Category Archives: Colorado Division of Securities

Florida Certified Financial Planners Disciplined by CFP Board- September 2020 Update

September 2020

According to their website, the “Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board is a non-profit organization acting in the public interest by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning through its setting and enforcement of the education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements for CFP. “

The CFP Board can discipline those holding the CFP title in one of three ways:

  • Public Letter of Admonition
  • Temporary Suspension of CFP certification
  • Revocation of individual’s CFP certification

In November 2020 the CFP announced sanctions against a number of Texas  financial advisors, including the following:

PUBLIC LETTERS OF ADMONITION

Nicholas P. Krsnich (West Palm Beach): In September 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Krsnich entered into a settlement agreement in which Mr. Krsnich agreed that CFP Board would issue a Letter of Admonition. In the settlement agreement, Mr. Krsnich consented to findings that he failed to exercise reasonable and prudent judgment in providing professional services when he engaged in investment advisory business in the State of Florida without proper registration. Mr. Krsnich also consented to a finding that the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFC) found in a 2013 Stipulation and Consent Agreement (SCA) that his conduct with respect to the transactions violated Section 517.12(4) of the Florida Statutes. In the SCA, Mr. Krsnich consented to a finding that his firm, of which he is an officer and a co-owner, failed to establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance by the investment adviser with Chapter 517 of the Florida Statues and Division 69W of the Florida Administrative Code. As part of the SCA, Mr. Krsnich and his firm also consented to fines for $10,000 in 2013 and $6,000 in 2018. Pursuant to the CFP Board settlement agreement, Mr. Krsnich consented to findings that his conduct violated Rules 4.3 and 4.4 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(g) the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Krsnich a Letter of Admonition.

ADMINISTRATIVE REVOCATIONS

Anthony Cottone (Delray Beach): In March 2020, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Cottone’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed Mr. Cottone’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Cottone failed to respond to CFP Board’s requests for documents and information. In July 2019, CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension against Mr. Cottone after receiving evidence that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an Order permanently barring Mr. Cottone from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities on December 10, 2018, based on its finding that Mr. Cottone “failed to respond to FINRA request[s] for information.” CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Cottone’s failure to respond to two separate Requests for Additional Information from the CFP Board provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(F) of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (Disciplinary Rules). Mr. Cottone declined to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. In accordance with Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Cottone’s revocation was effective as of April 1, 2020.

Jim Nguyen (St. Petersburg): In June 2020, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Nguyen’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed Mr. Nguyen’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Nguyen failed to respond to a Notice of Investigation (NOI) CFP Board mailed to him on November 15, 2019. CFP Board was investigating a tax lien reported by Mr. Nguyen. On December 20, 2019, CFP Board issued a second NOI via certified mail. CFP Board also emailed both NOIs to Mr. Nguyen as a courtesy on January 15, 2020. Mr. Nguyen failed to respond to each NOI. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Nguyen’s conduct violated Article 3(F) of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (Disciplinary Rules), providing grounds for discipline for failing to respond to a NOI issued by CFP Board. Mr. Nguyen failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. In accordance with Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Nguyen’s revocation was effective as of June 15, 2020.

Edward Santos (Pembroke Pines): In March 2020, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Santos’ right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed Mr. Santos’ failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Santos falsely self-reported to CFP Board that he had completed 40 Continuing Education (CE) courses, totaling 92 CE credit hours during three reporting periods covering August 1, 2014 to July 2020. Respondent’s misconduct included communicating false information that misled CFP Board, clients, prospective clients, and the public into thinking that Respondent had satisfied the requirements for maintaining his CFP® certification when he had not. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Santos’ conduct violated 2.1, 6.2, and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(g) of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (Disciplinary Rules). Mr. Santos declined to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. In accordance with Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Santos’ revocation was effective as of April 1, 2020.

To verify an individual broker’s current certification status visit the CFP website here.

