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Xavier Patino of Burr Ridge, Illinois submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which Patino was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly making an unsuitable recommendation and making guarantees against loss in violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 2150(b).

From October 2012 through May 2017, Patino was registered with JP Morgan Securities as a General Securities Representative.  According to FINRA, sometime in 2014 and 2016, Patino allegedly made material misstatements to a customer guaranteeing the customer against a loss in connection with a variable annuity purchase. The FINRA findings stated Patino recommended that the customer purchase a $192,000 variable annuity contract. FINRA further found that Patino gave the customer documents to sign stating she would be able to take out some of her investment without penalty, and she would not lose any of her investments because they were guaranteed. FINRA stated that Patino knew the information was false but signed the documents anyways and by 2017 the variable annuity lost value. Continue reading →

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David Howard Fagenson of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which Fagenson was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly engaging in quantitatively unsuitable trading in the accounts of three seniors.

From September 2010 until October 2016, Fagenson was registered with UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, between January 2012 and September 2016, Fagenson engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading of the accounts of three customers. FINRA stated that these customers had not proposed any trades and allowed Fagenson de facto control over the accounts. The FINRA findings found that Fagenson’s actions led to major losses in each customer’s account. The account held by one of the customers incurred losses of $283,314, while the other, belonging to the married couple, incurred losses of $239,000. In conclusion, FINRA also stated that Fagenson received $470,000 in commission from these accounts. On March 16, 2018, Respondent Fagenson filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition pursuant to Title 11, United States Code. Accordingly, no monetary sanction is being assessed in this matter. Continue reading →

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Kyusun Kim of San Diego, California submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly making unsuitable recommendations in violation of NASD Rules 3110, 2310 and 2110 and FINRA Rules 4511, 2111 and 2010.

In February 2006 Kyusun Kim joined Independent Financial Group LLC (IFG) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, between 2008 and 2015, Kim made unsuitable recommendations to numerous senior customers who were retired. FINRA stated that Kim failed to disclose to his customers any risks associated with the products, including that the securities were speculative and illiquid. Kim was also allegedly accused of providing inaccurate and inflated net worth to certain customers so that they appeared to be eligible to purchase certain speculative investments. FINRA concluded that these customers suffered substantial losses due to Kim’s recommendations. Continue reading →

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Andrew Jay Lowe of Leesburg, Alabama submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which he was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly recommending unsuitable trades and failing to timely amend his Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (“Form U4”).

From January 2009 until September 2014, Andrew Lowe was registered with Sterne Agee Financial Services (Sterne Agee) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, during the relevant period, Mr. Lowe recommended and engaged in unsuitable trading of Class A mutual funds in 24 customers’ accounts. Certain portions of those investments were then liquidated within a short time period and were unsuitable. FINRA stated that Mr. Lowe caused these customers to incur unnecessary sales charges in their accounts. The FINRA findings found that Lowe received approximately $36,180.87 in commissions. Since then, the firm has reimbursed $102,446.47 back to the customers that resulted from the unsuitable recommendations. In conclusion, FINRA also stated that Lowe allegedly failed to timely amend his Form U4 to disclose a federal tax lien of 183,380.57. Continue reading →

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John Huey Neely submitted a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was fined and suspended for allegedly exercising discretion in customers’ accounts violating NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rule 2010.

From August 2009 until September 2018, Neely was registered with Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services (Berthel Fisher) as a General Securities Representative. The FINRA findings stated that between June 2014 and June 2015, Neely exercised discretion in effecting hundreds of transactions in two customers’ brokerage accounts without first obtaining written approval from the customers.  FINRA further stated that although the customers did give him verbal consent, he did not seek approval from his firm to accept the accounts as discretionary. Continue reading →

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Kevin Edward Looser of Delphos, Ohio submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly participating in private securities transactions in violation of NASD Rule 3040 and FINRA Rule 2010.

In September 2005, Kevin Looser joined Sigma Financial Corporation (Sigma) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, from September 2011 through July 2014, Looser allegedly participated in fourteen private securities transactions without providing prior written notice to his firm. The FINRA findings stated that Mr. Looser disclosed to his firm that he was a co-owner of a company that developed video platforms to connect on-call interpreters with deaf or limited language individuals and the firm approved. But FINRA alleged Mr. Looser also raised $430,000 for the company from thirteen firm investors and one non-firm investor. FINRA stated that he discussed agreements and received checks from two of the investors which he gave to the co-owner that were not disclosed to his firm. Continue reading →

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Christopher Todd Wendel submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly providing false declaration, a false on-the-record testimony, and engaging in private securities transactions all in violation of FINRA Rules 3280, 2010 and 8210.

From September 2014 to September 2017, Christopher Wendel was employed by SA Stone Wealth Management (SA Stone) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, between April and August of 2017, Wendel was accused of engaging in private securities transactions without providing notice or receiving approval from his member firm. FINRA stated that Wendel solicited four investors to purchase promissory notes in a purported real estate investment fund totaling $343,500 while he received over $10,000 in commissions. The findings also stated that FINRA requested information regarding the transactions, and Wendel provided a signed declaration falsely stating that his participation in these sales occurred after his association with the firm ceased. Continue reading →

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Terry Lee McCoy of New Port Richey, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly failing to supervise his firms’ representatives in violation of NASD Rule 3010, MSRB Rule G-27, and FINRA Rule 2010.

In March 1999, Terry McCoy joined Morgan Stanley as a General Securities Principal and Municipal Securities Principal. According to FINRA, during the period from September 2011 through July 2012, McCoy was branch manager of Morgan Stanley’s Palm Harbor, Florida branch and was responsible for supervising the business and activities of all employees. FINRA stated that while under McCoy’s supervision, two of the firm’s registered representatives engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading and used discretion in 6 accounts of a 79-year-old customer with severe physical disabilities without his authorization. Due to the excessive trading, the account generated commissions of over $9 million.  FINRA also stated that McCoy failed to follow up on multiple red flags and failed to detect discretion in the accounts, despite his routine meetings with the customer. Continue reading →

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Bradley Everett Gardner of Fort Bragg, California submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly converting customer funds in violation of FINRA Rules 2150(a) and 2010.

In February 2012, Bradley Garner joined LPL Financial LLC as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, in a Form U5, the firm reported Mr. Gardner’s voluntary resignation following allegations that he accepted a client check made payable to himself. The findings stated that Mr. Garner allegedly told his customer she could pre-pay her fees at a discounted rate if she wrote a check payable to him in the amount of $7,400. FINRA also stated that when the customer accepted, he took the check and deposited it into his personal bank account for his own use. When the firm discovered what had happened, Mr. Garner reimbursed the customer the $7,400 and was then terminated. Continue reading →

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Franklin Ihendu Ogele of Hillside, New Jersey submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which Ogele was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly failing to supervise in violation of NASD Rule 3010 and FINRA Rules 3110 and 2010.

In May 2004, Ogele joined BlackBook Capital, LLC. During the relevant period, he was registered as BlackBook’s Chief Executive officer and Chief Compliance Officer. The findings stated that Ogele was responsible for supervising a representative who was the top-producing broker in the firm’s branch. According to FINRA, Ogele failed to supervise the trading activities of the representative and instead permitted him to self-supervise his own activities. FINRA stated that the representative’s trading in the customer’s account incurred significant losses and a cost-to-equity ratio and turnover rate that should have resulted in an investigation by Ogele. Continue reading →