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Jan 27, 2016

Worst May Be Yet To Come For Energy MLPs

By |January 27th, 2016|Master Limited Partnership, Oil / Gas Investments, Press Releases & News|

Investors in energy-focused master limited partnerships could be understood crying for mercy. The sector rebounded late last week, but the midstream benchmark Alerian MLP index is still down a brutal 16% in January, and 46% for the past year. The problem here, as with global markets, is falling crude-oil prices. In good times, MLPs do [...]

Jan 26, 2016

Rapid Price Decline Closes Two Leveraged MLP ETNs

By |January 26th, 2016|Master Limited Partnership, Oil / Gas Investments, Press Releases & News|

Declining oil prices have victimized two leveraged exchange traded notes ("ETNs") tracking master limited partnerships ("MLPs"). UBS Investment Bank announced the closing of ETRACS 2xMonthly Leveraged Long Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN (NYSEArca: MLPL) and ETRACS 2x Monthly Leveraged S&P MLP Index (NYSEArca: MLPV). MLPV “will be mandatorily redeemed in accordance with the terms of [...]

Jan 25, 2016

Risks Associated With Investing In Master Limited Partnerships

By |January 25th, 2016|FINRA, Master Limited Partnership, Press Releases & News, Suitability|

Master limited partnerships ("MLPs") are complex investment vehicles that have become massively popular in the past few years during the low interest rate environment. A MLP is a publicly traded limited partnership with two types of partners: the general partner, who is responsible for managing the MLP and is compensated for performance, and the limited partner, [...]

Jan 25, 2016

Futures Trader Pays $260,000 In Restitution For Securities Fraud

By |January 25th, 2016|Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Unregistered broker dealer|

Robert Scott Wiens of Lakewood, Colorado, a director a futures trading firm RXM Holdings Ltd., was sentenced last week to a year in prison and paid more than a quarter-million in restitution for securities fraud. Wiens, who pleaded guilty in October, paid $260,000 of $734,140 in court-ordered victim restitution, according to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. [...]

Jan 22, 2016

Top Investor Threats

By |January 22nd, 2016|Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Oil / Gas Investments, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, REIT, Securities Law Violations, Unregistered broker dealer, Unregistered Securities|

The following is a list compiled by the North American Securities Administrators Association of the top financial products and practices that threaten to trap unwary investors and small business owners: Unregistered Products / Unlicensed Salesmen: The offer of securities by an individual without a valid securities license should be a red alert for investors. Con artists [...]

Jan 15, 2016

Banker Who Faked His Own Death Barred From Securities Industry

By |January 15th, 2016|Banking Fraud, Fraud, Georgia, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations, Wire Fraud|

The SEC has barred from the securities industry Aubrey Lee Price, an imprisoned former Georgia investment adviser who pleaded guilty in 2014 to a massive fraud that helped bring down his troubled bank and cheated his clients out of millions of dollars. The penalty is inconsequential as Price is expected to spend three decades in [...]

Jan 14, 2016

SEC Charges Edward Durante With Securities Fraud

By |January 14th, 2016|10b-5, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Act of 1933, Securities and Exchange Act, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC charged Edward Durante, a recidivist securities law violator, with operating a multi-year offering fraud that targeted investors in New England, Ohio, and California. The SEC’s complaint alleges that between 2012 and 2014, Durante defrauded at least 50 relatively unsophisticated investors of at least $11 million through the sale of securities of VGTel, Inc., a [...]

Jan 13, 2016

SEC Seeks $2.5M From Texas Attorney For Securities Fraud

By |January 13th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations|

Last year, the SEC charged a Texas attorney with defrauding investors with regard to two securities offerings, one pertaining to an oil and gas exploration venture and the other a fracking water filtration business deal. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against attorney Gregory G. Jones [...]

Jan 12, 2016

SEC Issues Report On Review Of “Accredited Investor” Definition

By |January 12th, 2016|Accredited Investor, Press Releases & News, SEC|

The SEC issued a report evaluating the definition of "accredited investor" as part of its obligations under the Dodd-Frank Act. Perhaps most significantly, the report recommends modifications to the definition that could drastically change capital fundraising and the ability for issuers to rely on exemptions from registering their securities offerings. Currently, accredited investors are defined [...]

