Category Archives: Morgan Keegan

Mark S. Garfinkel-Oppenheimer Broker, Boca Raton-Discloses Customer Disputes and Bankruptcy Filing

August  2016-Boca Raton, Florida

The FINRA records of Mark S. Garfinkel ,  a  stock broker who is currently employed  by Oppenheimer & Co.  , disclose  five prior  customer disputes and and one financial event.

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.

Garfinkel’s prior customer disputes include:

  • New York Stock Exchange Case#2002-010633-In which a customer of Garfinkel’s prior employer, Morgan Stanley, alleged damages of $435,000 for common law and statutory securities violations. That case was settled for $95,000.

Garfinkel discloses the filing of a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy proceeding in 9/2010 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Florida.

Garfinkel has been employed by Oppenheimer & Co. at 4855 Technology Way, Suite 400,  Boca Raton, FL, since 11/2013.   Garfinkel’s  prior employment includes:

  • Raymond James, Jupiter, FL                     2/2013-11/2013
  • Morgan Keegan, Jupiter, FL                      8/2010-2/2013
  • Morgan Stanley SB, Boca Raton             6/2009-8/2010
  • Citigroup Global Mkt, Boca                       4/2005-6/2009

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

Murray B. Roark-Wunderlich Securities Broker-Discloses Pending Customer Dispute Over Energy Investments

Dallas, Texas

According to FINRA records,  Murray B. Roark,  a stockbroker  who works for Wunderlich Securities ,  discloses  a pending customer dispute and  three prior final 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 pending FINRA Case 16-0404, a customer alleges damages of $303,950 for lack of diversification, over concentration and misrepresentation from October 2014 through 2015. The product type is indicated to be Equity-OTC, Equity Listed and Oil & Gas.

Roark  has been employed by Wunderlich since 7/2011. Prior to that he was with Morgan Keegan & Co.

If you have questions about an account handled  by Murray B. Roark , call for a no charge consultation.

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

Crosby Thomley-Former Raymond James Broker- Barred From Securities Industry for Misappropriating Commissions-Tuscaloosa, AL

July 10, 2015-Tuscaloosa. AL

Crosby Morrow Thomley  entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC)  with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that while associated with Raymond James & Associates he converted approximately $200,000 from another Raymond James broker by redirecting commissions to himself which should have been split with the other broker, thereby violating FINRA Rule 2010.

Thomley was barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.

FINRA AWC 2014042799101

According to FINRA records, Thomley was registered with Raymond James  from 2/2013-9/2014. Prior to that he was registered with Morgan Keegan & Company.

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

Claus C. Foerster Sanctioned by South Carolina Securities Regulators

October 17, 2014-The Securities Commissioner of South Carolina, Alan Wilson, entered a consent order barring Claus Christop Foerster from participating in any aspect of the securities industry in or from the State of South Carolina. In addition Foerster was assessed an administrative fine of $120,000.

In June 2014, FINRA entered a permanent bar from the securities industry against Foerster to resolve allegations that while employed at Citigroup Global Markets, Morgan Keegan & Company and Raymond James & Associates, Foerster converted about $3 million in customer funds to his personal use.

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

Claus C. Foerster, Former Raymond James Broker, Barred by FINRA

June 2014- Spartanburg, South Carolina- Claus Christoph Foerster was barred by FINRA from association with any member in any capacity to resolve allegations that he solicited firm customers to invest in a fictitious entity and converted the funds to his own use. The entity was not an investment fund but rather Foerster’s own personal bank account. About $3 million was converted.

According to FINRA records, Foerster was most recently registered as follows:

  • Raymond James            2/2013-6/2014
  • Morgan Keegan            2/2008-2/2013
  • Citigroup Global          7/1997-2/2008

If you had an account  with Foerster that suffered losses you may be able to recover losses through FINRA arbitration. Call to discuss your legal options.

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

 

 

Why Are Brokerage Firms Suing Their Former Stock Brokers ?

Many investors may not be aware of the fact that in the brokerage industry when a stock broker moves from one broker dealer to another, unless he is a poor producer or has been asked to leave, it is common practice for the new brokerage firm to pay the stock broker a “signing bonus” if he is able to convince his customers to follow him.

The amount of this signing bonus is based on the production (commissions, margin interest credits, etc) history of the broker and can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars (or millions for the really big producer). This is referred to as the value of “his book”.

The firm disguises the bonus to your broker as a forgivable loan. If the broker generates the revenue requirements in the forgivable loan agreement annually, then a certain amount of the loan is forgiven. It does not take much contemplation of this arrangement to arrive at the conclusion that there is an inherent conflict of interest that works contrary to the best interest of you, the broker’s customer.

