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Articles Tagged with ETF Fraud

Barred Ohio Stockbroker Accused of Over 500 Unsuitable Exchange Traded Fund Transactions 

Dominic Anthony Tropiano, a former registered broker in Ohio, is now facing US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fraud charges. The regulator contends that Tropiano placed more than 500 unsuitable and unauthorized trades in 40 customer accounts belonging to retail customers, including elderly investors. 

These transactions and investment strategies involved leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are complex, very risky securities. As a result, customers allegedly lost over $1M. Meanwhile, Tropiano earned at least $115K in bonuses and commissions.

FINRA Accuses SunTrust Investment Services of Failing to Properly Supervise Brokers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has ordered SunTrust to pay $634K to settle charges accusing the broker-dealer of not properly supervising 17 of its brokers when they recommended that customers hold non-traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for long periods–a practice that can lead to losses especially when there is market volatility. 

Of this settlement, $50K is a fine and $584,466 is restitution. SunTrust Investment Services, which is owned by Trust Bank, agreed to the sanctions but without denying or admitting to the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO’s) findings. 

ETF Investors Of United States Oil Fund May Not Have Known Full Extent Of Risks

Our investment fraud lawyers are offering free case consultations to investors who’ve lost money in the United States Oil Fund (USO) after it dropped 30%. The exchange-traded security continues to make changes to its structure in an attempt to stave off more losses. Part of this now involves giving itself the leeway to get into long-term contracts. The USO exchange-traded fund (ETF), which keeps track of oil prices, is popular among retail investors. 

Unfortunately, many of these investors think they are betting on oil prices’ long-term rise and do not fully comprehend how the futures market operates or that these types of funds hold primarily short-dated oil futures contracts and should never be held long-term. 

Wells Fargo Sold Non-Traditional ETFs to Retail Investors 

If you were an investor who suffered losses in non-traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that you feel were unsuitable for you yet were recommended by a Wells Fargo investment advisor or broker, our ETF fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) would like to offer you a free case consultation. 

Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network and Wells Fargo Clearing Services recently agreed to pay $35M to settle US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims. These claims accused the two Wells Fargo entities of lax supervision of their registered investment advisors (RIAs). As well as the brokers who recommended certain complex non-traditional ETFs to retirees and other retail advisory and brokerage customers. 

Investment Firm and Its CEO Are Expelled and Barred for Inflating the Price of Shares Before Selling Them

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has expelled Hallmark Investments and barred Steven G. Dash, who is the firm’s CEO, over a securities scam that involved selling stocks at inflated prices. According to the self-regulatory organization, Hallmark, Dash, and firm representative Stephen P. Zipkin used an outside broker-dealer and engaged in manipulative trading, as well as in trade confirmations that were misleading, to sell almost 40,000 shares of stock to 14 customers at prices that were fraudulently inflated. Zipkin has been suspended by FINRA for two years and he will have to pay over $18K in restitution.

Hallmark purportedly employed a trading scam to sell the Avalanche shares that they owned at $3/share. Meantime, the prices for Avalanche were selling at the public offering price of $2.05/share and Hallmark sold other Avalanche shares to other customers for as low as 80 cents/share. Also, the investment firm, Zipkin, and Dash failed to tell customers that Hallmark owned the shares they were buying or that it was marking up the transactions (or that the shares could be bought for less on the open market) even as it sold the shares to others at lower prices.

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