FINRA Issues September 2012 Disciplinary Actions
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issues a report on
disciplinary and other actions involving registered brokers, investment
advisers and brokerage firms every month.
This month there seem to be quite a few situations involving a broker borrowing money from his customer, which is not allowed by firm and industry rules.
Here are significant Florida related actions for September 2012. Follow this link to the FINRA website for the entire report for actions nationwide for the month of September 2012 as well as to access earlier time periods.
You can access the employment, educational and disciplinary history of any broker by going to the FINRA Broker Check website which can be accessed here.
Robert Nunes Da Frota Fort Myers, Florida was fined $10,000, suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months and ordered to make full repayment of the outstanding balance on a customer’s loan. The fine and full repayment of the outstanding balance on the loan, pursuant to the terms of the promissory note, must be paid either immediately upon Da Frota’s reassociation with a FINRA member firm following his suspension.
Da Frota consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he borrowed $10,000 from a customer and executed a promissory note.The findings stated that while previously employed with another member firm, he borrowed $10,000 from a customer, executed a promissory note and has not repaid that customer. Da Frota never disclosed the loan to his previous member firm.
The suspension is in effect from August 6, 2012, through February 5, 2013.
records disclose that DaFrota previously worked for LPL Financial and
more recently with Royal Alliance Associates. At the time of this
writing he is not currently registered.
Patrick Alan Deramus Tampa, Florida was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months. The fine must be paid either immediately upon Deramus’ reassociation with a FINRA member firm following his suspension.
Deramus consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to timely notify his member firm of a felony charge and guilty plea. The findings stated that
Deramus willfully failed to amend his Form U4 to disclose the felony charge.
The suspension is in effect from July 16, 2012, through January 15, 2013.
Mr. Deramus was most recently employed by FSC Securities Corporation and is not currently registered with FINRA.
Brent Keith Deviney West Palm Beach, Florida was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity
based on findings that Deviney failed to respond to FINRA requests for information and documents, and to appear for on-the-record interviews in connection with an investigation
of allegations that Deviney had converted funds and forged documents to do so.
Mr. Deviney has not been registered since February 2012 and his last broker position was with Newbridge Securities Corporation.
David Marasek Boca Raton, Florida was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 10 business days. Marasek consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings
that he participated in private securities transactions, not for compensation, for some of his member firm’s foreign customers through another broker-dealer.
Marasek exercised limited trading authority in the customers’ accounts. The findings stated that Marasek did not provide his firm with written notice of the proposed transactions at the other brokerdealer and his proposed role therein, and failed to receive his firm’s prior written approval to participate in the private securities transactions.
Marasek’s supervisor was aware that he was assisting the firm’s customers with liquidating their stock, but not aware of Marasek’s limited trading authority.
The suspension was in effect from July 16, 2012, through July 27, 2012.
Marasek last worked as a broker for Wentworth Securities and is not currently registered.
Stephen Nietsch – Boynton Beach, Florida was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and ordered to pay $20,000, plus interest, in restitution to a customer. The sanctions were based on findings that Nietsch borrowed $20,000 from an elderly customer contrary to his member firm’s procedures prohibiting him from borrowing from customers. Nietsch has not repaid the loan.
Nietsch last worked as a broker for Bank of America Investment Services and is not currently registered.
Jose S. Ramos Tampa, Florida was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 12 months. In light of Ramos’ financial status, no monetary sanction has been imposed. Ramos consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide prompt written notice to his member firm to disclose his outside business activities.
Ramos held ownership interests in each outside business; held the titles of officer, treasurer and director; was responsible for, among other things, arranging financing to operate each business and participating in monthly board meetings; and received funds from a customer to invest in one of the businesses.
Ramos was clearly aware of his firm’s requirement and had previously disclosed outside business activities and had attended compliance training sessions in which he was reminded of his obligation to report, in writing, his involvement in any outside business activity.
The findings also included that Ramos failed to timely update his Form U4 with his personal bankruptcy filing.
The suspension is in effect from August 6, 2012, through August 5, 2013.
Ramos formerly worked for Genworth Financial Securities (now known as Genworth Financial) and most recently with Sterling Enterprises Group. He is not registered at the time of this writing.
