Category Archives: EFG Capital International

FINRA Announces February 2013 Disciplinary Actions

FINRA Announces February 2013 Disciplinary Actions

By Robert H. Rex, Esq.

The
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issues a report on
disciplinary and other actions involving registered brokers, investment
advisers and brokerage firms every month. 


Here are significant Florida related actions for February 2013. Follow this link to the FINRA website for all of the February 2013 disciplinary actions as well as for prior periods.


Gardnyr Michael Capital, Inc. (Mobile, Alabama) and James Michael Pietkiewicz -Winter Park, Florida was censured, fined $30,000 and was liable for paying $11,155.35, plus interest, in restitution to customers. Pietkiewicz was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for 45 days.

Pietkiewicz consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that the firm permitted a registered
representative to use personal accounts he maintained or controlled as inventory accounts from which he could, through a firm account, sell and also buy municipal securities to and from customers. The firm and the representative did not disclose to their customers that one of the representative’s personal accounts had been interposed or otherwise involved
in the transactions, or that they had charged excessive markups on the transactions.

The findings stated that Pietkiewicz was responsible for reviewing the registered representative’s municipal securities transactions for, among other things, fair pricing violations, excessive markups and interpositioning. Contrary to the firm’s WSPs—which prohibited the firm from selling municipal securities from its own account to a customer except at an aggregate price that was fair and reasonable and would not exceed a 3 percent markdown/markup; and prohibited interpositioning—the firm, through Pietkiewicz, failed
to supervise the registered representative’s handling of municipal bond transactions, and failed to implement or enforce the policies regarding markups on municipal securities and interpositioning.

Pietkiewicz was responsible for the management of a branch office and was involved in the management, direction or

supervision of the firm’s underwriting of municipal securities deals, although he did not pass the municipal securities principal qualification examination until a later date and was
not properly registered or qualified to act in that capacity.

The suspension is in effect from January 22, 2013, through March 7, 2013. 

EFG Capital International Corp. -Miami, Florida was censured and fined $12,500.
The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to report S1 transactions in TRACE-eligible corporate debt securities transactions to TRACE within 15 minutes of the execution time.

The firm also failed to report P1 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities to TRACE within T+1 of the execution time.

E.S. Financial Services, Inc. -Miami, Florida) was censured and fined $200,000.

The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it served as a placement agent and solicited certain non-U.S. persons to invest in a commercial paper program offered by a firm affiliate located outside the United States. The commercial paper program was offered and sold exclusively to non-U.S. persons pursuant to Regulation S. At certain times, in connection with the firm’s sales of the investments, the firm provided a customized document to each of the customers and/or prospective customers, in which the firm included the program in the cash component of the customer’s portfolio alongside U.S. Treasuries and other commercial paper products; placed the program within investment options described as conservative; and that the main objective of investing in this category was to reduce global risk as well as to generate some income.

The findings stated that the firm recommended investing
in the program over U.S. Treasuries or other commercial paper if the customer wanted a higher-yielding option. Contrary to the contents of the investment proposals, the program was not a cash component, nor was it necessarily a conservative, low-risk investment.

These representations amounted to false, exaggerated or unwarranted statements in these materials. The findings also stated that the firm posted an information memorandum on a
password-protected website accessible to customers; the memorandum did not adequately detail certain risks associated with investing in the program. The firm failed to conduct adequate due diligence relating to its sales of the commercial paper program, and failed to adopt, maintain and enforce adequate WSPs pertaining to its sale of the investments until nearly four years after it began selling the investments. The findings also included that the
firm failed to adopt, maintain and enforce written due diligence procedures tailored to its sale of the investments. Although all of the investments were repaid on a timely basis at maturity and no customer lost money, the firm’s failure to implement written due diligence procedures nevertheless led it to fail to conduct a reasonable investigation concerning
various matter concerning the investments.

Tradewire Securities, LLC -Miami, Florida was censured and fined $125,000. The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to establish and implement adequate AML procedures and controls, including requiring due diligence to be performed on correspondent accounts for foreign financial institutions, monitoring new rules proposed under Section 311 of the
USA Patriot Act, evidencing its searches of its records as required by Section 314 of the USA Patriot Act, and freezing and prohibiting tra
nsactions by persons suspected of terrorist
activities under Executive Order #13224.

