Category Archives: Cetera Advisors

Larry Stohs-Former Edward Jones Broker-Discloses Termination

January 2017-Columbia, South Carolina

The FINRA records of  Larry A. Stohs,  a  former stockbroker with Edward Jones disclose a termination from employment and two 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 January 2015 Stohs was discharged from Edward Jones with allegations that he violated firm policy regarding discretionary orders by exercising time and price discretion in clients’ accounts.

FINRA Rules prohibit certain types of conduct, including the following:

  • Purchasing or selling securities in a customer’s account without first contacting the customer and receiving the customer’s authorization to make the sale or purchase, unless the broker has received from the customer written discretionary authority to effect transactions in the account or the broker was given discretion as to price and time.

Stohs was registered with Edward Jones from 6/1993-2/2015, with Investors Capital Corp. from 3/2015-10/2016 and is currently registered with Cetera Advisors.

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by Larry A. Stohs , contact us to discuss your legal 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

Kevin Hudak-Former Foothill Securities Broker-Barred From Securities Industry

November 2016-Albuquerque, NM

The FINRA records of  Kevin Hudak,  a  former stockbroker last employed in the industry by Foothill Securities , was permanently barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.

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.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Hudak consented to entry of findings that he submitted non-solicitation forms to his firm that had non-authentic customer signatures. Hudak falsified the non-solicitation forms by having customers sign blank forms, which he then photocopied and reused for transactions in low priced securities.

The findings also state that Hudak provided false and misleading testimony to FINRA in connection with their investigation into the matter.

Hudak was registered with Foothill Securities from 6/2014-10/2015. Prior to that he was employed by Cetera Advisor Networks.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Kevin Hudak  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

VSR Financial-Overland Park, KS, Brokerage Firm- Shutting Down Operations

November 3, 2016-Overland Park, KS

The Kansas City Star reports that VSR Financial, which has been in business since 1984, it shutting down and moving its brokers and customers to other related firms in the Cetera Financial Group.

VSR Financial had about 215 brokers in 58 branches nationwide.

VSR has had several significant regulatory issues to deal with in the recent years:

Alternative Investment Issue

In May 2013, VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)  in connection with the sale of alternative investments similar to United Development Funding. In their findings, FINRA criticised VSR Financial for recommending high concentration levels of alternative investments in customer accounts and for its lack of supervision over the use of consolidated reports prepared by brokers and provided to customers.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. It may also include art, wine, antiques, coins or stamps. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

For more information related to VSR Financial’s alternative investment issues, follow this link. 

Variable Annuity Sales Issue

In October 2016, VSR Financial was censured and fined $400,000 for various supervisory issues related to the sale of variable annuities to customers. Related entities Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities and Summit Brokerage Services were also sanctioned by FINRA for supervisory failures related to the sales of variable annuities.

Follow this link to 10/2016 VSR Financial FINRA Sanction for Variable Annuity Sales Violations

If you have losses in an account in an account at  VSR Financial Services , 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

Senator Elizabeth Warren Criticizes Wall Street For Inadequately Policing Stock Brokers

March 3, 2016-Washington, DC

The Investment News reported that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren raised doubts during a Senate banking subcommittee hearing about whether FINRA can adequately police itself. Wa

During the hearing she questioned FINRA chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum on what the regulators are doing to ensure the protection of investors, citing a recent study by business school professors from the University of Chicago and University of Minnesota asserting that one in 13 brokers has some type of misconduct reported on their FINRA record. That same study shows that half of the brokers with ethical issues are fired, but 44% are rehired by another firm within a year.

While Ketchum said recidivism is being addressed, Senator Warren was not satisfied and insists that the industry must do better.

The study lists the 10 firms with the highest rate of misconduct:

FIRM                                                                     Misconduct     Brokers

Rate

1 Oppenheimer & Co. 19.60% 2,275
2 First Allied Securities 17.72% 1,112
3 Wells Fargo Advisors 15.30% 1,797
4 UBS Financial Services 15.14% 12,175
5 Cetera Advisors 14.39% 1,432
6 Securities America 14.30% 2,546
7 National Planning Corp. 14.03% 1,760
8 Raymond James Financial Inc. 13.74% 5,495
9 Stifel Nicolaus & Co. 13.27% 4,008
10 Janney Montgomery Scott 13.27% 1,394

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

Losses on RCS Capital (RCAP) ? Recovery Options for Investors.

December 3, 2015

RCS Capital Corp. (RCAP) was trading at over $38 in April 2014. At the time of this writing it is trading for 43 cents. Investors who have suffered losses on RCAP may be able to recover damages from the brokerage firm that recommended the investment if it can be shown that the recommendation was not suitable.

How did the value of this once high flying company drop so dramatically?

Last month , RCS Capital, founded by real estate mogul Nicholas Schorsch, settled charges with Massachusetts securities regulators who had charged the company with fraudulently obtaining proxy votes to support real estate deals sponsored by AR Capital, a related company. RCAP agreed to pay $3 million to settle the charges.

This week RCS Capital announced that they would shut down its wholesale brokerage division Realty Capital Securities due to declining sales of nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITs). This move will result in the layoff of around 200 people, according to recent press.

RCS Capital was on an acquisition binge over the past couple of years acquiring a string of independent broker dealers. At the time Schorsch was criticized for overpaying for these small brokerage firms and after third quarter reporting results, it appears the criticism was warranted, based upon the massive write-offs taken:

  • Cetera Financial Holdings-purchased in 2014 for $1.15 billion, written down by $134 million.
  • Summit Financial Services Group= purchased in 2014 for $57.2 million, written down by nearly $10 million.
  • First Allied Holdings purchased in 2014 for $177 million, written down by nearly $45 million.
  • Investors Capital Holdings purchased in 2014 for $52.5 million, written down by $26.7 million.
  • VSR Group, purchased in 2015 for $66.7 million, written down by $28 million.
  • Girard Securities purchased in 2015 for $27.8 million, written down by $13.2 million.
  • J.P. Turner purchased in 2014 for $32.7 million was written down by over $13 million earlier this year.

RCAP took additional write-offs on other business units totaling tens of millions of dollars as well.

If you suffered losses on RCAP that you purchased based on the recommendation of your broker you may be able to recover damages from the broker dealer where the broker worked at the time. Call to discuss your legal 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

Cetera Advisors Broker Clark Gardner Sanctioned by Securities Regulator

September 26, 2014-Orem, Utah–Clark S. Gardner was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA to resolve allegations that he converted customer funds by depositing them in his personal bank account.

According to the FINRA pleadings, a customer provided Gardner with $243,000 for an “investment opportunity” in April 2014. Instead of making an investment for the customer, Gardner deposited the check into his personal account and used it to repay funds he owed to other individuals and for personal expenses.

In addition, FINRA alleged that Gardner engaged in an outside business activity with the Firm’s knowledge or consent. FINRA records indicate that Gardner was employed by Cetera Advisors from 12/2013-5/2014. Prior to that he was employed by Sammons Securities Company.

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