Category Archives: StockBroker

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

Dennis Van Patter-Former VSR Financial Services Broker-Discloses Pending Customer Disputes-Plano, TX

February  2017-Plano, Texas

According to public records former VSR Financial Services broker Dennis Van Patter discloses a prior final regulatory event, 7 prior customer disputes that are final and 3 pending customer disputes.

Five of the prior customer disputes were brought by Van Patter’s customers while he was employed by VSR Financial Services and allege damages related to investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil and gas, equipment leasing and promissory notes (alternative investments). Settlements paid by VSR Financial in those five  cases are $40,000, $215,000, $11,250, $50,000 and $15,000.

The three pending cases against Van Patter are by customers of VSR Financial and relate to alternative investments such as REITs, oil and gas and equipment leasing. Damages sought in the two of the pending cases are not stated. Damages sought in the third case are $1,074,858.

In November of 2015 FINRA suspended Van Patter for 45 days and fined him $10,000. Without admitting or denying the findings, Van Patter consented to the entry of findings that his recommendation that a retired customer invest in alternative investments was not suitable in light of the customer’s investment objectives and risk tolerance. The findings stated that Van Patter recommended that the customer invest $1.6 million in alternative investments such as REITs, note programs, oil and gas drilling partnerships and other private placements. As a result of Van Patter’s recommendations, the customer had approximately 52% of his liquid net worth concentrated in high risk alternative investments. FINRA Case 2013036647401. 

See this for prior posts on Dennis Van Patter. 

VSR Financial’s Prior Issues with Alternative Investments

VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in May 2013 in connection with the sale of alternative investments. In their findings, FINRA criticised VSR Financial for recommending high concentration levels of alternative investments in customer accounts and for its lack of supervision over the use of consolidated reports prepared by brokers and provided to customers. During the summer of 2016, VSR Financial announced that they were winding down their brokerage business and transferring accounts and brokers to an affiliated entity Summit Brokerage Services.

See this for prior posts on VSR Financial Services.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. It may also include art, wine, antiques, coins or stamps. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

Van Patter was employed by VSR FInancial  Services from 10/1997-7/2016. He is not currently registered with any broker dealer.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Dennis Van Patter or  another VSR Financial Services broker, contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

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

Mickey Long-Former VSR Financial Services Broker-Discloses Pending Customer Disputes-Plano, TX

February  2017-Plano, Texas

According to public records former VSR Financial Services broker M. F. (Mickey) Long discloses a prior final regulatory event, 10 prior customer disputes that are final and 3 pending customer disputes.

Three of the prior customer disputes were brought by Long’s customers while he was employed by VSR Financial Services and allege damages related to investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil and gas, equipment leasing and promissory notes (alternative investments). Settlements paid by VSR Financial in those three cases are $196,500, $82,500 and $235,000.

The three pending cases against Long are by customers of VSR Financial and relate to alternative investments such as REITs, oil and gas and equipment leasing. Damages sought in the three pending cases range from  $149,200 to $838,389.

In October 2016, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) entered a Disciplinary Order against M. F. (Mickey) Long II who operates First Financial Services Group in Plano, TX, and stock brokerage firm Calton & Associates.

The TSSB Order made certain findings with regard to Mr. Long’s business practices during the time he was employed by VSR Financial Services (6/2002-6/2016), including the following:

  • Long routinely recommended that VSR Financial clients invest in on-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and interests in exploratory drilling programs sold through private offerings (Alternative Investments)
  • Long recommended that a client of VSR Financial who was over 70 years of age invest in Alternative Investments at risk tolerance levels that were excessive.
  • Long did not have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendations he made to invest in the Alternative Investments were suitable for this elderly client.

Long and Calton agreed that so long as Mr. Long is registered with Calton he will not sell or recommend the purchase of any Alternative Investments.  In addition, Long and Calton agreed that will establish a heightened supervision plan for the supervision of Mr. Long’s practice for two years. Mr Long’s registration with TSSB was suspended for 45 days as a part of the Order.

See this for prior posts on Mickey Long. 

VSR Financial’s Prior Issues with Alternative Investments

VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in May 2013 in connection with the sale of alternative investments. In their findings, FINRA criticised VSR Financial for recommending high concentration levels of alternative investments in customer accounts and for its lack of supervision over the use of consolidated reports prepared by brokers and provided to customers. During the summer of 2016, VSR Financial announced that they were winding down their brokerage business and transferring accounts and brokers to an affiliated entity Summit Brokerage Services.

See this for prior posts on VSR Financial Services.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. It may also include art, wine, antiques, coins or stamps. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

Long was employed by VSR FInancial  Services from 6/2002-7/2016. He has been registered with Calton & Associates since 6/2016.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Mickey Long or  another VSR Financial Services broker, contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

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

Parks Brown, Jr.-Former VSR Financial Services Broker-Update on Investigation

December 2016- Marietta, Georgia

We continue our investigation of former VSR Financial Services broker Parks H. Brown, Jr. who operated  IM Portfolios, Inc.  in Marietta, Georgia,. Our client is an elderly widow who alleges that Parks Brown, Jr.  recommended the purchase of numerous unsuitable investments resulting in significant losses to her retirement nest egg.

