Category Archives: Theft

Kendall J. Groom- Former Independent Financial Group Broker- Barred From Securities Industry- Fresno, CA

January 2020- Fresno, CA

The FINRA records of Kendall J. Groom  , a broker previously employed  by  Independent Financial Group disclose  a regulatory event resulting in his bar from the securities industry.

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 August 2019, Groom was permanently barred from the securities industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission after allegations that as trustee he diverted approximately $460,000 of the trusts’ assets to brokerage, advisory, and bank accounts that he owned or controlled.

In addition to the bar from the industry, he was ordered to disgorge over $262,000 and pay penalties and interest in excess of $200,000.

Groom worked for Independent Financial Group from December of 2016 to August of 2019.   From November of 1999-December of 2016, he worked for Cetera Financial . Groom discloses a business affiliation with Groom, McCormick LLP, an accounting firm.

If you have problems in an account  handled by Kendall J. Groom  call for a no charge consultation .

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.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

John Torres-FormerJP Morgan Broker- Discloses Pending Customer Disputes- Northridge, CA

January 2020 – Northridge, CA

According to publicly available records John Luis Torres (CRD#6322231) ,  a  former stockbroker discloses a regulatory event resulting in his bar from the industry , 2 pending 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 January 2019, FINRA case #2018059605301 was initiated alleging Torres failed to respond to FINRA request for information.   In April 2019 FINRA permanently barred Torres from the securities industry.

In September 2018,  a customer of JP Morgan Chase Bank, an affiliate of JP Morgan Securities, alleged misrepresentations and aiding and abetting theft of its funds entrusted to a customer of affiliate bank and seeks damages of $1,603,200.

In 3/2019 a customer of J.P. Morgan Securities filed FINRA case 19-714 alleging that funds were misappropriated and is seeking damages of $860,000.

Torres was employed by JP Morgan Chase Bank from  April 2014 until August 2018,   when he was discharged after allegations that he opened an affiliate bank account for a customer after being directed not to do so by the affiliate bank’s global security department.

If you have questions about an investment account handled by John Torres contact us for a no charge consultation to learn about 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

Ft. Lauderdale Man Charged with Defrauding Retiree of Retirement Savings

November 2019- Ft. Lauderdale, FL

According to a recent press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Michael Jerome Atkins, 60, was arraigned on mail fraud and aggravated identity theft charges on November 21, 2019.

The indictment alleges that Atkins defrauded a retiree out of her retirement savings of more than $400,000 by promising her that if she loaned him her savings he would use it for his business, All Points Aviation and Associates, and repay her in two months.

According to the allegations Atkins used the funds for his personal benefit and dd not repay the victim.

An indictment is a charging instrument containing accusations.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty, beyond a reasonable double, in a court of law.

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.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Bradley Mascho-Former Western International Securities Broker- Charged with Securities Fraud- Frederick, MD

November 2019 – Frederick, MD

The FINRA records of Bradley Mascho  , a currently unregistered stockbroker who was last employed by  Western International Securities, discloses 2 regulatory events , a criminal event, a civil event, 9 pending customer disputes, 5 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 1/2018, FINRA  permanently barred Mascho after he refused to appear for a FINRA-requested on- the -record testimony during an investigation into his potential serious violations, including fraud, undisclosed outside business activities, and private securities transactions.

In 12/2017, United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed case 8:17cv2453 alleging violations of Section 5(a) and (c), Section 17(a) of Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) and 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.   Sanctions sought are Civil and Administrative Penalties/Fines, Disgorgement, monetary penalty other than fines and injunction.   This case is pending.

In 11/2017 Mascho was charged with a felony count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, one felony count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of Securities Fraud; aiding and abetting,   Charges are currently pending in the US DIstrict Court of Maryland.

In 12/2017 the SEC charged Mascho and his company DJB Holdings with fraud in connection with raising over $20 million through the sale of convertible and promissory notes in the company.

From 3/2015 until  4/2019, 5 customer disputes were filed by customers of Western International Securities, Inc.,  alleging unsuitable recommendations, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.  These cases were settled in the cumulative amount of nearly $500,000

The following cases , filed by customers of Western International, are still pending.

  1. Case #19-00748 alleging damages of $427,538.
  2. Case #19-00977 alleging  damages of $100,000.
  3. Case #19-00517 alleging damages of $2,444,388.
  4. Case #18-03902 alleging damages of $500,000.
  5. Case #18-03888 alleging damages of $200,000.
  6. Case #18-03080 alleging damages of $353,000.
  7. Case #18-03958 alleging damages of $150,000.
  8. Case #18-03941 alleging damages of $250,000.
  9. Case #18-00968 alleging damages of $5,000.

Mascho worked for Western International Securities  from 10/2009-12/2017.

Prior to that Mascho was employed by Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., Legg Mason Wood Walker, and  American Express Financial Advisors.  

If you have questions about an account  handled by Bradley Mascho  call for a no charge consultation .

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.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Herbert “Elias” Hafen-Former Morgan Stanley Broker-Pleads Guilty to Fraud- New York, NY

November  2019- New York, NY

The FINRA records of  Herbert “Elias” Hafen ,  a  financial advisor previously employed by  Morgan Stanley, disclose a prior regulatory event,  a pending criminal matter, a pending civil matter, a prior 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 2/2019  Hafen failed to respond to FINRA request for information in connection with a FINRA investigation and was permanently barred from the securities industry.

In September 2019 Hafen pled guilty to investment adviser fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for January 2020.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Hafen in 9/2019 alleging that from July 2011-April 2018 Hafen defrauded clients of the financial institutions he worked for at that time. VIctims were promised 6% interest in an investment that had little risk. In reality there was no investment and Hafen used the money for personal expenses. Of the $1.6 million he raised from victims only about $650,000 was returned.

In 5/2019, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney customer was paid $430,000 to resolve allegations that Hafen  misappropriated funds.

In 8/2018 Hafen was discharged from Wells Fargo Clearing Services  after he admitted to entering into financial arrangements with clients that were not approved by the firm.

Hafen was registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services  from March to September of 2018.  Prior to that he was employed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney from 6/2009-4/2018.

If you have losses in an account  handled by Herbert “Elias” Hafen , contact us 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