Category Archives: FIrst Financial Equity

Joseph I. Yanofsky-Former Merrill Broker-Subject of $2.2M Customer Dispute-Greenwood, CO

April 2018-Greenwood Village, Colorado

According to FINRA records, former Merrill Lynch broker Joseph I. Yanofsky , discloses a recent regulatory suspension, a pending customer dispute, a termination from employment and 8 prior customer disputes that are final.

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 September 2017 Yanofsky was fined $10,000 and suspended for 20 business days to resolve FINRA allegations that he exercised discretion in nine customer accounts while at Merrill Lynch.

Yanofsky was registered with Merrill Lynch from 2/1990-5/2015, when he was discharged. In connection with his discharge  , Merrill made the following allegations:

“allegations relating to exercising discretion in non-discretionary accounts, providing inaccurate responses to related internal compliance questionnaires, directing an employee to enter trades utilizing another employee’s user identification and password and failing to report a customer complaint on a timely basis”

In a pending matter, a customer of Merrill Lynch alleges that Yanofsky failed to follow instructions, made unauthorized trades, excessively traded the account and made unsuitable investment recommendations from 2/2013-4/2015. Damages are alleged to be $2,268,095.

In a prior FINRA Case 15-2143, a Merrill Lynch customer alleged unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentations from 2012 to 2015 and sought damages of $400,000. That matter was settled in 7/2016 for $75,000.

Joseph Yanofsky is currently registered with First Financial Equity Corp. in Greenwood, CO.

If you have losses in an account handled by Joseph I. Yanofsky   you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. 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

Kirk Gill-Former Morgan Stanley Broker-Discloses Numerous Customer Complaints-Tucson, AZ

April 2017-Tucson, AZ

The FINRA records of  Kirk J. Gill ,  a  stockbroker who is currently  employed by  First Financial Equity Corp.  disclose 5 pending customer disputes and 7 prior final 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.

The currently pending disputes include:

  • FINRA Case 17-0335 – a customer of Gill’s  former employer Morgan Stanley Smith Barney alleges damages of $500,000 for unsuitable investments from 2010-2016.
  • FINRA Case 16-2230- another customer of  Morgan Stanley Smith Barney alleges damages of $500,000 for unsuitable investments from 2011-2015.
  • FINRA Case 16-1758-another customer of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney seeks  an unspecified amount for damages resulting from an overconcentration of high risk, unsuitable, equities from 2010-March 2016.

Kirk Gill has been employed by First Financial Equity Corp since 3/2016. He was with Morgan Stanley from 6/2009-4/2016.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Kirk Gill  , 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

Melissa Strouse of First Financial Equity Corporation Sanctioned by FINRA for Inadequate Supervisory Procedures

UPDATE March 2017Melissa A. Strouse, CCO of First Financial Equity Corp., has consented, without admitting or denying the allegations made by FINRA, to the entry of certain findings and violations consistent with the Complaint filed by FINRA in July 2016(see below).

Those findings and conclusions include:

  • First Financial Equity Corp had numerous supervisory deficiencies, including failing to establish written supervisory procedures (WSPs) to address portions of its business, failing to have adequate WSPs, and failing to enforce certain of the WSPs it did have.
  • WSPs that were not enforced included procedures pertaining to discretionary accounts, excessive trading/churning reviews, and the requirement that the firm’s WSPs detail its actual processes and procedures.

Strouse was suspended for ten calendar days and fined $10,000.

ORIGINAL POSTING-July 2016

The FINRA records of Melissa A. Strouse  , a  stockbroker who was  employed by  First Financial Equity Corporation  disclose a pending regulatory event.

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 July 2016, FINRA filed a complaint naming Strouse, chief compliance officer,  and her member firm First Financial Equity Corporation alleging that the written supervisory procedures did not reflect the firm’s actual processes and procedures with respect to the review and or supervision of customer accounts. The FINRA complaint alleges numerous inadequacies with the firm’s supervisory procedures for the period January 2010-June 2013, including Strouse’s failure to review customer accounts for churning and excessive trading. FINRA Case 2013034966701.

First Financial Equity Corporation is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has been a FINRA member since 1985 and has about 168 brokers in 14 branch offices and 59 non-registered office locations nationwide.

Investors who have suffered losses in an account at First Financial Equity Corporation  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

Brooke A. Clements Discloses Discharge From Merrill Lynch

Greenwood Village, Colorado

According to FINRA records, Brooke A. Clements a broker who has been  registered  with FIrst Financial Equity Corp, since  7/2015 , discloses that he was discharged from Merrill Lynch in 5/2015.

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.

Prior to joining First Financial Equity Corp. , Clements was registered with Merrill Lynch since 3/2007. In connection with his discharge  from Merrill Lynch in 5/2015, Merrill made the following allegations:

“allegations relating to providing user identification and password to another employee and exercising time and price discretion in non-discretionary accounts”

If you have losses in an account handled by Brooke A. Clements   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

Mark C. Quale-Discharged by First Financial Equity Corp.

Scottsdale, AZ

According to FINRA records, Mark C. Quale a broker who began working for First Financial Equity Corp. in 12/2005 discloses that he was discharged by First Financial Equity in March 2016. He also discloses 4 prior customer disputes that are final.

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 connection with his discharge  from First Financial Equity  in 3/2016, the company made the following allegations:

“Falsifying Client Signatures. Please see internal review disclosure for more detailed information”

In NASD Case 3-8708, a customer while Quale was employed by Merrill Lynch file an arbitration alleging unsuitable investments and failure to diversify. That case was settled for $550,000.

If you have losses in an account handled by Mark C. Quale   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