Andrew Glen Rosenberg -Weston, Florida was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. Rosenberg consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he performed legal services for an issuer through his law practice, a sole proprietorship, and received approximately $98,000 in compensation.
The findings stated that for approximately 18 months, Rosenberg, acting through his company, presented and/or sold approximately $4.5 million worth of the issuer’s notes and debentures to investors, most of whom were his member firm’s customers. Rosenberg failed to disclose to the investors that he was providing legal services for compensation
to the issuer, thereby negligently failing to disclose a material fact to the investors. The findings also stated that Rosenberg advised his firm of his law practice on an outside business activities form and represented he was unaware of any potential conflicts of interest, but failed to promptly notify his firm through an amended form that he, through his law practice, was providing legal services for compensation to the issuer, an entity whose securities he was selling to investors, including firm customers.
The suspension is in effect from August 6, 2012, through November 5, 2012.
FINRA records indicate Rosenberg formerly worked as a registered representative for NFP Securities, Inc. and most recently for Securities America. He is not registered at the time of this writing.
Stephen Paul Tommelleo – Boca Raton, Florid was fined $5,000, suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months and ordered to pay $14,990, plus interest, in restitution to a customer. Tommelleo consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of
findings that he borrowed money from customers without his member firm’s authorization and contrary to his firm’s WSPs, which did not permit loans between registered representatives and their customers.
The findings stated that Tommelleo completed two firm annual compliance attestations indicating he had not and would not borrow money from any firm customer. Tommelleo borrowed a total of $34,875 and repaid the customers
a total of $5,800. One customer sued Tommelleo in state court for $15,000 and another was not repaid at all.
The suspension is in effect from August 6, 2012, through November 5, 2012.
Tommelleo last worked in the industry as a registered representative for PFS Investments, Inc. He is not currently registered.
Jeffrey Griffin Lane Darien, Connecticut and Robert
Marcus Lane – North Palm Beach, Florida were barred
from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and ordered to pay $317,030.70, jointly and severally, in restitution to customers. The sanctions were based on findings
that the Lanes’ member firm charged its customers unfair and excessive markups on the prevailing market price, for which Marcus Lane was responsible because he set the markups
and structured the legs of the transactions.
The firm charged its customers more than the 5 percent guideline, and the Lanes failed to present any evidence of special circumstances or special services that might justify the excessive markups. The findings stated that Marcus Lane accomplished the unfair and excessive markups by interpositioning the entities he owned between the customers and the contemporaneous market, which was inconsistent
with the requirement to obtain as favorable a price as possible for the customer under prevailin
g market conditions.
FINRA found that Marcus Lane purposely structured the multi-legged transactions to make up for losses on other transactions. The transactions were reported as though
they were customer transactions with third parties, concealing the connection between the firm and the Marcus Lane entities.
Furthermore, FINRA found that Jeffrey and Marcus Lane failed to respond timely to FINRA requests for information and documents.
The decision has been appealed to the NAC and the sanctions are not in effect pending the
Neither Jeffrey Lane nor Robert Lane is currently registered, each having last worked at Greenwich High Yield LLC.
Shari Robin Frimer -Royal Palm Beach, Florida was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that she sold private offerings of securities from which she received selling compensation, without providing written notice
of her proposed role in, or the compensation she might receive from, the transactions to her member firm.
The complaint alleges that Frimer received a total of $37,407.50 in selling compensation and that she participated in other private securities transactions from which she did not receive selling compensation, without providing prior notice to her firm. The complaint further alleges that Frimer guaranteed, in writing, a customer against loss; the customer would be able to sell shares of stock withina certain time period for his cost to acquire them.
In addition, the complaint alleges that Frimer sent, or caused to be sent, two marketing newsletters regarding a company without requesting or receiving firm approval and that the newsletters were not fair and balanced, and contained numerous exaggerated, unwarranted, and misleading claims and numerous unreasonable and unwarranted forecasts.
Frimer is not currently registered and last worked as a registered representative for Emmett A. Larkin & Co. Prior to that she was with Scottsdale Capital Advisors and Brookstone Securities.
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