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Former David Lerner Associate Broker May Have Sold Spirit of America Energy Fund Among Others to Customers  

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has suspended Florida-based broker, Charles Bonilla, for six months. The action comes over allegations that he unsuitably recommended two energy investments to customers while he was a David Lerner Associates stockbroker without having enough knowledge about them.  

Bonilla agreed to the FINRA suspension. He will pay both a $5K penalty and more than $22,400 in disgorgement plus interest. However, he is not denying or admitting to the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO’s) findings. 

Ex-New York Stockbroker Named In Multiple Customer Disputes 

Apostolos Nicolas Pitsironis, a former-Janney Montgomery Scott registered representative who was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2019 for allegedly defrauding investors, was arrested on February 10 in Dix Hills, New York in a parallel criminal fraud case. Prosecutors contend that he used ex-customers’ funds to pay his expenses, including gambling debts and credit card charges. 

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York,  Pitsironis stole $411K out of one couple’s account. If convicted of wire fraud, Pitsironis could spend up to 20 years behind bars.

FINRA Arbitration Claim Seeks $250K in Damages, Possibly Involving Energy 11 LP

An investor has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim naming David Lerner Associate, Glenn Howard Werner. Seeking $250K in damages, the claimant contends that misrepresentations and omissions, unsuitable investment recommendations, and a breach of fiduciary duty occurred. 

While not specified in Werner’s BrokerCheck, some sources report that mutual funds and energy investments, including Energy 11, LP may have been involved.

Unauthorized Trading and Abuse of Fiduciary Duty By Older Investor’s Grandsons 

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel has ruled that JP Morgan Securities (JPM) and its ex-brokers, Avi Elliot Schottenstein and Evan A. Schottenstein, must pay a senior investor $19M in her investment fraud claim over losses sustained from the unauthorized trading of complex products in her brokerage account. 

The claimant is Beverley Schottenstein of Bal Harbour, Florida, of the family that owns holding company Schottenstein Stores Corp. The two former JP Morgan registered representatives are her grandsons.

Settlement in FINRA Case Involves Repaying Nearly $44K to Affected Customers 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has ordered Triad Advisors to pay a $150K fine for not adequately supervising both short-term trades involving Class A shares of mutual funds and variable annuity exchanges. The self-regulatory organization (SRO) also accused the Atlanta-headquartered broker-dealer of not making timely disclosures involving customer complaints and arbitration.

Triad Advisors, which is an Advisor Group network brokerage firm, consented to repay clients that were affected nearly $44k as part of its settlement for this case. It is not, however, denying or admitting to FINRA’s findings.

FINRA Arbitration Claim Seeks Up to $100K in Damages for Investor’s Losses

A New York widow is pursuing damages from David Lerner Associates after she suffered losses from investments she purchased at broker Michael Joseph Norton’s recommendation, including the firm’s proprietary Energy 11, LP private placement. Norton, a Syosset, NY stockbroker, has been named in several customer disputes. 

Our New York securities fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) are representing this senior investor in her Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against the brokerage firm. She is seeking up to $100K damages along with interest, costs, and legal fees. 

Regulator Wants to Prevent Alternative Asset Firm From Causing Investors More Financial Harm

In U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has submitted a court filing asking that a monitor be appointed to prevent GPB Capital Holdings, LLC from committing more alleged misconduct and disposing of any assets that could be used to recover investors’ money. The regulator is suing the alternative asset firm for allegedly defrauding more than 17,000 investors in an over $1.7B Ponzi scam.

The SEC contends that having a monitor is warranted and needed. The Commission wants to give this person broad powers over “non-privileged books, records, and account statements for the entities and assets” related to GPB Capital Holdings’ portfolio companies and funds. 

Wallingford, Connecticut Investment Advisor Named in Four Pending FINRA Arbitration Cases 

If you suffered investment losses while working with Woodbury Financial Services broker, Robert Scott Ginsberg, please contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com). The Woodbury Financial investment advisor, who is based in Wallingford, Connecticut, is named in four pending customer disputes. 

He has been in the securities industry for 12 years. Prior to working for Woodbury Financial Services in 2016, where he is also a registered investment advisor, Ginsberg was a registered representative for Investors Capital Corp. and Investors Capital Advisory. 

State Lawsuits Come After SEC Complaint and FBI Arrests

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing GPB Capital Holdings along with five co-defendants for running a mass Ponzi scam.

The NY AG contends that the alternative asset firm and private equity fund manager, which is based in the state, defrauded investors throughout the US of over $700M. The complaint said that more than 1,400 of those victims were New Yorkers who invested over $150M.

Unsuitability, Misrepresentations and Omissions Are Among the Other Allegations

Ray Gene Reese, a Money Concepts Capital stockbroker and investment advisor based in Farmington, Missouri, is currently named in two pending Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims seeking $600K in damages. Reese has been in the securities industry for 32 years. 

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com), we represent investors with FINRA arbitration claims against the broker-dealers and registered representatives responsible for the financial harm they have suffered. 

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