Category Archives: Securities Regulators

Donald L. Wells-Titan Securities Broker-Sanctioned Over Sales of Life Partners Viaticals-Seattle, WA

April 2017-Seattle, WA

The FINRA records of  Donald L. Wells ,  a   stockbroker who is currently registered with Titan Securities disclose a prior regulatory matter and a  prior final customer dispute.

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 August 2016 Washington securities regulators entered a cease and desist order and fine and costs of $2,700 to resolve allegations that Wells and others violated the Securities Act of Washington through the offer and sale of $17 million of Life Partners, Inc. life settlements to Washington residents from 2009-2014.

Donald L. Wells  has been employed by Titan Securities since 3/2010.

Titan Securities is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has been a FINRA member since 2004. They have about 13 brokers located in 7 branch offices in:

  • Arlington, TX
  • Abilene, TX
  • Overland Park, KS
  • Dallas, TX
  • Rowlett, TX
  • Henrico, VA
  • Kingston, OK

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Donald L. Wells or if you have losses on an investment in Life Partners, Inc.  , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Three Arrested in Investment Scheme-San Antonio, TX

April 2017- San Antonio, TX

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas announced the arrest of three men who face federal charges for their alleged  roles in an advanced fee investment scheme.

Named in the indictment are:

  • James Edward Cox, 56, of Waxhaw NC
  • Kelly Ray Coronado, 49, of Del Rio, TX
  • Gordon Richard Moskowitz, 53, of Sarasota, FL

The indictment alleges that the defendants operated a high yield investment scheme preying on vulnerable parties, most of whom operated international non profits, by promising large scale financing in exchange for up front payments from the non profits.

The defendants face up to 20 years in prison on each charge, if convicted.

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

SEC Warns Investors– Beware of Fake News

April 2017- Washington, DC

The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Investor Alert warning that articles on an investment research website appearing to be an unbiased source of information may be part of an undisclosed paid stock promotion designed to promote the sale of the stock.  Link to SEC Investor Alert. 

“Stock promotion schemes may be conducted through investment research websites,” said Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.  “Investors looking for objective investment information should be aware that fraudsters may use these websites to profit at investors’ expense.”

The SEC recently commenced enforcement actions against companies and individuals for generating deceptive articles on investment research websites. They have charged 27 parties (individuals, public companies, firms and writers) with fraud. See this for more details. 

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

Berthel Fisher & Broker Jeffrey Dragon Named in FINRA Complaint for Overcharging Commissons

April 2017-Burlington, MA

Berthel Fisher & Company and one of their brokers Jeffrey P. Dragon were named in a FINRA complaint alleging that Dragon generated more than $421,000 in concessions for himself and the firm, at the expense of customers, by recommending and effecting a pattern of unsuitable short-term trading of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs).

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.

The FINRA complaint further alleges that by failing to apply sales charge discounts from 2010-2014, more than 2700 customers did not receive applicable sales charge discounts resulting in excessive charges of about $667,000.

Berthel Fisher, which has about 350 brokers in 230 branch offices, was fined over $700,000 by FINRA 3 years ago for various failures in supervision related to sales of real estate investment trusts and leveraged exchange-traded funds from 2008-2012. Follow this link to review their FINRA record. 

Jeffrey Dragon was discharged by Berthel Fisher in 9/2016. The company made the following allegation in connection with his termination: “The firm believes that the representative did not adhere to a term of his heightened supervisions agreement, which required him to run all business, including fixed indexed annuities, through the firm’s commission grid.” Link to Dragon’s FINRA record. 

Investors who suffered losses on purchases of UITs, REITs or other investments in an account at Berthel Fisher may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

Investigation of Hennion & Walsh Broker Joe I. Rodriguez-Parsippany, NJ

April 2017- Parsippany, New Jersey

The FINRA records of  Joseph I. Rodriguez ,  a  stockbroker who is  employed by  Hennion & Walsh  disclose 2 prior final customer disputes and a currently pending customer dispute.

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 arbitration 16-01032 a customer of Hennion & Walsh alleges damages of $250,000 for an unsuitable recommendation to purchase  municipal bonds.

In a prior matter, FINRA case #15-2348, a customer of Hennion & Walsh alleged damages of $56,390 for an unsuitable recommendation to invest in municipal debt. That case was settled for $25,000.

Joe Rodriguez  has been employed by Hennion & Walsh since 8/1998.

We are investigating Joe Rodriguez on behalf of a retiree who alleges that he was sold unsuitable Puerto Rico municipal bonds.

Puerto Rico Debt Crisis

In early 2014, various credit rating agencies downgraded the debt of Puerto Rico to non investment grade, better known as junk status or speculative grade. This downgrade triggered acceleration clauses requiring the repayment of some debt within months, rather than years.

Puerto Rico has over $70 billion of outstanding debt, with a debt to GDP ratio of about 68%. While about $30 billion (42%) of Puerto Rico’s debt is owned by residents of Puerto Rico, the larger portion is owned by non-residents, primarily residents of the continental United States.

Investors who have suffered losses on Puerto Rico’s bonds may be able to recover damages from the brokerage firm who sold the bonds.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Joseph I. Rodriguez  , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Matthew W. Fox-Wayne Energy-Named in SEC Fraud Complaint-Plano, TX

April 2017-Plano, Texas

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Matthew W. Fox of Plano, TX, and his company Wayne Energy with securities fraud in connection with a joint venture formed to recomplete an oil and gas well in Upshur County, Texas.

According to the SEC complaint, Fox raised $950,000 for the venture between March 2015 and October 2016, and the offering documents falsely stated that Wayne Energy would not commingle its funds with those of the joint venture.

The SEC alleges that Fox misappropriated most of the funds raised from investors and spent about $500,000 on personal expenses rather than the well in Upshur County. The personal expenses included over $236,000 in casino gambling charges. Fox had previously operated another oil and gas company that failed- Frisco Exploration, according to the SEC.

Link to SEC Litigation Release No. 23809. 

Investors who made their investment upon the recommendation of  a licensed stock broker 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

Daniel C. Stewart-Former VSR Financial Services Broker-Discloses Customer Dispute-Shawnee, KS

April 2017-Shawnee, KS

The FINRA records of  Daniel C. Stewart ,  a  stockbroker who was formerly  employed by  VSR Financial Services  disclose a pending customer dispute.

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.

Stewart , who operates Professional Financial Concepts  in Shawnee, KS discloses that  a complaint filed by a VSR Financial Services customer in 10/2016 alleges damages of $40,000. The customer alleges that Stewart was instructed to move the account to cash in 11/2015 but failed to do so until 1/2016 causing the loss.

Stewart was registered with VSR Financial Services from 12/2006-11/2016 and is currently registered with Summit Brokerage Services, a related entity .

See this for more information regarding VSR Financial Services.

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

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

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Daniel C. Stewart or another broker who was employed by VSR Financial Services , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870