The findings stated that the firm’s AML procedures were inadequate in that it incorrectly identified the firm’s AML compliance officer (AMLCO), incorrectly stated the firm did not maintain customer accounts or maintain accounts for foreign correspondent banks when it did, and incorrectly stated it would not open or maintain private banking accounts or accounts on behalf of senior foreign political figures or public officials when it did.

FINRA found that the firm failed to develop and implement a written AML compliance program that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the BSA, regulations
promulgated thereunder, and applicable FINRA and NASD rules. FINRA also found that the firm failed to establish an adequate system of supervisory control procedures.
management, and certify its compliance and supervisory processes. The firm assigned two general securities representatives to review the firm’s email but they were not
registered firm principals, so the firm failed to comply with FINRA/NASD rules regarding review of correspondence by a registered firm principal. Moreover, FINRA found that the
firm failed to conduct annual inspections of one OSJ for three years and failed to conduct annual inspections of another OSJ for two years.

Joseph Edward Conti -was barred from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. In light of Conti’s financial status, no monetary sanctions have been imposed.

Conti consented to the  described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he negligently and repeatedly made false oral and written representations to FINRA that an individual was his member firm’s financial and operations principal (FINOP) when he was not acting in that capacity. The findings stated that Conti’s firm did not have a FINOP and no one performed the functionsusually performed by a FINOP. The findings also stated that by negligently and repeatedly providing false information to FINRA, Conti impeded FINRA’s examination. FINRA records indicate that Conti was last registered with Forge Financial.
The suspension is in effect from December 17, 2012, through March 16, 2013.

Donald Richard Dahn -Palm City, Florida-was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months. In light of Dahn’s financial status, no monetary sanction was imposed.

Dahn consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he borrowed a total of $240,900 in business loans from customers, for operating expenses for a company Dahn and his brother ran, and failed to disclose the loans to his member firm.

Dahn co-signed promissory notes executed on behalf of the customers. The firm’s written supervisory procedures prohibited borrowing money from customers. Dahn failed to repay the loans to the customers, which his firm ultimately reimbursed.

FINRA records indicate Dahn was last registered with LPL Financial.
The suspension is in effect from December 17, 2012, through June 16, 2013.

Stephen Chrismore Hamblin Geneva, Florida- was fined $15,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for five months.

Hamblin consented to the described sanctions
and to the entry of findings that while working as a banking associate at a bank that was affiliated with his member firm, Hamblin received a watch valued at approximately $2,000 as a gift from a bank client, which violated the bank’s policies.

Hamblin’s firm acquired another member firm and while registered with the acquired firm, Hamblin was interviewed by federal investigators in connection with a criminal investigation of three bank clients. During the interview, Hamblin stated that one of the bank’s clients being investigated bought a watch for him, and claimed that he
subsequently reimbursed the client for the watch. In fact, Hamblin had not reimbursed the bank client. The findings also stated that thereafter, Hamblin sent an email to the bank
investigator and a manager of the acquired firm, in which he repeated his false claim that he purchased the watch and attached a receipt for a bond that he claimed evidenced that
he purchased the watch. The receipt for the bond disclosed that one of the bank clients purchased the bond during the same time Hamblin had received the watch. The findings
also included that later, Hamblin met with counsel the firm hired in connection with its ongoing investigation. Hamblin again denied that the watch was a gift, and claimed that he paid $2,000 to a friend—but not one of the bank clients—who had purchased the watch online. Each of Hamblin’s statements that he purchased the watch was false.

FINRA records indicate Hamblin was last registered with JW Cole Financial

The suspension is in effect from January 22, 2013, through June 21, 2013.

Edward Daniel Hochard -Palm Bay, Florida-was fined $15,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months.

Hochard consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he personally purchased 1,000 shares of a private company’s common stock for the total amount of $10,000, directly from the company in a private offering, when he did not provide prior written notice to his member firm of his intent to participate in the purchase of the company’s common stock in a private transaction, nor did he receive the firm’s approval to purchase the common stock.

