Articles Posted in Broker Misconduct

FINRA Suspends New York-Based Financial Advisor for Nine Months

John Sebastion Cangialosi, currently an SW Financial broker, was suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in September 2021 for nine months. The broker was ordered to pay $271,622 in restitution for allegedly engaging in unsuitable trading in three customer accounts during his time as a Worden Capital broker. 

The New York-based financial advisor has consented to the sanctions but without denying or admitting to the findings. Cangialosi also must pay a civil/administrative fee of $7,500. 

Senior Citizens Were Among Former Fairfield, NJ Financial Advisor’s Alleged Victims

Kenneth Andrews Welsh, an ex-Wells Fargo Clearing Services broker, is now facing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges accusing him of misappropriating at least $2.86 million from brokerage firm customers and advisory clients.

Allegedly the financial advisor used victims’ money (including senior citizens) to pay credit card bills and buy precious metals, including gold coins. 

Former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Has Been Named in Nine Customer Disputes

Peter Edward Eckerline, a longtime Merrill Lynch broker who spent his entire 37 years industry with the firm until August 2021, has been named in nine customer disputes by claimants. These claimants are seeking to recover damages for losses they sustained. 

Eckerline, who worked out of Wayzata, Minnesota for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, is no longer a registered broker or investment advisor. 

Former Wisconsin Financial Advisor is Accused of Defrauding at Least 100 Advisory Clients

Michael Francis Shillin, who was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Wisconsin’s Officer of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) in January 2021, is now facing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges. 

The regulator is accusing the previously registered broker and investment advisor of defrauding at least 100 investment advisory clients, including many elderly investors. The SEC brought its case in September 2021. 

Pending Customer Disputes Seek Nearly $2.6M in Broker Misconduct Damages

If you suffered losses while working with ex-Forta Financial Group stockbroker Gregory Jon Williams, you may want to consider filing a FINRA arbitration claim to pursue damages. 

Williams, who is named in several pending customer disputes, is no longer a registered representative. He appears to still be affiliated with Presidential Wealth Management in Colorado Springs.  

Former Melville, NJ Financial Advisor Has Been Named in Six Disputes

If you have suffered investment losses while working with ex-Aegis Capital stockbroker Scott Neil Hananel, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) so that we can help you explore your legal options. 

Hananel, who is no longer a registered financial advisor, has been named in six customer disputes over the years. A few of them are still pending. BrokerCheck notes the disputes on Hananel’s record: 

COVID Relief Loans Involved Undisclosed Business Outside Their Brokerage Firms 

According to InvestmentNews, ex-J.P. Morgan Securities broker Gloria Willis, former Merrill Lynch stockbroker Evelyn Batista, and ex-Wells Fargo financial advisor Kenric Sexton have either been barred or suspended from the securities industry.

These Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctions were imposed after the self-regulatory organization (SRO) found that all three of them either inappropriately or incorrectly applied for federal COVID-relief loan programs geared towards small businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ex-Middleboro, Massachusetts LPL Financial Advisor Could Be Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Paul Richard McGonigle, a former LPL Financial broker, has been arrested for allegedly stealing clients’ retirement assets, including older investors. He is charged with aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, and multiple counts of wire fraud. McGonigle could spend 20 years behind bars if convicted.

According to prosecutors, starting in July 2018, McGonigle caused unauthorized withdrawals from clients’ annuities and persuaded some of them to allow him to invest their funds. Instead, the broker allegedly used their money to pay for his expenses.  He is accused of posing as his victims during calls with annuity companies and signing as them on forms asking for the annuity withdrawals.

SEC Said Firm Didn’t Implement Proper Safeguards To Prevent Misappropriation

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined Securities America Advisors $1.75M for allegedly not doing enough to protect customers from having their money stolen by a former registered representative who misappropriated $8M from at least 15 client accounts. Hector May has pleaded guilty to investment advisor fraud.

Securities America Advisors is the RIA arm of Securities America, Inc.,  which is owned by Advisor Group Holdings Inc.’s Securities America Financial Corporation. Securities America has been the introducing broker for Securities America Advisors customers.

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.

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