If you have questions about losses, unauthorized trading or unsuitable investments in your stock brokerage account, contact us 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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas Certified Financial Planners Disciplined by CFP Board- November 2020 Update

November 2020

According to their website, the “Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board is a non-profit organization acting in the public interest by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning through its setting and enforcement of the education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements for CFP. “

The CFP Board can discipline those holding the CFP title in one of three ways:

  • Public Letter of Admonition
  • Temporary Suspension of CFP certification
  • Revocation of individual’s CFP certification

In November 2020 the CFP announced sanctions against a number of Texas  financial advisors, including the following:

PUBLIC CENSURES

Mohammed Awadalla (Austin, Texas): In August 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order in which Mr. Awadalla received a Public Censure. The Commission issued its order after determining that Mr. Awadalla obtained reimbursement for a 2016 computer purchase to which he was not entitled pursuant to his firm’s computer equipment purchase assistance program, and that he was permitted to resign from his firm in January 2018 for this conduct. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found in an August 2019 Cautionary Action Letter that Mr. Awadalla’s conduct with respect to the computer reimbursement violated FINRA Rule 2010, which states that “every member…shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.” The Commission determined that Mr. Awadalla’s conduct violated Rules 5.1 and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Awadalla a Public Censure. Mr. Awadalla relinquished his CFP® certification in July 2018.

Adam Frey, CFP® (San Antonio, Texas): In September 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Frey entered into a consent order pursuant to which Mr. Frey received a Public Censure. In the consent order, Mr. Frey agreed to findings that, in 2018, Mr. Frey was terminated from his firm after the firm determined that Mr. Frey violated its document signature policy when he signed incomplete draft documents on behalf of a client. The firm stated that the draft documents were never submitted for processing and that there were no customer complaints arising from Mr. Frey’s conduct. Mr. Frey also consented to findings that, after investigating his conduct, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), found that Mr. Frey’s conduct violated FINRA Rule 2010 and issued a Cautionary Action Letter to Mr. Frey. Mr. Frey consented to CFP Board’s findings that his conduct violated Rules 4.3, 5.1, and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Accordingly, the Commission censured Mr. Frey with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

ADMINISTRATIVE REVOCATION

Cecil Ross (San Angelo, Texas): In September 2020, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Ross’ right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed Mr. Ross’ intentional decision not to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Ross failed to disclose to CFP Board his suspension by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) within the required 30-day timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint also alleged that, according to FINRA’s findings, Mr. Ross engaged in an unsuitable pattern of trading in unit investment trusts in 287 customer accounts by selling these investments before their maturity dates, thereby causing his customers to incur unnecessary excess sales charges. Additionally, CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Ross’ conduct violated Rules 1.4, 4.3. 4.5, and 6.2 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for sanction. Mr. Ross declined to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules, effective June 30, 2020. In accordance with Article 3.2.a. of the Procedural Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Ross’ revocation was effective as of October 25, 2020.

To verify an individual broker’s current certification status visit the CFP website here.

If you have questions about losses, unauthorized trading or unsuitable investments in your stock brokerage account, contact us 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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Peter Klaass and Heath Bowen-Former Allegis Investment Advisors-Sued Over Option Trading-Idaho Falls, ID

April 2019-Idaho Falls, ID 

The FINRA records of two former Allegis Investment Advisors stockbrokers , Peter Gerhard Klaass and Heath Shayne Bowen   disclose that the Colorado Division of Securities alleged that both Klaass and Bowen placed their advisory clients in high risk and complex options trades that their clients did not understand.

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 2/2018, the Colorado Division of Securities issued a cease and desist and revoked Klaass‘ investment adviser representative license in Colorado. Bowen was sanctioned with a cease and desist.

Klaass has settled three customer suits over option investments and discloses a pending FINRA arbitration by a customer of Allegis seeking over $450,000 in damages related to option investments. Klaass was employed by Allegis Investment Services from 5/2014-3/2017 and thereafter with Cetera Advisor Network. He voluntarily resigned from Cetera in 4/2018 following the cease and desist order issued by Colorado securities regulators.

In 12/2017 Bowen was ordered to pay a customer $575,000 in FINRA Case 17-3131. There are currently three pending arbitrations by customers which relate to option investment and seek cumulative damages of over $600,000.

In 4/2019 Bowen was suspended indefinitely by FINRA for failure to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request to provide information concerning the status of compliance.

