Securities Lawyer Blog | Victim of Fraud?

Jan/15

28

BMA Securities, El Segundo, Censured, Fined $325,000 and Review Ordered by FINRA

Soreide Law Group, Securities Arbitration Law Firm (888) 760-6552, recently obtained this information from the FINRA website under “Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions, Janurary, 2015.”

BMA Securities aka Burt Martin Arnold Securities, Inc. (CRD #108219, El Segundo, California)

was censured, fined $325,000 and ordered to retain, within 30 days of the date of the Notice of Acceptance of the AWC, an independent consultant, not unacceptable to FINRA, to conduct a comprehensive review of the adequacy of the firm’s policies, systems and procedures (written and otherwise) and training related to anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and monitoring, including specifically but not limited to delivery versus payment/receive versus payment (DVP/RVP) accounts, deposit and sale of low-priced securities and due diligence for correspondent accounts for foreign financial institutions.

Allegedly, BMA Securities sold certain shares of an issuer whose securities were not registered and were not subject to an applicable exemption from registration. FINRA’s findings stated that despite the presence of “red flags,” BMA Securities approved the sale, concluding the customers were not acting in concert. That conclusion was not reviewed or revisited, even after six of the customers sold approximately four million shares six days later, all in one day. BMA Securities continued to accept for deposit and then sell out the issuer’s shares for the group’s accounts. No additional investigation was conducted. BMA Securities failed to undertake sufficient efforts to ascertain whether the stock could be properly sold, and accordingly did not satisfy its duty to conduct a reasonable inquiry, which is a crucial part of the brokers’ exemption.

Also, FINRA’s findings stated that BMA Securities failed to establish, maintain, and implement a reasonable supervisory system and WSPs. BMA Securities also failed to establish and implement an adequate AML program. BMA Securities failed to establish an adequate Customer Identification Program (CIP) and failed in certain circumstances to gather appropriate documentation about the customers. BMA Securities also failed to establish and implement a system that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the requirement that the firm conduct due diligence and enhanced due diligence, where applicable, on correspondent accounts for foreign financial institutions.

FINRA’s findings also included that BMA Securities failed to provide customers with disclosures of the profits to the firm and a former trader of BMA Securities, in situations where the trader bought exchange-traded securities positions from customers into his trading account and then sold them out to the market at a profit.
(FINRA Case #2010023220502)

This ends the summation of information from FINRA’s website.

If you have suffered financial losses due to your broker/dealer’s recommendations, please call Soreide Law Group for a free consultation with an attorney: 888-760-6552.

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Patrick Richard Harrison (CRD #4976695, Fircrest, Washington)

was barred by FINRA for allegedly participating in a series of private securities transactions by introducing two senior investors to an individual who purported to sell the investors discounted shares in a publically traded regional bank without providing prior notice to his member firm.

FINRA’s findings stated that in addition to making the introductions, Harrison participated in phone calls involving the investors and the individual, and assisted in the mechanics of having funds transferred or deposited with the individual and/or entities the individual controlled. Harrison received over $14,000 from the individual. The individual ultimately never delivered any shares to the investors, who lost over $340,000 as a result.

Also, FINRA’s findings stated that Harrison made misstatements and omissions concerning the investment to the investors. Harrison failed to adequately respond to red flags that the investment opportunity being presented was not genuine.
(FINRA Case #2014041898801)

Patrick Richard Harrison was registered in the securities industry for 7 years and was previously registered with the following securities firm(s):

08/2013 – 07/2014 CUSO FINANCIAL SERVICES, L.P. (CRD# 42132) – TACOMA, WA

06/2012 – 09/2012 BANCWEST INVESTMENT SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 29357) – PORTLAND, OR

01/2011 – 06/2012 WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, LLC (CRD# 19616) – PORTLAND, OR

09/2006 – 01/2011 WELLS FARGO INVESTMENTS, LLC (CRD# 10582) – PORTLAND, OR

11/2005 – 03/2006 NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL INVESTMENT SERVICES, LLC (CRD# 2881) – LAKE OSWEGO, OR

This summation was obtained on FINRA’s website under “Disciplinary and Other Actions, January, 2015″ and ends here.

Soreide Law Group will represent clients nationwide before FINRA. Call and speak to an attorney at no cost on how to potentially recover your financial losses due to your broker/financial advisor’s recommendations at 888-760-6552.

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Jan/15

27

Tulsa Broker Suspended and Fined by FINRA for Private Securities Sales

Marc William Evans (CRD #859585, Tulsa, Oklahoma)

was fined $10,000, suspended by FINRA for 13 months and ordered to pay $56,572, plus interest, in disgorgement of commission. The sanctions take into account the suspension and fine the Oklahoma Department of Securities imposed against Marc Evans.

