliams consented to a permanent bar from the securities industry and to the entry of findings that he failed to produce documents and information related to an investigation regarding a customer complaint alleging that Williams converted over $1 million from customer’s accounts, made unsuitable recommendations and engaged in unauthorized transactions. FINRA Case 2015047059702. 

In pending FINRA arbitration 16-0609 a customer of NEXT Financial Group seeks damages of $1 million and alleges that from 2004-2015 Williams mismanaged their finances by exceeding the scope of his authority and recommended unsuitable investments in ventures like “Smashburger”.

If you have questions about an account handled by Tye C. Williams, 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.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Ernest Romer III-Former CoreCap Investments Broker-Discloses Customer Disputes/Industry Bar-Sterling Heights, MI

August 2017-Sterling Heights, MI

According to publicly available records Ernest Julius Romer III  (CRD#2311741) ,  a  former stockbroker who was most recently registered with Corecap Investments, Inc.  disclose 5 Regulatory Events, 8 Customer Disputes , 4 Terminations and outstanding judgment/liens.

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 of 2017, FINRA permanently barred Romer from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public. Romer discloses other regulatory sanctions alleging that he failed to disclose federal and state tax liens against him.

In a pending matter brought by Michigan regulators, it is alleged that Romer defrauded a customer by convincing several customers to liquidate securities and entrust Romer with the proceeds, which Romer then deposited in an account which he controlled for his own benefit.

In a matter currently pending in Michigan circuit court a customer of CoreCap Investments seeks damages of $110,000 and alleges that Romer solicited funds from them to invest in a firm owned by him , P&R Capital. The customer alleges that Romer converted the funds to his own use.

In FINRA case 17-01082, a customer of CoreCap Investments seeks damages of $50,000 and alleges that Romer solicited them to invest in “CoreCap Solutions” but converted the money to his own use.

In January 2017, Romer was discharged by CoreCap Investments who made the following allegation on Romer’s FINRA record: “Romer obtained loans from three clients for the stated purpose of starting a business: he was instructed to return the funds and not to engage in the business. To the firm’s knowledge, no funds have been returned as of the date of this filing”.

Romer discloses two tax liens to the State of Michigan and one to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $160,634.

ROmer’s prior employment includes L.M. Kohn & Co. and Leonard and Company.

If you have questions about an investment account handled by Ernest Romer, III, contact us 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

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

September 2017

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
  • 8 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:

  • 8/2017-In FINRA Case 17-0279 a customer of Westminster Financial Securities and Concorde Investments alleges damages in excess of $5,000 for fraud, deceit and mismanagement of accounts.
  • 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