If you have questions about an account handled by Peter Klaass and/or Heath S. Bowen, contact us for a no charge consultation. 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

Harry Datys-Westpark Capital Stockbroker-Discloses Regulatory Issues and Customer Complaints- Boca Raton, FL

March 2019- Warwick, New York/Boca Raton, FL

The FINRA records of  Harry Seth Datys,  a  stockbroker who is currently employed by Westpark Capital , disclose three regulatory events, 3 pending customer disputes, 13 prior customer disputes , a termination from employment and 3 currently outstanding judgment/liens.

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 April of 2014  Datys consented to a fine of  $15,000 to The New Jersey Bureau of Securities to resolve allegations that  Datys continued to conduct business with New Jersey residents after the New Jersey Bureau of Securities had revoked his registration.

In May of 2008  Datys was sanctioned by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities for violating his supervisory agreement. A fine of $6,000 was assessed.

In May of 2006  Datys was sanctioned by the Colorado Division of Securities for the unlicensed offer and sale of securities and securities fraud. Colorado denied his registration in that state.

Currently pending cases involving Datys include:

  • FINRA Case 17-2536-A customer of WestPark Capital seeks damages in an unspecified amount for losses on private placement investments.

Prior customer disputes against Datys include:

  • FINRA Case 17-0477-A customer of WestPark Capital was paid $6,000 to resolve allegations  that Datys did  unsuitable trading without diversification in thier account and made false and misleading statements.
  • In February 2017, a Westpark Capital customer was paid $50,000 to resolve allegations that the purchase of a private placement was not suitable and that Westpark Capital failed to supervise Datys.
  • In 1/2013 a Westpark Capital customer was paid $52,500 to resolve allegations that Datys traded the account without the customer’s authority.

In October of 2002, Datys voluntarily resigned from his employment with Joseph Stevens & Company as a result of an internal review of complaints from three clients alleging a variety of wrongful acts including, but not limited to unauthorized trading in their accounts.

Datys discloses two outstanding tax liens in favor of the Internal Revenue Service, filed in Orange, NY and Sullivan NY, and one tax lien in favor of the State of New York filed in Orange County, NY.

Datys has been employed by Westpark Capital since 6/2005.  He was employed by Sterling Financial Investment Group from 10/2002-7/2005. Sterling Financial was expelled from the industry by FINRA 1/2008.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Harry Datys, contact us for a no charge consultation to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses 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

Colorado Certified Financial Planners Disciplined by CFP Board- OCTOBER 2016 Update

UPDATED OCTOBER 2016

According to their website, the “Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board is a non-profit organization acting in the public interest by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning through its setting and enforcement of the education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements for CFP. “

The CFP Board can discipline those holding the CFP title in one of three ways:

  • Public Letter of Admonition
  • Temporary Suspension of CFP certification
  • Revocation of individual’s CFP certification

The list below, taken from the CFP board disciplinary page of their
website in OCTOBER 2016, is a historical record of individuals from Colorado who have been disciplined by CFP Board and does not imply that any listed discipline is currently in force. To verify an individual’s current certification status visit the CFP website here.

Revocations
Vincent E. Barborka (Colorado Springs)
Riley W. Barker (Denver)
Gordon M. Budreau (Denver)
Chad A. Carpenter (Denver)
Cary D. Clark (Englewood)
John R. Erb (Steamboat Springs)
Bruce L. Fleet (Greenwood Village)
David L. Gresty (Aurora)
Nelson C. Krum, Sr. (Denver)
Brent L. Marvin (Highlands Ranch)
Jeffrey D. Ogle (Littleton)
Norman P. Rounds (Boulder)
Michael L. Seat (Broomfield)
James. J. Valasek (Colorado Springs)
Rick D. VanVleet (Fort Collins)
Robert L. West (Greenwood Village)
Darrell J. Williams (Colorado Springs)

Suspensions
Charles Battle (Denver)
Carol E. Dixon (Longmont)
Kent A. Fairweather (Denver)
James F. Glaza (Colorado Springs)
Jeannette A. Howes (Colorado Springs)
Scott B. Nelson (Lone Tree)
Louis W. Welt (Boulder)
Devon A. Wright (Golden)

Letters of Admonition
Mark A. Cose (Glenwood Springs)
Jason G. Hovde (Castle Rock)
Jim Newcomb (Fort Collins)
Martin T. Streetman (Castle Rock)
Patricia W. Wier (Boulder)

If you have questions about losses, unauthorized trading or unsuitable investments in your stock brokerage account, contact us 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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900