The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a non-profit corporation that offers securities to fund mortgage and construction loans to young Amish families in Ohio will ensure that its investors receive more timely and accurate information under an agreement reached with the SEC. SEC Investigates Amish Helping Fund The SEC investigated the Amish Helping…

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged former professional baseball player Doug DeCinces and three others with insider trading ahead of a company buyout. The SEC alleges that DeCinces and his associates made more than $1.7 million in illegal profits when Abbott Park, Ill.-based Abbott Laboratories Inc. announced its plan to purchase Advanced Medical Optics…

Charles B. Rowley III, a stockbroker with Boston-based Detwiler Fenton & Co., has been sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, for engaging in churning and unsuitable trading in the accounts of two customers. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent Charles B. Rowley agreed to pay restitution of roughly $24,000 plus interest to…

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has expelled a Texas-based broker dealer from membership for selling $23 million in private placement offerings without having a reasonable basis to believe that the offerings were suitable for its customers. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent Cambridge Legacy Securities LLC consented to the expulsion as part of a…

Sometimes the moral decay that leads financial professionals to steal from their clients runs deeper than anyone could expect. Robert Bales’ Crimes For instance, the news is out that Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians, was a former stockbroker on the losing end of a 2003 arbitration before…

Wells Fargo Investments LLC has been fined $2 million for failure to supervise the conduct of one of its brokers who sold unsuitable reverse convertible securities to elderly customers, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, announced on Dec. 15. The firm was also censured. The fine also covered Wells Fargo’s also failure to provide…

Hairdressor, Marcy Salandra went to her stockbroker’s office at Investors Capital Corporation in McMurray Pennsylvania to withdraw money to buy a house. However, instead of meeting her broker Patricia S. Miller, she was greeted by three FBI agents. Apparently, instead of the $681,944 that her statements showed her Investors Capital Corporation account was worth, the…

An analysis by The New York Times of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions during the past 15 years has found that Wall Street firms have broken anti-fraud laws they had pledged not to breach in at least 51 cases. The New York Times Report These cases involved 19 different firms, according to…

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion on Jan. 10 ruling in favor of a credit card company that sought to enforce a mandatory arbitration provision in its agreement with a class of consumers that sued the company for making misleading statements and charging excessive fees. The class of consumers who sued, called respondents in…

The United States Securities & Exchange Commission, as required by Section 917 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act issued a report today on Investor Literacy. Retain Investors Lack Knowledge to Prevent Fraud Not surprisingly, the study found that U.S. retail investors lack basic financial literacy and that investors have a weak…

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a regulatory notice this month that contained the results of a survey of retail broker-dealer firms regarding the use and oversight of senior designations in an effort to better understand their approach to a vulnerable segment of the population. One area of particular focus was the use of…

What practitioners have known for a long time: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Arbitration forum is unfair to investors. However, at least this time, there is empirical evidence to back up these claims of unfairness. Some History of Investor Unfairness By way of background, since 1987 and the Supreme Court’s holding in Shearson v. McMahon,…

Each year in Pennsylvania investors conservatively lose $3 billion as the result of securities fraud, Ponzi schemes and the sale of unregistered securities. Among the 50 states that are part of the North American Securities Administration Association, Pennsylvania is and always has been lowest on the list in terms of enforcement actions. Notwithstanding three lawyers,…

Scott B. Hostutler, formerly a broker with Edward Jones, was suspended for 10 days by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for trading in a customer’s account without authorization. Hostutler was fined $5,000 in addition to his suspension from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. The sanctions were set out in a Letter…

Thomas R. Fortino, a former broker with First Allied Securities Inc., was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after he engaged in business outside his firm, often called selling away, and misled his firm about these activities. Fortino submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) that resolved the FINRA…

Jimmy Wayne Freeman, a broker with Texas-based PlanMember Securities Corp., was ordered by the Texas Securities Board to pay more than $500,000 in restitution to investors after he sold them securities issued by an outside firm without his firm’s permission and without holding the appropriate securities license. Freeman was also suspended for 12 months from…

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has sanctioned Christine L. Cantone and her firm for their failure to supervise a broker who sold fictitious investments to customers through which he misappropriated over $1.6 million. Cantone & Cantone Research Inc. Censored & Fined Pursuant to an FINRA order dated Feb. 22 that accepted an offer of…

