David Levin, “Investment Talk” radio host and former FINRA registered representative with Titan Securities, was just fined $25,000, suspended for 6 months, and lost his qualifications as a general securities representative by FINRA in connection with consenting to FINRA findings that Levin, via his broadcast, made statements deemed to be promissory, misleading, unbalanced, or lacking of a reasonable basis in violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 2210. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent No. 2014040335101 (Aug. 7th, 2015).
According to the AWC
According to the Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (“AWC”), between December of 2013 and April of 2014, Levin broadcasted his “Investment Talk” show via a radio station in Texas. According to FINRA, the show was utilized to market Levin’s approach to retirement planning which involved Equity Indexed annuities (“EIAs”). The AWC indicates that Levin’s remarks included predicting stock market downturns, predictions on how long Americans will work, as well as Levin’s touting of his record of informing investors to leave the market in ’07 prior to the market crash in 2008-2009. Further, the AWC states that Levin promoted a product as a perfect solution for investors that would provide guaranteed income and principal. The Department of Enforcement found that such statements were lacking of a concrete basis or were unfair and unbalanced – a violation of FINRA Rule 2210(d)(1)(A).
Further, the AWC indicates that Levin went as far as telling listeners that they could not lose money with the proposed product, that such product was better than nearly 100% of annuities out there, and that investors would turn wealthy because he will not lose their money. The Department of Enforcement Found that such statements were misleading and/or unwarranted – a violation of FINRA Rule 2210(D)(1)(B). The AWC also indicates that Levin made performance projections that were unwarranted by omitting to his audience that such projections were based upon the performance of an index – a violation of FINRA Rule 2210(d)(1)(F). Finally, FINRA alleged Levin’s remarks of comparing the investment of the EIA to investing in a single bond to illustrate the EIA’s advantage were misleading and incomplete comparisons – a violation of FINRA Rule 2210(d)(2).
Public Disclosure Records on David Levin
This is not the first time that Levin faced misconduct violations in this context. FINRA, on September 7 of 2012, suspended Levin for 5 months and fined him $30,000 after finding that Levin made misleading and unwarranted statements on his weekly radio show – in violation of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, FINRA Rules 2010 and 2210. FINRA Offer of Settlement (Discip. Proc. No. 2009016271801). Levin was discharged from his former firm, Berthel Fisher and Company Financial Services, Inc., shortly afterward on September 18, 2012, due to such regulatory proceedings.
Further, on December 17, 2008, Levin consented, without admitting or denying findings, to the SEC’s entry of an cease and desist order along with $25,000 in fines after the SEC found that Levin willfully violated federal securities laws by offering and selling class “A” shares to retail customers without adequate disclosure of material information regarding breakpoint discounts. (SEC File No. 3-13312).
Public disclosure records reveal that Levin has been subject to 14 customer disputes since May of 1999 through May of 2012. On May 3rd, 1999, Levin settled a customer dispute for $8,500 after a claimant alleged Levin failed to disclose material facts regarding certain mutual fund shares. On April 20, 2000, and again on June 20, 2000, Levin settled customer disputes for $5,556.77 and $11,607.62 (respectively) after customers alleged Levin engaged in an unauthorized purchase of a fund. On October 6, 2000, Levin settled a customer dispute for $50,000 after allegations of investing in funds without the customer’s knowledge or approval. On September 21, 2004, Levin settled with a customer for $47,000 after allegations that he improperly invested customer funds. Levin’s sole pending dispute involves a claimant seeking $440,000 regarding allegations that the client was mislead and not provided key information before investing in retirement value life settlements.
Guiliano Law Group
Investors suffering losses or damages caused by Levin in connection with his aforementioned conduct may be able to recover their investment losses. Our practice is limited to the representation of investors in claims, for fraud in connection with the sale of securities, the sale or recommendation of excessively risky or unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, and the failure to supervise. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we make a recovery for you, and there is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim. For more information contact us at (877) SEC-ATTY.