Category Archives: Stockbroker Malpractice

Phillip Johnson- Former SunTrust Investments Services Broker- Discloses 4 Regulatory Events, 2 Customer Disputes and a Termination- Kingwood, TX

April  2019 – Kingwood, TX

According to publicly available records  Phillip Andrew Johnson (CRD# 501352) ,  a  former stockbroker who was last  employed by D.H. Hills Securities,  disclose 4 regulatory events, 2 prior customer disputes and a termination.

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 9/2018 Johnson was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA for failing to respond to a FINRA request for information in connection with an investigation into an alleged loan of over $500,000 Johnson made from a customer of SunTrust Investment Services.  According to FINRA Johnson made an inaccurate statement on the firm compliance questionnaire related to borrowing from a firm customer.

Johnson had previously been sanctioned for borrowing from a firm customer without the approval of his firm in 2015.

In 5/2017, a customer of Suntrust Investment Services, Inc., was paid a settlement of $525,000 to resolve allegations that Johnson induced her to liquidate a $540,000 annuity and invest in real estate with him and to make him a personal loan.

Johnson was employed with Suntrust Investment Services, Inc. from February 2003 until May 2015 when he was allowed to resign after the firm learned that Johnson had borrowed from a customer.

Johnson was  employed with D.H. Hill Securities from April 2016 until December 2017.

If you have losses in an account handled by Phillip Andrew Johnson, contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how you may be entitled 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

Ashley Woodard-Former VOYA Financial Broker-Subject of Customer Suit Over Illiquid Investments-Greenville, South Carolina

April  2019 – Greenville, South Carolina

According to publicly available records  Ashley Charles Woodard  ,  a  stockbroker previously employed by VOYA Financial,  discloses a pending customer dispute and an outstanding judgment lien.

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 3/2019 a customer of his prior employers Voya Financial Advisors  and IFS Securities filed FINRA case 19-0624 alleging that Woodard advised him to liquidate his entire portfolio and invest in unsuitable, high risk, high fee and illiquid investments. The investments include annuities, direct investments, limited partnerships and real estate securities. This matter is currently pending. No amount of damages is specified.

Woodard also discloses a currently outstanding lien in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $53,676, for tax years 2014,2015, and 2016. The lien is recorded in the Recorder Office of Greenville County, South Carolina.

Woodard is currently employed by NY Life Securities. His prior employment history includes: IFS Securities 2/2017-11/2017, Voya Financial Advisors 6/2013-2/2017 and Capital Investment Group 7/2011-6/2013.

If you have losses in an account handled by Ashley C. Woodard, contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how you may be entitled 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

Steven Knuttila-Former Capital Financial Services Broker-Discloses 2 Regulatory Events, 23 Customer Suits and a Termination-Perham, MN

March  2019 – Perham, MN

According to public records of Steven Roland Knuttila (CRD#3039112)  a  stockbroker previously employed by Capital Financial Services, Inc., disclose 2 regulatory events, 16 pending customer disputes, 23 prior customer disputes and a termination 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 June of 2018 Knuttila consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony relating to an investigation into allegations that he made unsuitable recommendations to customers.     As a result of this Knuttila has been permanently been barred from the securities industry by FINRA.

In April of 2018,  a regulatory action was initiated by the state of Minnesota alleging that Knuttila sold unsuitable investments to numerous clients.   Sanctions include a $40,000 in monetary penalties.  

From September 2010 until September 2018, twelve customer disputes were filed by customers of Questar Capital Corporation and Capital Financial Services, Inc. alleging various wrongdoing by Knuttila including  negligence, violations of the MN Uniform Securities Act, common law fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, unsuitable recommendations,  and breach of fiduciary duty.   The total paid out to settle these prior customer disputes was in excess of $1.78 million.

There are currently 16 pending customer suits  filed by customers of Questar Capital Corporation and Capital Financial Services, Inc. alleging various wrongdoing by Knuttila, including  unsuitable sales of alternative investments, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, common law fraud, negligent hiring, poor investment advice, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and omission of facts.   The alleged damages in these cases total more than $1.86 million .

Knuttila was with Capital Financial Services, Inc. from 6/2012-12/2017.   He also is the President and owner of Knuttila Financial Services. Prior to that he was with Questar Capital. In May of 2012, Knuttila was terminated from employment by Questar Capital Corporation after allegations that he failed to follow firm procedures regarding the reporting of customer complaints and he failed to follow firm procedures regarding the use of discretion.  

If you have questions about an account handled by  Steven Knuttila, contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how you may be able to recover damages from his employer 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

Richard Bernstein-Wells Fargo Broker-Dislcoses 2 Pending & 6 Final Customer Disputes-Incline Village, NV

March 2019 – Incline Village, NV

According to publicly available records  Richard Jay Bernstein  (CRD# 1113777) ,  a   registered stockbroker currently employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services,  disclose 2 pending and 6 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.

In a prior customer dispute (case #95-03046) an arbitration panel awarded  a customer of Smith Barney Shearson $91,200 to resolve allegations of unauthorized trading, misrepresentation, suitability and breach of fiduciary duty.

The currently pending matters include:

January of 2019, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney customer filed FINRA case #19-00013 alleging  unsuitability with respect to investment recommendations and is seeking damages of $175,500.

January of 2017,  a Morgan Stanley  customer filed FINRA case #17-00137 alleging  unauthorized trading that conflicted with the client’s stated investment goals and is seeking damages of $81,738.

Bernstein has been employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services since November  2016.   He was previously employed with Morgan Stanley from April 2009 to July 2015.   He was with USB Financial Services prior to that time.

If you have losses in an account handled by Richard J. Bernstein, contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how you may be entitled 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

Jody Bowers-Former SagePoint Financial Broker-Subject of $6M Customer Suit Over ETF Investments-Abilene, TX

March 2019- Abilene, Texas

We are currently investigating former SagePoint Financial financial advisor Jody Bowers on behalf of an elderly widow living in North Texas.

According to publicly available records , Jody Bryant Bowers ,  a  stockbroker who was last employed with Lowell & Company, and who operates JB Capital, LLC in Abilene,TX, disclose a pending  customer dispute and a termination 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 1/2018 a customer of Bower’s prior employers Sagepoint Financial and First Heartland Capital filed FINRA Case#17-03223 alleging an overconcentration of unsuitable exchange traded funds (ETFs) and seeking damages of $6,000,000. This matter is currently pending.

Jody Bowers prior employment includes Lowell & Co. 4/2013-6/2018; SagePoint Financial 10/2012-4/2014 and First Heartland Capital 8/2007-9/2012. Bowers was discharged by First Heartland Capital who alleged that Bowers entered into a business transaction with a client with written approval from the Heartland.

If you have questions about an investment account handled by Jody Bowers, contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how you may be able to recover damages for losses to your account 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