Category Archives: FINRA

Marc Reda-Spartan Capital Broker-Discloses Settlement of Customer Claims

OCTOBER 2017

According to FINRA records,  Marc A. Reda , a broker who is currently employed by Spartan Capital Securities, discloses 9 prior customer disputes a prior regulatory event, 2 terminations from employment and a currently outstanding judgment/lien.

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, without admitting or denying the findings, Marc Reda consented to a fine of $5,000 and a three month suspension. FINRA found that he exercised discretion in customer accounts without written authorization from the customers and that he failed to timely disclose on FINRA Form U4 a federal tax lien filed against him in the amount of $575,101.

The prior customer disputes include the following settlements:

  • FINRA Arbitration 16-1461-a customer of his prior employer PHX FInancial alleged breach of fiduciary duty and unsuitable recommendations, seeking damages of $100,000. That case was settled in 7/2016 for $26,000.
  • In 4/2016 a customer of PHX Financial alleged that Reda traded his account without authority and breach of fiduciary responsibility, seeking damages of over $500,000. That case was settled in 5/2016 for $85,000.
  • In 3/2016 a customer of his prior employer Phoenix Financial Services alleged that beginning in 11/2015 Reda failed to follow the customer’s instructions, made trades without authority and over concentrated investments causing damages of $500,000. That case was settled in 6/2016 for $112,500.
  • In 1/2016 a customer of Phoenix Financial Services alleged that Reda made unauthorized trades in her account causing damages of $400,000. That case was settled in 2/2016 for $120,000.

According to FINRA records, Reda  has been registered with Spartan Capital Securities  since 5/2016. Reda was registered with First Standard Financial from 2/2016-5/2016. Prior to that he was registered with PHX Financial from 10/2014-1/2016 and with Laidlaw & Company from 11/2013-10/2014.

In 1/2016 Marc Reda was “permitted to resign” from PHX Financial who alleged that Reda violated firm policy.

FINRA records disclose an Internal Revenue Service lien filed in the Supreme Court of Richmond County, New York,  against Reda in the amount of $575,101.

If you have losses in an account handled by Marc A. Reda contact us to learn how 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

Paul V Blum-Former RBC Capital Broker- Sued by Clients for Unsuitable Trading-W. Palm Beach, FL

October 2017-West Palm Beach, FL

The FINRA records of  Paul Vincent Blum ,  a  stockbroker who was previously employed by RBC Capital Markets disclose a prior regulatory event, 9 pending customer disputes and 14 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 2017, Blum was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA for failing to appear for on the record testimony during the course of an investigation in connection with customer complaints alleging unsuitable trading.

In the pending arbitrations customers make various allegations of wrongdoing, mostly related to unsuitable investments in energy related investments,  including the following:

  • Blum recommended unsuitable and over-concentrated investments in the energy sector. Damages alleged, $886,070.
  • Three former customers allege that Blum was involved as an intermediary in making  unsuitable recommendations of energy sector corporate bond investments. Damages are alleged to be $525,000, $6,000,000  and $2,250,000.

Total dollar amount of the settlements already paid on  the prior customer disputes  is over $1.7 million.

If you have losses in an account handled by Paul Blum, call to discuss how 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

 

San Antonio Based Investment Professionals Inc. Sanctioned for Unsuitable Advice

October 2017-San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas, based stock brokerage firm Investment Professionals, Inc.  (IPI)  recently was ordered by William F. Galvin of the Massachusetts Securities Division to pay a $100,000 fine and offer restitution to four senior clients who were allegedly sold unsuitable investment products from offices on the premises of local financial institutions.

In addition the settlement order requires IPI to retain an independent compliance consultant to review the firm’s policies governing supervision of their Massachusetts-registered financial consultants and the sales of securities to persons over 65.

In November 2016, Massachusetts regulators charged IPI with using high pressure sales contests and selling unsuitable investment products to senior citizens who were depositors at community banks.

“This case highlights the dangers of aggressive sales culture that leaves older customers exposed to pressure to buy unsuitable investments,” Secretary Galvin said. “This is especially true when the broker dealer is operating out of a community bank.”

Link to the Massachusetts Securities Division/ Investment Professionals Consent Order. 

In February 2017, without admitting or denying, Investment Professionals agreed to pay FINRA $125,000 and to the entry of findings that from 10/2011-10/2013 it executed 167 non-bona fide municipal transactions without a change of beneficial ownership and that the execution of seven of the transactions were pre -arranged. FINRA also found that IPI did not have written supervisory procedures applicable to trading in limited partnership accounts. FINRA Case 20120313632.

Investment Professionals, Inc., has been a FINRA member since 1992 and operates over 300 branch offices and over 360 employees nationwide.

FINRA records disclose that Investment Professionals, Inc. has 15 prior final regulatory events.

If you have questions about an account handled by Investment Professionals, Inc. call to learn 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

VSR Financial Services-How to Recover Damages On Investment Losses

OCTOBER  2017VSR Financial Services closed down its operations in the Fall of 2016. Many of its brokers and clients have been transferred to Summit Brokerage Services, a related entity which is part of the Cetera Financial Group.

See below for discussion of VSR’s regulatory issues related to the sale of real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil and gas partnerships and other alternative investments and how you may be able to recover damages for losses on those investments.

 

VSR’s  Alternative Investment Problem

VSR is well known for its sales of alternative investments such as non-traded REITs, equipment leasing programs, oil & gas drilling programs, promissory notes and commodity funds. In 2013, VSR and its president Donald Beary, were sanctioned by FINRA in connection with the sale of alternative investments. VSR paid a fine of $550,000.

Recovery of Investment Losses On Limited Partnerships and Other Alternative Investments Purchased From VSR Financial

Over the past several years we have represented a number of investors, mostly retirees, who were recommended alternative investments with the promise of steady, dependable income and minimal risk.

Follow this link for other postings related to the recovery of losses on investments purchased from VSR Financial Services.

If you have suffered losses as a result of investing in alternative investments that were recommended to you by a VSR Financial Services broker (including, but not limited to John Towers, Dennis Van Patter, Mickey Long, Parks Brown, Jr.  , and Keith Bradley) , we may be able to help you recover damages.

Time is of the essence, so if you have a claim, you would be wise to pursue immediately.

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

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