Hochard opened and maintained a Roth independent retirement account (IRA) with another FINRA member
firm without providing notice to the FINRA member firm that he was employed by another FINRA member firm. Hochard further failed to disclose to his firm that he had opened a
securities account with another FINRA member firm. When Hochard completed the new account form to open the account he falsely answered “no” to the question regarding NASD
affiliation. The findings also stated that on separate occasions, Hochard completed annual attestations and representations reports and, on each occasion, he submitted the report to
his firm in which he made false and inaccurate representations for the question concerning the opening of an outside brokerage account for which the firm had not been notified.

According to FINRA he was last registered with PFS Investments.

The suspension is in effect from January 7, 2013, through July 6, 2013.

Kelly Quinn Patrick – Clearwater, Florida was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 days. In light of Patrick’s financial status, no monetary sanction has been imposed.

Patrick consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he engaged in an outside business activity after his member firm denied his request to engage in such activity. The findings stated that Patrick requested approval to work as chief operating officer for his friend’s newly-founded business, an online securities information resource, which was also attempting to launch a hedge fund. The firm denied Patrick’s request, noting that the activity would be impossible to supervise and might constitute working for a competitor. The findings also stated that after his request was denied, Patrick engaged in activities related to the outside business. Patrick attended meetings with potential investors on the outside business’ behalf. During these meetings, Patrick held
himself out as an officer of the outside business. Patrick also provided editing assistance, research and news updates to the outside business.

FINRA reports that he was last registered with Fidelity Brokerage Services, LLC.

The suspension was in effect from January 7, 2013, through February 5, 2013.

Richard Alan Seligson -Boca Raton, Florida- was fined
$10,000, suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one year and ordered to pay $41,100, plus interest, in restitution to customers.

Seligson consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he borrowed $45,000 from close friends and relatives, all of whom were his firm’s customers. The findings stated that Seligson has repaid only $3,900 of the amount owed. Seligson did not seek to obtain his firm’s written approval to obtain loans from any of the customers.
Seligson completed compliance questionnaires in which he was asked if he had entered into loans with customers. On each questionnaire, Seligson falsely answered that he had
not taken such loans. The findings also stated that the firm’s WSPs generally prohibited representatives from taking loans from their customers, except under extremely rare and
extenuating circumstances. Under the firm’s procedures, these circumstances could include borrowing or lending arrangements with clients who were family members. The firm’s WSPs explicitly stated that requests to enter into borrowing or lending arrangements with family members had to be submitted for review and approval before engaging in lending activity.

Seligson was last registered with National Securities Corporation according to FINRA records.

The suspension is in effect from December 17, 2012, through December 16, 2013.

Delaney Equity Group,
LLC -Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and David Cameron Delaney West Palm Beach, Florida named respondents in a FINRA complaint alleging that the firm, acting through Delaney, its president/CCO/AMLCO, failed to conduct adequate due diligence to determine whether
they were participating in a scheme to evade the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 by selling shares of low-priced equity securities that were
unregistered and non-exempt. A firm customer had obtained almost $2.4 million through the sale of these securities, which ceased only when the firm’s clearing firm restricted
the customer’s accounts. The complaint alleges that the firm, acting through Delaney, relied on opinion letters by one counsel representing all of the issuers, who was later
found to have issued inaccurate correspondence to the OTC markets and failed to note the contradiction in the customer’s actions and representations. The firm, acting through
Delaney, sold almost a billion shares of common stock on the customer’s behalf that were not registered with the SEC, and no exemption from registration applied to such sales. The
complaint also alleges that the firm, acting through Delaney, failed to establish, maintain and enforce adequate policies and procedures, including WSPs, reasonably designed to
ensure compliance with Section 5 of the Securities Act to prevent the sale of unregistered securities not exempt from registration. The firm, acting through Delaney, failed to develop and implement AML policies, procedures and internal controls reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the BSA and implementing regulations. The complaint further alleges that the AML procedures failed to address the detection, monitoring, analyzing, investigating and reporting of suspicious activity in the context of its securities liquidation business. The firm and Delaney should have detected the suspicious nature of a customer’s liquidation of low-priced securities, investigated the activity and made suspicious activity report (SAR) filings as necessary but instead, permitted the customer’s suspicious trading
activity to occur and failed to report any activities through a SAR as necessary. In addition, the complaint alleges that the firm, acting through Delaney, either failed to identify or
ignored red flags involving numerous instances of potentially suspicious activities, and thus failed to sufficiently investigate and, if necessary, report these activities in accordance
with its WSPs, the requirements of the BSA, and implementing regulations. Moreover, the complaint alleges that when the firm became a FINRA member firm, it agreed, as part of its membership agreement, that a registered representative would be subjected to heightened supervision.