For example, if the year is coming to an end and the broker has not yet generated sufficient commission income from his customers who followed him to the new firm to qualify for having a portion of the loan forgiven, he is faced with two choices:

  1. Figure a way to generate activity in the customer accounts to meet the revenue goal and have a portion of the loan forgiven; or
  2. Face having to repay that portion of the bonus to the firm.

My experience with both the industry and human nature leads me to believe option 1 will be the path taken in most cases. We often see in our cases mutual fund churning, equity churning and the recommendation of unsuitable investments including private placements, non traded REITs , oil & gas investments and limited partnerships that have likely been generated, not to benefit the investor, but rather to generate commissions for the broker and his firm.

What happens when a broker who has received a signing bonus leaves his firm for a new firm with the promissory note unpaid? Prudent business practice would suggest that the broker would pay off the note to the firm he is departing. In real life, many brokers leave for the new firm and are sued in FINRA arbitration by the old firm for the outstanding balance. Their defense is generally based upon allegations that the old firm somehow hindered their ability to conduct business.

In this week’s FINRA arbitration awards there was a spate of arbitrations by firms against their former brokers, including these:

  • Wells Fargo v Caio Dean Dunson (Case 10-2139) Dunson had signed two notes in 2005 and 2006 on which he still owed over $800,000 when he left Wells Fargo, and apparently the industry, in 2009. The FINRA arbitration panel ordered Dunson to pay Wells Fargo nearly a million dollars, plus attorney fees and costs. A review of Dunson’s CRD on the BrokerCheck site reveals that he had a number of customer complaints involving misrepresentation of variable universal life policies. Wells Fargo paid hundreds of thousands to the aggrieved investors.
  • Ameriprise v Lisa Engstrom Seran (Case 12-2563) Ameriprise requested the $75,000 note balance and interest which the arbitration panel awarded pursuant to a stipulated award between the parties. According to FINRA recoreds Seran currently is registered with Cetera Advisors, LLC.
  • Morgan Keegan v Wayne Thomas Altman (Case 11-3624) Morgan Keegan alleged failure to repay commissions related to cancelled annuity sales and to repay promissory notes executed by Altman in 2009 & 2010 and sought $115,000 plus interest on the notes and $5,100 related to commissions. The panel awarded a total of $121,000 to Morgan Keegan. According to FINRA records, Altman currently works for Ameriprise Financial Services.
  • Regal Services, Inc. v John A. Cavanaugh (Case 12-980) Regal sought the unpaid balance on a note executed by Cavanaugh in 2007. The panel awarded $71,000 plus attorney fees and costs. Cavanaugh is no longer registered according to FINRA records.

If you have losses in your brokerage account that you believe are due to the negligence or fraud of your broker or broker dealer contact us for a no charge consultation.

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

FINRA Issues August 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 August 2012. Follow this link to the FINRA website for the entire report for the month of August 2012 as well as to access  earlier time periods.

Merrimac Corporate Securities, Inc. Altamonte Springs, Florida was fined $18,500. The National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) imposed the sanction based on findings that
the firm sold private placements, real estate investment trusts (REITs), limited partnerships and direct participation programs not authorized by its FINRA membership agreement. The findings stated that the firm failed to establish, maintain and enforce WSPs to supervise
the sale of these products and variable annuities. The findings also stated that the firm failed to maintain adequate books and records with respect to emails by willfully failing
to preserve all business-related incoming emails and internal emails, willfully failing to preserve emails in an easily accessible place, willfully failing to preserve emails in a nonerasable, non-rewritable format, and failing to notify FINRA that its emails would be maintained on electronic storage media. FINRA found that the firm failed to make and keep current blotters for its direct application mutual fund and variable annuity businesses.
Because these actions were deemed willful violations, Merrimac is statutorily disqualified.

Andrew Paul Arno –West Melbourne,Florida, a broker with H.D. Vest,  was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. The sanction was based on findings that Arno misused customers’ funds by redirecting individual retirement account (IRA) contributions from customers’ accounts to a bank account he controlled, instead of investing them in IRAs as he had represented to the customers and their relatives. The findings stated that after failing to receive account statements for an extended period of time, one of the customers contacted the IRA entity directly and learned that they did not have a record of any IRA contributions for one year. When the customer raised this with Arno, he claimed that the firm was holding the funds directly. When the customer contacted the firm, she learned that this was not true and confronted Arno, who reimbursed the customer and her relative for approximately $30,000, in aggregate.

Similarly, another customer filed a complaint with the firm, claiming that Arno had stolen $64,000 from him and his relative by taking funds that they told him to invest in their IRAs.

Shortly after this complaint, Arno reimbursed the customer and his relative. The findings also stated that Arno failed to respond to FINRA requests for information and testimony.