Jan 11, 2016

Biggest FINRA Penalties In 2015

By |January 11th, 2016|Failure To Supervise, FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability, UBS|

The biggest penalties FINRA levied last came from a wide variety of violations: Puerto Rico The Puerto Rico bond crisis was the source of a couple substantial FINRA actions. The regulator fined UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico $7.5 million and ordered restitution of $11 million to 165 customers who had bought Puerto Rican [...]

Jan 8, 2016

Massachusetts Regulator Charges Securities Firm With Unsuitable Sale To Elderly Client

By |January 8th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, Fiduciary Duties, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

William Galvin, secretary of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, has charged a securities firm operating at Citizens Bank locations with "dishonest and unethical conduct" for selling an elderly woman funds that were riskier than her stated investment tolerance. Galvin seeks restitution from Citizens Securities for the anonymous investor, who lost roughly $7,000 when she got out [...]

Jan 7, 2016

FINRA Restitution To Investors Tripled To $96.2M Last Year

By |January 7th, 2016|FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Arbitration, Securities Law Violations|

In 2015, FINRA secured $96.2 million in restitution, nearly triple the $32.3 million it did in 2014, evidencing the regulator's push to be more aggressive in returning money to investors ripped off by brokerages over the past year. “They are clearly exercising more of their ability to aggressively seek the range of sanctions,” said attorney [...]

Jan 6, 2016

Bitcoin Still Booming, Despite Challenges

By |January 6th, 2016|Bitcoin|

Despite headlines centered on challenges facing the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is still booming with some of the highest mining and transaction rates in its history. The digital currency has yet to find the "killer app" that would make it an essential part of the average consumer's Internet toolkit. Several bitcoin-related services shut down in recent months, [...]

Jan 5, 2016

FINRA Intends To Probe Brokerages’ Compliance Culture

By |January 5th, 2016|Fiduciary Duties, FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, SEC, Suitability|

FINRA intends to investigate whether complying with rules is part of brokerage firms' culture during its examinations this year. The regulatory authority announced on Tuesday that it will more formally scrutinize how firm culture affects compliance and risk management practices. “A firm's culture is both an input to and product of its supervisory system, including its approaches to identifying [...]

Jan 4, 2016

Alabama Man Indicted On Securities Fraud Charges

By |January 4th, 2016|Alabama, Alabama Securities Commission, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Unregistered broker dealer, Unregistered Securities|

Last month, Jesse Morgan Hinson of Troy, Alabama was arrested for alleged violations of the Alabama Securities Act. Hinson turned himself in to Houston County law enforcement officials based on an arrest warrant issued after an October 2015 Houston County Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment. Hinson was released on $75,000 bond pending trial. The [...]

Dec 31, 2015

FINRA’s Six Tips For Investors In 2016

By |December 31st, 2015|Broker Check, FINRA, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News|

FINRA wants investors to get off on the right financial foot in 2016 and offers investors these six tips for the new year: If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Are your goals current, or have they changed? Setting clear, prioritized goals – each with steps to achieve the goal, [...]

Dec 30, 2015

Two Colorado Advisers Arrested for Securities Fraud

By |December 30th, 2015|Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations|

According to Colorado securities regulators, two men have been arrested in unrelated securities fraud cases. Eddie Johnson of Sterling, Colorado was taken into custody after he was indicted on seven counts of securities fraud and four counts of theft. He is accused of soliciting $162,000 and a car valued at $30,000 from people who believed [...]

Dec 29, 2015

FINRA Fines Barclays Capital $13.75M

By |December 29th, 2015|Failure To Supervise, FINRA, FINRA News, Hedge, Bond & Mutual Funds, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability|

FINRA ordered Barclays Capital, Inc. to pay over $10 million in restitution, including interest, to affected customers for mutual fund-related suitability violations. These suitability violations relate to an array of mutual fund transactions including mutual fund switches. Further, the firm failed to provide applicable breakpoint discounts to particular customers and was censured and fined $3.75 [...]

Dec 28, 2015

Morgan Stanley To Pay $8.8M For Unsupervised Trading

By |December 28th, 2015|Broker Check, Failure To Supervise, FINRA, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations|

The SEC ordered Morgan Stanley Investment Management and brokerage firm Societe Generale Americas to pay $8.8 million and $1 million respectively for what it says was unsupervised prearranged trading conducted by a portfolio manager and a trader. In what the SEC called an attempt to give certain clients preferential treatment, Morgan Stanley portfolio manager Sheila Huang allegedly [...]

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