Allegedly Evans participated in private securities transactions for selling compensation without his member firm’s prior written approval.

FINRA’s findings stated that Evans falsely responded to a question inquiring about his participation in private securities transactions on his firm’s annual compliance questionnaires. FINRA’s findings also stated that Evans did not disclose to his firm, in the appropriate form and manner required, of an outside business activity—specifically his membership on a corporation’s board of directors.

The suspension is in effect from December 15, 2014, through January 14, 2016. (FINRA Case #2013038421801)

Marc William Evans was registered in the securities industry for 36 years and is currently registered with the following securities firm(s):

WUNDERLICH SECURITIES, INC. (CRD# 2543)
2431E 61 STREET, SUITE 300, TULSA, OK 74136 Registered with this firm since 12/2012

Marc William Evans was previously registered with the following securities firm(s):

11/2005 – 12/2012 SANDERS MORRIS HARRIS INC. (CRD# 20580) – TULSA, OK

07/2003 – 11/2005 WACHOVIA SECURITIES, LLC (CRD# 19616) – ST. LOUIS, MO

07/1999 – 07/2003 PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES INCORPORATED (CRD# 7471) – NEW YORK, NY

03/1998 – 07/1999 DAIN RAUSCHER INCORPORATED (CRD# 31194) – NEW YORK, NY

01/1998 – 03/1998 DAIN RAUSCHER INCORPORATED (CRD# 7600)
05/1994 – 01/1998 RAUSCHER PIERCE REFSNES, INC. (CRD# 6663) – DALLAS, TX

05/1990 – 05/1994 PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES INCORPORATED (CRD# 7471) – NEW YORK, NY

05/1980 – 05/1990 SMITH BARNEY, HARRIS UPHAM & CO., INCORPORATED (CRD# 7059) – NEW YORK, NY

11/1978 – 06/1980 DEAN WITTER REYNOLDS INC. (CRD# 7556)

The previous information from FINRA’s Website under “Disciplinary and Other Actions, January, 2015″ ends here.

Soreide Law Group will provide a free consultation with an attorney on how to potentially recover your investment losses because of your broker or financial advisor’s recommendations: 888-760-6552.

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Jan/15

27

Indiana Broker Fined and Suspended by FINRA for Allegedly Mismarking Order Tickets

Radcliffe Robert Daly (CRD #4663605, Granger, Indiana)

was assessed a deferred fine of $15,000 and suspended by FINRA for nine months for allegedly mismarking order tickets for solicited transactions as “unsolicited.”

FINRA’s findings stated that Daly recommended a penny stock to many clients and continued to solicit purchases of the stock and marked the trades as “unsolicited” even after his member firm told him that he could not do so because it was a penny stock and not supported by firm research. By mismarking these order tickets, Daly created false books and records.

FINRA also stated that Daly participated in private securities transactions without providing written notice or reporting the transactions to his firm. FINRA’s findings also included that Daly exercised discretion in five clients’ accounts without obtaining the cleints’ written authorization and his firm’s written acceptance of that authorization.

This suspension is in effect from November 17, 2014, through August 16, 2015.

(FINRA Case #2014039820601)

Radcliffe Robert Daly was registered in the securities industry for ten years and was previously registered with the following securities firm(s):

03/2014 – 06/2014 IFS SECURITIES (CRD# 40375) – GRANGER, IN

07/2003 – 01/2014 AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 6363) – GRANGER, IN

07/2003 – 07/2006 IDS LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY (CRD# 6321) – MINNEAPOLIS, MN

This summation of information was obtained from FINRA’s Website under “Disciplinary and Other Actions, January, 2015″ and ends here.

Soreide Law Group represents our clients nationwide in FINRA arbitrations. Call and speak to an attorney for your free consultation on how to potentially recover investment losses due to your broker or financial advisor at 888-760-6552.

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KIRSTEN F. HAWKINS (CRD# 2509324) a 45 year-old Staunton, Virginia financial advisor, has admitted to wire fraud and agreed to make restitution of $500,000.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Kirsten Flynn Hawkins was employed at Bank One in Staunton, Virginia, from August 2011 to August 2014, and Hawkins transferred funds to her own personal account. She then paid her rent, traveled, and bought personal items.

Prosecutors say Hawkins entered a guilty plea January 16th., 2015, in Lynchburg, Virginia to three counts wire fraud. Sentencing is May 5, which could be up to 30 years in prison and fined up to $1 million for each count.