Christopher Andrew Carra,  of Deerfield Beach,
Florida and formerly with Newbridge Securities Corporation submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $20,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one
year.

Carra consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of
findings that he was attempting to procure investment banking and consulting business from a publicly traded company and posted comments on an Internet message board about the company under numerous author names or handles. Several statements in the postings were unwarranted and misleading; some involved conversations between his different handles in which he embellished the prospects for the company and provided the allusion of consensus regarding the company’s prospects.

Carra  used two outside email addresses to communicate with
company representatives about business-related matters, in violation of his firm’s WSPs. One of the outside email addresses may have given the impression that it was a firmprovidedemail address when it was not one.
The suspension is in effect from July 16, 2012, through July 15, 2013.

Marcelo Ivan Jacir  of Weston, Florida formerly with Morgan Keegan and Merrill Lynch submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association
with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Jacir consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he directed two individuals, one of whom was a customer of his member firm, to deposit checks totaling $37,500 for an investment in a company into his personal checking account. The findings stated that Jacir converted the funds to his own use and benefit by making cash
withdrawals and using the funds to pay personal expenses.

William Thomas Johnson Jr. of North Palm Beach,
Florida, a broker formerly with Kovack Securities, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Johnson consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he received approximately $47,000 from a customer after Johnson made the representation, which was false when made, that he would use the funds to purchase corporate bonds for the customer. Johnson accepted the funds, deposited them into a bank account under his control and made improper use of the funds, which included payment of personal expenses, and never purchased the corporate bonds.

The findings also stated that Johnson received approximately $53,000 from another customer after he made the representation, which was false when made, that he would use the funds to purchase a certificate of deposit (CD) for the customer. Johnson accepted the funds, deposited them into a bank account under his control and made improper use of the funds, which included payment of personal expenses, and never purchased the CD. Johnson’s misrepresentation to his
customer and improper use and conversion of his customer’s funds constituted a failure in the conduct of his business to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and
equitable principles of trade.

Alejandro C. Rotundo of Miami, Florida, formerly with Morgan Keegan  submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $5,000 and
suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 business days.
Rotundo consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he executed option trades in a customer’s account without the customer’s written authorization and without his member firm’s acceptance of the account as
discretionary. The findings stated that Rotundo’s discretionary trading activity resulted in customer losses of $489,230, which his firm reimbursed to the customer.
The suspension was in effect from June 18, 2012, through July 30, 2012.

Valerie Helen Silverstein
  of Coconut Creek,
Florida, formerly a broker at Raymond James submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

 Silverstein consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that she had a pre-existing relationship with an individual when he became a customer of her member firm. In an effort to advance a fraudulent scheme to misappropriate funds from the firm, Silverstein created a false deposit receipt indicating that the customer had deposited a check for $7.8 million into his firm account when
he had not. The findings stated that in further promotion of the scheme, Silverstein sent several letters on her firm’s letterhead, and one email from her firm’s email account, to the customer making various false and misleading statements about the deposit and withdrawal of funds. The findings also stated that the firm closed the account when the customer attempted to
make withdrawals from the account using a debit card, despite never funding the account, and the firm discovered he had a criminal past. The findings also included that, on several
occasions, the customer used the documents Silverstein created. The first was when his attorney sent Silverstein’s firm a letter demanding that his client’s funds be returned.
In support of the demand request, the attorney included documents Silverstein created as attachments to the letter. The second and third occasions were when the customer
provided the documents to other firm branch offices in an attempt to reopen his account and withdraw funds.

Harold James Swart Jr. of  Kissimmee, Florida, formerly a broker with New England Securities  submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from
association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Swart consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he willfully filed inaccurate Form U4s and failed to make other material disclosures on his Form U4s regarding an SEC suspension as well as a related administrative complaint filed by the State of Florida’s Board of Accountancy. The findings stated Swart failed to disclose
his outside business activities to his member firm and his role as compensated registered agent for numerous additional entities. The findings also stated that Swart provided a
misleading response to FINRA in connection with a request for information concerning whether any of his outside business activities had ever been alleged or accused to have
breached any contract, engaged in any type of fraud or misrepresentation, engaged in any unfair or unethical business practice or violated any rule, regulation, statute or ordinance
of law. Swart’s response was misleading because one of his outside business activities was the subject of several filed lawsuits involving such allegations. Swart knew, or should have known, about each of these lawsuits, because, among other things, he was properly served in each of the cases.

Recovering investment losses for victims nationwide for over twenty years. If you have questions about losses in your brokerage account, please contact us.
Free consultation.
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Rex Securities Law

561 391 1900