Category Archives: Next Financial Group

Former NEXT Financial Group Broker Heidi Wivolin Pleads Guilty to Wire/Tax Fraud-Ft. Lauderdale, FL

MARCH 2018 UPDATEShawn O’Sullivan a former registered broker who once shared office space with Heidi Wivolin in the former NEXT Financial Group offices that were located in Manalapan, FL, recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy  to commit mail fraud. He will be sentenced in the coming months.

February 2018-Ft. Lauderdale , Florida

Former NEXT Financial Group broker Heidi Wivolin has agreed to plead  guilty to an Information filed by US Attorney’s Office to the following:

  • One count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
  • One count of Willfully Filing a False Income Tax Return for 2010, and
  • One count of Tax Evasion for 2011

In the Factual Agreement entered into with the government, Wivolin agrees that had the case proceeded to trial the government would have proven certain facts, beyond a reasonable doubt, including:

  • Wivolin marketed securities and investment services to Finnish clients
  • Between July 2008 through January 2014 Wivolin and co-defendant Shawn O’Sullivan devised a scheme to defraud a customer by purporting to sell a bond and promising a 7% rate of return
  • Wivolin never invested any of the money in a bond or other investment vehicle
  • Wivolin and  O’Sullivan took the customer’s money and used it for their personal and business expenses
  • Wivolin continued to perpetuate the illusion that the customer’s money had been invested by verbal assurances and by sending false and fraudulent statements.

Statutory maximum sentences are 20 years for mail fraud, 3 years for filing a false tax return and up to five years for tax evasion. Sentencing is set for May 2, 2018.

Wivolin has agreed to pay restitution to a person referred to as “M.W.” in court pleadings in the amount of $190,280.51 and restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $140,069. Wivolin also agrees to make restitution to a person referred to as “P.M.” in the plea agreement in the amount of $2,567,585 for wire fraud against P.M. in year 2012 and 2013. USA vs Heidi Wivolin, Case 9:18-cr-80023-WPD, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Wivolin was a stockbroker registered with NEXT Financial Group from 2009-2014.

Pasi Martin, et al vs. NEXT Financial Group–    As we have previously reported, Dickenson Murphy Rex & Sloan and co-counsel Mrachek, Fitzgerald, Rose, Konopka, Thomas & Weiss represent a group of Finnish individuals and companies who allege that millions were stolen from them by Wivolin while she was employed at the NEXT Financial Group office that was previously located in Manalapan, FL.

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

Erryn Barkett-Former LPL Financial Broker-Discloses Pending Customer Suits-The Woodlands, TX/Fincastle, VA

February 2018-The Woodlands, TX -Fincastle, VA

According to publicly available records Erryn Michael Barkett , (CRD# 4102279) ,  a  currently unregistered stockbroker who was last employed by LPL Financial, disclose a recent regulatory sanction, 2 pending customer disputes, 3 prior customer disputes and 6 financial disclosures.

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 2/2016, Barkett was sanctioned by the Virginia State Corporation Commission who alleged the sale of  unsuitable and unregistered securities and the omission of  material information in the sale of those securities causing investors to lose $330,000. Barkett was ordered to pay restitution of $15,000 by the Virginia regulators.

Public records disclose that  Barkett’s prior employer  NEXT Financial Group paid over $310,000 to settle the claims of four customers who alleged that Barkett sold them fraudulent unregistered products involving structured military pension investments in Voyager Financial Group.

In pending FINRA Case 17-0132  customers of NEXT Financial Group are seeking damages of $310,000 and allege that between 2009 and 2013 Barkett recommended that they invest in various fraudulent companies and recommended nearly $650,000 in illiquid and poor performing alternative investments, REITs and annuities.

In a case pending in Botetourt County Circuit Court in Fincastle, VA, a customer of NEXT Financial Group has filed an action seeking damages of $78,000 alleging that Barkett sold unregistered securities in a military pension product that were not suitable.

Barkett was employed by NEXT Financial Group 3/2008-1/2013 and with LPL Financial 1/2013-8/2017.

If you have questions about an account handled by Erryn Michael Barkett, contact us to learn how damages may be recoverable 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

Danielle McAniff-Former Edward Jones Broker-Discloses Regulatory Sanction-Albuquerque, N. Mexico

February 2018-Albuquerque, New Mexico

The FINRA records of Danielle Jean McAniff, a broker currently employed by NEXT Financial Group, disclose that she was recently suspended for two months and fined $5,000 by securities regulators.

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 FINRA Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent 2016051104501, FINRA found that from June 2013 to June 2016, while employed by Edward Jones,  McAniff engaged in a practice , and permitted her office administrator, to have customers sign blank and incomplete forms or use photocopied customer signatures.

