Category Archives: MML Investor Services LLC

Former MML Investors Services Broker From Neptune Beach, FL, Arrested in Iowa for Forgery & Theft

July 1, 2015

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) entered a default decision against Jeffrey Alan Stewart barring him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for converting customer funds, impersonating a customer and failing to respond to FINRA requests for information and testimony. Disciplinary Proceeding 2012035316101. 

According to the FINRA pleadings Stewart was registered with Valic Financial Advisors from July 2009-May 2011. In August 2011, Stewart became registered with MML Investor Services, LLC, where he remained until he was terminated in 12/2012 by MML Investor Services ” in connection with allegations concerning an unauthorized product replacement”.

FINRA found that after leaving Valic to join MML Investor Services, Stewart impersonated one of his clients and converted $54,000 from the customer’s account at Valic.

On August 24 2015, the Iowa City Press-CItizen reported that Jeffrey Alan Stewart, 52, of Neptune Beach, FL, was charged with the felonies of securities fraud ,  forgery and first degree theft. He posted a $30,000 bond in Johnson County Court according to the report.

If you suffered losses in an account handled by Stewart, 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

Phil Williamson Charged in South Florida Securities Fraud

June 1, 2015

Phil D. Williamson, 48, of Miami, Florida, was charged with investment advisor fraud according to an FBI Press Release which reports that he raised over two million dollars from 17 individuals who were led to believe he worked for a nationally recognized financial services firm.

Williamson deposited the victims money in bank accounts in the name of two companies he owned, Sterling Investment Fund and Sterling Financial Partners. Investors were led to believe they would be investing in real estate in Florida and Georgia. He concealed the fraud by issuing false statements and in classic Ponzi scheme style, by paying early investors with money received from new investors.

In a parallel action the SEC charged him with securities fraud and other violations. Williamson agreed to settle those charges and is liable for over $700,000 in disgorgement.

The victims include retired teachers and law enforcement officers who sought safe investments for their retirement savings.

According to FINRA records, Williamson previously was registered with the following firms:

  • Hartford Equity Sales Company
  • OneAmerica Securities
  • MML Investor Services
  • AXA Advisors

If you suffered losses in an account handled by Williamson, you may be able to recover damages from the firm that employed him. Call 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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Former NEXT Financial Broker in Virginia Charged with Defrauding Texas Citizens

March 2, 2015

A Criminal Information was filed by the United States of America vs. Joshua Ray  Abernathy, of Norfolk Virginia, charging him with mail fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and seeking criminal forfeiture. USA v. Abernathy, US District Court For the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division, Criminal No. 2:15cr 21.

According to the complaint, Abernathy, a licensed securities broker and financial advisor operated his fraud through his company Omega Investment Group , from September 2008 through October 2014, he solicited funds from clients and investors for investment in stock options and unlawfully misappropriated those funds for personal use.

The victims, according to the Criminal Information, include:

  • A 75 year old widow from Texas who entrusted her retirement funds to Abernathy who concealed his fraud by providing fraudulent statements
  • A single mother from Texas who cashed in her retirement funds with the U.S. Postal Service and invested with Omega. Abernathy concealed his fraud by providing fraudulent statements
  • An individual from Texas who met Abernathy at church who transferred his retirement funds to Omega believing he was investing in a strategic investment fund. Abernathy concealed his fraud by providing fraudulent statements

The Criminal Information lists numerous other victims from Texas and Virginia with similar circumstances and in all cases the victims were provided with fraudulent statements. Losses are estimated to be about $1.3 million.

FINRA records indicate that Abernathy has been permanently barred from the industry. He was previously registered with the following broker-dealers:

  • The O.N. Equity Sales Company          2/2013-8/2014
  • NEXT Financial Group                               3/2007-8/2012
  • MML Investors Services                            2/2005-4/2007

If you had an account with Abernathy that suffered damages, contact us to learn how you may be able to recover all or a part of those losses from the broker-dealer Abernathy worked for at the time.

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

Aron M Coit Barred by FINRA

In August 2014 FINRA announced that broker Aron Michael Coit was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity to resolve allegations that he willfully failed to disclose civil judgments entered against him on regulatory forms as required by FINRA rules.

The findings state that Coit created and submitted a false paystub document in support of a personal loan application with a lender, overstating his income on the paystub and indicating that he was a salaried employee instead of an independent contractor.