If you have suffered losses in your brokerage account due to negligent advice or fraud, you may be able to recover all or a part of those losses through FINRA arbitration. Most of our cases are done on a contingent fee basis, meaning you only pay fees if you recover.

Nationwide representation.
Free consultation.

Rex Securities Law
561 391 1900

FINRA Announces January 2013 Disciplinary Actions

FINRA Announces January 2013 Disciplinary Actions

By Robert H. Rex, Esq.

The
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issues a report on
disciplinary and other actions involving registered brokers, investment
advisers and brokerage firms every month. 


Here are significant Florida related actions for January 2013. Follow this link to the FINRA website for all of the January 2013 disciplinary actions as well as prior periods. 

B & T Securities, Inc. – Boca Raton, FL and Brent Daryl Obergfell  Registered Principal, Boca Raton, FL submitted
a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which the firm was censured, fined $20,000, of which $10,000 was jointly and severally with Obergfell, and required to discontinue any use of “B&T Asset Management,” and submit for review to FINRA’s Department of Advertising Regulation any websites made available to the public or any customer. Obergfell was suspended from association with any FINRA® member in any principal capacity for five business
days.

T
he firm and Obergfell consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that the firm posted a website that made numerous misleading and unsubstantiated claims
or characterizations, and did not comply with Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) rules. The findings stated that when trading losses started to mount and the trading strategy the firm employed started changing in
response to changed markets, other statements posted to the website became misleading. The firm’s website failed to provide a basis for the trading model and “Investment Style and Practice” descriptions. The logo on the website’s
first page and elsewhere on the website characterized the firm as an asset management firm and claimed it had a unique market focus without providing a basis for those characterizations. The findings also stated that the firm’s
written supervisory procedures (WSPs) addressing communications with the public did not address continued (or periodic) review of advertising (whether through websites or otherwise) to ensure the material remained accurate. The
WSPs did not assign anyone responsible for writing, approving or updating the WSPs applicable to advertising (including websites), and failed to designate
anyone with responsibility for supervising the chief compliance officer (CCO).
The suspension was in effect from January 7, 2013, through January 11, 2013.

EFG Capital International – Miami, Florida was censured and fined $40,000. The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to report to TRACE S1 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities within 15 minutes of the execution time. The findings stated that the firm failed to report to TRACE P1 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities within T+1 of the execution time.
The findings also stated that the firm failed to report the correct market identifier to TRACE for some S1 and P1 transactions, and over-reported some S1 transactions in TRACEeligible securities. The findings also included that the firm failed to report to TRACE the correct contra-party’s identifier for transactions in TRACE-eligible securities.

Tradewire Securities LLC -Miami, Florida the firm was censured, fined $27,500 and required to revise its WSPs regarding TRACE reporting. The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed, within 90 seconds after execution, to transmit to the FNTRF last sale reports of transactions in designated securities and incorrectly designated as “.SLD” to the FNTRF last sale reports of transactions in designated securities within 90 seconds of execution. The findings stated that the firm double-reported to TRACE transactions in TRACE-eligible securities and reported transactions in TRACE-eligible securities it was not required to report. The findings also stated that the firm failed to report to TRACE S1 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities within 15 minutes of the execution time, and failed to report to TRACE the correct
capacity in TRACE-eligible corporate securities transactions. The findings also included that the firm’s supervisory system did not provide for supervision reasonably designed to
achieve compliance with applicable securities laws, regulations and FINRA rules concerning TRACE reporting.

