Articles Posted in Broker-Dealers

National Planning Ordered to pay $2.6M to Older Investor

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) panel is ordering National Planning Corp. to pay a customer, who is in her eighties, $2.6M after her former stockbroker, William August Glaser, sold her unsuitable investments. The investments including fraudulent promissory notes and non-traded REITs (real estate investment trusts). $1M of the award is for punitive damages.

William Glaser, who was fired by National Planning and barred by FINRA in 2017, is currently in prison for wire fraud.

Collateral Yield Enhancement Strategy (CYES) Damages: SSEK Investigating Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor 

Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas (SSEK), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors is looking into allegations against Gordon Harper, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch out of Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Prior to that, he worked at Banc of America and Edward Jones. 

According to allegations in a recent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) claim, Gordon Harper recommended something called Harvest Volatility Management CYES (also known as collateral yield enhancement strategy). Harvest is a money manager which, as the name implies, attempts to manage volatility. 

Michael Sievert is Now an Arkadios Capital Broker

If you were an investor who suffered losses from GPB Capital Holdings investments that were sold to you by broker Michael Sievert, please contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) today. 

Sievert is currently an Arkadios Capital broker. Already, he is the subject of two customer disputes involving GPB private placements from his time when he was a Triad Advisors broker. 

SSEK Investigating Ladenburg Thalmann & Triad Advisors Over GPB Capital Investor Claims 

In its quarterly report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services notes that one of its brokerage firms, Triad Advisors, is the subject of six Financial Industry Regulatory Advisory (FINRA) arbitration complaints by customers seeking $1.65M in damages after the firm’s brokers sold them GPB private placements. 

GPB Capital Holdings is accused of operating a $1.8B Ponzi scam. Many investors are claiming massive losses in the wake of the various GPB funds plunging in value, the suspension of investor redemptions, and the regulatory and criminal probes swirling around the alternative asset firm. 

New Class Action Offers Details Into Alleged GPB Ponzi Scam

This week in Austin, Texas, another proposed class securities case was filed on behalf of investors of GPB Capital Holdings and its many funds. This latest investor lawsuit directly accuses the alternative asset firm and its executives of running an alleged $1.8B Ponzi scam and provides new details into the fraud.  

Filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas by the lead plaintiff and GPB investor Millicent Barasch, the class action securities fraud case was announced at a press conference. Toni Caiazzo Neff, an ex-Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) examiner, spoke about how she’d previously tried to blow the whistle on GPB Capital Holdings. 

Cetera Advisors Fraud Case Rises To $21M

Two months after suing Cetera Advisors for more than $10M for allegedly defrauding retail clients, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has amended its complaint, adding another Cetera Financial Group firm as a defendant. The regulator is now seeking $21M.

According to the amended complaint, Cetera Advisors Network, also a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, made over $10M in undisclosed compensation that retail advisory clients paid for in fees, mark-ups, administrative fees, and revenue sharing. 

SSEK Investigating Centaurus Financial Brokers 

Our brokerage firm misconduct lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) are representing investors who were sold structured certificates of deposits (CDs) by Centaurus Financial brokers Cindy Chiellini and Ricky Mantei. 

Both work out of Lexington, South Carolina and are the subject of numerous complaints by customers, many of whom are based in Colorado and were sold these CDs. Now, the Colorado Division of Securities is considering pulling Centaurus’s license in that state over its alleged failure to properly supervise Mantei and Chiellini. 

Newbridge Securities in Boca Raton, a Florida-based broker-dealer,  is censured by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and has been fined $225K over its purported failure to adequately supervise the sale of exchange-traded funds, structured notes, and other complex securities. 

The self-regulatory authority (SRO) also fined the firm’s investment banking director, Bruce Jordan, $5K for failing to properly supervise the sales. He is suspended for two months. 

GPB Private Placement Lawyers

Our investor lawyers at SSEK Law Firm are meeting with clients who’ve worked with Innovation Partners and suffered investment losses that they suspect may be due to fraud, negligence, or inadequate supervision. The North Carolina-based broker-dealer was recently fined $60K and censured by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after allowing its ex-co founder, president, CCO and CEO Patrick Emanuel Sutherland, to continue to have access to its email, other systems, records, and books, as well as engage in activities on its behalf, even after he was found guilty of multiple felonies in 2016.

Those felonies, including submitting a false tax return and obstruction of an official proceeding, should have disqualified him from associating with a member firm for a decade. Yet from approximately 10/28/2016 to 9/15/2019, Sutherland continued to remain involved with Innovation Partners, even discussing securities-related matters with associated persons at the brokerage firm and directing staff regarding commissions for transactions.

Meantime, Innovation Partners’ current CEO and President Yanique Elaine Lawrence reportedly knew about Sutherland’s continued involvement and was often copied on his direct communications with the firm’s registered representatives. Both Lawrence and Innovation Partners are accused of not setting up and enforcing a suitable supervisory system that should have prevented Sutherland from continuing to be involved with the firm.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined former Texas broker Steven Yellen $25K for allegedly making unauthorized trades while he was a registered representative for both Ameriprise (AMP) and Morgan Stanley (MS). The self-regulatory authority (SRO) notes at least 30 instances in which Yellen executed trades without customer authorization.

After more than 30 years in the industry, he is no longer affiliated with any broker-dealer after Ameriprise fired him last year. According to FINRA, from 3/2013 to 12/2015, Yellen  made 14 unauthorized trades while he was a Morgan Stanley broker, exercising unauthorized discretion in a client’s account. Meantime, when filling out compliance questionnaires, he neglected to disclose these activities.

In 2016, after 32 years with Morgan Stanley, Steven Yellen became an Ameriprise broker. During this time, he allegedly made 16 unauthorized trades in 10 customer accounts. These trades went beyond these customers’ risk levels that they’d authorized.

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