Category Archives: Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)

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

Luke M. Johnson-Coastal Equities Broker-Discloses Customer Suits-Scottsdale, AZ

September 2019-Scottsdale, AZ

We are investigating Coastal Equities Inc. broker Luke Michael Johnson on behalf of an Arizona resident who alleges that she was sold an unsuitable investment in GPB Capital Holdings. GPB Capital Holdings is currently under investigation by the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

GPB Capital Holdings‘ affiliates include:

  • GPB Holdings LP
  • GPB Holdings I
  • GPB Holdings II
  • GPB Automotive Portfolio LP
  • GPB Waste Management LP
  • Armada Waste Management
  • GPB NYC Development LP

GPB Holdings II and GPB Automotive have both seen substantial declines in value over recent months.

According to publicly available records Luke M. Johnson, discloses a pending customer dispute, 3 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 FINRA Case 18-4125 a customer of Coastal Equities/ Coastal Investment Advisors alleged that Johnson made unsuitable recommendations of alternative investments and limited partnerships. That case was settled for $225,000.

In FINRA Case 18-2266 a customer of Coastal Equities alleged that Johnson recommended unsuitable real estate securities causing losses. That case was settled for $140,000.

In pending FINRA Case 19-1548, a customer of Coastal Equities is seeking damages of $700,000 and alleges that Johnson made misrepresentations and omissions in  soliciting the sale of private placement investments.

Luke Johnson has been employed by Coastal Equities since 4/2012, and does business under the name of Legend Capital Group in Scottsdale, AZ.

If you have an account handled by Luke M. Johnson 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

Cetera Advisors Charged With Defrauding Retail Clients

September 2019

Cetera Advisors, a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer based in Denver, Colorado, was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with breaching its fiduciary duty and defrauding retail clients out of more than $10 million in undisclosed commissions in connection with the sale of mutual funds.

According to the SEC,  Cetera representatives continuously recommended that clients invest in funds on the Cetera platform that cost the clients more than other less expensive, identical investments that are available.

The SEC alleges that Cetera put clients’ money into mutual fund share classes that charged 12b-1 fees when Cetera knew that the clients could have invested in lower cost shares of the same funds without those fees. These violations, which netted Cetera nearly $11 million to which it was not entitled,  occurred from at least 9/2012-12/2016.

Cetera Financial Group, with about 8,000 advisors and reported revenues of $1.6 billion in 2016,  includes the following firms:

  • Cetera Advisors
  • Cetera Advisor Networks
  • Cetera Financial Specialists
  • Cetera Financial Institutions
  • First Allied 
  • Summit Brokerage Services

Cetera Corporate offices are located in El Segundo, CA, Boca Raton, FL, Denver, CO, San Diego, CA, St. Cloud, MN and Schaumburg, IL.

If you have questions about an investment account handled by one of the Cetera firms,  contact us for a no charge consultation to learn about your legal 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

How to Recover Losses on GPB Funds

September 2019

In June 2019 GPB Capital reported that their two largest funds have dropped dramatically. GPB Holdings II has dropped by more than 25% and GPB Automotive Portfolio has declined by 39%, according to the company.

A $50,000 in investment in GPB Holdings II is now worth $37,300 and $50,000 invested in GPB Automotive Portfolio is estimated to be worth just over $30,000.

GPB raised over $1.25 billion in these high risk private placements that were sold to investors in $50,000- $100,000 increments. The financial press now reports that the company earned commissions of $167 million on these sales, by charging 9.3%, a rate that is just below the industry cap on commissions.

GPB Capital has been under investigation by state and federal authorities for potential securities law violations. In February 2019 the FBI made an unannounced visit to company headquarters in New York. Earlier investigations by the Massachusetts securities regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission are widely reported.

According to the financial press, GPB Funds were sold by as many as 80 independent broker dealers to over 6,000 investors nationwide. Brokerage firms who sold GPB Funds include: Aegis Capital, American Capital Partners, Arkadios Capital, Capital Financial Services, Financial West Group, FSC Securities, Great Point Capital, Kalos Capital, Lion Street Financial, Money Concepts Capital  Royal Alliance Associates, Sagepoint Financial,  and Woodbury Financial Services.

Recently the Portland Press Herald reported that David Rosenberg was fired as chief executive officer of Prime Automotive Group. His firing followed the filing of a lawsuit in June 2019 by Rosenberg in which he accuses GPB Capital Holdings, which owns a majority stake in Prime Automotive, of running a Ponzi Scheme.

The GPB offerings include:

  • GPB Holdings
  • GPB Holdings I & II
  • GPB Automotive Portfolio
  • GPB Waste Management 
  • GPB Eurobond
  • GPB NYC Development
  • GPB Cold Storage
  • GPB Scientific
  • GPB Holdings Qualified

If you have questions about an investment you made in and of GPB Funds,  contact us for a no charge consultation to learn about your legal options. 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

Ex-Pat With Losses in Your U.S. Brokerage Account? How to Recover Damages.

April 2019

If you are an expat residing in Japan, Thailand, Mexico, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, South America, Costa Rica or anywhere else on the planet, and have suffered losses in your U.S. brokerage account, we may be able to help you recover damages.

Disputes with brokerage firms for financial advisor negligence and fraud are generally pursued in arbitration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Unlike court litigation, FINRA arbitration generally is much quicker and far less costly than court litigation.

Cases are typically concluded in 18 months or less and unlike court litigation, you generally do not need to be present in the States until the time of the final hearing or settlement conference. In some situations we you may be able to resolve your case without travelling to the U.S.

Most cases are handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you only pay if we are successful.

Over the years we have represented expats from all over the world, including Mexico, San Salvador, Chile, Europe, United Kingdom, and the Channel Islands.

If you have losses due to unsuitable recommendations or the negligence of your financial advisor , call for a no obligation opportunity to learn about your options for recovery of damages.

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