Anthony L. Semadeni, a former stockbroker with World Group Securities, has been barred from the financial industry for two years and ordered to pay up to $60,000 in restitution plus interest to customers for borrowing money from them and never fully paying it back. Semadeni also lied to World Group about the loans he received…

Over five years, former broker James Scott McKee defrauded the customers of the brokerage firms where he worked out of nearly $1 million, using lies and omissions to induce them to invest in various real estate ventures in which he had a direct or indirect financial interest, according to a complaint filed by the Financial…

Evidently, it slipped the mind of one New York stockbroker that dead men can’t trade. Eric Anthony Foster, a stockbroker with Halcyon Cabot Partners Ltd., has been fined $10,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and suspended for three months for unauthorized trading in the account of a deceased customer while he worked for…

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA does not take kindly to stockbrokers who fail to disclose tax liens, perhaps because such behavior can signal un-trustworthiness, the last thing you want to see in a stockbroker. If you are a stockbroker who fails to timely disclose such liens per FINRA rules, you are likely to…

The Guiliano Law Group. P.C. has announced the filing of securities arbitration claims before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on behalf of investors suffering losses in Inverse and Leveraged Exchange Traded Funds or ETFs. Many investors were sold these securities based upon the notion that they could be a long term hedge. Most ETFs track…

Just when you thought that you heard it all. The New York Stock Exchange disciplined former Morgan Stanley stockbroker Charles Winitch of Scarsdale, New York, for unauthorized trading, churning or excessive activity, and breach of fiduciary duty with respect to the accounts of his customers. Mr. Winitch’s fraudulent conduct, however, relates to the accounts of…

John Edward Mullins and wife allegedly drained their client’s trust while she was in a nursing home. A former Morgan Stanley broker was barred today by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. for allegedly misappropriating $11,156.47 from the charitable foundation of a 97-year-old nursing home resident who was his client for more than 20 years….

If your stockbroker sold you improper, excessively risky investments, or — failed to disclose the riskiness of what appeared as an otherwise conservative investment, and as a result you lost your shirt — then today’s story will be especially relevant. For my readers who are stockbrokers, I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to…

Last week I told you about what happened to Hal and his wife, both 67, retired, and long time readers. From more than a million dollars in their 401K account as of January, 2006, their investments have lost close to $750,000. Why? What Went Wrong? “In our final preparations for retirement, in early 2006 even…

Philadelphia, PA (MarketWire) November 6, 2008 –The Guiliano Law Group, P.C., a leading securities lawyer firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania announced today it is actively investigating and pursuing securities fraud claims against certain securities broker-dealers resulting from the risky or unsuitable recommendation of securities. Investment trusts, labor unions, pension funds, local municipalities, school boards and charitable…

LPL Financial was sued last week in Phoenix for its role in an affinity fraud case involving members of a local church and an ex-broker who allegedly stole $5 million from at least 40 victims. The lawsuit alleges that the broker, James Buchanan, was able to steal $382,376 from an elderly married couple because LPL…

PHILADELPHIA – PA Nicholas J. Guiliano of the Guiliano Law Group, P.C., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania announced today he is actively investigating and pursuing fraud claims against certain securities broker-dealers resulting from the risky or unsuitable recommendation of the securities of certain financial institutions. Tens of Billions Lost in Securities Investment Trusts, Labor Unions, Pension Funds,…

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former broker in South Florida, Gary J. Gross, who allegedly defrauded senior citizens and other customers through a variety of abusive sales practices, garnering him more than $700,000 in commissions and fees while causing more than $2.7 million in investor losses. SEC Chairman Christopher Cox announced the…

Despite intense pressure from regulators to tighten recruiting standards for brokers with marks on their records, these bad apples are still being hired by new firms, recent cases illustrate. The problem is compounded by an industry practice that condones silence from broker-dealers when a registered representative leaves under a cloud, attorneys and regulators said. It’s…

General Description of Auction Rate Securities Auction rate securities were first offered for sale in U.S. financial markets in the early 1980s. As of the end of 2005, there were approximately $263 billion of auction rate securities outstanding. Many different types of issuers have issued auction rate securities for example, closed-end funds, corporations, municipal authorities…

NYSE HEARING BOARD DECISION 07-143 September 7, 2007 Citigroup Global Markets Inc. Violated NYSE Rule 401(a) by failing to ensure delivery of prospectuses in connection with sales of registered securities in violation of Section 5(b)(2) of Securities Act of 1933 and to deliver trade confirmations to certain customers; violated NYSE Rule 1100(b) by failing to…

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