(John Boyd Dexter –North Miami, Florida) was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Dexter
consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to appear for testimony as FINRA requested in connection with an investigation that FINRA had initiated concerning alleged suspicious activity at a member firm’s branch, where Dexter was employed as branch office manager. The findings stated that in a telephone conversation with FINRA, Dexter stated that he would not provide testimony or cooperate with the investigation because he was no longer employed in the securities industry.

According to FINRA records, Boyd last worked for Murphy & Durieu brokerage firm.

Alison Marie Janke – Port Richey, Florida was fined $11,600, which includes the disgorgement of financial benefit received of $6,600, and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. Janke consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that she participated in a private securities transaction without providing prior written notice to her member firm. Janke referred a customer who was seeking alternative investments to a registered representative at a different firm, where the customer invested $200,000 in a real estate investment trust (REIT) through the other
registered representative. Janke not only referred the customer to another representative, but also attended the meeting with the customer and the other representative, and
assisted with the completion of the purchase transaction. The findings stated that a limited liability company Janke owned received a $6,600 payment in connection with the sale of
the REIT.

According to FINRA records Janke works for Summit Brokerage Services. Prior to that she was employed by Wells Fargo Advisors.

The suspension is in effect from December 3, 2012, through March 2, 2013.

William Earl Manley -Sarasota, Florida was barred from
association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Manley consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to respond to a F
INRA request for information regarding his arrest, felony charge and termination from his member firm. The findings stated that Manley advised FINRA he would not respond to a request for information.

According to FINRA records, Manley is not currently registered and he last worked for PRUCO Securities in Sarasota, FL.

James DeFranco Marshall Longwood, Florida  was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 days.  Marshall consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he became involved with an entity engaged in non-securities, non-investment related business. Marshall was identified in public documents as one of the entity’s three managers/members. Marshall also created and maintained the company’s website.

Marshall received $4,835.47 in compensation for his outside business activity. The findings stated that Marshall failed to provide his member firm with prior written notice of this
outside business activity.

The suspension was in effect from December 3, 2012, through January 1, 2013.

Charles Tuttle Mason aka Chip Mason St. Pete
Beach, Florida and Darren Duane Gibson Oceanside, California were each fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for
three months. Mason and Gibson consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that while employed as wholesalers at their member firm, they were responsible for promoting a non-registered entity’s offerings to retail broker-dealers, through sales presentations and providing marketing materials to registered representatives. The findings stated that Gibson, through his wholesaling efforts related to the entity’s offerings, secured selling agreements from retail broker-dealers, who in turn raised more than $300 million from investors and earned $2,930,000. The findings also stated that Mason, through his wholesaling efforts related to the entity’s offerings, secured selling agreements from broker-dealers, who in turn raised more than $132 million
from investors and earned approximately $1,500,000. The findings also included that Mason and Gibson assisted the retail broker-dealers with product training by providing
sales and marketing materials designed to encourage individual investors to purchase the offerings. Mason and Gibson read most of the third-party due diligence reports regarding the offerings. Several of the reports raised concerns about the accounting of inter-offering transactions and the ability of the offerings to generate sufficient revenue from oil and gas investments. Mason and Gibson, though aware of the concerns raised in the due diligence reports, continued to market the offerings without having adequately investigated the subject concerns and determining for themselves whether the offerings were appropriate to be recommended to investors.

Mason’s suspension is in effect from November 19, 2012, through February 18, 2013. Gibson’s suspension is in effect from November 19, 2012, through February 18, 2013.

According to FINRA records Mason is not currently registered and last worked Newport Coast Securities.

Steven Jay Oshinsky – Boca Raton, Florida was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one year. Without admitting or denying the allegations,
Oshinsky consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to timely respond to FINRA requests for documents and information to investigate his
potential failure to disclose tax liens and outside business activities on his Form U4. The findings stated that Oshinsky’s failure to timely respond impeded FINRA’s investigation.
The suspension is in effect from December 17, 2012, through December 16, 2013. According to FINRA records he is not registered and last worked for Catalyst Financial.

