Tag Archives: florida securities attorney

Gerald Cocuzzo-Former Newbridge Securities Broker-Sentenced to 18 Months for Securities Fraud-Boca Raton,FL

Boca Raton, FL

July 2017 UPDATEGerald Cocuzzo was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud for his participation in the manipulation of Forcefield Energy, Inc. (FNRG) , a publicly traded company. Link to Department of Justice press release.

MAY 2017 UPDATEGerald Cocuzzo’s FINRA record discloses 2 pending arbitrations:

  • FINRA case # 16-01684-a customer of Newbridge Securities alleges that Cocuzzo overconcentrated their account, breached his fiduciary duty and violated California securities laws. No specific damages are stated.
  • FINRA case# 16-3501 seeks damages of $52,000 and alleges that the investment in Forcefield Energy Corp was fraudulent.

ORIGINAL POST-November 2016- 

The US Attorney’s Office announced that former Newbridge Securities stock broker Gerald Cocuzzo, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in connection with the fraudulent marketing of ForceField Energy, a publicly traded company with the symbol FNRG.

According to the release between 2009-2015, Cocuzzo and others manipulated the price of ForceField a purported worldwide distributor of LED lighting products causing losses of $131,000,000.

Cocuzzo faces up to 20 years in prison.

See this for more information on Gerald Cocuzzo. 

Cocuzzo was employed by Newbridge Securities from 12/2014-5/2016 and prior to that was employed by IAA Financial from 9/2009/1/2015.

If you suffered losses due to recommendations by Gerald Cocuzzo to purchase risky investments, including Forcefield Energy (FNRG), contact us to learn how you may be able to collect damages from the brokerage firm that employed Cocuzzo.

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

Jesse J. Griffin-Former VSR Financial Broker-Discloses Settlement of Customer Complaints- Palm City, FL

Rex Securities Law is investigating former VSR Financial Services broker Jesse J. Griffin, Jr. of Palm City, Florida, in connection with the sale of various alternative investments including real estate securities, oil and gas securities, promissory notes and other direct investments. Griffin was employed by VSR Financial from 10/2006-7/2016. He is currently registered with Newbridge Securities Corp. 

According to FINRA records Griffin has been named in in 6 customer disputes, some of which relate to alternative investments, including the following:

  • A claim brought by a former customer of VSR Financial alleging that investments in limited partnerships and direct investments in oil and gas, real estate investments (REITS) and promissory notes was settled in 6/2015 for $52,000.
  • FINRA case 14-0322 brought by a former customer of VSR Financial alleging that they were given poor advice and that that investments in limited partnerships and direct investments in oil and gas, real estate investments (REITS) and promissory notes was settled in 6/2015 for $92,500.
  • FINRA case 13-0867 brought by a former customer of VSR Financial alleging breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and violation of Arizona securities law  and that that investments in limited partnerships and direct investments in oil and gas, real estate investments (REITS) and promissory notes was settled in 9/2013  for $77,500.
  • FINRA arbitration #11-0894 in which a customer of VSR Financial Services alleged damages of $685,500 for violations of Maine securities laws and other common law claims in connection with the purchase of direct investments in oil & gas, promissory notes, real estate and security futures. The case was settled for $250,000.

 

VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in May 2013 in connection with the sale of alternative investments . In their findings, FINRA criticised VSR Financial for recommending high concentration levels of alternative investments in customer accounts and for its lack of supervision over the use of consolidated reports prepared by brokers and provided to customers.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

 VSR wound down operations at the end of 2016 and transferred most of their brokers and customer accounts to Summit Brokerage ServicesSee this for more information regarding VSR Financial Services.

If you have questions about an account  handled by Jesse Griffin  or have losses on alternative investments purchased from VSR Financial Services call 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

Allan Roth of Tampa Arrested in Penny Stock Scam

February 27, 2015-Tampa, Florida

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) reports that Allan Roth, 57, was arrested on 34 charges of selling unregistered securities and 34 counts of selling securities without being registered. The case is being prosecuted in Pinellas County, Florida.

Roth, targeted his former clients from the time when he was a licensed securities broker to pitch a penny stock, Bizrocket.com Inc. (BZRT). He told investors Bizrocket was the next Facebook for children and raised nearly $300,000 from 20 victims.

“I encourage every Floridian to verify the license of the company or individual with the OFR before doing business,” said OFR Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear. “We are committed to fighting financial fraud in Florida and we will continue to pursue bad actors, who harm the integrity of the industry.”

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

Florida Governor Signs New Bill Expanding Protections on Annuity Products

JUNE 2013-Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Bill 166 which substantially revises Florida consumer protection laws relating to the sales of annuities. The bill incorporates the 2010 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) model regulation on annuity protections.

It expands the scope of the consumer protection laws to generally include all consumers purchasing annuities. The prior law only applied the protections to consumers aged 65 and older. The continues the prior law limiting the surrender charges and deferred sales charges that may be imposed on senior citizens.

The primary protections include:

Documenting Sales Transaction:
Agents are required to record recommendations made to a consumer.

Unconditional Refund Period-Expanded from 14 to 21 days for all purchasers of fixed and variable annuities.

Limit on Surrender Charges
– Retians prohibition against surrender charges or deferred sales charges in annuity contracts issued to a senior consumer exceeding 10% of the amount withdrawn. The charge must be reduced so that no surrender or deferred sales charge exists after the end of the 10th policy year or 10 years after the premium is paid, whichever is later.

Penalites-authorizes corrective action, penalties and sanctions on insurers and agents. Agents must pay restitution to a consumer whose money the agent misappropriates, converts, or unlawfully withholds.

The law goes into effect October 1, 2013.

If you were sold an annuity based upon misrepresentations from the selling agent/broker or if you purchased an annuity that is not suitable given your age, health, financial circumstances, you may be able to recover damages.

Rex Securities Law , located in Boca Raton, FL, 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.

Rex Securities Law

561 391 1900