Tag Archives: Joshua Ray Abernathy

Investigation of NEXT Financial Group RE: Misappropriation of Customer Funds-Houston, TX

February 2018

In connection with a currently pending lawsuit, we are investigating Houston, TX-based broker dealer NEXT Financial Group.

Publicly available records disclose a number of recent complaints by customers of  NEXT Financial  alleging  that their funds have been wrongfully converted by  NEXT Financial Group brokers, including the following:

  • Heidi Wivolin-In February 2018, Heidi Wivolin who was employed in the NEXT Financial Group office in Manalapan, FL, from 2009-2014 pleaded guilty to mail and tax fraud and agreed to pay restitution of over $2.5 million. Sentencing is set for May 2, 2018. See this for details. 
  • Joshua Ray Abernathy-In September 2017, NEXT Financial Group entered into a settlement agreement with Virginia Securities regulators which included a fine of $50,000 and costs of $10,000 for failing to properly supervise their former broker Joshua Abernathy, who had confessed to securities fraud and misappropriation of over $442,000 in customer funds.
  • Tye Williams-September 2016- Frisco, TX-based NEXT Financial Group broker Williams was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in connection with an investigation regarding a customer complaint that he had converted over $1 million from the customer’s account from 2004-2014.  . See this for more details.
  • Eduardo Diaz-Ocean Springs, MS. In June 2016, Diaz, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud,  was sentenced to 70 months, fined $15,000 and ordered to pay restitution of over $640,000 to his victims which include a 70 year old widow.
  • James McGilvrey-San Antonio, TX-Charged with Theft from The Elderly, sentenced to 20 years in state prison, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay over $1.9 million in restitution. See this for more detail.
  • Douglas P. Simanski-Altoona, PA-In June 2016, Simanski, without admitting or denying the findings, consented to a permanent bar from the securities industry and entry of findings that he failed to provide documents and information related to an investigation into allegations related to the conversion of funds. FINRA Case 2016049621301.
  • Gwendolyn M. Berry , of Dallas, TX, was associated with NEXT Financial group from 2009-2015 as a non-registered fingerprint person working as a non-registered assistant and bookkeeper for a Series & General Securities Representative and Series 24 General Securities Principal. After initiating an investigation into Berry regarding possible misappropriation and mismanagement of customer assets, FINRA repeatedly requested that Berry produce documents and information. Berry failed to produce the documents and information and was barred from association with any FINRA regulated broker-dealer in any capacity in April 2016. FINRA AWC No. 2015047059701.  

The official FINRA regulatory records for NEXT Financial Group disclose 19 prior regulatory events including a recent $750,000 fine by FINRA for supervisory failures. See this for details.

If you have information you believe would be helpful to our investigation please contact us. If you have an account with NEXT Financial Group that you believe has been mishandled, contact us to learn how you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

 

Former NEXT Financial Broker in Virginia Charged with Defrauding Texas Citizens

March 2, 2015

A Criminal Information was filed by the United States of America vs. Joshua Ray  Abernathy, of Norfolk Virginia, charging him with mail fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and seeking criminal forfeiture. USA v. Abernathy, US District Court For the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division, Criminal No. 2:15cr 21.

According to the complaint, Abernathy, a licensed securities broker and financial advisor operated his fraud through his company Omega Investment Group , from September 2008 through October 2014, he solicited funds from clients and investors for investment in stock options and unlawfully misappropriated those funds for personal use.

The victims, according to the Criminal Information, include:

  • A 75 year old widow from Texas who entrusted her retirement funds to Abernathy who concealed his fraud by providing fraudulent statements
  • A single mother from Texas who cashed in her retirement funds with the U.S. Postal Service and invested with Omega. Abernathy concealed his fraud by providing fraudulent statements
  • An individual from Texas who met Abernathy at church who transferred his retirement funds to Omega believing he was investing in a strategic investment fund. Abernathy concealed his fraud by providing fraudulent statements

The Criminal Information lists numerous other victims from Texas and Virginia with similar circumstances and in all cases the victims were provided with fraudulent statements. Losses are estimated to be about $1.3 million.

FINRA records indicate that Abernathy has been permanently barred from the industry. He was previously registered with the following broker-dealers:

  • The O.N. Equity Sales Company          2/2013-8/2014
  • NEXT Financial Group                               3/2007-8/2012
  • MML Investors Services                            2/2005-4/2007

If you had an account with Abernathy that suffered damages, contact us to learn how you may be able to recover all or a part of those losses from the broker-dealer Abernathy worked for at the time.

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