Securities Lawyer Blog | Victim of Fraud?

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) $1-million and ordered RBC to pay approximately $434,000 in restitution for improper sales of structured investment products to more than 200 investors.

According to FINRA, from January of 2008 through December of 2010, RBC’s capital-markets unit failed to adequately supervise 99 of its financial advisors in the sale of 364 reverse convertible securities in 218 accounts that were unsuitable for those customers. The customers lost around $1.1 million combined.

Reverse convertibles are interest-bearing notes in which the repayment of principal is tied to the performance of an underlying asset, usually stocks. They offer high yields but it’s easy for investors to lose if the value of the underlying stock falls below a certain level. FINRA has issued warnings to investors regarding these risky, complex products.

If you or a family member have sustained investment losses due to your stock broker or financial advisor’s recommendations regarding reverse convertible securities, or other complex products, call for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your losses. To speak with an attorney call 888-760-6552.

Soreide Law Group, PLLC., representing investors nationwide before FINRA the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Douglas Jay Melzer (aka DUTCH MELZER) (CRD #5438362, Mars, Pennsylvania)

was barred by FINRA for allegedly soliciting his member firm’s clients to invest $2,000,000 in an outside investment, which the firm had not approved, without providing his firm prior written notice or receiving prior written approval.

FINRA’s findings stated that Melzer misappropriated funds from his firm for his personal benefit. Melzer caused the registered representative code on certain customer accounts to be changed and, as a result, caused the firm to pay him more than $9,500 in commissions that should have been paid to his partners.

(FINRA Case #2013035601301)

Doug Melzer was previously registered with the following firms:

03/2013 – 01/2015 PARK AVENUE SECURITIES LLC (CRD# 46173) – PITTSBURGH, PA
01/2008 – 01/2013 WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, LLC (CRD# 19616) – SEWICKLEY, PA

The previous summation from FINRA’s Website under “Disciplinary and Other Actions April 2015, ends here.”

Soreide Law Group will represent our clients nationwide. If you had significant investment losses call a Securities Arbitration Lawyer for a no-cost consultation on how to potentially recover your losses at 888-760-6552.

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Apr/15

23

OneAmerica Securities Indianapolis Censured and Fined by FINRA Over Options Trading

OneAmerica Securities, Inc. (CRD #4173, Indianapolis, Indiana)

was censured and fined $75,000 for allegedly failing to make reasonable inquiries or follow-ups on multiple red flags that indicated a registered representative associated with OneAmerica Securities was making unsuitable options recommendations and causing an improper and/or unauthorized transfer of funds to a third party.

FINRA’s findings stated that OneAmerica Securities had inadequate procedures that described how options transactions would be reviewed, approved and monitored. OneAmerica Securities review was limited to verifying that the transactions were within the level of options trading for which the account had been approved. There were no discussions with the registered representative, his branch manager or the clients about any flagged transactions.

Also, FINRA’s findings stated that the firm had an inadequate system and procedure to confirm a requested transmittal of funds to a third party. As a result, the registered representative was able to improperly cause $51,800 to be transferred from a client’s account at OneAmerica Securities to another client’s account at a different member firm.
(FINRA Case #2013036026902)

This summation of information was obtained on FINRA’s website’s Disciplinary Actions April 2015.

If you have suffered substantial losses due to your broker/financial advisor recommending options, you may have a claim for recovery. Call the Soreide Law Group at (888) 760-6552 to speak to an attorney at no cost to discuss your potential claim.

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Apr/15

21

Former Morgan Stanley Broker from Beaumont Texas, Barred by FINRA

Patrick James Manriquez (CRD #4073542, Beaumont, Texas)

was barred by FINRA for allegedly converting $20,000 from his member firm’s client for his own personal use.

FINRA’s findings stated that Manriquez did this by submitting outgoing wire transfer requests, which the client had not authorized, causing the firm to wire the funds from an account the client owned to a third-party credit union account Manriquez’s mother owned.

(FINRA Case #2015044013001)

Patrick James Manriquez was formerly registered with the following firms:

06/2009 – 01/2015 MORGAN STANLEY (CRD# 149777) – BEAUMONT, TX

12/1999 – 06/2009 CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS INC. (CRD# 7059) – BEAUMONT, TX

This summation of information available on FINRA’s website from April 2015, ends here.

Soreide Law Group represents clients nationwide. For a free consultation with an attorney call (888) 760-6552.

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Jonathan A. Francis (CRD #5204602, Brooklyn, New York)

was barred by FINRA for allegedly issuing unauthorized ATM cards for the accounts of bank customers, some of whom were dead, as part of a scheme to convert $210,000 in customer funds.

FINRA’s findings stated that during the course of FINRA’s investigation, Francis failed to respond fully to FINRA’s request for information and failed to provide FINRA-requested testimony.