Clayton George Roach Jacksonville, Florida was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months.

Roach consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he participated in the sale of private placements by promoting an offshore investment club,
referring investors, acting as an officer and registered agent for the offshore investment clubs’ Florida-based affiliate, facilitating other people’s investment in the offshore
investment club and receiving no less than $64,000 in compensation from the offshore investment club. Roach did not receive any direct compensation based on the referrals, but he received a monthly stipend for other activities on the offshore investment club’s behalf.

The findings stated that Roach participated in private placement securities transactions without providing the requisite notice to his firm. The suspension is in effect from December 3, 2012, through June 2, 2013.

According to FINRA records he last worked for Equity Sevices Inc. and is not currently registered.

Michael Lee Trier (CRD #1628954, Registered Representative, Oviedo, Florida was fined $2,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 business days.   Trier engaged in private securities transactions without providing his member firm with the required written notice describing the proposed sales.
The suspension was in effect from November 19, 2012, through January 3, 2013.

Ronald E. Walblay
Delray Beach, Florida was barred
from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. The sanction was based on findings that Walblay failed to appear in response to FINRA requests for on-the-record
testimony.
The decision has been appealed to the NAC and the sanction is not in effect pending review.
According to FINRA records Walblay last worked for Energy Securities and is not currently registered.

Kenneth Andrew Mauchin
-Sanford, Florida was
named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he misappropriated $23,750 from
elderly customers’ accounts by converting their funds to cashier’s checks and depositing
those checks into a bank account of an entity he controlled. The complaint alleges that Mauchin did so without the customers’ knowledge or authorization. The complaint also
alleges that Mauchin prepared a customer’s application for a variable annuity and falsely listed his bank branch office address as the customer’s mailing addres
s, which he knew to
be false. In addition, a customer applied for a premiere select IRA brokerage account with Mauchin’s firm and, without the customer’s knowledge or authorization, he falsely listed
his bank branch office address as the customer’s mailing address, which he knew to be false. These applications became part of the firm’s books and records, causing his firm’s books and records to be false. The complaint further alleges that Mauchin failed to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony.
According to FINRA records he last worked for SunTrust Investment Services.

If you have suffered losses in your brokerage account due to negligent advice or fraud, you may be able to recover all or a part of those losses through FINRA arbitration. Most of our cases are done on a contingent fee basis, meaning you only pay fees if you recover.

Nationwide representation.
Free consultation.

Rex Securities Law
561 391 1900

FINRA Announces October 2012 Disciplinary Actions

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issues a report on disciplinary and other actions involving registered brokers, investment advisers and brokerage firms every month. 

Here are significant Florida related actions for October 2012. Follow this link to the FINRA website for the entire report for actions nationwide for the month of October 2012 as well as to access  earlier time periods.


This month Variable Annuities seems to be the common theme in the Florida matters. These investments are subject to abuse since they generally offer the selling broker a commission substantially greater than most of the other options. 

You can access the employment, educational and disciplinary history of any broker by going to the FINRA Broker Check website which can be accessed here


Cobalt Capital, Inc.-Winter Park, FL– was censured and fined $15,000 and findings were entered that the firm failed to preserve all of its business-related electronic communications for about two years.

Credicorp Securities, Inc.-Coral Gables, FL– was censured and fined $10,000 and findings were entered that the firm failed to report transactions to TRACE and also incorrectly reported some transactions and that in 31 instances the firm failed to provide proper disclosure to customers. 

EFG Capital International, Corp.-Miami-FL– was censured and fined $32,500 and findings that the failed to report the correct contra-party identifier for transactions in TRACE eligible securities to TRACE and other violations related to TRACE.

Equity Station, Inc.-Boca Raton, FL– censured and fined $10,000 and findings entered that the firm conducted securities business while failing to maintain its required net minimum capital and that the firm booked transactions for which there was no economic substance or support and improperly classified a receivable. It was also found that the firm failed to file early warning notifications and filed inaccurate monthly FOCUS reports. 

