Articles Tagged with Elder Financial Fraud

Barred Connecticut Financial Advisor Faces Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

Matthew O. Clason, a former LPL Financial broker, has pleaded guilty to wire transfer fraud related to his misappropriation of $600K from a 73-year-old Connecticut retiree. Now he could be sentenced to up to 20 years behind bars. The theft is from when Clason worked with the senior investor as a registered representative with LPL Financial and before that with Lincoln Financial Advisors. 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred Clason in September 2020 right after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed parallel charges against him. The brokerage firm had fired Clason the month before, as did Integrated Wealth Concepts where he was a registered investment adviser.  

Latin American Investor Alleges Elder Financial Fraud And Abuse 

In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Truist Investment Services, Inc. (aka SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.), a retiree in Latin America is seeking up to $500K in damages. The claimant contends that her broker unsuitably recommended that she invest that amount in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. The company filed for bankruptcy protection last year. 

Truist is SunTrust Bank’s broker-dealer unit. The firm is registered with FINRA. Both entities’ agents heavily promoted Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda)’s fixed- and variable-rate annuity and investment products, which paid commissions, bonuses and other incentives that were greater than what the more typical SunTrust bank products offered. 

FINRA Bars Californian Financial Advisor After Older Customers Suffer Huge Losses

Cynthia Diane Cowden, a former NPB Financial Group stockbroker, has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Cowden, who also was a registered investment advisor, is based out of Lake Isabella, California where she operated under the name Cynthia Cowden Investments.

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com), our California senior investment fraud attorneys are investigating claims involving former customers of Cynthia Cowden. Call us at (619) 550-4847.

Rand Heckler of Rand Heckler, Inc. is Now The Subject of SEC and Criminal Fraud Charges

Former stockbroker Rand Allan Heckler of Long Island, New York, is facing US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges accusing him of investor fraud. Heckler, who was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) last year, is also now facing criminal charges alleging that he ran an over $1M Ponzi scam.

Over his 22 years in the securities industry,  Rand Heckler worked at 11 broker-dealers. Four of these firms were expelled by FINRA. 

Former LPL Financial Investment Advisor Was Also Was Let Go By  Integrated Wealth Concepts 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed civil charges accusing former LPL Financial (LPLA) registered representative, Matthew O. Clason, of defrauding an older investor of over $300K. 

In August, Clason, who worked out of Glastonbury, Connecticut, was let go by LPL Financial. He also was fired by Integrated Wealth Concepts, where he was an investment advisor. In September, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred Clason. 

Investment Advisor Allegedly Defrauded Senior Investors to Fund Lavish Lifestyle

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against Mark Joseph Boucher, a California-based investment adviser, and his firm, Strategic Wealth Advisor Group Services. 

Boucher and Strategic Wealth Advisor Group are accused of stealing $2.2M from older customers, including one who had died. Now, the regulator wants permanent injunctions, civil penalties, and disgorgement with prejudgment interest.

Registered Investment Adviser and Broker Convicted in $15M Pump-and-Dump Scam
A federal jury has found Sheik F. Kahn, a Nevada RIA, and Christopher Cervino, a New Jersey broker, guilty of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in an over $15M stock scam that targeted 100 investors. Kahn also was convicted of aggravated identity theft crimes and investment adviser fraud. Both she and Cervino were previously affiliated with New York-based firm Primary Capital.

According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the pump-and-dump scam involved VGTEL (VGTL), a publicly traded over-the-counter company. The securities scam was led by Edward Durante, who pleaded guilty last year to a number of crimes, including securities fraud, conspiracy, perjury, and money laundering involving VGTL.

Cervino and Kahn are accused of artificially inflating the stock price of VGTel from 25 cents/share to up to $1.90/share in 2012 and they also inflated trading volume, raising their ability to bring in private investments in the stock.

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Jason Cox, a former Edward Jones financial adviser, is criminally charged with allegedly defrauding a disabled woman. Robert C. Yeamans, who is the woman’s now deceased father, had tasked Cox with managing her account. The woman, who is in her fifties, is developmentally disabled.

According to a federal complaint, Cox took at least $160,000 from the investment account set up for her. He allegedly structured transactions by taking out small amounts during a short time period so he wouldn’t have to fulfill bank reporting requirements for bigger sums.

When worried banking officials asked the woman about the money, she told them she put it in a business that Cox owned but did not know what kind of enterprise it was. The bank closed her account.

Joseph Francis Bartholomew is charged with 30 felony counts related to his alleged operation of an $11 million Ponzi scheme. The 75-year-old former licensed insurance agent has been called Orange County, Ca.’s Bernard Madoff, after the financier who ran a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scam for decades. Bartholomew allegedly bilked over 27 investors.

According to the California State Department of Insurance, he used his insurance business, MBP Insurance Services, to get people to trust him. Those involved reportedly included a number of family trusts, a church, an ex-baseball player, and senior citizens.

The Orange County Register said that Bartholomew made false promises to investors telling them that they could earn fast returns of up to 40%. For example, he is accused of offering one investor an unsecured investment while making the claim that the customer would get $10,000 a month if he invested $500,000. Bartholomew allegedly gave fraudulent assurances that the investment on third party life insurance policies was a legitimate one. He also made other misrepresentations, including claiming that over the last decade there had been no problems getting payments to investors.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has given its first whistleblower award in the wake of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and its bounty program. The regulator awarded $240,000 to a person who voluntarily gave information that allowed the CFTC to file an enforcement action resulting in sanctions and a judgment of more than $1 million.

Under the Dodd-Frank bounty program, whistleblowers of successful claims may be entitled to 10-30% of what is recovered. Prior to this whistleblower award, the CFTC had denied 25 award claims because: the persons provided the original data prior to Dodd-Frank’s passage; they failed to submit necessary paperwork, they gave over the information because the CFTC asked for it and not voluntarily; or the information they provided did not compel the regulator to open or widen a probe or contribute much to any successful Commission matter.

According to business writer William D. Cohan in his article on Wall Street whistleblowers in FT Magazine, whistleblowing—especially on Wall Street—requires great courage. Many find that traders, bankers and executives who raise questions about securities fraud end up losing their job or find themselves the victim of some other type of retaliation.

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