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Sep 29, 2020

SIERRA INCOME MERGER TERMINATION CAUSING INVESTMENT LOSS

By |September 29th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Frankowski Firm is investigating potential claims related to investor losses in the Sierra Income Corporation. Sierra is a non-traded business development company (“BDC”). As a non-traded investment, Sierra Income is considered an illiquid and high-risk investment and therefore should never have been recommended or sold to investors who needed cash flow from their investments [...]

Sep 28, 2020

SANDLAPPER SECURITIES EXPELLED AND TOP OFFICERS BARRED

By |September 28th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has expelled Sandlapper Securities, LLC, from the securities industry based on FINRA findings that the firm willfully defrauded investors by charging unreasonable and undisclosed markups on sales of fractional interests in saltwater disposal wells in violation of the Securities Exchange Act. The firm, along with its president and CEO, Jack Charles [...]

Sep 10, 2020

INTERACTIVE BROKERS HIT WITH $38 MILLION IN PENALTIES FOR REPEATEDLY FAILING TO FILE SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORTS

By |September 10th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have announced settlements with Interactive Brokers related to anti-money laundering failures in which the registered broker-dealer agreed to pay penalties of $11.5 million, $15 million, and $11.5 million, respectively, for a total of $38 million in penalties [...]

Aug 18, 2020

SAGEPOINT FINANCIAL FINED FOR FAILING TO SUPERVISE EARLY ROLLOVERS OF UNIT INVESTMENT TRUSTS

By |August 18th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has fined and sanctioned SagePoint Financial, Inc. for failing to supervise early rollovers in Unit Investment Trusts (“UITs”). A Unit Investment Trust ("UIT") is a SEC-registered investment company that offers investors shares or "units" in a fixed portfolio of securities in a one-time public offering. A UIT terminates on [...]

Jul 14, 2020

MERRILL LYNCH UNDER INVESTIGATION IN NEW HAMPSHIRE FOLLOWING CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS

By |July 14th, 2020|Legal Matters|

New Hampshire’s Bureau of Securities Regulation is investigating Merrill Lynch and one of its former top brokers following customer complaints that alleged misconduct which caused losses exceeding $100 million. Former New Hampshire governor Craig Benson is quoted by CNBC as claiming that Merrill Lynch stole from him, alleging losses of more than $50 million and [...]

Jul 10, 2020

FREDERICK STOW, FORMER RAYMOND JAMES V.P., CHARGED WITH STEALING OVER $900,000 FROM ELDERLY CLIENTS

By |July 10th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee has announced charges against former Raymond James financial advisor Frederick M. Stow, of Franklin, Tennessee. According to the charges, Stow stole $933,500 from two elderly clients including a 98-year-old WWII veteran. According to the charging documents, Stow became a registered representative for the WWII [...]

Jul 7, 2020

SEC INVESTIGATING POTENTIAL WRONGDOING AT PROFESSIONAL FINANCIAL INVESTORS, INC., PROFESSIONAL INVESTORS SECURITIES FUND, INC.

By |July 7th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating two Marin County, California investment companies following the unexpected death of their owner, Ken Casey, in May. The investigation into Professional Financial Investors, Inc. ("PFI") and Professional Investors Securities Fund, Inc. ("PISF") is expected to take until at least late August and the companies have suspended all [...]

Jun 17, 2020

NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL FINED $350,000 AND CENSURED FOR SUPERVISORY FAILURES

By |June 17th, 2020|Legal Matters|

Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been fined and censured by FINRA for failing to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system reasonably designed to review and monitor transfers of monies from customer accounts to third party accounts and outside entities. According to FINRA’s findings of fact, between September 2005 and [...]

Jun 10, 2020

BLOCK.ONE CLASS MEMBERS MAY OPT OUT OF THE CLASS ACTION TO PURSUE INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS

By |June 10th, 2020|Legal Matters|

Last month, investors filed a class action suit against blockchain software firm Block.one, alleging that the company defrauded investors through the sale of unregulated assets. Over the course of about a year, Block.one allegedly sold 900 million EOS cryptocurrency tokens during its initial coin offering, which netted over $4 billion for the company, but left [...]