FINRA Case #2013038988301

Jonathan A. Francis is not currently licensed to act as a broker (buying and selling securities on behalf of customers) or as an investment adviser (providing advice about securities to clients). He was previously registered with the following firms:

10/2013 – 11/2013 J.P. TURNER & COMPANY, L.L.C. (CRD# 43177) – BROOKLYN, NY

10/2012 – 10/2013 J.P. MORGAN SECURITIES LLC (CRD# 79) – BROOKLYN, NY

04/2010 – 10/2012 CHASE INVESTMENT SERVICES CORP. (CRD# 25574) – BROOKLYN, NY

The above information was obtained from FINRA’s website “Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions April 2015,” and ends here.

If you have experienced a financial loss due to your broker or financial advisor’s recommendations, call Soreide Law Group for a no-cost consultation with an attorney at: 888-760-6552.

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Charles Caleb Fackrell (CRD #5369665, Boonville, North Carolina)

was barred by FINRA for allegedly failing to provide FINRA-requested documents and information involving an investigation into allegations that he converted client’s funds and sold private securities offerings away from his member firm, without its knowledge or approval.

(FINRA Case #2014043705201)

Charles Caleb Fackrell, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, was registered at the following firms:

06/2010 – 12/2014 LPL FINANCIAL LLC (CRD# 6413) – YADKINVILLE, NC
12/2009 – 06/2010 WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, LLC (CRD# 19616) – HIGH POINT, NC
07/2008 – 12/2009 SUNTRUST INVESTMENT SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 17499) – YADKINVILLE, NC
08/2007 – 02/2008 MORGAN STANLEY & CO., INCORPORATED (CRD# 8209) – WINSTON-SALEM, NC

This ends the summary of information from FINRA’s disciplinary report, April 2015.

If you had financial losses due to your broker or financial advisor’s recommendations, please call Soreide Law Group for a no-cost consultation on how to potentially recover your investment losses: 888-760-6552. We represent clients nationwide before FINRA.

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A federal criminal complaint was filed against MICHAEL J. OPPENHEIM (CRD# 3021013), 48 years-old, of Livingston, New Jersey. Oppenheim has been accused of embezzling approximately $20 million of his clients’ money for his own personal use. Oppenheim was formerly employed by JPMorgan Chase in New York. He was arrested by the FBI at his home on April 16, 2015.

Allegedly, Oppenheim used his clients’ money to make unprofitable options trades, paid his mortgage on his own personal home, and placed clients’ money into three online brokerage accounts he opened for himself or his wife at other firms. The federal complaint said that Oppenheim profited from concealing his clients’ funds and benefited personally from profits gained.

MICHAEL J. OPPENHEIM (CRD# 3021013) was employed with the following firms according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck:

10/2012 – 04/2015 J.P. MORGAN SECURITIES LLC (CRD# 79) – NEW YORK, NY
05/2004 – 10/2012 CHASE INVESTMENT SERVICES CORP. (CRD# 25574) – NEW YORK, NY
02/2004 – 05/2004 WACHOVIA SECURITIES, LLC (CRD# 19616) – ST. LOUIS, MO
02/2002 – 02/2004 CHASE INVESTMENT SERVICES CORP. (CRD# 25574) – CHICAGO, IL
05/1999 – 07/2001 PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES INCORPORATED (CRD# 7471) – NEW YORK, NY
04/1998 – 05/1999 MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH INCORPORATED (CRD# 7691) – NEW YORK, NY

The Soreide Law Group represents clients nationwide before FINRA. If you or a family member have experienced losses through your broker or financial advisor, call a Securities Arbitration Lawyer at Soreide Law Group for a consultation at no cost on how to potentially recover your losses: 888-760-6552.

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Apr/15

17

FINRA Fined and Suspended Delray Beach Broker

Soreide Law Group, based in Pompano Beach, Florida (888) 760-6552, obtained the following summation of information from FINRA’s website, under “Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions, April 2015.”

Wendy Ann Wurst (CRD #1902879, Atlantis, Florida) AKA/ WENDY ANN MINERD, WENDY A MINERO, WENDY ANN MINERO

was assessed a deferred fine of $50,000, suspended by FINRA for three months, and suspended in any principal capacity for six months for allegedly failing to reasonably supervise her firm’s registered representative’s involvement with three outside businesses that operated as unregistered broker-dealers. As the CCO and registered principal responsible for overseeing the registered representative’s activities, Wendy Wurst failed to reasonably supervise him by permitting him to effectuate securities transactions for compensation away from the firm through entities that were not registered as broker-dealers.

The findings stated that Wurst made misleading and inaccurate statements concerning the unregistered broker-dealers to corporate bond dealers in connection with the opening of certain delivery-versus-payment brokerage accounts for the unregistered broker-dealers.

