Tag Archives: stockbroker negligence

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

George M. Warner-Former IFS Securities Broker-Discloses Regulatory Suspension-Rockwall, TX

October 2017-Rockwall, TX

The FINRA records of  George M. Warner ,  a  stockbroker who is currently registered with Chelsea Financial Services disclose a prior regulatory event, a prior customer dispute and 2 terminations 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 4/2017 Warner was fined $5,000 and suspended for 30 days by FINRA to resolve allegations that while employed by Kestra Financial Services, he altered various customer documents on at least five occasions after the documents had already been signed by the customers. The regulatory findings state that Warner corrected or included the customer’s anticipated liquidity needs, net worth, liquid net worth, and or annual income on new account forms, alternative investment forms, and an IRA application. The findings state that by changing new account documentation of the customer’s, Warner caused his member firm to preserve and maintain altered books and records. FINRA Case 2014043727001. 

In 2/2010 , while employed by LPL Financial , a customer alleged that Warner made an error in connection with the purchase of Citi Corp bonds causing losses of $329,426. That matter was settled for $225,000.

In 11/2014 Warner was ‘permitted to resign’ from NFP Advisor Services who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “Rep corrected client documents after client signature. “

In 6/2013 Warner was discharged from LPL Financial,  who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “Employment terminated by related bank program for obtaining client signatures on blank account transfer forms. “

George Warner’s employment history includes:

  • Dominion Investor Ser.-Rockwall, TX                       6/2017-7/2017
  • Dominion Investor Ser.-Horseshoe Bay, TX          3/2017-4/2017
  • IFS Securities-Rockwall, TX                                        12/2014-3/2017
  • NFP Advisor Services-Rockwall, TX                     7/2013-12/2014                    LPL Financial-Rockwall, TX                          4/2003-6/2013

Warner discloses a business affiliation with Summit Rockwall Wealth Managers LLC, in Rockwall, Texas.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by George M. Warner , 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

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 A. Kemp Investigation-McNally Financial Services Broker-Corpus Christi, TX

October 2017 – Corpus Christi, Texas

According to publicly available records Mark A. Kemp  (CRD#2057200) ,  a  stockbroker who currently works for San Antonio-based McNally Financial Services Corp.  discloses a prior regulatory event, 7 prior customer disputes and 2 terminations 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 4/2012, Kemp was fined $5,000 and suspended five days by FINRA to resolve allegations that in 11/2009 while employed by NEXT Financial Group, he mismarked seven order tickets for a penny stock as unsolicited when, in fact, they were solicited. FINRA Case 2009018570501.

Prior customer disputes against Mark A. Kemp resulting in the payment of compensation to former customers include:

  • FINRA Case 9-5086-While employed by Hornor, Townsend and Kent a customer sought damages of $320,000 and alleged that Kemp engaged in unauthorized trading and recommended unsuitable securities and annuities inconsistent with their financial situation, risk tolerance and investment objectives. That case settled for $43,000.
  • FINRA Case 9-03476-A customer of Hornor, Townsend and Kent sought damages of $538,900 alleging that Kemp misled them about suitable strategies and investments, engaged in unauthorized transactions and failed to follow their directions. The case settled for $145,000.
  • Nueces County, TX,  Case 00-4498C- a group of customers of MONY Securities Corporation alleged that Kemp and others were engaged in the sale stock in Worldhome Industries. The customers alleged that none of the funds they invested went to the compan. That case was settled for $1,133,000.

Kemp has been employed  by McNally Financial Services since 4/2010.  He was previously employed by NEXT Financial Group, Hornor, Townsend & Kent and MONY Securities. Kemp discloses a business affiliation with Kemp Financial Services in Corpus Christi, TX.

In 11/1998 Kemp was discharged by MONY Securities who alleged that Kemp participated in selling of private, non approved, securities, “selling away”.

In 11/2009 Kemp was discharged by NEXT Financial Group who made the following allegation on Kemp’s FINRA record: “Solicitation of penny stock in violation of firm policy and failure to observe high standards of commercial order and equitable principal trade.” Kemp indicated on FINRA records that he was discharged because it was alleged that he solicited a penny stock against firm policy.

If you have losses in an account handled by Mark A. Kemp, you may be able to recover damages from his employer through FINRA arbitration. 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

Jason Anderson, Former LPL Financial Broker, Named in Unauthorized Trading/Churning Suit-Beaumont, TX

October  2017 – Beaumont, Texas

In May 2017, two elderly former customers of LPL Financial filed a class action lawsuit against LPL Financial and their former broker Jason N. Anderson seeking damages on behalf of  current and former clients of Anderson. The suit alleges unauthorized trading, churning and mismanagement of customer accounts from 4/2007-1/2016.

LPL Financial challenged the suit that was filed in Jefferson County, TX, and  the case was removed to federal court for the Eastern District of Texas. In August 2017, the case was  remanded back to the 58th Judicial District Court of Jefferson County, Texas.

According to his FINRA  record, Anderson worked for LPL Financial from 2007 until January 2016 when he was fired for for conducting discretionary trading in customer accounts, in violation of firm policy.

Following his discharge from  LPL Financial, Anderson was employed by Kovack Securities for a few months,  1/2016-5/2016. Kovack Securities discharged Anderson because they found incomplete signed documents during a firm audit.

Anderson then joined IFS Securities from 5/2016-4/2017. He is not currently registered with any firm.

A discretionary account is one that allows a broker to buy and sell securities without  first obtaining the client’s consent. Discretionary trading generally requires that permission be granted by the client in writing.  Most accounts are non discretionary, meaning the broker is required to consult with the customer and obtain permission before executing trades. Trades made in non discretionary accounts without consulting with the customer are unauthorized trades.

Investor suits for damages are generally required to be pursued in arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in accordance with the new account agreement customers sign when opening an account. FINRA arbitration is a method of dispute resolution that is generally much more expedient and less costly than court litigation.

If you had an account with Jason Anderson and suffered losses due to unauthorized trading, churning, mismanagement or other reasons, contact us to learn 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