Category Archives: NYLife Securities

Michael Griffith-Former NY Life Stockbroker-Barred from Industry for Forgery

January 27, 2016- Maryland

Michael Roger Griffith entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he submitted two fictitious applications for life insurance on behalf of a customer of NYLife, forged the customer’s signature on the applications and set up automatic bank debit for the policies, all without the customer’s knowledge or authorization.

AWC No.  2015046129301

Griffith was barred from the securities industry.

According to FINRA records Griffith was registered with NYLife Securities from 5/2012-9/2015. Prior to that he was registered with TIAA-Cref. 

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 NYLife Securities Broker in San Antonio Barred from Industry by Regulators

July 2,  2015- San Antonio, Texas

Emily A. Pena  entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that she used personal funds to pay life insurance premiums for three customers, unrelated to her thereby generating compensation to which she was not entitled. In addition, FINRA alleged that she provided a customer with a credit reimbursement letter that she fabricated, guaranteeing the customer against losses due to surrender fees in violation of FINRA Rule 2010.

AWC No. 2014041353501

Pena  was  barred from the securities industry.

According to FINRA records, Pena was registered with NYLife Securities from 5/2009-5/2014.

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 MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy Income Funds ?

MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy Income Fund, marketed by NY Life, invested primarily in securities of energy related U.S. royalty trusts, Canadian royalty trusts, Canadian exploration and production companies, and securities of other companies based in North America. Their sales literature highlight the ‘shale revolution’ that was sparking a U.S. energy renaissance.

OPEC apparently decided to send a message to the shale drillers that the world did not need $100 oil and refused to cut production, notwithstanding oversupply. Crude oil peaked in summer of 2014 and by early 2015 had dropped over 50% . As a result all of the MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy Funds have dropped dramatically.

MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy A (CURAX) traded at over $20 in August 2014 and was down to $10 by February 2015.

MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy Inc. (CURNX)traded at about $20 in July  2014 and was down to $10 by February 2015.

MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy Inc. (CURCX) traded at just under $20 in July  2014 and was less than $10 by February 2015.

MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy Inc. (CURZX) traded at about $20 in July  2014 and was down to $10 by February 2015.

Oil and gas investments are inherently risky and speculative. Brokers have a duty to make recommendations that are suitable. If you have losses on MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy investments that were not suitable given your investment objectives and risk tolerance, contact us to learn how you may be able to recover damages.

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

NY Life Broker David Herlicka Suspended/Fined by FINRA-Unsuitable Life Insurance Sales

UPDATE April 2017The FINRA records of David A. Herlicka disclose a final regulator event, 23 prior Final Customer Disputes and a termination from employment. Of the 23 customer disputes, 19 were complaints involving life insurance products and resulted in cash settlements which ranged from several thousand dollars to as high as $138,052.

ORIGINAL POST September 2014-

To resolve an action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) that he made unsuitable recommendations for the purchase of variable life insurance (VUL) , former NYLife Securities broker David A. Herlicka, of Bedford, New Hampshire, was suspended,  for 18 months beginning 6/2/2014 and  fined over $97,000, which includes disgorgement of commissions received of $77,000.

In the filing, FINRA alleges that Herlicka:

  • made recommendations to customers were unsuitable based on their financial situation and needs
  • made false entries on variable universal life insurance applications
  • made inaccurate statements and failed to make disclosures to customers regarding the risks of withdrawing funds, the risk of policy lapse and the existence of surrender charges
  • purchased a $1.5 million VUL policy for a customer without the customer’s authority

According to FINRA records there are numerous customer complaints against Herlicka. To access the FINRA BrokerCheck website, see this.

Variable Universal Life policies are complex and have their pitfalls. You should make certain that you fully understand the risks associated with this type of product and that you can afford the premium contributions required in the future.

If you were sold a variable universal life policy and feel that it was misrepresented to you or that it is not suitable for you given your financial situation and needs, call to discuss how you may be able to recover damages or have the transaction reversed.

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

NY LIfe Securities Broker Mark Garrison Fined/Suspended

August 2014-Easley, South Carolina

FINRA assessed a deferred fine of over $37,000 which included disgorgement of commissions to Mark Steven Garrison, a former broker with NY Life Securities, to resolve allegations that he participated in a private securities transaction without notifying his member firm’s approval.

According to FINRA Garrison participated in the sale of about $865,000 in a ‘Silver Program’ knows as Atlantic Bullion & Coin, an investment that was not approved by his firm and was determined to be a ponzi scheme. Garrison was suspended for 14 months.

