Category Archives: Securities Regulators

Andrew “Todd” Yocum Investigation Continues-The VIllages, FL

The Villages Florida

UPDATE OCTOBER 2017FINRA records disclose that Andrew “Todd” Yocum has two prior final regulatory matters resulting in his bar from the industry. There are 10 currently pending customer disputes and 23 prior customer disputes that are final.

In the bulk of the customer disputes, the customers allege an overconcentration of oil and gas related securities.

Here is a sampling of some of the 23 prior cases that have been settled:

  • In 2/2017 a customer of Morgan Stanley was paid $67,500 to resolve allegations that Yocum made unsuitable recommendations in the energy sector 2014-1015.
  • In 8/2017 a Morgan Stanley customer was paid $75,000 to resolve allegations that Yocum over-concentrated their portfolio with unsuitable investments. FINRA Case 17-0049.
  • IN 8/2016 a customer of Morgan Stanley was paid $35,975 to resolve allegations that from March 2012-September 2015 Yocum made unsuitable recommendations.

FINRA Alleges Yocum Recommended Unsuitable Energy Investments to Seniors

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. Customers of broker dealers who have a dispute, such as a claim for account losses , are entitled to file an arbitration proceeding against the firm and/or the broker to recover damages. FINRA entered a permanent bar against Yocum in May 2016 after he refused to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony in connection with an investigation into whether he effected unauthorized transactions, exercised discretion without written authorization, and recommended unsuitable concentrated purchases of energy sector securities to senior investors.

Florida Securities Regulators Find That Yocum Executed Unauthorized Trades

In 3/2017 the Florida Office of Financial Regulation filed an Administrative Complaint alleging violations of standards of commercial honor and principles of trade; suitability; and placing trades in client accounts without authorization. Yocum was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in May 2017.

The Florida regulators found that Yocum executed trades that were not authorized, made trade recommendations that were not suitable, and failed to execute trades by the end of the day on the date the client requested. Yocum was ordered to cease and desist and be permanently barred from submitting an application for license or registration under Florida Chapter 517.

 

Andrew Yocum was employed by Morgan Stanley and worked in their office located at 832 Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, Florida, until he was discharged in October 2015 for “Allegations concerning acting on verbal discretion” according to FINRA records.

We continue to evaluate potential cases for former clients of Todd Yocum. Call to discuss your options for recovery. Cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

George M. Warner-Former IFS Securities Broker-Discloses Regulatory Suspension-Rockwall, TX

October 2017-Rockwall, TX

The FINRA records of  George M. Warner ,  a  stockbroker who is currently registered with Chelsea Financial Services disclose a prior regulatory event, a prior customer dispute and 2 terminations from employment.

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 4/2017 Warner was fined $5,000 and suspended for 30 days by FINRA to resolve allegations that while employed by Kestra Financial Services, he altered various customer documents on at least five occasions after the documents had already been signed by the customers. The regulatory findings state that Warner corrected or included the customer’s anticipated liquidity needs, net worth, liquid net worth, and or annual income on new account forms, alternative investment forms, and an IRA application. The findings state that by changing new account documentation of the customer’s, Warner caused his member firm to preserve and maintain altered books and records. FINRA Case 2014043727001. 

In 2/2010 , while employed by LPL Financial , a customer alleged that Warner made an error in connection with the purchase of Citi Corp bonds causing losses of $329,426. That matter was settled for $225,000.

In 11/2014 Warner was ‘permitted to resign’ from NFP Advisor Services who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “Rep corrected client documents after client signature. “

In 6/2013 Warner was discharged from LPL Financial,  who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “Employment terminated by related bank program for obtaining client signatures on blank account transfer forms. “

George Warner’s employment history includes:

  • Dominion Investor Ser.-Rockwall, TX                       6/2017-7/2017
  • Dominion Investor Ser.-Horseshoe Bay, TX          3/2017-4/2017
  • IFS Securities-Rockwall, TX                                        12/2014-3/2017
  • NFP Advisor Services-Rockwall, TX                     7/2013-12/2014                    LPL Financial-Rockwall, TX                          4/2003-6/2013

Warner discloses a business affiliation with Summit Rockwall Wealth Managers LLC, in Rockwall, Texas.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by George M. Warner , you 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

Dion R. Padilla Investigation Update-Former NEXT Financial Group Broker-San Antonio, TX

OCTOBER 2017 -San Antonio, Texas

We continue our investigation of former NEXT Financial Group broker Dion Padilla who discloses that several of his customers have brought claims against his former employer for misrepresentations and losses related to the purchase of annuities. In early 2017 Padilla was sanctioned and suspended by securities regulators to resolve allegations that he made an unauthorized purchase of an annuity and hid that fact from the customer. Details below.

