Category Archives: Securities

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

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

Mark & Herminia Sitter Investigation-Capital Financial Services Brokers-The Woodlands, TX

October 2017- The Woodlands, Texas

We continue our investigation of Capital Financial Services stockbroker Mark Raymond Sitter of the Woodlands, TXand  his wife Herminia C. Sitter, who until June 2017, was also a  broker with Capital Financial Services TX.

Our investigation is on behalf of an elderly Texas retiree who alleges that they recommended she invest most of her retirement funds into unsuitable real estate investments, including American Realty Hospitality Trust and Cole Office and Industrial REIT.

The FINRA records of Mark Sitter disclose an outstanding lien to the Internal Revenue Service of $83,527. Mark Sitter has been registered with Capital Financial Services since 1/2006. Mark Sitter discloses a business affiliation with Chasewood Wealth Management of the Woodlands, TX.

The FINRA records of Herminia Sitter disclose an outstanding lien to the Internal Revenue Service of $83,527. Herminia Sitter was registered with Capital Financial Services from 9/2005-6/2017.

Capital Financial Services has been a FINRA member since 1981 and is headquartered in Minot, North Dakota. According to FINRA records, there have been three customer arbitration awards against Capital Financial Services including FINRA Case 13-03763 in which a customer was awarded $50,000 for breach of fiduciary duty and misrepresentations in connection with the sale of a real estate investment trust (REIT). In 2011 Capital Financial Services agreed to a censure and disgorgement/restitution of $200,000 to resolve allegations that sales of oil and gas investments were improperly made.

If you have information you believe may be helpful to this investigation please contact our office.

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 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

Couple Awarded $550,000 For Losses on Breitburn Energy Investments-St. Louis

September 2017-St. Louis, MO

A FINRA arbitration panel ordered J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons to pay a couple $450,000 in compensatory damages, $100,000 in punitive damages and costs of over $18,000. The couple alleged that the firm and broker sold all of their blue chip stocks and invested all of the funds in a highly speculative oil and gas company, Breitburn Energy Partners Limited.

The couple contended that the lack of diversification exposed them to massive risk which was contrary to their conservative investment objectives and risk tolerance. Benitone, et al vs. J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC, FINRA Case 16-01819. 

Stockbrokers have a duty to make recommendations that are suitable in light of your age, health and level of financial sophistication. Brokers are required to make recommendations that comply with your stated investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Many investors have suffered significant losses in oil and gas and other energy related investments over recent years. If you have questions about losses on energy investments, call for a no charge consultation.

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

William H. Watson III-Prior Freedom Investors Broker- Discloses Regulatory events, Customer Disputes-Federal Tax Liens-Orange County, CA

August 2017 -Orange County, CA

According to publicly available records William Henry Watson III (CRD#1016938) , a  stockbroker who was previously registered with Freedom Investors Corp, disclose  two regulatory events , seven customer disputes and four federal tax liens.

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 2016  Watson  consented to sanctions of a 10 day suspension and a $5,000 fine from the securities industry by FINRA to resolve allegations that “Watson participated in securities offerings with four different issuers in which he used, or permitted issuers to use marketing materials that were not fair and balanced, as they failed to discuss each of the issuers’ poor financial performance and made misleading, unwarranted or unsupported statements.”    

In 1/2017, a Finance 500, Inc. customer filed a complaint alleging inappropriate investments in limited partnerships and direct investments and sought damages of $800,000.   That case was settled for $161,653.

In pending FINRA Case 16-3674 , a Finance 500, Inc.  customer alleges  misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise, Texas Securities fraud, negligence and breach of contract in connection with investments in limited partnerships and is seeking damages of $102,500.

There are four Internal Revue Service tax liens disclosed by Watson , filed in Orange County, CA from 2005 to 2014, and  totaling more than $600,000.

Watson was with Freedom Investors from 8/2014-12/2015 and  with Finance 500, Inc. from 2/ 2011 until 7/2014 .  Prior to that he was with Choice Investments of Austin, Texas.

If you have questions about an account handled by William Henry Watson III,  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.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Glenn R. King- Prior Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. Broker- Discloses FINRA Sanction, Numerous Customer Disputes – Shrewsbury, NJ

August 2017 – Shrewsbury, NJ

According to publicly available records  Glenn Robert King (CRD#2191091) , a former stockbroker who was last registered with Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. disclose a regulatory event, 20 customer disputes, a  separation from employment and an 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.

In2015 , FINRA commenced an investigation into a complaint alleging that King  made fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions to his retiree customers , promising that he would use their investment funds to purchase safe and no-risk bonds and that he wouldn’t charge fees or commissions.

In reality, according to FINRA,  King used the customers’ funds to purchase UITs resulting in approximately $17,000 in realized losses to customers and approximately $43,000 in unrealized losses and approximately $38,000 in commissions to him.   The complaint also alleges that King engaged in a pattern of short-term trading in long-term investments products in accounts of customers.   This pattern of trading was excessive and unsuitable and resulted in approximately $163,000 in customer losses and gross commissions to King of approximately $210.000.   The complaint further alleges that King exercised discretion in the accounts of customers without the ir written authority or the approval of his firm.   In 8/2017  Glenn King was permanently barred from FINRA.

In FINRA Case 15-01027 , a Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. customer alleged  misrepresentation in connection with an investment in a Unit Investment Trust. That case was settled for $75,000.

In currently pending FINRA Case 15-3462, a Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc., customer alleges unauthorized trading and unsuitability in connection with an investment in a Unit Investment Trust (UIT) and seeks damages of $150,000.

In FINRA Case 15-3259 , a  Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. customer alleges unauthorized trading and unsuitability in connection with a UIT investment and seeks damages of $428,000.

In June of 2011, Royal Alliance, Associates allowed King to “voluntarily resign”  while he was under an internal review regarding the sale of investment products such as UITs and mutual funds to certain customers because of misrepresentation and failure to deliver a product prospectus.

 

King  was employed with Royal Alliance, Associates from January 2005 to June 2011.  He was employed with Saxony Securities, Inc. from June 2011 to October 2011 and with Garden State Securities, Inc. October 2011 to November of 2011 before going to work for in Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. in January of 2012.

King discloses an outstanding lien to the Internal Revenue Service of $234,400.

If you have questions about an account handled by Glenn Robert King 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.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870