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

 

Former NYLife Securities Broker Judy Chang Barred For Forgery

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

Judy L. Chang aka Judy Chang Huckle (CRD #2485754, Registered Representative, Las Vegas, Nevada) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Chang consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that in connection with a FINRA investigation into a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) filed by a member firm reporting that Chang admitted that she violated company policy for failing to obtain genuine customer signatures on traditional life insurance applications and policy documents, FINRA requestedthat Chang provide information and documents, to which she refused. ( FINRA Case #2012034011701)

According to FINRA records, Chang was registered with NY Life Securities 1/2009-9/2012. Prior to that she was registered with WMA Securities.

 
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

FINRA Announces December 2012 Disciplinary Actions

FINRA Announces December 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 December 2012. Follow this link to the FINRA website for the entire report for actions nationwide for the month of December 2012 as well as to access  earlier time periods.

Falcon Research, Inc. Clearwater, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which the firm was censured and fined $10,000. The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it permitted a person registered solely as a general securities principal to prepare, author and approve a research report that the firm issued. The findings stated that the report contained a rating but failed to define the meaning of each rating used in its rating system. The report failed to disclose the percentage of all securities the firm rated, to which the firm would assign a buy, hold/neutral or sell rating, or to disclose the percentage
of subject companies within each of these three categories for whom the firm had provided investment-banking services within the previous 12 months. The report referred to
important disclosures that are located at the end of the document, however, the disclosure was not prominent. The findings also stated that the report failed to contain research
analyst certifications required by SEC Regulation AC and found various other regulatory issues.

Statetrust Investments Inc. – Miami, Florida, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which the firm was censured and fined $20,000. The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to report transactions in TRACE-eligible securities to TRACE within 15 minutes of the execution time, failed to report the correct trade execution time for transactions in TRACE-eligible securities to TRACE, and failed to report the correct contra-party’s identifier for transactions on TRACE-eligible securities to TRACE.

Shari Robin Frimer Eastport, New York and Thomas Joseph Heaphy Jr. of , Boynton Beach, Florida submitted an Offer of Settlement in which Frimer was fined $32,407.50, which includes disgorgement of financial benefits of $17,407.50, and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for seven months. The amount of the fine has been reduced to reflect Frimer’s payment of a $20,000 fine to the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation. Heaphy was fined $40,827.50, which includes disgorgement of financial benefits of $30,827.50, and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for nine months.

Frimer and Heaphy consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that they participated in private securities offerings by selling securities offerings to customers and receiving selling compensation for their sales. The findings stated that prior to participating in the private securities transactions, Frimer and Heaphy did not provide written notice to their member firm and did not receive the requisite approval from their firm to participate in the transactions.  The findings also stated that Frimer guaranteed, in writing, to a customer that he would be able to sell shares of a stock within a certain time period for his cost to acquire them. The findings also included that Frimer sent, or caused to be sent, marketing newsletters regarding a company to firm customers, without requesting or receiving the firm’s approval to disseminate the newsletters. The newsletters were not fair and balanced, failed to provide a sound basis for evaluating the facts in regard to the company, and contained exaggerated, unwarranted, and misleading claims and unreasonable and unwarranted forecasts. FINRA found that Heaphy willfully failed to timely amend his Form U4 to disclose a material fact, a lien placed on his property for unpaid taxes, and willfully failed to disclose the material fact on the Form U4 that a member firm filed for him. Frimer’s suspension is in effect from November 5, 2012, through June 4, 2013. Heaphy’s suspension is in effect from November 5, 2012, through August 4, 2013.

According to FINRA records Shari Frimer is not currently registered. She last worked for Emmet A Larkin Co. and prior to that for Scottsdale Capital Advisors. Likewise, Heaphy is not currently registerd having last worked for Forge Financial Group and prior to that Scottsdale Capital Advisors.

Michael Wayne Hendrick – Indialantic, Florida 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 20 business days. Hendrick consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of
findings that he effected trades in his customer’s account at the direction of the customer’s spouse. The findings stated that the firm did not accept the account as discretionary,
and the customer did not give Hendrick written authority to exercise discretion over the account. In addition, the customer’s spouse did not have written authority to direct
trading in the customer’s account. The findings also stated that on that same day, Hendrick mismarked order tickets in securities as unsolicited when the trades were actually solicited, thus causing the firm’s books and records to be inaccurate concerning these trades.

The suspension was in effect from October 15, 2012, through November 9, 2012. According to FINRA records Hendrick last worked for Charles Schwab and is not currently registered.