JUNE 2017 UPDATE-In May 2017 a customer of NEXT Financial Group filed FINRA Case #17-2402 alleging that in 2007 he purchased a variable annuity and relied on Padilla’s representations that he had a product that guaranteed a monthly distribution for the remainder of his life, however no guaranteed income rider was included with the annuity purchase. The customer seeks damages of $465,500.

MAY 2017 UPDATE– A customer of NEXT Financial Group made a claim seeking damages of $970,578 , alleging that Dion Padilla misrepresented the monthly distributions, benefits and dividends to be received on a variable annuity. In May 2017 2017, NEXT Financial disclosed that the claim was denied and that it is not currently pending.

FEBRUARY 2017

We are investigating Dion R. Padilla, a stockbroker who was formerly employed by  NEXT Financial Group in San Antonio, Texas, on behalf of a former employee of AT&T who alleges that her AT&T retirement account was mishandled.

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.

Padilla discloses two prior customer disputes that were resolved with cash settlements:

  • In FINRA arbitration 16-2163, a customer of NEXT Financial Group alleged damages of $347,000 in connection with an investment in a variable annuity. That case was settled for $175,000.
  • In February 2014, a customer of NEXT FInancial Group alleged damages of $62,617 for the unauthorized purchase of a variable annuity. That case was settled for $69,400 of which Padilla contributed $54,400 to the settlement.

Recently, in February 2017, Padilla entered into an Order Accepting Offer of Settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and was fined $10,000 and suspended for 15 months from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Disciplinary Proceeding 2014040362001. 

REGULATORY ACTION FOR SALE OF ANNUITY TO AT&T EMPLOYEE

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Padilla agreed to the entry of certain findings and violations and to the entry of the sanctions described above. The findings and conclusions made by FINRA include:

  • Prior to transferring their accounts to NEXT Financial, a customer (who had worked for AT&T for 39 years) and his wife met with Padilla and stressed  that they did not want any of their funds invested in a variable annuity due to the high fees and because of their desire for liquidity.
  • Notwithstanding those desires, Padilla made unauthorized purchases of a variable annuity for the customer, investing over $789,000, the customer’s entire 401K rollover, in a variable annuity. Thereafter, when the customer inquired, Padilla misrepresented to the customer that the investment was not a variable annuity.

If you have information which you believe is helpful to our investigation, please contact us. If you have losses in an account handled by Dion Padilla , call to discuss how you may be able to recover damages from his prior employer.

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

Finra Arbitration Filed vs Cesar Hurtado’s Employer-Oppenheimer-Miami, FL

October 2017-Miami, Florida

We recently submitted a FINRA arbitration claim against Oppenheimer & Co.  on behalf of a non- U.S. resident individual and a Bahamian trust, alleging that  recommendations made for the management of retirement funds by Miami-based Oppenheimer broker Cesar Hurtado  were unsuitable and that the accounts were traded excessively.

In addition our clients allege that they were improperly advised by the Oppenheimer broker on other financial matters, including trusts established and managed by Nassau-based former Oppenheimer affiliate , CIBC Trust Company.

Our clients allege that Oppenheimer was negligent and failed to properly supervise broker Hurtado and are seeking damages in excess of $1 million.

According to FINRA records,  Hurtado has been employed by  Oppenheimer & Co since 2003.

En espanol. 

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

Jason H. LeBlanc-Former Girard Securities Broker-Barred From Securities Industry-Fulshear, TX

September 2017 -Fulshear, Texas

According to publicly available records Jason H. LeBlanc (CRD#2483182) , a  former stockbroker who was last employed by Girard Securities , disclose  a prior regulatory event,  3 prior customer disputes and a termination.

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 June 2017 LeBlanc was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA to resolve allegations that he failed to disclose several outside business activities and provided inaccurate information about an outside business activity to Girard Securities.