This conduct violated various FINRA rules, including FINRA Rule 2010 which requires brokers to “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade”.

McAniff was ‘permitted to resign’ from Edward Jones in 7/2016.  She joined NEXT Financial Group in 9/2016.

 

If you have questions about an account handled by Danielle J. McAniff contact us 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

Investigation of NEXT Financial Group RE: Misappropriation of Customer Funds-Houston, TX

February 2018

In connection with a currently pending lawsuit, we are investigating Houston, TX-based broker dealer NEXT Financial Group.

Publicly available records disclose a number of recent complaints by customers of  NEXT Financial  alleging  that their funds have been wrongfully converted by  NEXT Financial Group brokers, including the following:

  • Heidi Wivolin-In February 2018, Heidi Wivolin who was employed in the NEXT Financial Group office in Manalapan, FL, from 2009-2014 pleaded guilty to mail and tax fraud and agreed to pay restitution of over $2.5 million. Sentencing is set for May 2, 2018. See this for details. 
  • Joshua Ray Abernathy-In September 2017, NEXT Financial Group entered into a settlement agreement with Virginia Securities regulators which included a fine of $50,000 and costs of $10,000 for failing to properly supervise their former broker Joshua Abernathy, who had confessed to securities fraud and misappropriation of over $442,000 in customer funds.
  • Tye Williams-September 2016- Frisco, TX-based NEXT Financial Group broker Williams was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in connection with an investigation regarding a customer complaint that he had converted over $1 million from the customer’s account from 2004-2014.  . See this for more details.
  • Eduardo Diaz-Ocean Springs, MS. In June 2016, Diaz, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud,  was sentenced to 70 months, fined $15,000 and ordered to pay restitution of over $640,000 to his victims which include a 70 year old widow.
  • James McGilvrey-San Antonio, TX-Charged with Theft from The Elderly, sentenced to 20 years in state prison, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay over $1.9 million in restitution. See this for more detail.
  • Douglas P. Simanski-Altoona, PA-In June 2016, Simanski, without admitting or denying the findings, consented to a permanent bar from the securities industry and entry of findings that he failed to provide documents and information related to an investigation into allegations related to the conversion of funds. FINRA Case 2016049621301.
  • Gwendolyn M. Berry , of Dallas, TX, was associated with NEXT Financial group from 2009-2015 as a non-registered fingerprint person working as a non-registered assistant and bookkeeper for a Series & General Securities Representative and Series 24 General Securities Principal. After initiating an investigation into Berry regarding possible misappropriation and mismanagement of customer assets, FINRA repeatedly requested that Berry produce documents and information. Berry failed to produce the documents and information and was barred from association with any FINRA regulated broker-dealer in any capacity in April 2016. FINRA AWC No. 2015047059701.  

The official FINRA regulatory records for NEXT Financial Group disclose 19 prior regulatory events including a recent $750,000 fine by FINRA for supervisory failures. See this for details.

If you have information you believe would be helpful to our investigation please contact us. If you have an account with NEXT Financial Group that you believe has been mishandled, contact us 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

 

NEXT Financial Group Fined $750K by Securities Regulator-Houston, Texas

January 2018-Houston, Texas

Houston-based NEXT  Financial Group recently was sanctioned by FINRA for various deficiencies in its supervisory procedures over one of its brokers in FINRA  Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 20155043319901. FINRA fined NEXT Financial Group $750,000, issued a censure and required NEXT to hire an Independent Consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of its supervisory system.

Those supervisory deficiencies include:

  • A failure to implement a system reasonably designed to detect excessive trading (“churning”).
  • NEXT’s systemic failures in the supervision of the sales of variable annuities (VA). The sale of variable annuities earned NEXT over $219 million, 27% of its revenues, from July 2012-April 2014.
  • Failures in supervising the preparation and dissemination of consolidated reports from brokers to customers which allowed brokers to manually enter and value assets held away from the firm without providing supporting documentation to show the existence and value of the assets.
  • Misleading information on the company’s website and the omission of material facts relating to compensation received by NEXT from financial partners supplying investment products to NEXT.

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 official records for NEXT Financial Group maintained on the FINRA website disclose that NEXT has been the subject of 19 prior regulatory events.

Several NEXT Financial Group brokers have been accused of converting customer funds in recent years. See this for more detail on NEXT Financial Group brokers alleged to have wrongfully taken funds from customer accounts.

 

Customers of NEXT Financial Group who have questions about how their account has been handled should  contact us to discuss your legal options. If you have suffered losses in your account, 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