The suspension in any capacity is in effect from March 2, 2015, through June 1, 2015. The suspension in any principal capacity is in effect from March 2, 2015, through September 1, 2015.
(FINRA Case #2012033514202)

Wendy Wurst has been registered with the following firm since 2013:

HENNION & WALSH, INC. (CRD# 25766)
105E ATLANTIC AVENUE, SUITE 200, DELRAY BEACH, FL 33444

Wendy Wurst was previously registered with the following firms:

11/2003 – 05/2014 PMK SECURITIES & RESEARCH, INC. (CRD# 40145) – DELRAY BEACH, FL
08/2003 – 11/2003 STANFORD GROUP COMPANY (CRD# 39285) – HOUSTON, TX
06/2002 – 08/2003 STERLING FINANCIAL INVESTMENT GROUP, INC. (CRD# 41506) – BOCA RATON, FL
FINRA expelled the firm in 01/2008
03/2000 – 07/2002 PMK SECURITIES & RESEARCH, INC. (CRD# 40145) – DELRAY BEACH, FL
05/1994 – 03/2000 DMG SECURITIES, INC. (CRD# 15480) – GREAT FALLS, VA
07/1998 – 03/2000 JWGENESIS SECURITIES, INC. (CRD# 33832) – BOCA RATON, FL
01/1994 – 03/2000 JWGENESIS FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 11025) – ST. LOUIS, MO
02/1999 – 03/2000 JWGENESIS FINANCIAL GROUP, INC (CRD# 38166) – BOCA RATON, FL
04/1995 – 12/1998 GSG SECURITIES, INC. (CRD# 38166) – BOCA RATON, FL
03/1995 – 03/1995 STOWE INVESTMENT COMPANY (CRD# 8528) – WINTER HAVEN, FL

This summation from FINRA’s website ends here.

Call the Florida-based Soreide Law Group for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your investment losses: 888-760-6552.

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Apr/15

17

Former Delray Beach Broker Fined and Suspended by FINRA

The following summation of information from FINRA’s website listed under “Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions, April, 2015,” was obtained by the Pompano Beach, Florida-based Soreide Law Group, (888) 760-6552.

Roger Kumar Jr. (CRD #2702488, Ocean Ridge, Florida)

was assessed a deferred fine of $50,000 and suspended by FINRA one year for allegedly making misleading and inaccurate statements to numerous corporate bond dealers in order to participate in, and obtain allocations of bonds for an unregistered proprietary trading firm.

Kumar, while registered at a member firm, operated three disclosed, but unregistered, outside business entities for the sole purpose of purchasing securities, primarily corporate bonds offered in initial public offerings (IPOs), for the unregistered proprietary trading firm.

These misleading and inaccurate statements concerned the nature of the entities’ business operations, value of assets under management, and status, as a minority business, qualified institutional buyer (QIB), foreign buyer and/or institutional account.

FINRA’s findings stated that Kumar was actively engaged in the management of his firm’s securities business without being registered as a principal of the firm.

The suspension is in effect from March 2, 2015, through March 1, 2016. (FINRA Case #2012033514201)

Roger Kumar Jr. is not currently registered with any firm. The following are firms where he was previously registered:

12/2013 – 03/2015 HENNION & WALSH, INC. (CRD# 25766) – DELRAY BEACH, FL

10/1996 – 05/2014 PMK SECURITIES & RESEARCH, INC. (CRD# 40145) – DELRAY BEACH, FL

The above information which was obtained on FINRA’s website ends here.

Investment losses because of your broker or financial advisor’s recommendations? Call the Florida-based Soreide Law Group for a free consultation with an attorney on a possible recovery of your losses: 888-760-6552.

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The Florida-based Soreide Law Group, (888) 760-6552 obtained the following summation of information from FINRA’s website under “Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions April 2015.”

Souza Barros Securities, Inc. (CRD #149032, Miami, Florida)

was censured and fined $75,000 by FINRA for allegedly failing to implement an adequate AML (Anti Money Laundering) program designed to detect and report suspicious transactions as required under the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations.

Some of the Souza Barros Securities’ foreign institutional clients engaged in activity, including high-turnover securities trading and high-volume cash movement, that Souza Barros Securities should have investigated and reported as suspicious activity. Others engaged in intra-day bond trading and trading of U.S.-dollar denominated foreign bonds.

FINRA’s findings stated that despite the potential money-laundering risk presented by these transactions, Souza Barros Securities failed to adequately investigate the activity to determine whether it was consistent with legitimate business purposes. Although Souza Barros Securities employed an automated system for monitoring account activity, the alerts generated by this system were not consistently reviewed and investigated by the appropriate firm personnel.

Also, FINRA’s findings stated that Souza Barros Securities failed to maintain and preserve the electronic correspondence of a registered foreign associate who communicated with their clients, including for business purposes, using his personal email address.
(FINRA Case #2012033169201)

The summation from FINRA’s website ends here.

Call Soreide Law Group for a consultation at no cost with an attorney on possible recovery your investment losses: 888-760-6552.

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