Category Archives: Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)

Christopher S. Laws-Former BCG Securities Broker-Discloses Regulatory Investigation-Alpharetta, GA

June 2017-Alpharetta, Georgia

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, 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

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

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

UPDATED JUNE 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: 

  • 2 pending and 1 prior regulatory events
  • 1 civil lawsuit
  • 13 currently pending customer disputes
  • 3 prior customer disputes
  • 2 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.

Currently pending customer disputes include:

  • 4/2017-A customer of Westminster Financial Securities seeks damages of $164,358 and alleges that Cody misrepresented account balances.
  • 3/2017-A customer of Concorde Investment Services seeks damages of $150,000 and alleges that Cody misappropriated funds and forged documents.
  • 3/2017-A customer of Concorde Investment Services seeks damages of $25,000 and alleges that Cody misappropriated funds and forged documents.

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 who alleged that Cody was “selling away” from the firm and had forged documents.

For information on Richard Cody’s ex-wife Jill Cody (Tramontano) who has been barred from the securities industry and who faces a number of customer suits, follow this link.

We are interested in speaking with former customers of Richard G. Cody and Jill Cody (Tramontano). 

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