The FINRA findings, which LeBlanc consented to without admitting or denying state:

  • LeBlanc misused customer funds by applying a customer’s money to an an investment other that the one he represented to her
  • LeBlanc sold a promissory note from one customer to another for $23,000
  • The second customer was led to believe she was investing in a coffee shop, instead LeBlanc returned $3,000 to the customer and invested the remaining $20,000 in a real estate investment company, without informing the customer
  • LeBlanc misused customer funds by commingling personal and customer funds

LeBlanc was employed by Girard Securities 4/2009-9/2015. He was discharged by Girard in 9/2015 when they learned of his outside business activities.

If you have questions about an account handled by Jason H. LeBlanc,  contact us to discuss your options.

Girard Securities is a part of the Cetera Financial Group. Girard has been a FINRA member since 1988 and is headquartered in San Diego, CA. The company has about 478 registered persons in 139 branch offices nationwide.

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.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Sanders Spangler’s Employer-LPL Financial-Named In Litigation Claim-San Antonio, TX

October 2017-San Antonio, TX

On behalf of a retired widow from the Austin, Texas area, Rex Securities Law recently filed a Statement of Claim with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against LPL Financial for failing to supervise the actions of San Antonio stockbroker Sanders Spangler. FINRA Case#-17-01513.

The FINRA suit, which seeks damages of between $100,000 and $500,000,  alleges that Spangler made unsuitable investments and traded the victim’s IRA account without her knowledge or authority.

A few months ago, in 2/2017 Spangler was discharged by LPL Financial who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “Exercising discretionary power in customer account(s) in violation of firm policy. “

Sanders Spangler was with LPL Financial from10/2005-3/2017.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Sanders Spangler , you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

EXERCISING DISCRETION

In the securities industry exercising discretion means that the customer has authorized the broker to buy and sell securities without first consulting with the customer on each transaction. To avoid regulatory issues and to comply with firm policy, this permission must be granted in writing. Most accounts are not discretionary accounts, meaning that the broker is required to consult with the customer before making a purchase or sale in the account.

FINRA ARBITRATION

Arbitration is an alternative to litigation or mediation in order to resolve a dispute over damages when a customer has suffered losses due to the negligence or fraud of a stockbroker. The process is much more expedient and far less costly than court litigation.

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

Athanasios Tomaras-Former Fulcrum Securities Broker-Discloses Suit Over Energy Investments-Oldsmar, FL

Oldsmar, Florida-UPDATE OCTOBER 2017-In October 2016 a customer of Fulcrum Securities file FINRA arbitration 16-02962 seeking damages of $189,000 and alleging that Mr. Tomaras made unsuitable investment recommendations in equities and oil and gas investments from the period July 2013-January 2016.

ORIGINAL POST–September 2016

The FINRA records of  Athanasios Tomaras,  a  stockbroker who currently is employed by  R. F. Lafferty & Co.  disclose a prior regulatory event and 4 prior 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 August 2009, while employed by Morgan StanleyTomaras was ordered to cease and desist, fined $10,000 and suspended for ten business days by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

The Florida securities regulators found that Mr. Tomaras failed to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade in violation of section 517.161(1)(h), Florida Statutes and Rule 69W-600.013(2)(h), of the Florida Administrative Code, in connection with receiving referrals from insurance agents and opening new accounts for transferring customers.

In FINRA Case#15-0858 a customer of Fulcrum Securities, Tomaras prior employer, alleged that beginning in late 2013 his account was overly concentrated in the energy sector and that Tomaras failed to execute stop loss orders as instructed by claimant. The claimant alleged damages of $63,874 in losses as a result of failure to execute stop losses in Cline and PWE. Claimant also alleged unsuitable trades. That case was settled in 4/2016 for $25,000.

In FINRA Case#13-01133, a customer of Fulcrum Securities alleged damages of $569,300 arising out of the liquidation of a position that transferred into the firm. The customer alleged breach of fiduciary duty, violation of FINRA Rule 2010, breach of contract, negligence, violation of the FL securities act and control person liability. That case was settled in 10/2014 for $35,000.

Tomaras  has been registered with R.F. Lafferty since 10/2015. He was registered with Fulcrum Securities from 3/2012-3/2016. Prior to that he was registered with Morgan Stanley from 4/2007-3/2012.

If you have losses in an account handled by Athanasios Tomaras you 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