William Edward Hesse -Freeport, Florida submitted
a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. In light of Hesse’s financial
status, no monetary sanction has been imposed. Hesse consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to reasonably supervise an individual and failed to reasonably review trades and wire transactions directed by a client of the individual for potentially suspicious activity and other irregularities. The finding stated that despite several red flags, Hesse did not identify an
y of the activity in the accounts the client controlled to be suspicious or irregular,
and failed to take any supervisory action to prevent the client from engaging in a cherrypicking scheme. The client had the ability to reallocate trades among the accounts that he controlled.

The suspension is in effect from October 15, 2012, through January 14, 2013.

FINRA records indicate that Hesse is not currently registered and last worked for Wm. H. Murphy & Co.

Thomas Homer Morrow II – Jupiter, Florida was barred
from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. The sanction was based on
findings that Morrow failed to register with FINRA despite functioning as a representative
for a member firm. The findings stated that Morrow traded in the firm’s proprietary account on the firm’s behalf, sharing in the profits from his trading and causing the firm’s capital requirement to increase from $5,000 to $100,000. The findings also stated that Morrow created and maintained the trading blotters for the firm’s proprietary trading account. The findings also included that although Morrow conducted trading without oversight from the firm, his activities were controlled by the firm and was therefore, an associated person of the firm. FINRA found that Morrow failed to appear and testify at a FINRA on-the-record interview.

Morrow is not currently registered.

Alissa Marie Ponzurick fka Alissa Marie Youngblood
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. Ponzurick consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that after a co-worker advised her that they had earned a $200 bonus, but without confirming from her team leader how she could collect the bonus, Ponzurick submitted a reimbursement form to her member firm claiming approximately $200 in mileage expenses based on the purported use of her personal car for business travel. The findings stated that Ponzurick had not actually incurred such expenses.

The suspension is in effect from November 5, 2012, through February 4, 2013.

Riad Shanawany -Tamarac, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 45 days. Shanawany consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in an outside business activity by participating in a limited liability company involved in start-up efforts for reconstruction and modernization of the Port-au-Prince airport in Haiti, and received a membership interest in the company for his participation, without providing his member firm with adequate notice of the outside business activity and membership interest.

The suspension is in effect from November 5, 2012, through December 19, 2012. Shanawany currently works for J.W. Cole Financial. He previously was registered with Ameriprise Financial Services according to FINRA records.

William Mitchell Tillett
-Delray Beach, Florida
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 six months. Tillett consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that
he willfully failed to timely disclose material information to his member firm and FINRA. The findings stated that Tillett failed to disclose that he had been charged with the felony
offense of criminal trespassing and the misdemeanor offenses of theft by unlawful taking and theft of services. The findings also stated that Tillett failed to timely file amended Forms U4 to report that the felony trespassing charge was reduced to a non-reportable summary offense for trespassing.

The suspension is in effect from October 15, 2012, through April 14, 2013.

Clyde Marshall Thornburg
-Riverview, Florida submitted an Offer of Settlement in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Thornburg
consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he engaged in a pattern of unsuitable short-term trading and switching of unit investment trusts (UITs), corporate debt, and mutual funds in customer accounts without having reasonable grounds for believing that such recommendations were suitable in view of the size and
frequency of the recommended transactions, and in light of each customer’s investment objectives, circumstances, financial situations and needs. The findings stated that
Thornburg’s actions caused these customers to pay approximately $332,231 in unnecessary sales charges, and the accounts had cumulative losses of approximately $983,152.
Thornburg generated gross commissions of approximately $301,389 for his firm, of which he received a significant portion based on his member firm’s percentage payout structure.

The findings also stated that at the time some of the customers opened their accounts, Thornburg informed them that they would not pay costs for trading products such as UITs and other securities; these customers paid sales charges, commissions, front-end loads and other costs when they believed they were not paying such costs. Thornburg misled some customers by omitting information about the actual charges they were paying and by misrepresenting products as not having any costs when in fact they did have a charge. The
findings also included that Thornburg exercised discretion in each of the accounts without prior written authorization.
FINRA found that Thornburg forged, or caused to be forged, the names of some customers or their representatives on mutual fund disclosure forms, causing his firm to maintain
inaccurate books and records. FINRA also found that Thornburg provided false information about the customers’ income, liquid net worth, risk tolerance and investment objectives.

FINRA records indicate that Thornburg is no longer registered having last worked for International Financial Solutions.

Enrique Vila -Key Biscayne, Florida 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 15 business days.  Vila consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion in a customer’s account and executed
numerous trades in the account. T
he findings stated that although the customer authorized the use of discretion with respect to his account, Vila did not obtain the customer’s written authorization and his member firm’s acceptance of the account as discretionary.

The suspension was in effect from November 5, 2012, through November 26, 2012.

FINRA reports that Vila currently works for Morgan Stanley and previously was registered with Merrill Lynch.

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. 

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