Tag Archives: Heidi Wivolin pleads guilty

Former NEXT Financial Group Broker Heidi Wivolin Sentenced to Two Years/ Shawn O’Sullivan Sentenced to 16 Months-Ft. Lauderdale, FL

June 20, 2018 UPDATEShawn O’Sullivan was sentenced to 16 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release for his role in the theft which took place in the Manalapan office of NEXT Finanical Group.

MAY 23, 2018 UPDATE-SentencingHeidi Wivolin was sentenced to two years in prison today.

MARCH 2018 UPDATEShawn O’Sullivan a former registered broker who once shared office space with Heidi Wivolin in the former NEXT Financial Group offices that were located in Manalapan, FL, recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy  to commit mail fraud. He will be sentenced in the coming months.

February 2018-Ft. Lauderdale , Florida

Former NEXT Financial Group broker Heidi Wivolin has agreed to plead  guilty to an Information filed by US Attorney’s Office to the following:

  • One count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
  • One count of Willfully Filing a False Income Tax Return for 2010, and
  • One count of Tax Evasion for 2011

In the Factual Agreement entered into with the government, Wivolin agrees that had the case proceeded to trial the government would have proven certain facts, beyond a reasonable doubt, including:

  • Wivolin marketed securities and investment services to Finnish clients
  • Between July 2008 through January 2014 Wivolin and co-defendant Shawn O’Sullivan devised a scheme to defraud a customer by purporting to sell a bond and promising a 7% rate of return
  • Wivolin never invested any of the money in a bond or other investment vehicle
  • Wivolin and  O’Sullivan took the customer’s money and used it for their personal and business expenses
  • Wivolin continued to perpetuate the illusion that the customer’s money had been invested by verbal assurances and by sending false and fraudulent statements.

Statutory maximum sentences are 20 years for mail fraud, 3 years for filing a false tax return and up to five years for tax evasion. Sentencing is set for May 2, 2018.

Wivolin has agreed to pay restitution to a person referred to as “M.W.” in court pleadings in the amount of $190,280.51 and restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $140,069. Wivolin also agrees to make restitution to a person referred to as “P.M.” in the plea agreement in the amount of $2,567,585 for wire fraud against P.M. in year 2012 and 2013. USA vs Heidi Wivolin, Case 9:18-cr-80023-WPD, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Wivolin was a stockbroker registered with NEXT Financial Group from 2009-2014.

Pasi Martin, et al vs. NEXT Financial Group–    As we have previously reported, Dickenson Murphy Rex & Sloan and co-counsel Mrachek, Fitzgerald, Rose, Konopka, Thomas & Weiss represent a group of Finnish individuals and companies who allege that millions were stolen from them by Wivolin while she was employed at the NEXT Financial Group office that was previously located in Manalapan, FL.

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

Investigation of NEXT Financial Group RE: Misappropriation of Customer Funds-Houston, TX

September 2018

In connection with a currently pending lawsuit, we are investigating Houston, TX-based broker dealer NEXT Financial Group.

Publicly available records disclose a number of recent complaints by customers of  NEXT Financial  alleging  that their funds have been wrongfully converted by  NEXT Financial Group brokers, including the following:

  • Heidi Wivolin-In February 2018, Heidi Wivolin who was employed in the NEXT Financial Group office in Manalapan, FL, from 2009-2014 pleaded guilty to mail and tax fraud and agreed to pay restitution of over $2.5 million. On May 23, 2018, Wivolin was sentenced to two years in prison. See this for details. 
  • Joshua Ray Abernathy-In September 2017, NEXT Financial Group entered into a settlement agreement with Virginia Securities regulators which included a fine of $50,000 and costs of $10,000 for failing to properly supervise their former broker Joshua Abernathy, who had confessed to securities fraud and misappropriation of over $442,000 in customer funds.
  • Tye Williams-September 2016- Frisco, TX-based NEXT Financial Group broker Williams was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in connection with an investigation regarding a customer complaint that he had converted over $1 million from the customer’s account from 2004-2014.  . See this for more details.
  • Eduardo Diaz-Ocean Springs, MS. In June 2016, Diaz, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud,  was sentenced to 70 months, fined $15,000 and ordered to pay restitution of over $640,000 to his victims which include a 70 year old widow.
  • James McGilvrey-San Antonio, TX-Charged with Theft from The Elderly, sentenced to 20 years in state prison, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay over $1.9 million in restitution. See this for more detail.
  • Douglas P. Simanski-Altoona, PA-In June 2016, Simanski, without admitting or denying the findings, consented to a permanent bar from the securities industry and entry of findings that he failed to provide documents and information related to an investigation into allegations related to the conversion of funds. FINRA Case 2016049621301.
  • Gwendolyn M. Berry , of Dallas, TX, was associated with NEXT Financial group from 2009-2015 as a non-registered fingerprint person working as a non-registered assistant and bookkeeper for a Series & General Securities Representative and Series 24 General Securities Principal. After initiating an investigation into Berry regarding possible misappropriation and mismanagement of customer assets, FINRA repeatedly requested that Berry produce documents and information. Berry failed to produce the documents and information and was barred from association with any FINRA regulated broker-dealer in any capacity in April 2016. FINRA AWC No. 2015047059701. TheUS Attorney’s office reports  that in February 2018, Berry admitted that from 2008-2014 she stole $1.8 million from a family for whom she provided bookkeeping services. She was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison.
  • Patrick J. Gildea– of Wilkes-Barre, PA-discharged by NEXT Financial 12/2008 as a result of a customer complaint alleging misrepresentation and theft in connection with a municipal bearer bond transaction.

The official FINRA regulatory records for NEXT Financial Group disclose 19 prior regulatory events including a recent $750,000 fine by FINRA for supervisory failures. See this for details.

If you have information you believe would be helpful to our investigation please contact us. If you have an account with NEXT Financial Group 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