Category Archives: Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)

SEC Files Action vs. FL and TN Oil and Gas Deal Scammers

August 2017-Ft. Lauderdale, FL/ Gallatin, TN

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two men from Tennessee and a man from Florida with allegedly defrauding investors by false promises of high returns from an oil drilling investment.

The SEC Complaint, filed in Savannah, GA, alleges that David R. Greenlee and David A. Stewart, Jr. orchestrated a $15 million scheme through a network of salesmen who raised money from investors who were promised profits of 15-55% per year for decades on wells that would use enhanced recovery techniques to boost production.

Neither Greenlee nor Stewart was registered to sell investments and they routinely used fake names , like “Dave Johnson”, when speaking with investors in order to hide their past criminal records. According to the SEC, only a small fraction of the money raised was actually used as intended.

The SEC alleges that Richard “Ric” Underwood helped draft brochures and oversaw a boiler room sales team of telemarketers in Florida who solicited victims nationwide.

The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Georgia has instituted criminal charges in a parallel action.

Companies listed by the SEC as being used in the scam include:

  • Tennstar Energy
  • Black Gold Resources (BRG)
  • Southern Energy Group

Other individuals involved, but not named defendants, per the SEC complaint are Robert Dorrance, 60, of Gallatin, TN, and Jared G. Forrester, 33, of Glasgow, KY.

If you invested in this scheme at the suggestion of a licensed stock broker , you may be able to recover damages from the broker’s employer. Call for 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.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Former Alexander Capital Brokers-Gennity and Roveccio-Named in SEC Fraud Suit-NYC

September 2017-New York

Two New York City brokers working for Alexander Capital L.P. have been charged with securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. William Gennity,30,  and Rocco Roveccio, 42,  have been charged with making unsuitable recommendations to customers resulting in ill-gotten gains for Gennity and Roveccio.

According to the complaint filed by the SEC , Gennity and Roveccio:

  • knew or recklessly disregarded that their recommendations were not suitable for anyone
  • made recommendations that were unsuitable for certain of their customers in light of those customers needs, investment objectives and circumstances.
  • made material misrepresentations and omissions to customers.
  • churned customer accounts, and
  • engaged in unauthorized trading

As a result nearly $500,000 in commission were earned by Gennity, Roveccio and Alexander Capital LP, while the clients suffered losses of nearly $700,000.

William C. Gennity of Staten Island, NY, was employed by Alexander Capital 4/2012-10/2014 and worked at eight different firms during his 13 year career in the securities industry. He is currently employed by First Standard Financial Company. His FINRA record discloses 3 pending customer disputes and 3 prior customer disputes.

Rocco Roveccio of Freehold, NJ, was employed by Alexander Capital 6/2012-10/2014 and was employed by 15 different firms during his 22 years in the securities industry. He is currently employed by First Standard Financial Company. Roveccio’s FINRA record discloses 3 prior customer disputes and two outstanding judgment liens. In one of the customer disputes brought by a customer of his former employer, LCP Capital Corp, the customer alleged unauthorized trading, suitability, breach of fiduciary duty and churning. The customer was awarded damages of $216,275.

In FINRA Case 13-01691, a customer of Alexander Capital LP alleged unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty and unsuitability and was paid a settlement of $87,500 by Roveccio.

If you have questions about losses in an account handled by William Gennity or Rocco Roveccio, call to learn how you may be able to recover damages from their 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.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Additional Individuals Indicted In Chimera Energy Corp. Fraud-Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas – July 2017

According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, a second superseding indictment has been issued by a  federal grand jury naming additional individuals and companies related to the Chimera Energy Corp. pump and dump fraud. Losses due to the fraud may exceed $25 million.

The following individuals were  named in September 15, 2016 indictment for a securities fraud scheme involving the stock of Chimera Energy Corp:

  • Andrew Ian Farmer, 38 , Houston, TX
  • Thomas Galen Massey, 46, Houston, TX

In a superseding indictment April 26,2017, a federal grand jury charged five additional individuals for their roles in the Chimera Energy fraud:

  • Eddie Douglas Austin, Jr. , 66, Houston, TX
  • Carolyn Price Austin, 62, Houston, TX
  • Charles Earl Grob, Jr. 37, Houston, TX
  • John David Brotherton, 57, League City, TX
  • Scott Russell Sieck, 58, Winter Park, FL

On July 20, 2017, a grand jury returned a second superseding indictment against Farmer, Eddie and Carolyn Austin, Brotherton, Sieck and Grob for roles in a broader securities fraud conspiracy involving at least 12 other companies from 2011 to 2017.

The release indicates that Massey pleaded guilty to his role on April 18,2017, and is set for sentencing in June 2018.

Pump and Dump Scheme

In a pump and dump scheme, the fraudsters engage in fraudulent trading practices in a company’s stock by publishing false and misleading information about the company with the intention of inflating the price of the stock. Once the stock rises as a result of this fake information, the fraudsters dump their stock on the market to the investors who have been misled by the false information.

Victims who may have been advised by a registered stockbroker to invest in any of these companies may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Call to learn about 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

SEC Files Action Over Verto Notes-Dallas & Plano, Texas

July 2017-Dallas and Plano, Texas

Two Texas firms and three individuals employed by the firms were named in an enforcement proceeding filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the sale of 7% promissory notes issued by Verto Capital Management LLC.

