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Oct 19, 2020

KEVIN BARLETTA, FORMER LPL BROKER, SUSPENDED AND FINED BY FINRA FOR FALSIFYING FORMS RELATED TO UNLISTED REIT SALES

By |October 19th, 2020|Legal Matters|

On October 15, 2020, Kevin Barletta, formerly registered as a general securities representative through an association with LPL Financial LLC,  submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent for the purpose of proposing a settlement of alleged rule violations connected to prohibited cross trades of alternative investment products. According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Kevin [...]

Oct 16, 2020

MORGAN STANLEY SANCTIONED $949,000 FOR UNSUITABLE SHORT-TERM TRADING OF CORPORATE BONDS

By |October 16th, 2020|Legal Matters|

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC was recently sanctioned for failing to reasonably supervise a representative for recommending short-term trades of corporate bonds and preferred securities for ten customer accounts. On hundreds of occasions, the representative at issue recommended the buying and prompt selling of preferred securities or corporate bonds to customers of Morgan Stanley, which [...]

Oct 15, 2020

SAGEPOINT FINANCIAL FOUND TO HAVE COST CUSTOMERS $1.3 MILLION IN AVOIDABLE SALES CHARGES

By |October 15th, 2020|Legal Matters|

From January 2013 through December 2017, SagePoint Financial Inc. failed to create or maintain a supervisory system or enforce WSPs to supervise the suitability recommendations to customers regarding early rollovers of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs), according to findings by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"). Generally, a Unit Investment Trust (UIT) is a non-actively managed [...]

Oct 14, 2020

NEWPORT COAST SECURITIES, INC. EXPELLED AND FINED FOR CHURNING AND TRADING CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS

By |October 14th, 2020|Legal Matters|

Newport Coast Securities, Inc. was recently expelled from FINRA membership fined $403,000 and ordered to pay $853,617.04 plus interest to customers in restitution for excessively trading in and churning customer accounts through five representatives and two registered principals. The FINRA findings stated that: Newport’s customers impacted by their misconduct were predominantly older, nearing retirement, had [...]

Oct 9, 2020

CITADEL SECURITIES SANCTIONED $700,000 FOR REMOVAL OF CUSTOMER ORDERS

By |October 9th, 2020|Legal Matters|

Citadel Securities established an Over-the-Counter equity trading desk in November 2011 to receive orders from the Firm’s clients on behalf of their customers. The firm’s stated objective was to comply with the Trading Ahead and Limit Order Display Rules by providing “automated order protection, quote display, and execution” for the customer orders. The OTC Desk, [...]

Oct 1, 2020

JASON K. WILLIAMS HIT WITH $45,000 FINRA ARBITRATION AWARD OVER UNSUITABLE AND OVER-CONCENTRATED INVESTMENTS.

By |October 1st, 2020|Legal Matters|

On September 22, 2020, an arbitration panel for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) made findings against Jason K. Williams (CRD#: 4676003) and entered an award against him exceeding $45,000. The award followed a customer’s complaint of unsuitable investments and negligent account management, violations of the Indiana Securities Act, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violations [...]

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 [...]

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