Category Archives: FINRA

RIcky R. Moore-Sagepoint Financial Broker-Discloses Regulatory Suspension/Fine-Angleton, TX

May 2017-Angleton, TX

The FINRA records of RIcky R. Moore,  a  stockbroker who is employed by  Sagepoint Financial  disclose a final regulatory event, 3 prior customer disputes and a termination 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 1/2017 FINRA suspended Moore for four months and fined him $37,131 to resolve allegations that he failed to disclose to his firm his outside business activities involving the facilitation of a church bond offering for a church. FINRA alleged that Moore made a false and misleading statement on his firm’s annual compliance questionnaire which asked if he had participated in raising capital.

In FINRA case 12-02353 a customer of Moore’s prior employer, LPL Financial was paid $60,000 to settle claims that they requested Moore place them in a conservative portfolio but he recommended a portfolio overly concentrated in variable annuities and REITs (real estate investment trusts).

Ricky Moore has been employed by Sagepoint Financial since 12/2013. His prior employers include Securities America, Commonwealth Financial Network and LPL Financial Corp. Moore discloses a business affiliation with Oak Financial Group in Angleton, TX.

In 9/2013, Moore was ‘permitted to resign’ from Commonwealth Financial Network who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “RR was the president of an outside business activity that subsequently engaged another broker-dealer to issue bonds on behalf of the entity, distributed a notice of the sale of bonds on behalf of the entity, and failed to provide prior written notice to or receive written approval from the firm, in violation of FINRA Rules 3270, and 2210..”

If you have questions about an account  handled by RIcky Moore , contact us 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

James D. Calder II-Former Raymond James Broker-Sanctioned Over Sale of Life Settlements-Borger, TX

May 2017-Borger, TX

The FINRA records of  James D. Calder II,  a  unregistered stockbroker who was last employed by  Raymond James Financial Services  disclose a final regulatory event and a customer dispute that has been settled.

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 2/2017, to resolve allegations by FINRA that he engaged in an undisclosed outside business activity by participating in the sale of life settlement contracts to customers of his firm after it had expressly denied his request to participate in such activity, Calder was suspended for six months and fined $15,000.

In FINRA arbitration 15-02822, a customer of Raymond James Financial Services alleged damages of $120,000 in connection with an investment purchased from Calder that was not authorized by Raymond James Financial Services. That case was settled for $75,000.

James D. Calder II was employed by Raymond James from 8/2002-3/2016.

If you have questions about an account  handled by James D. Calder II , contact us to discuss your options.

Viatical Settlement

A viatical settlement is a contract whereby a person diagnosed with a terminal illness sells their life insurance policy for less than its face value in order to obtain a portion of the proceeds while still alive. The buyer (investor) obtains the full value of the policy upon the death of the insured.

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

John W. Rafal-Essex Financial Former President/CEO-Sentenced

May 2017

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced in a press release that John William Rafal, 67, the former president and chief executive of Essex Financial  has been sentenced to a year of probation for making referral payments to an attorney who referred him a wealthy client. Four months of the probation is to be served in home detention and he was assessed a fine of $4,000.

In January 2017, Rafal entered into an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission barring him for life from the securities industry and a fine and disgorgement of over $500,000. The SEC alleged that Rafal and a Connecticut attorney fraudulently schemed to circumvent the rule regarding payments for client solicitations. According to the SEC allegations the client was an elderly widow with accounts worth $100 million.

According to the Investment News, after Mr. Rafal had paid a portion of the referral fee to the attorney, his company found out and directed Rafal to have the attorney return the money, but Rafal then secretly paid the referral fee to the attorney from his private checking accounts.

Essex Financial  has been a FINRA member since 2003 and is headquartered in Essex, CT. Essex Financial is licensed in 48 U.S. states and territories.

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

George Warner-Summit Rockwall Wealth Managers-Discloses Regulatory Sanction/Discharge From Employment-Rockwall, TX

April 2017-Rockwall, TX

The FINRA records of  George M. Warner ,  a  stockbroker who is not currently registered with any broker dealer disclose a 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 he altered various customer documents on at least five occasions after the documents had already been signed by the customers. The findings stated 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. FINRA Case 2014043727001. 

In 2/2010 , while employed by LPL Financial , Warner settled a customer dispute for $225,000. The customer alleged that he made an error in connection with the purchase of CIT bonds versus Citi Corp. bonds.

In 11/2014 Warner was ‘permitted to resign’ from NFP Advisors 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 Services               3/2017-4/2017
  • IFS Securities                                               12/2014-3/2017
  • NFP Advisor Services                               7/2013-12/2014
  • LPL Financial                                                 4/2003-6/2013

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

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by George 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

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

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