Named as respondents in the Order Instituting the proceedings, are:

  • Retirement Surety LLC-a Plano-based company, which according to its website is a ‘practicing Christian organization” who provide investment advice for retirement planning. This company has never been registered as a broker dealer.
  • Crescendo Financial LLC-a Plano-based company that brokered the sale of the Verto Notes that also touts itself as being a “practicing Christian organization”.
  • Thomas Rose-a 61 year old resident of Plano, TX, who was a partner of Retirement Surety and Crescendo Financial. Rose does not hold any securities licenses and has never been registered as or associated with a registered securities dealer.
  • David Leeman-a 67 year old resident of Dallas, TX, who is also a partner of Retirement Surety and Crescendo Financial. He purports to be a licensed insurance agent in TX, but has never been registered as or associated with a registered securities dealer.
  • David Featherstone-a 70 year old resident of Dallas, TX. He also purports to be a licensed insurance agent in TX, but has never been registered as or associated with a registered securities dealer.

Other relevant individuals in the order are:

  • WIlliam Schantz III, 62 of Moorestown, New Jersey.
  • Randal Wallis, 63 of Pottsboro, TX.
  • Ronald Howard Wills, 71, of McKinney, TX.

According to the SEC the respondents sold $12.5 million of the Verto Notes  to 82 individual investors and collected commissions of over $650,000 on the sales notwithstanding the fact that none of the respondents was registered as a securities broker. Respondents solicited sales on radio shows broadcast on two Christian networks and by use of the Retirement Surety website where the Verto Notes were touted as being a “Short Term Investment with Superior Returns and Minimal Risk”.

Investors who were referred to respondents by a registered stockbroker may be able to recover damages from the brokerage firm employing that broker. Call for 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

Christopher S. Laws-Former BCG Securities Broker-Named in SEC Complaint-Alpharetta, GA

Alpharetta, Georgia

AUGUST 2017 UPDATE-The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Christopher S. Laws and three other Atlanta area brokers with fraudulently inducing federal employees to roll over holdings in their federal Thrift Savings Plans (TSP) retirement accounts into higher-fee variable annuity products. Here is a link to the SEC complaint. 

Also named in the SEC complaint are:

  • Keystone Capital Partners Inc. d/b/a Federal Employee Benefit Counselors
  • Jonathan Dax Cooke-Previously with BCG Securities, LPL Financial.
  • Danny S. Hood-Previously with BCG Securities, Summit Brokerage Services, LPL Financial, Valic Financial
  • Brandon P. Long-Previously with BCG Securities and LPL Financial.

 

ORIGINAL POST-June 2017-According to publicly available records Christopher S. Laws , (CRD# 4479529) ,  a  currently unregistered stockbroker who last worked for BCG Securities  , discloses a prior customer dispute, a current regulatory investigation 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 8/2016 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began an investigation alleging that Laws did not make full disclosure that his entity was not affiliated with the federal government when offering investment products to clients and that he improperly notarized customer documents.

In 10/2014, Laws was discharged from LPL Financial who alleged: “concerns regarding business practices, including communications with customers.”

Christopher Laws was employed by BCG Securities 12/2014-4/2017 and with LPL Financial 7/2005-12/20014. Laws discloses a business affiliation with Keystone Wealth Management and Federal Employee Retirement Counselors.

If you have questions about an account handled by Christopher S. Laws, Brandon P. Long, Danny S. Hood or Jonathan D. Cooke 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

SEC Files Emergency Action Against Thurman P. Bryant, III And His Company – Frisco, TX

May 2017-Frisco, TX

On May 15, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency action to halt a fraudulent investment scheme which has raised nearly $23 million from 100 investors.

The action alleges that Frisco, Texas resident Thurman P. Bryant, III and his company, Bryant United Capital Funding, Inc. (BUCF), have raised approximately $22.7 million from nearly 100 investors.   These investors were falsely promised a risk-free, guaranteed minimum 30% annual returns on investments that Bryant would supposedly make in the mortgage industry.   Bryant and BUCF also allegedly sent investors monthly statements apparently showing that their initial investment monies were safe in an escrow account.

The SEC alleges that  Bryant  used $4.8 million to cover personal expenses, including rent and luxury car payments, a housekeeper, meals and groceries, private school tuition, horse riding expenses, and for an apartment; used approximately $16.1 for high-risk securities trading among other things.   The SEC also alleges that the monthly account statements were fraudulent.

Link to SEC complaint .

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 Shuts Down LottoNet Boiler Room-Pompano Beach, FL

March 2017

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the filing of a complaint against Florida based LottoNet Operating Corp. , its CEO David Gray and Joseph A. Vitale, a sales agent for the company.

The SEC alleges that they misrepresented to investors how their money was to be used. According to the SEC about 35% of the money raised was paid to boiler room sales agents and LottoNet allegedly siphoned investor funds for personal spending on clothes, a wedding and strip clubs.

Investors were touted $8,500 monthly returns for a $25,000 investment. About $4.8 million was raised.

The SEC says that Vitale raised about $1.4 million from investors using the alias Donovan Kelly in an apparent attempt to conceal the fact that he had been permanently barred by FINRA. According to his FINRA record Vitale was permanently barred by FINRA in 10/2011. Vitale was last employed in the industry by J.P. Turner & Co. 

Link to SEC complaint.

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