According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, KIRSTEN F. HAWKINS was registered in the securities industry for 19 years and was previously registered with the following securities firm(s):

01/2003 – 12/2014 SUNTRUST INVESTMENT SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 17499) – STAUNTON, VA

08/2001 – 01/2003 EDWARD JONES (CRD# 250) – ST. LOUIS, MO

05/2000 – 08/2001 SUNTRUST SECURITIES, INC. (CRD# 17499) – ATLANTA, GA

05/1995 – 05/2000 CRESTAR SECURITIES CORPORATION (CRD# 17464) – RICHMOND, VA

If you have suffered investment losses due to your broker/financial advisor, call Soreide Law Group for a free consultation on how to potentially recover those losses at 888-760-6552.

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Jan/15

22

Former Connecticut Boker Sent To Prison for “Cherry Picking”

NOAH L. MYERS (CRD# 2387620) a former investment advisor from Lyme, Connecticut, was sentenced to prison for 40 months. Myers pled guilty to engaging in fraudulent trade allocations involving “cherry picking.” Myers “picked” good investments for himself and left his clients with the bad ones, according to the SEC.

Noah L. Myers the former owner of MiddleCove Capital LLC, pled guilty to one count of securities fraud in U.S. District Court in October. According to the SEC, from October 2008 until February 2011, Myers engaged in fraudulent trades. The SEC said that Myers performed his cherry-picking scheme by buying securities in the morning and at the end of the day or sometimes the next day, he allocated trades that had appreciated in value to his own personal and/or business accounts, and allocated trades that had depreciated in value to the accounts of his clients. These were primarily inverse and leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

NOAH L. MYERS was registered in the securities industry for 18 years and was previously registered with the following securities firm(s):

02/2008 – 04/2012 PURSHE KAPLAN STERLING INVESTMENTS (CRD# 35747) – CENTERBROOK, CT

02/1994 – 02/2008 CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS INC. (CRD# 7059) – ESSEX, CT

08/1993 – 02/1994 JOHN HANCOCK DISTRIBUTORS, INC. (CRD# 468) – BOSTON, MA

08/1993 – 02/1994 JOHN HANCOCK MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY (CRD# 5181) – BOSTON, MA

If you have been the victim of “cherry picking” by your broker or financial advisor, call a Securities Arbitration Lawyer for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your losses. To speak with an attorney, call 888-760-6552,

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JOHN M. BABIARZ (CRD# 3047247), a New England financial advisor, has admitted to stealing $645,000 from his elderly clients.

One of the elderly clients considered Babiarz a friend until she found out that a large portion of her savings was gone. Babiarz told his client he was liquidating some of her investments to purchase Facebook stock, when in fact he used her money to buy a new home for his family.

Seven of John Babiarz’ clients lost $650,000 in one year.

Babiarz would have his clients send him checks or electronic funds into his own personal account. These were unsophisticated, trusting, elderly people, who had invested with him for years.

John Babiarz pled guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay more than $645,000 in restitution to his victims.

According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, JOHN M. BABIARZ was registered in the securities industry for 12 years and was previously registered with the following securities firm(s):

11/2009 – 09/2011 BISHOP, ROSEN & CO., INC. (CRD# 1248) – NEWTON, MA

06/2009 – 07/2009 CAPITOL SECURITIES MANAGEMENT, INC. (CRD# 14169) – WORCESTER, MA

11/2004 – 06/2009 JESUP & LAMONT SECURITIES CORP (CRD# 39056) – WORCESTER, MA
FINRA expelled the firm in 11/2010
05/2002 – 11/2004 PRIMEVEST FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 15340) – ST. CLOUD, MN

05/2001 – 05/2002 LINSCO/PRIVATE LEDGER CORP. (CRD# 6413) – BOSTON, MA

04/1999 – 05/2001 INVESTORS CAPITAL CORP. (CRD# 30613) – LYNNFIELD, MA

01/1999 – 04/1999 DEAN WITTER REYNOLDS INC. (CRD# 7556) – PURCHASE, NY

06/1998 – 01/1999 BEAR, STEARNS & CO. INC. (CRD# 79) – NEW YORK, NY

If you or an elderly family member suffered significant financial losses because of your broker/financial advisor, call Soreide Law Group for your free consultation on how to potentially recover those losses at 888-760-6552. We represent our clients nationwide before FINRA.

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Jan/15

21

FINRA Orders Fifth Third Securities and Rep to Pay Client $100,000

FINRA has ordered Fifth Third Securities and one of its registered reps, Mark Vernon Rottler (CRD# 2369550), to pay a client for allegedly making unsuitable investments which cost the client over $125,000.

Allegedly, Rottler made unsuitable recommendations of mutual funds, structured products, and equities. The client opened an account with Fifth Third Securities in 2002, which included two IRAs. In 2012, the client discovered 40% of his portfolio was invested in gold and precious metals which was not a good allocation for IRA funds which lost $88,000.

Also Rottler allegedly recommended a private placement for his client in which he lost the entire $125,000 investment.