Venecredit Securities, Inc.-Miami, FL– censured and fined $25,000 and FINRA found that for 2 years most of the firm’s retail business came from foreign finders who were employed by a related entity and that the firm did not adequately supervise the foreign finders. Deficiencies were also found as to the retention of electronic communications. 

vFinance Investments, Inc.-Boca Raton,FL-censured and fined $22,500 and findings that is sold corporate bonds to customers at a price that was not fair. The firm was also fined an additonal $25,000 for failing to maintain minimum net capital requirements, booking transactions for which there was no economic substance and other infractions.

Adam S. Deane- Naples, FL– censured and fined $25,000 and suspended for three months, with findings that Deane recommended and executed a variable annuity replacement in a state where he was not licensed to sell such a product. The findings also state that he included false information in the application. Suspension is from September 4, 2012-December 3, 2012. According to FINRA records, Deane is not currently registered. He last worked for Best Direct Securities, LLC in Bonita Springs. Prior to that he was with Merrill Lynch. 

Alice H. Everett-Hialeah, FL-submitted Offer of Settlement in which she was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Findings were entered that she failed to respond to FINRA requests for information regarding a private securities transaction and unsuitable investment recommendations. According to FINRA records, Everett is not currently registered and last worked for Allstate Financial Services in Sunny Isles, FL. Prior to that she worked for Intersecurities, Inc. in Hialeah.

Michael J Hester-Tampa, FL-barred by FINRA upon findings that he engaged in a private securities transaction by accepting $20,000 from individuals for the purchase of an investment without approval from his firm. Hester deposited the funds into a bank account controlled by him and converted them to his personal use. Hester is not currently registered with FINRA and last worked for International Assets Advisory in Orlando. Prior to that he was with Oppenheimer & Co. 

Alan B. Levin-Coral Springs, FL– fined $10,000 and suspended for 10 days for allowing his firm to conduct business while not capital deficient and while he was serving as FINOP. Levin is currently employed by VFinance Investments, Equity Station, Inc. and National Securities Corp. in Boca Raton, FL.

Edgar A Thomas-Winter Haven, FL-fined $5,000 and suspended for 10 days upon findings that he failed to supervise a broker who recommended variable annuity purchases and exchanges without reasonable basis to believe the customer was adequately apprised of the associated costs. Thomas is not currently registered and last worked for Brookstone Securities, Inc. in Lakeland, FL. Prior to that he was with J.W. Cole Financial. 

Kris M Thoresen-Ponte Vedra, FL-fined $10,000 and suspended for one year upon findings that he did not comply with firm guidelines with regard to the sale of variable annuities. The transactions had a value in excess of $1.2 million and some were resubmitted directly to the product sponsor after his firm had rejected them. Thoresen
is not currently registered and last worked for Allstate Financial Services in Jacksonville. 

Stephanie L Webster-Ft. Lauderdale, FL-fined $5,000 and suspended for 15 days upon findings that she trying to settle a customer complaint by paying $70,000, without notifying her current or previous member firm. Webster is not currently registered and last worked for Atlas One Financial Group in West Palm Beach, FL. Prior to that she was with Capital Guardian, LLC. 

Andrew M. Abern-Miami,FL-fined $25,000 and censured upon findings that he provided some customers with variable annuity expense disclosure forms containing inaccurate information. The proposed transaction was unsuitable since it contemplated using refinancing proceeds from the customers residence and was too high a concentration level. Abern is registered with Dalton Strategic Investment Services in Coral Gables, FL. 

Johan Mary-Lyn Akal-Sarasota, FL– named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that she forged, without authority, a customers signature on withdrawal slips and took over $47,000 from the customers bank account. Akal is not currently registered. Her last registration was with Suntrust Investment Services in Sarasota, FL. 

Levinski D Barnes-Lutz, FL-named a respondent in a FINRA complaint that he misled a customer as to an outside investment, collected $50,000 from the customer and only returned a portion. Barnes is not currently registered. His last registration was with J.P. Turner & Company. 

If you have questions about losses or other activity in your brokerage account, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have been helping investors recover stock market losses for more than 20 years. 

Free consultation. Nationwide representation.


561 391 1900