May 25, 2020

JESSE GIL, III BARRED BY FINRA ON ALLEGATIONS OF UNAUTHORIZED USE OF ELDERLY CUSTOMER’S FUNDS

By |May 25th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has permanently barred Corpus Christi, Texas stockbroker Jesse Gil, III from the securities industry based on findings that Gil made unauthorized withdrawals from the account of an 82-year-old widow, to whom he was providing financial advice away from his employing firm, Allstate Financial Services, LLC. According to FINRA’s findings, [...]

May 16, 2020

LOUIS COOK BARRED BY FINRA ON FINDINGS OF FRAUD, THEFT

By |May 16th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has permanently barred Staten Island, New York stockbroker Louis Cook from the securities industry based on findings that he fraudulently induced his customers to give him access to withdraw funds and stole money from their accounts. According to FINRA’s findings, between August and December 2016, Mr. Cook sent letters [...]

May 9, 2020

ROBERT NORTON RECOGNIZED BY THE AMERICAN TRIAL ACADEMY AS A TOP TIER LAWYER

By |May 9th, 2020|Legal Matters|

Frankowski Firm attorney Robert Norton has been recognized by the American Trial Academy as a Top Tier Lawyer for 2020. The Top Tier Lawyer designation is an invitation-only recognition extended to only 2% of attorneys in the United States each year. The American Trial Academy reviews criteria to select attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications, results, [...]

May 8, 2020

PHILLIP CONLEY CHARGED BY SEC WITH $5.2 MILLION SECURITIES FRAUD

By |May 8th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged West Virginia-based registered representative Phillip Conley with securities fraud. According to the SEC charges, Mr. Conley made fraudulent securities offerings raising $5.2 million from at least 20 investors. According to the allegations, between January 2014 and September 2018, Conley convinced investors, including pastors and church congregants, to invest [...]

May 6, 2020

STOCKBROKER DENNIS PHILLIP AYRE NAMED AS RESPONDENT IN $1.95 MILLION ARBITRATION CLAIM

By |May 6th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Frankowski Firm has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) arbitration claim on behalf of two clients who claim they were the victims of fraud and neglect at the hands of Dennis Phillip Ayre and his then-employers Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. and Penguin Capital Management in the Los Angeles / Beverly Hills, California area. [...]

Apr 21, 2020

FTC WARNS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS OF POTENTIAL FOR LOAN FRAUD

By |April 21st, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has issued an alert cautioning small business owners who apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to guard themselves against predatory and fraudulent tactics from bad actors looking to take advantage of vulnerable borrowers. According to the alert, these bad actors are actively seeking to lure small business owners to [...]

Apr 6, 2020

MICHAEL LEAHY BARRED BY FINRA FOR SUPERVISORY FAILURES

By |April 6th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has barred former First Standard Financial, LLC representative Michael Leahy of Red Bank, New Jersey, based on FINRA’s findings that Leahy was aware of red flags of his subordinate broker’s misconduct, but failed to investigate or take any action to curtail the misconduct. FINRA found that from September 18, [...]

Apr 2, 2020

ROBERT F. SPIEGEL SUSPENDED BY FINRA FOR UNSUITABLE TRADING

By |April 2nd, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has barred former First Standard Financial, LLC representative Robert F. Spiegel based on FINRA’s findings that Spiegel engaged in an unsuitably high-volume of trading in the account of one of his elderly clients. FINRA found that from October 2016 to December 2017, Spiegel recommended to his customer, a 70-year [...]

Mar 5, 2020

WELLS FARGO FINED $35 MILLION BY SEC FOR UNSUITABLE COMPLEX ETF SALES

By |March 5th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Securities and Exchange Commission has fined Wells Fargo Advisors $35 million for unsuitable sales of complex single-inverse Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) to customers without the investment experience or risk tolerance to make such trades. The type of ETF at issue is designed for short-term trading, typically a day, by betting against an index. If [...]

Feb 19, 2020

CHELSEA FINANCIAL SERVICES FINED, CENSURED BY FINRA FOR FAILING TO SUPERVISE UNSUITABLE AND EXCESSIVE TRADING

By |February 19th, 2020|Legal Matters|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has fined and censured Chelsea Financial Services, of Staten Island, New York.  FINRA found that, from January 2016 through July 2018, Chelsea Financial failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with FINRA’s rules related to suitability and excessive trading. [...]

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