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Articles Posted in Industry Bars

FINRA Bars Fired Stifel Broker

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it has permanently barred former Stifel Nicolaus (SF) stockbroker Steven Dale Rodemer. The brokerage firm fired Rodemer earlier this year following allegations that he took funds from one client’s account without authorization.

Even with COVID-19 disrupting every aspect of our lives, the self-regulatory organization (SRO) continues to issue disciplinary actions against brokers accused of misconduct. Here, at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm), our broker fraud attorneys also remain hard at work going after the stockbrokers and their firms whose fraudulent or negligent actions contributed to unnecessary investor losses.

Barred Kestra Investment Services Stockbroker Accused of Unauthorized Trading

Our investor fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) are currently speaking with former customers of ex-Kestra Investment Services broker, James Blake Daughtry. He was recently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The self-regulatory organization (SRO) issued the ban after Daughtry refused to testify during its investigation into allegations that he may have engaged in transactions that were potentially “fraudulent and unauthorized” in a number of customers’ accounts. Also, in the wake of FINRA’s order, Kestra fired him this month.

Former First Allied Securities Rep. Accused of Inappropriate REIT Recommendations

Our investor lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) are looking into claims by clients of former First Allied Securities stockbroker Shlomo Strugano. Strugano was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory (FINRA) earlier this month.

Strugano, also known as Shlomy Strugano, is based in California. He has been the subject of at least four customer disputes, two of which are still pending. The ex-stockbroker is accused, among other things, of making inappropriate recommendations involving real estate investment trusts (REITS) to customers.

Barred Woodbury Financial Services Broker Accused of Misrepresentations and Fraud

If you are an investor who lost money while Robert Hayes Hoffman was your financial representative, our broker misconduct lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) would like to talk to you. Hoffman was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2017 and the Indiana Securities Division in 2018. He was a Woodbury Financial Services broker from 2006 and 2017. After that, for less than a year, he was a Thurston, Springer, Miller, Herd & Titak broker until the FINRA bar.

Hoffman’s BrokerCheck History notes that he has already been the subject of at least three customer disputes. One claim, alleging unsuitability, misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, and selling away, was settled for $250K. Another customer dispute, which made similar allegations, including churning, was settled for over $1M. A third dispute, which accused Hoffman of recommending a variable annuity that was not only unsuitable for the claimant but also resulted in tax consequences for her, was settled for nearly $48K.

Lek Securities Accused of Enabling Manipulative Trading

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and most major US securities exchanges have permanently barred broker Samuel Lek, who is also the former CEO of Lek Securities. Meantime, the broker-dealer was fined $900K. The bars by the self-regulatory organization (FSRO), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Nasdaq Stock Market, Cboe Global Markets, and their affiliate exchanges were part of 10 distinct settlements and come in the wake of allegations that Lek Securities gave foreign traders market access and that some of these traders proceeded to engage in manipulative trading and fraud. Lek and Lek Securities settled the charges but without denying or admitting to them.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) is a broker fraud law firm, and we are investigating claims of investor losses by former clients of Lek and Lek Securities. Please contact SSEK Law Firm so that we can help you explore your legal options.

Former Pruco Securities Broker Accused of Borrowing Customers’ Money

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it is barring Joseph Viet Duy Phan, an ex-Pruco Securities broker, after he did not appear at a hearing in the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO) probe into why he was fired by the broker-dealer. Phan was let go by Pruco for allegedly borrowing money from two clients’ accounts without firm approval. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) is currently looking into potential investor claims against the former Pruco broker and his firm. If you lost money while working with Phan as your registered representative, contact our broker fraud lawyers today.

Phan was a Pruco broker from 2007 into 2018. Aside from allegedly borrowing money from clients’ accounts without authorization, he is also accused of trying to deposit one client’s insurance premium check into an account that was in his name.

SSEK Investigating Stephen Klinger, ex-Wells Fargo Advisor

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas (“SSEK”), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors, is looking into allegations against ex-broker Stephen Klinger for trading options for a client in his own account.

He then proceeded to lose the client’s money.  Klinger was fired earlier this year by Wells Fargo. The client then sued Klinger and Wells Fargo. According to the broker’s CRD, his official record, Klinger then settled the lawsuit without telling Wells Fargo.

Cleveland, Ohio

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas (“SSEK”), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors, is looking at allegations by FINRA into former Linsco Private Ledger (LPL) financial advisor, Jeffery Vasiloff (“Vasiloff”).  Vasiloff worked at LPL in 2018 and was not employed very long.  Vasiloff was fired, according to FINRA,  due to allegations of utilizing discretion without obtaining the proper written authority.  As a result, he was also suspended from acting as a financial advisor by FINRA.  He previously worked at Invest Financial Corporation and appears to be based out of Vermilion, Ohio.  After serving his suspension, Vasiloff became employed by JW Cole Financial.

Vasiloff never admitted nor denied FINRA’s finding.  However, he consented to the sanctions imposed and accepted the findings that he acted improperly by refusing to obtain prior consent, in writing, from the client before acting on that client’s behalf.  LPL simply reported to FINRA that Vasiloff was discharged for “use of discretion without prior written authorization.”

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas (“SSEK”), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors, is looking into allegations made by FINRA in a recent AWC filing against Booth.   In February 2018 LPL acquired INVEST.  Booth had been working at INVEST since 2005 and has been a broker since 1988.  In the AWC it is alleged that Booth received client assets with the promise of investing said assets on behalf of the clients.  Booth instead used client assets for his own personal use and never actually invested the assets.

According to Booth’s official record or CRD, he has 25 disclosures or claims against him.  This is an unusually high number, and generally indicates poor supervision.  Almost all of the complaints are on the violative conduct listed above.  According to the FINRA CRD report, most of his former clients complain of a “Ponzi scheme using multiple shell companies.”

LPL fired Booth, and according to LPL this was done after Booth admitted to misappropriation of multiple client’s assets for his own use. It should be noted that FINRA has also barred Booth from the industry and can no longer act as a stockbroker or advisor under FINRA.

After failing to cooperate in a probe into allegations of securities violations, George Merhoff, a former ex-Cetera Financial Group adviser, has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He was fired by the brokerage firm in April for allegedly issuing an undisclosed payment to a firm customer.

With over 21 years working in the brokerage industry, Merhoff was a registered Cetera broker for seven years. Before that, he was registered with Pacific West Securities, where he worked for 13 years, and at AAG Securities for less than a year.

Merhoff’s BrokerCheck record shows 27 customer disputes filed since December 2015 that have either been settled or are pending. Allegations include the following:

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