According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Mark Vernon Rottler has been registered in the securities industry for 20 years and is currently registered with the following securities firm:

FIFTH THIRD SECURITIES, INC. (CRD# 628)
101 WEST STEPHENSON, FREEPORT, IL 61032 Registered with this firm since 05/2001

Mark Vernon Rottler was previously registered with the following securities firm(s):

05/2000 – 05/2001 OLD KENT FINANCIAL ADVISORS (CRD# 17039) – GRAND RAPIDS, MI

10/1997 – 05/2000 PRIMEVEST FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 15340) – ST. CLOUD, MN

03/1995 – 10/1997 LASALLE ST SECURITIES, L.L.C. (CRD# 7191) – ELMHURST, IL

09/1994 – 03/1995 PROVALUE INVESTMENTS, INC. (CRD# 27177)
07/1993 – 12/1993 TRI-MERICA SECURITIES CORPORATION (CRD# 14081) – TINLEY PARK, IL

If you feel your stock broker recommended an inappropriate investment or investment strategy that resulted in significant financial losses, the Soreide Law Group offers a free consultation and portfolio analysis to determine if you have legal grounds to pursue a FINRA arbitration. To speak with a lawyer call (888) 760-6552.

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently fined Merrill Lynch $175,000 because, according to FINRA, they took a year to report the allegations that one of its financial advisors, Greg Campbell of Clayton, MO, misappropriated more than $1.7 from client accounts.

Campbell left Merrill Lynch in Oct. 2011, and went to LPL Financial Holdings Inc. According to FINRA, Campbell continued taking additional funds from his clients at LPL Financial Holdings Inc. According to court documents, from June 2006 until October 2011, Campbell was employed at Merrill Lynch. From September 2007 until the end of his employment in October 2011, Campbell fraudulently diverted more than $1.4 million from clients.

Campbell began working as a senior wealth manager for Four Seasons Wealth Management in Clayton, Missouri, in November 2011. Four Seasons was a company that offered securities and advisory services to clients through LPL Financial LLC. Campbell was employed at Four Seasons until October, 2012. From November 2011 to October 2012, Greg J. Campbell fraudulently diverted more than $360,000 from his clients’ to his own personal accounts.

Among Campbell’s victims were some of his own family members and an 85 year-old with dementia. He used the money for his own personal expenses. This was done without his clients’ knowledge and authorization. Greg Campbell pled guilty to federal wire fraud charges in 2013 and was sentenced to 38 months in prison.

All brokerages/firms are required to report their client complaints to FINRA within 30 days. FINRA then posts these complaints on their Website under ‘BrokerCheck.’ This is available to the public.

If you have experienced losses through your broker/financial advisor, call a Securities Arbitration Lawyer at Soreide Law Group for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your losses: 888-760-6552.

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Jan/15

20

Pennsylvania Broker Barred by FINRA

Michael Christopher Evangelista (CRD #2361644, West Chester, Pennsylvania)

was barred by FINRA for failing to disclose to his member firms that firm clients were purchasing securities away from the firms or that he was being compensated in connection with his referrals.

FINRA’s findings stated that Evangelista referred approximately six customers to a third party, and those customers later invested in real estate securities issued by an entity that invested in real estate. Evangelista received at least $50,000 in compensation in connection with these referrals.

Also, FINRA’s findings stated that Evangelista lacked a basis to recommend to his customers that they purchase the securities issued, given his failure to perform a reasonable investigation and appropriate due diligence on the investment.

FINRA’s findings also included that during the course of FINRA’s investigation, Evangelista provided information that he knew to be incomplete and/or inaccurate by claiming that he did not receive compensation for referring clients to the entity. Evangelista subsequently admitted during his on-the-record testimony that he had received compensation from the president of the entity in connection with his firms’ clients’ investments.
(FINRA Case #2012035327601)

Michael Christopher Evangelista was registered in the securities industry for 19 years and was previously registered with the following securities firm(s):

05/2012 – 12/2012 COMPREHENSIVE ASSET MANAGEMENT AND SERVICING, INC. (CRD# 43814) – PARSIPPANY, NJ

01/2008 – 05/2012 CAMBRIDGE INVESTMENT RESEARCH, INC., INC. (CRD# 39543) – BERWYN, PA

11/1994 – 12/2007 CAPITAL ANALYSTS, INCORPORATED (CRD# 5478) – BERWYN, PA

04/1994 – 11/1994 PRUCO SECURITIES CORPORATION (CRD# 5685) – NEWARK, NJ

07/1993 – 12/1993 F.N. WOLF & CO., INC. (CRD# 13051)

The previous summation of information is from FINRA’s Website under “Disciplinary and Other Actions, January, 2015″ and ends here.

The Soreide Law Group represents clients nationwide in FINRA arbitrations. Call for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your investment losses due to your broker or financial advisor at 888-760-6552.

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