According to FINRA records, Coit was formerly registered as follows:

  • 10/2012-07/2013       American Portfolios Financial Services
  • 01/2010-10/2012       MML Investors Services
  • 09/2008-11/2009       Pacific Select Distributors

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

Independent Broker Dealer Rankings Announced by Investment News

The Investment News recently announced the rankings of independent broker-dealers for 2013

BrokerDealer                   Gross Revenue

 1            LPL Financial LLC           $4B (billion)

2            Ameriprise Financial
Services Inc.                                     $3.2 B

3            Raymond James Financial
Services Inc.                                   $1.4 B

4            Commonwealth Financial
Network                                         $822 M (million)

5            Lincoln Financial Network       $794M

6            Wells Fargo Advisors
Financial Network                $707 M

7            Axa Advisors            $677M

8            Northwestern Mutual        $654M

9            Cambridge Investment
Research Inc.                      $574 M

10          Securities America Inc.      $475M

11          Royal Alliance Associates
Inc.                              $444 M

12          Cetera Advisor Networks    $435M

13          Waddell & Reed
Financial Advisors                       $426 M

14          ING Financial Partners
Inc.                                  $396 M

15          National Planning Corp.      $383M

16          NFP Advisor Services
Group                                $381 M

17          MML Investors Services
LLC                              $361 M

18          Securian Financial
Services Inc.                            $355 M

19          FSC Securities Corp.        $280M

20          Princor Financial
Services Corp.                           $279 M

21          SagePoint Financial Inc.  $279M

22          INVEST Financial Corp.      $278M

23          HD Vest Investment
Services                               $273 M

24          First Allied Securities
Inc.                                   $272 M

25          Signator Investors Inc.   $269M

Rex Securities Law , located in Boca Raton, FL, 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

561 391 1900

Metlife Securities Broker Aaron Kazinec Barred by FINRA-Theft of Customer Funds

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA’s chief role is to protect investors by maintaining the fairness of the U.S. capital markets.

All stockbrokers and broker dealers (brokerage firms) are required to be licensed by and subject to the rules and regulations of FINRA. Each month FINRA publishes disciplinary actions against brokers and broker dealers. Discipline can range from monetary fines and suspensions, or in extreme cases, revocation of licensing and a bar from the securities industry.

See the FINRA website for current and historical disciplinary actions.

 
October 2013

 Aaron Nash Kazinec (CRD #2371296, Registered Representative, Weston, Florida) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Kazinec consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he offered various non-securities fixed annuity investments to insurance customers. The findings stated that Kazinec told the customers to write checks, in varying amounts, and leave the payee field blank and/or to make the checks payable to cash. The customers complied, believing that Kazinec would use the funds for investments he had offered to them away from his brokerdealer. Kazinec took the checks from the customers and deposited them into his own bank account. Kazinec never invested the funds for the customers, instead using the funds for himself without the customers’ permission or knowledge. Kazinec misappropriated a total of $745,250. The findings also stated that Kazinec failed to timely update his Form U4 to reflect the existence of a federal tax lien. ( FINRA Case #2012035005801)

According to FINRA records, Kazinec was registered as follows:

Metlife Securities  03/2007-12/2012

Metroplitan Life Ins. 03/2007-07/2007

MML Investors Services 04/1998-03/2007

If you have questions about investment losses or the way your brokerage account has been handled, please contact us to discuss your legal rights.

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

MML Investors Services Fined $125K By FINRA–Failed to Supervise Brokers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA’s chief role is to protect investors by maintaining the fairness of the U.S. capital markets.

All stockbrokers and broker dealers (brokerage firms) are required to be licensed by and subject to the rules and regulations of FINRA. Each month FINRA publishes disciplinary actions against brokers and broker dealers. Discipline can range from monetary fines and suspensions, or in extreme cases, revocation of licensing and a bar from the securities industry.

See the FINRA website for current and historical disciplinary actions as well as the complete FINRA report on MML Investors Services, Inc.

 
October 2013
 
MML Investors Services, Inc. , was fined $125,000 and censured by FINRA for failing to supervise brokers who sold unapproved private securities to customers of the firm. In addition they were required to pay restitution to injured customers in the amount of $784,847. The findings stated that the brokers sold unapproved promissory notes to investors.  FINRA Case # 2009017118601. For the complete report visit the FINRA disciplinary website and follow the October 2013 link.

If you have questions about investment losses or the way your brokerage account has been handled, please contact us to discuss your legal rights.
Rex Securities Law , located in Boca Raton, FL, 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

561 391 1900