Category Archives: FInancial Exploitation of the Elderly

Anthony Sica-Joseph Gunnar Broker-Sanctioned Over Sale of Speculative Securities to Elderly Client-New York

June 2018- New York

The FINRA records of Anthony Sica  , a stock broker who is employed by Joseph Gunnar & Co. , disclose  3 regulatory sanctions, a pending customer dispute and  8 prior customer disputes.

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.

Maryland Sanction for Abusing Account of Elderly Lady

In December 2017, the Maryland Securities Commissioner alleged that Sica repeatedly recommended that an elderly customer, living on fixed income,  purchase high-risk, speculative securities that were inconsistent with her investment profile and which were unsuitable. Sica’s recommendations often resulted in an undue concentration of the her liquid assets in speculative securities resulting in losses of over $150,000. The regulator also found that Sica made unauthorized trades in the IRA account of a customer Sica knew was deceased causing losses. Sica was suspended for three months, fined $20,000 , ordered to pay restitution and to complete continuing education concerning how to deal with senior customers.

Prior customer disputes by customers of Sica include:

  • FINRA Case 14-1574- a customer of Joseph Gunnar alleged unsuitable recommendations, frequent trading, unauthorized trading and sought damages of $479,000. The case was settled for $302,500.
  • FINRA Case 10-969- a customer of Joseph Gunnar alleged that Sica mismanaged his account and made unsuitable recommendations and sought damages of $356,773. The case was settled for $157,500.

In currently pending FINRA Case 17-02160 a customer of Joseph Gunnar alleges unsuitable investments and breach of fiduciary duty from August 2011-March 2015, and is seeking damages of $49,181.

Anthony Sica has been employed by Joseph Gunnar since 10/2003.

Brokers have a duty to make recommendations that are suitable, taking into account the age, health, level of financial sophistication, risk tolerance and investment objectives of the customer.

If you have questions about  an account handled by Anthony Sica, call for a no charge consultation 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

AARP S. Dakota Elder Abuse Event-June 14, 2018

June 13-Sioux Falls, S.D.

Erik Nelson, director of advocacy for AARP South Dakota recently stated that many seniors who are taken advantage of react with hurt or disbelief and hesitate to tell someone. “There is definitely a sense of shame, if your will, if someone does succumb to a fraud or a scam” Nelson said in a recent article in the Public News Service.

AARP South Dakota Elder Abuse Event

June 14, 2018– AARP South Dakota is holding a telephone town hall event to discuss elder abuse and financial exploitation, ahead of Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is Friday June 15, 2018. Questions will be answered live by a panel which will include representatives from the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office and the South Dakota Departments of Health, Human Services, and Social Services.

To register for the free event go to the website, here. 

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 investment account has been handled, or if you think you are a victim of abuse by your financial advisor, 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

Brian Berger-Former Newbridge Securities Broker-Sentenced for Fraud-Boca Raton, FL

April 2018-Boca Raton, FL

The FINRA records of former stockbroker Brian M. Berger disclose a pending regulatory matter and two prior regulatory matters, a criminal conviction, 4 customer disputes and a termination from employment.

In 7/2015 Berger  entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he failed to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into allegations that he had misappropriated funds from elderly customers while registered with Wells Fargo Advisors and MetLife Securities.As a result, Berger   was  barred from the securities industry.

There is an SEC administrative proceeding pending in connection with the misappropriation of funds.

In 2/2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Berger pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to 18 months and ordered to pay restitution of $372,643.

Over $300,000 has been paid in settlements to former customers of Berger.

According to FINRA records, Berger was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in Boca Raton from 7.2010-7/2014 and with MetLife Securities from 7/2014-4/2015. After that he was briefly registered with Newbridge Securities from 4/2015-6/2015.

If you have questions about an account handled by Brian Berger, call for a no charge consultation 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

Greg Smith/Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell Indicted On Chinese Bond Scam-Shreveport,LA-Houston,TX

April 2018-Shreveport, LA

Shreveport resident Gregory Alan Smith, 55, and Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, 64, of Houston, TX, were indicted by a federal grand jury in a 13 count indictment for allegedly bilking unsuspecting investors out of over a million dollars.

Smith is operator of Smith Financial Group at 7330 Fern Ave., in Shreveport and Caldwell is Senior Pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston. The church is reportedly one of the largest Protestant churches in the U.S. According to Click2Houston Pastor Caldwell gained national notoriety when President George W. Bush made him his spiritual advisor.

Investors were lured to invest in allegedly worthless Historical Chinese bonds issued by the former Republic of China prior to losing power in 1949 and are not recognized by China’s current government.

According to FINRA records, Gregory A. Smith was a licensed broker who worked for New England Securities from 12/1999-7/2010. Smith was discharged by New England Securities in 7/2010 for failing to follow company policy with respect to outside business activities. In 2012, FINRA permanently barred Smith from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity, in part for commingling investor funds in his business account and for misappropriating investor funds.

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.

Smith and Caldwell are charged with  wire fraud and money laundering and face decades in prison if convicted.

SEC complaint vs. Gregory A. Smith and Kirbyjon Caldwell.

If you are a victim of this apparent scam, call for a no charge consultation 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