Category Archives: Market Manipulation

SEC Warns Investors– Beware of Fake News

April 2017- Washington, DC

The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Investor Alert warning that articles on an investment research website appearing to be an unbiased source of information may be part of an undisclosed paid stock promotion designed to promote the sale of the stock.  Link to SEC Investor Alert. 

“Stock promotion schemes may be conducted through investment research websites,” said Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.  “Investors looking for objective investment information should be aware that fraudsters may use these websites to profit at investors’ expense.”

The SEC recently commenced enforcement actions against companies and individuals for generating deceptive articles on investment research websites. They have charged 27 parties (individuals, public companies, firms and writers) with fraud. See this for more 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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Lek Securities Named in Market Manipulation Regulatory Action

UPDATE JUNE 2017-FINRA records disclose that Lek Securities has 20 currently pending regulatory events and 7 prior regulatory events.

March 27, 2017

Lek Securities and its CEO Samuel F. Lek have been targeted in disciplinary proceedings filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) , the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and a number of other exchanges. The complaints allege that Lek and his company were involved in manipulative trading in a customer account known as ‘Avalon” impacting both equities and options markets.

According to the FINRA press release, which can be accessed here, Avalon’s manipulative trading involved practices known as ‘layering‘ and ‘spoofing‘ which entails one or more traders moving the price of a security by placing bogus orders and then modifying or cancelling them so that they never become actual trades. Once there is an appearance of interest in the stock, the trader can buy or sell it on the other side at a better price.

The firm is also charged with violating the know your customer rules, failure to properly preserve electronic communications, maintenance of CRD information, supervision of outside business activities and other violations.

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

Alejandro Falla-Former Ultralat Capital Markets Broker-Sanctioned by Securities Regulator-Coral Gables, FL

February 2017-Coral Gables, FL

According to publicly available records Alejandro Falla , (CRD# 5064828) ,  a  former stockbroker who was last employed by  BAC Florida Investments,  disclose  a recent regulatory sanction.

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.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Falla consented to the entry of findings the that he failed to disclose the use of non-market foreign exchange rates in connection with a series of bond swap transactions in retail customer accounts in violation of securities laws. Falla was permanently barred by FINRA.

Alejandro Falla was registered with BAC Florida Investments from 3/2013-10/2014. Prior to that he was employed by Ultralat Capital Markets in Miami, FL.

 

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by Alejandro Falla, contact us to discuss your legal 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

Matthew Bell-Former WFG Investments Broker- Discloses 46 Customer Complaints-Pleads Guilty on Fraud Charges-San Antonio, TX

UPDATE MAY 2017

March 8, 2015- San Antonio, Texas

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reports that Matthew A. Bell , 47 of Boerne, TX, a broker who formerly worked for WFG Investments and Securities America, has been named in 46 customer disputes alleging damages in excess of $2.5M. There are two disputes that have not yet been resolved, all of which allege unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentation and seek damages ranging from $5,000 to $75,000.

Bell was permitted to resign from WFG Investments in 6/2013 and is not currently registered with any broker dealer. Bell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in a civil action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC had charged Bell and a group of other conspirators with pumping up the price of penny stocks and dumping them on unsuspecting investors. The companies involved in the pump and dump were CodeSmart Holdings Inc., Cubed Inc., StarStream Entertainment Inc. and The Staffing Group Ltd. 

Bell found many of his victims through the Oak Hills Church.

If you had an account handled by Bell that suffered losses, contact us to learn how you may be entitled to damages from his former 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

Texas REIT United Development Funding IV Receives Grand Jury Subpoena Following FBI Raid

February 22, 2016- Grapevine, Texas

United Development Funding IV (UDF IV)  reports that they have been subpoenaed to turn over company documents to a grand jury.  In an SEC filing (Form 8-K) made on February 22, 2016, the company states the following:

“Item 8.01 Other Events.

On February 18, 2016, law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant at the corporate office of United Development Funding IV (the “Trust”) in Grapevine, Texas. The search warrant was issued by a Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. In addition, law enforcement officers served executive officers of the Trust and certain other employees of the Trust’s advisor and its affiliates with grand jury subpoenas seeking the production of documents related to the operations of the Trust.  The Trust does not believe that it, its officers or the employees of its advisor and its affiliates have violated any laws or regulations, and the Trust intends to cooperate fully with the government’s investigation. The Trust cannot, however, predict what additional action, if any, government authorities might take in the future.

In addition, on February 18, 2016, the Trust received notice that trading of the Trust’s securities on The NASDAQ Global Select Market (“NASDAQ”) has been halted pending a review by NASDAQ of certain information regarding the Trust and its business requested pursuant to a letter dated February 19, 2016. No assurance can be given regarding the resumption of the trading of the Trust’s securities.”

Last week the FBI raided the offices of UDF IV, which are located in Grapevine, a suburb of Dallas, causing the share price to drop by nearly 60% to just over $3, causing trading to be halted.  See this for more information. 

UDF reported in December 2015 that the SEC has been investigating the company since April 2014. Company officials claim the company is a victim of manipulation by stock traders who build up a short position with the intention of unlawfully manipulating its shares.

Recovery Option for Investors Who Suffered Losses on UDF 

Brokers have a duty to make suitable recommendations to investors. You may be able to recover damages from the brokerage firm that sold you the investment if the recommendation was not suitable for you taking into account your age, health and level of financial sophistication.

Brokers also have a duty to conduct an independent due diligence review of investments before offering the product for sale.

Call to discuss how you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration, a process much more expedient & efficient than court litigation.

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