January 11, 2016
Robert E. Richards entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that while associated with Finance 500, Inc. as supervisor for their Florida branch office, Richards aided and abetted the price manipulation of two penny stocks, Dolphin Digital Stock (DPDM) and Fibrocell Science (FCSC).
According to FINRA, the Florida branch focused almost exclusively on trading penny stocks as a market maker for both the Firm’s proprietary trading accounts and for its retail customers. By focusing on penny stock trading, the Florida branch dealt in a segment of the market susceptible to fraudulent activity.
In 2012, Richards learned that one of his customers was arrested for manipulating the market for a penny stock company. That customer pled guilty, served time and had a penny stock bar placed on him by the SEC, however Richards opened an account for that customer’s wife that was used to deposit and liquidate shares of a penny stock, according to FINRA.
AWC No. 20130368378-03
RIchards was fined $25,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two years. According to FINRA records Richards was registered with Finance 500 in Delray Beach, Florida, from 2/2005-7/2014.
Finance 500 is headquartered in Irvine, CA. They have been a FINRA registered broker dealer since 1982 and have about 29 registered individuals in five branch offices.
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.
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