The investments include the following securities:

  • Exco Resources
  • Linn Energy
  • Rock Creek Pharma Inc.
  • Star Scientific, Inc. 

According to FINRA records Brown was registered with VSR Financial Services from 10/2005 until 7/2016.  As of December 5, 2016, Parks Brown is not currently registered with any brokerage firm.

Parks Brown was named in a FINRA arbitration in 2014 (#14-1744) by a VSR Financial Services customer who alleged unsuitable investments, churning, unauthorized trades and breach of fiduciary duty. That case was settled in 9/2015 for $71,500.

In 2001, Parks Brown, who at the time was working for A.G. Edwards,  was named in another arbitration ( NASD 01-1817) by a customer alleging unauthorized transactions, churning excessive concentration and violations of securities laws. A FINRA arbitration panel awarded  $229,839 to the customer.

VSR Financial’s Recent Regulatory Woes

NOVEMBER 2016-FINRA Censured and fined VSR Financial $400,000, required VSR pay restitution of $4.5 million and required that the firm conduct undertakings for supervisory failures related to the sale of annuity products.

MAY 2013- VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in May 2013 in connection with the sale of alternative investments. In their findings, FINRA criticised VSR Financial for recommending high concentration levels of alternative investments in customer accounts and for its lack of supervision over the use of consolidated reports prepared by brokers and provided to customers.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. It may also include art, wine, antiques, coins or stamps. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

If you have information you think may be helpful to our investigation, we would like to hear from you.

If you have losses in an account handled by Parks Brown or losses in a VSR Financial Services account handled by another VSR broker , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

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

Mickey Long-VSR Financial Broker- Sanctioned by Texas State Securities Board-Plano, TX

October 2016-Plano, Texas

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) entered a Disciplinary Order against M. F. (Mickey) Long II who operates First Financial Services Group in Plano, TX, and stock brokerage firm Calton & Associates.

The TSSB Order made certain findings with regard to Mr. Long’s business practices during the time he was employed by VSR Financial Services (6/2002-6/2016), including the following:

  • Long routinely recommended that VSR Financial clients invest in on-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and interests in exploratory drilling programs sold through private offerings (Alternative Investments)
  • Long recommended that a client of VSR Financial who was over 70 years of age invest in Alternative Investments at risk tolerance levels that were excessive.
  • Long did not have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendations he made to invest in the Alternative Investments were suitable for this elderly client.

Long and Calton agreed that so long as Mr. Long is registered with Calton he will not sell or recommend the purchase of any Alternative Investments.  In addition, Long and Calton agreed that will establish a heightened supervision plan for the supervision of Mr. Long’s practice for two years. Mr Long’s registration with TSSB was suspended for 45 days as a part of the Order.

See this for prior posts on Mickey Long. 

See this for prior posts on VSR Financial Services.

VSR Financial’s Prior Issues with Alternative Investments

VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in May 2013 in connection with the sale of alternative investments. In their findings, FINRA criticised VSR Financial for recommending high concentration levels of alternative investments in customer accounts and for its lack of supervision over the use of consolidated reports prepared by brokers and provided to customers. During the summer of 2016, VSR Financial announced that they were winding down their brokerage business and transferring accounts and brokers to an affiliated entity Summit Brokerage Services.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. It may also include art, wine, antiques, coins or stamps. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Mickey Long or VSR Financial Services , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

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 Victims File Arbitration Against Morgan Stanley-The Villages, Florida

The Villages Florida

UPDATE MAY 2017FINRA records disclose that Andrew “Todd” Yocum has a currently pending regulatory matter. There are 17 currently pending customer disputes and 15 prior customer disputes that are final.

In many of the customer disputes, both prior and those that have been settled, the customers allege an overconcentration of oil and gas related securities. Some of the prior cases that have been settled include:

  • 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 8/2016 a customer of Morgan Stanley was paid $35,975 to resolve allegations that from March 2012-September 2015 Yocum made unsuitable recommendations.

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.

ORIGINAL POST-July 2016

Rex Securities Law recently filed a FINRA arbitration claim against Morgan Stanley alleging that they failed to properly supervise their former broker Andrew Todd Yocum, permitting him to mismanage  the brokerage account of a retired couple from Central Florida. The couple is alleging losses of between $100,000 and $499,000.

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 for “Allegations concerning acting on verbal discretion” according to FINRA records.

Yocum was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in May 2016. There are numerous customer disputes currently pending by former clients of Andrew Yocum. See this for more on Yocum. 

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.

We are currently evaluating potential cases for former clients of Todd Yocum. Call to discuss your options for recovery.

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