Category Archives: Securities

Jose Casellas-Merrill Lynch Broker- Subject of $3 Million Customer Dispute- Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

January 2020- Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Miami, FL

According to publicly available records Jose Alberto Casellas (CRD# 2638747) ,  a  stockbroker who is employed by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith  disclose a pending customer dispute .

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 pending FINRA Case 19-1218, a customer of Merrill Lynch alleges that Casellas made unsuitable recommendations and traded without authority. Damages of $3 million are sought.

Casellas  has been registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith since September 2010.

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by Jose Alberto Casellas , contact us for a no charge consultation to discuss 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

Robert Edward Burns- Cetera Broker-Discloses Customer Disputes-Greenwood Village, CO

January 2020- Greenwood Village, CO

The FINRA records of Robert Edward Burns, a stockbroker employed by  Cetera Advisor Networks disclose a pending customer dispute and  a prior customer dispute.

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 August 2018 a  customer of Burns’ prior employer ,VSR Financial Services, Inc.; Summit Brokerage Services, was paid $150,000 in FINRA case #18-02447 to  resolve allegations that Burns made unsuitable investments in real estate securities and UDF IV.

In pending FINRA case #19-02163,  a VSR Financial Services, Inc.; Summit Brokerage Services, customer alleges overconcentration and unsuitable investments in alternative products as well as alleging that the firm failed to do due diligence on the alternative investments and is seeking $500,000 in damages.

For more information regarding the recovery of losses on alternative investments purchased from the now defunct VSR Financial Services, see this. 

Burns  has been employed by Cetera Advisors since September of 2019.   From September of 2016 until September of 2019, he was with Summit Brokerage Services and from September of 2016 until November 2016 he was with VSR Financial Services.

If you have questions about an account  handled by Robert Edward Burns Summit Brokerage, VSR Financial or Cetera Advisor Networks call for a no charge consultation to learn more 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.

International 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

Michael Patman Subject of TX Securities Regulators Investigation Over Woodland Resources-Fort Worth, TX

September 2019 -Fort Worth, Texas

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) announced that unregistered investment promoter Jeremy “JB” Yowell is cooperating with the Enforcement Division of the State Securities Board in its investigation of Woodland Resources LLC and its director Michael E. Patman.

According to the TSSB release, earlier this year Yowell promoted an investment offering by Woodland Resources, soliciting Texas residents to purchase working interests in oil wells in Seminole County, Oklahoma.

A TSSB emergency order alleges that Patman is violating the Texas Securities Act by failing to disclose that he previously headed two companies that went into bankruptcy and that he owed over $13 million to investors who successfully sued him for fraud.

Yowell was previously sanctioned by Michigan regulators for acting as an unregistered agent selling investments for a commission of up to 20% of the value of the securities sold.

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

Luke M. Johnson-Coastal Equities Broker-Discloses Customer Suits & Termination From Employment-Scottsdale, AZ

January 2020-Scottsdale, AZ

We are investigating  former 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 6 pending customer disputes, 3 prior customer disputes and 3 terminations 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 $750,000 and alleges that Johnson made misrepresentations and omissions in  soliciting the sale of private placement investments.

In five other pending cases, the customers of Coastal Equities are seeking unspecified damages for mismanagement of their portfolios.

Luke Johnson is not currently registered with any broker dealer. He was  employed by Coastal Equities from 4/2012 until 12/2019. He does business under the name of Legend Capital Group in Scottsdale, AZ.

Johnson was discharged by Coastal Equities in 11/2019. Coastal makes the following allegation on Johnson’s FINRA record: “Registered Representative failed to follow firm policy to timely forward a customer complaint to his superior and compliance, and by inconsistently stating a customer’s liquid net worth on client disclosure documents.”

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