Category Archives: Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)

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

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

RIchard G. Cody-Former Concorde Investment Services Broker-Charged With Fraud by SEC-Spring Lake, NJ

April 2017- Spring Lake, New Jersey

According to publicly available records Richard G. Cody , (CRD# 2794558) ,  a  currently unregistered stockbroker who last worked for IFS Securities  , has numerous disclosures: 

  • 1 pending and 1 prior regulatory event
  • 1 civil lawsuit
  • 8 currently pending customer diputes
  • 3 prior customer disputes
  • 3 currently pending regulatory investigations
  • 1 termination from employment
  • 1 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 December 2016 the SEC instituted litigation charging Cody with defrauding his retired clients by concealing the fact that their retirement accounts had suffered extensive losses and that the monthly payments they were receiving were exhausting their retirement savings. The SEC alleges that Cody concealed their substantial losses by making materially misleading statements, leading the clients to believe that their investments were maintaining steady value and that their monthly withdrawals were being financed by investment gains.

Richard G. Cody‘s employment in the securities industry includes IFS Securities, Concorde Investment Services and Westminster Financial Securities.

In September 2016 Cody was discharged by IFS Securities.

We are interested in speaking with former customers of Richard G. Cody. 

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

Kestra Investment Services Discloses Regulatory Fines/ Arbitration Awards-Austin, Texas

April 2017-Austin, Texas

According to publicly available records Kestra Investment Services (formerly NFP ) , (CRD# 42046) ,  a  FINRA registered broker dealer headquartered in Austin, Texas,  discloses  10 prior final regulatory events and 4 prior customer arbitrations. Kestra has about 1,800 registered representatives in 639 branch offices.

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.

Recent regulatory issues include:

  • In November 2016 Kestra Investment Services was censured and fined $475,000 and without admitting or denying FINRA’s allegations agreed to entry of findings that between October 2013 and June 2014 they failed to reasonably supervise brokers who recommended the purchase of multi-share class variable annuities. During the relevant time period Kestra sold 1,873 individual variable annuity contracts of $25,000 or greater, totalling over $280 million in principal investments.
  • In July 2016 Kestra was fined $100,000 by Massachusetts securities regulators for failure to register investment advisors who had a place of business in Massachusetts.
  • In July 2016, Kestra was censured and fined $500,000 by FINRA to resolve allegations that from December 2008-January 2014 they violated FINRA and SEC rules relating to the supervision of brokers dually registered with registered investment advisers, the preservation of emails and advertising and to timely update Form U-4.

Prior arbitration awards against Kestra Investment Services include:

  • In June 2014, an arbitration panel awarded $1.2 million to a customer who alleged breach of fiduciary duty, account activity, breach of contract and negligence in connection with the investment in annuities, municipal bonds, mutual funds and real estate investment trusts (REITs). FINRA arbitration 13-0430.

If you have losses in an account with  Kestra Investment Services , contact us to discuss your legal 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

Aegis Capital Corp. Discloses Investigation by FINRA, SEC & FINCEN

March 2017-New York

According to publicly available records filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Aegis Capital Corporation is being investigated by three regulatory agencies:

  • FINRA-The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
  • SEC-Securities & Exchange Commission
  • FINCEN-Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

The disclosure was recently made in Note 8 to the Annual Audited Report, Form X-17A-5, filed by Aegis Capital with the SEC, located on page 11 of the following document:

 

Aegis Capital Corp. is headquartered in New York and has over 400 registered representatives.

Aegis discloses 26 prior regulatory events. In an August 2015 settlement with FINRA, Aegis agreed to a fine of $950,000 to resolve allegations of improper sales of billions of shares unregistered penny stocks and failure to supervise anti-money laundering charges. More recently, in March 2017, Aegis paid a fine of $52,000 and was ordered to make restitution and disgorgement to resolve allegations that the firm’s supervisory procedures were insufficient.

If you have questions about an investment account at Aegis Capital Corporation, call 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

Mark Varacchi and Sentinel Growth Fund Management Accused of Theft by Regulators

February 2017- Washington

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Sentinel Growth Fund Management and its founder Mark J. Varacchi with stealing money from investors to settle a private lawsuit, among other misuses of the investor’s capital.

Per the SEC complaint, the money raised was commingled and at least $3.95 million was stolen from investors, including over a million which was used to settle litigation brought by Varacchi’s prior employer.

Investors who made their investments with Sentinel Growth Fund Management as a result of a recommendation by a registered stock broker may be able to recover damages. Call 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

Patrick O. Howard, Optimal Economics Capital Prnrs, Howard Capital Named in Regulatory Action-Dallas, TX

February 2017-Dallas, Texas

Patrick O. Howard and two companies he controls, Optimal Economics Capital Partners and Howard Capital Holdings were named in a complaint filed by The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 14, 2017.

The complaint alleges that since February 2015, Howard and his companies have raised about $13 million from 119 investors through the fraudulent offer and sale of interests in three private funds which promised returns ranging from 12%-20% annually. Investors were also promised minimal risk.

According to the SEC only about $7.5 million was actually used for investment purposes and the balance was used on Howard’s personal expenses. The SEC alleges that Optimal Economics made Ponzi payments using to new investor funds to pay earlier investors.

Victims who made investments as a result of a recommendation from a registered financial advisor may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Call 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