Category Archives: FINRA

Kurt Gunter-Former Stifel Nicolaus Broker-Sanctioned Over UIT Sales-Austin, TX

November 2020- Austin, TX 

According to his FINRA record  Kurt Jason Gunter a financial advisor currently employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services has recently been sanctioned by FINRA for unsuitable sales of unit investment trusts (UITs).

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 November 2020 Gunter, without admitting or denying the findings, agreed to a three month suspension and a fine of $10,000 to resolve FINRA’s allegations that from July 2013-December 2016 he engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading of UITs in customer accounts at Stifel Nicolaus.

In addition, FINRA found that Gunter signed switch letters that were sent to customers that contained inaccurate or missing information about the costs they were incurring as a result of early rollovers of UITs.

Unit Investment Trusts are designed to be long term investments and short term trading is generally improper. According to FINRA findings, Gunter recommended that his customers roll over UITs more than 100 days prior to maturity on more than 270 occasions. As a result customers incurred unnecessary sales charges and the recommendation was unsuitable in view of the frequency and cost of the transaction.

On average, according to FINRA, the switch letters that contained inaccurate information understated the sales charges incurred by customers by about $2,500.

Kurt Gunter was employed by Stifel Nicolaus from 6/2013-8/2017. Since 8/2017 he has been employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services in Bee Cave, TX.

If you had an account with Kurt Gunter that suffered losses, or if you were a victim of his short term UIT switching  scheme,  you may be entitled to collect damages from his prior employer.

Call for a no charge consultation with an experienced securities attorney.

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

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

Jack D. Stone-Former Forest Securities Broker-Discloses Customer Disputes & Regulatory Issues-Hillside, IL

September 2019 – Hillside, IL

The FINRA records of Jack David Stone  , a former stockbroker who was last employed by  Forest Securities, Inc. disclose 4 regulatory events, 1 pending customer dispute, 2 prior customer disputes, a termination from employment and a bankruptcy.

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 9/2019, FINRA  without admitting or denying the findings,  Stone consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for  FINRA on-the-record testimony in connection with an investigation into his securities activities while at his member firm, including possible misrepresentations to customers, use of discretion and unauthorized transactions.  Stone was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA.

In 1/2013 a customer of his prior employer Birkelbach Investment Securities was paid $100,000 to resolve allegations that Stone made unsuitable investments and churned the customer’s account. FINRA Case 11-822,

In pending FINRA case 17-2211 a customer of Forest Securities alleges that Stone churned the account, committed fraud and made unauthorized trades in the account. Damages are not specified.

In 5/2000 Stone was permitted to resign from Schwab Capital Markets following being barred from New York Stock Exchange membership for three years.

Stone discloses a pending Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Stone was employed by Forest Securities from 4/2012-8/2019.

If you have problems in an account  handled by Jack D. Stone  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

Michael Giokas-Former Fortune Financial Services-Broker-Pleads Guilty to Fraud-Williamsville, NY

September 2019- Williamsville, NY

According to publicly available records  Michael Giokas (CRD# 1398674) ,  a  former stockbroker who was last  employed by Fortune Financial Services, Inc.,  disclose  2 prior regulatory events, a felony fraud criminal charge , 3 pending and 7 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.  

According to a Department of Justice news release, in April 2018 Michael Giokas, 58, of Clarence, NY, pleaded guilty to wire fraud for defrauding numerous clients of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the charges.

According to the release, between 5/2017-10/2017, he persuaded clients to withdraw money from their  accounts at Nationwide Mutual and invest in a company called Trinity Council, with a promise to earn 8-9% annually. Trinity Council was a shell company with no real business, set up to accomplish the fraud.

Settlements totaling several hundred thousands have been paid out to customers already. Pending customer claims exceed $1 million.

Giokas was employed with Fortune Financial Services, Inc. from 2/2013 until 10/2017.    Prior to that he was employed by Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc., from March 2002 until February 2013.    Giokas discloses  business affiliations with Giokas Wealth Advisors and Giokas Financial Services in Williamsville, NY.

If you have losses in an account handled by Michael Giokas, contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how you 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