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Elizabeth Ann Guarino of East Meadow, New York submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which Guarino was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for alleged unsuitable recommendations and unauthorized transactions in violation of FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010.

From May 2008 until November 2017, Elizabeth Ann Guarino was registered with Wells Fargo as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, Guarino recommended that an elderly customer invest $85,000 in oil and natural gas limited partnerships that were speculative securities transactions. The FINRA findings stated that the partnerships’ earnings were inadequate to cover fixed charges and proceeds raised from the preferred securities would be applied to reduce outstanding debt. As a result of declining oil and gas prices, the company filed for bankruptcy and the customer sustained loses of over $150,000. The firm compensated the customer for her losses and filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (“Form U5”) terminating Guarino. Continue Reading

David Quentin Kendrick of Shreveport, Louisiana 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 engaging in private transactions in violation of NASD Rule 3040 and FINRA Rules 3270, 3280 and 2010.

From May 2002 until May 2018, David Quentin Kendrick was registered with NYLife as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA from November 2011 through January 2017, Kendrick engaged in an outside business activity with an investment club and also engaged in 9 separate private securities transactions without notice or approval from his firm. The FINRA findings stated in November 2011, Kendrick became officer and manager of an investment club, TC, but did not disclose his participation to his firm until August 2015. FINRA also stated that NYlife denied approval, and Kendrick continued his business with TC. According to FINRA Kendrick recommended and facilitated investments totaling $290,000 in three private placements and personally invested $106,297 in six different private placements. In addition, FINRA found, Kendrick failed to disclose all of his personal investments away from his firm and made false statements on six annual compliance questionnaires and five branch audit questionnaires concerning his private securities transactions. Continue Reading

Roger Lee Owens of Elkton, Maryland 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 engaging in private securities transactions in violation of FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010.

In July 2007, Roger Lee Owens registered with Cetera Advisors as an Investment Company Products Variable Contracts Representative. According to FINRA, Owens was discharged by his firm for allegedly engaging in private securities transactions without approval from Cetera. The findings stated that Owens sold $1,170,000 in promissory notes to 14 investors, four of whom were Cetera customers, relating to Woodbridge, a purported real-estate investment fund. The findings also stated that he received $59,471 in commissions and personally invested $75,000 in the notes. In addition, Owens falsely attested in compliance questionnaires that he had not engaged in any private securities transactions without the approval from Cetera. Continue Reading

Gregory Thomas Dean of Seaford, New York submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was barred for allegedly violating Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 and FINRA Rules 2020, 2111, and 2010 by churning and engaging in unsuitable trading.

In November 2014, Gregory Thomas Dean joined Worden Capital as a General Securities Representative, General Securities Principal  and an Operations Professional. According to FINRA, Dean churned and excessively traded seven customers’ accounts resulting in more than $1,834,832 in losses while he received more than $715,930 in commissions. The FINRA findings stated that Dean exercised de facto control over these customers’ accounts. The findings also stated that Dean’s trading in the customers’ accounts was conducted with reckless disregard for the customers’ interests resulting in high turnover rates and cost-to-equity ratios. According to FINRA, due to the level of trading in these accounts, it was impossible for customers to generate trading profits. Continue Reading

David Adam Rookasin of Monroe, Connecticut submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly engaging in private transactions in violation of FINRA Rules 2320(g)(1) and 2010.

From October 2012 to August 2017, David Adam Rookasin was registered with UBS as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, Rookasin recommended that a customer exchange a $1.3 million fixed rate annuity that his firm rejected. The findings stated that upon the rejection, Rookasin helped another representative at a different firm in executing the transaction after the customer opened the account. The findings also stated that he stayed involved in the transactions by being the point of contact between the representative and customer. In addition, Rookasin never notified his firm of this arrangement and received half of the commission in the amount of $50,318.86. Continue Reading

Clay Gavin Erickson of Ogden, Utah 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 engaging in unauthorized transactions in violation of  FINRA Rule 2010.

In January 2011, Clay Gavin Erickson joined Hornor, Townsend & Kent as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative. While associated with his firm, Clay Erickson effected 494 unauthorized transactions, totaling $5,317,233.32, in his customers’ variable annuity accounts. According to FINRA, Erickson anticipated an imminent market downturn, so he transferred funds held by 57 customers to a money market sub-account in an effort to protect the customers’ account value. The findings stated that Erickson did not obtain authorization from the customers therefore violating FINRA  Rule 2010. In addition, Clay Erickson was terminated shortly after his firm received a complaint from one of the customers regarding the transactions. Continue Reading

Ken Kavanagh of Hawley, Pennsylvania 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 engaging in private transactions and falsely answering compliance questionnaires in violation of NASD Rules 3030 and 2110 and FINRA Rules 3270 and 2010.

In April 2006, Ken Kavanagh was registered as a General Securities Representative with Morgan Stanley. According to FINRA, from October 2007 through March 2018 Kavanagh engaged in outside business activities without providing prior written notice to Morgan Stanley. The findings stated that Kavanagh managed the personal affairs of professional athletes, 40 of whom were clients of both Kavanagh and Morgan Stanley. The findings also stated that Kavanagh formed two entities to facilitate his activities and had separate bank accounts for the personal services he provided, generating $5 million. In addition, Kavanagh concealed his relationship with his two entities by naming a relative the sole owner and falsely attested on compliance questionnaires that he was not involved in any outside activities. Continue Reading

Cristina Sabengsy, a former registered representative with NYLife Securities LLC, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and has been barred for allegedly forging signatures in order to facilitate unauthorized transactions, violating FINRA Rule 2010.

In February 2016, Cristina Sabengsy registered as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative with NYLife Securities LLC. According to FINRA, from April 2016 through October 2017, Sabengsy forged the signatures of two of her insurance customers on fourteen insurance and variable annuity policy documents without permission. The findings stated that neither customers were made aware or consented to the  transactions related to purchasing a variable annuity for one customer and converting the other customer’s term life insurance policy to a whole life insurance policy. The findings also stated that Sabengsy forged signatures on at least 10 other documents in order to receive commission. Although these were authorized transactions, the customers did not authorize the signing of their names. On March 7, 2018, the Firm filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (“Form U5”) terminating Sabengsy. Continue Reading

Richard Craig Berg of Town and Country, Missouri 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 engaging in private transactions in violation of FINRA Rules 3270, 2010 and NASD Rules 3040 and 2110.

From 1990 to 2018, Richard Berg was registered as a General Securities Representative with Prudential Securities and Wells Fargo. According to FINRA, Mr. Berg failed to timely notify his firms in which he engaged in two outside business activities and received compensation. The findings stated between 2008 and 2018,  Mr. Berg and a firm customer owned and operated a company engaged in the acquisition and management of residential rental properties. Richard Berg also owned a residential rental property and rented the property out. The findings also stated that Mr. Berg failed to notify his firms of at least twelve purchases of securities  issued by eleven privately held companies totaling $1,251,000.  In addition, he completed at least four compliance questionnaires during this period incorrectly attesting that he had disclosed all private securities transactions to the firm. Continue Reading

Steven Tarasius Yellen of El Paso, Texas submitted a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly exercising discretion and engaging in unauthorized trading in violation of NASD Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rules 4511 and 2010.

From August 1984 until February 2016, Steven Tarasius Yellen was registered with Morgan Stanley as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, during his time with Morgan Stanley, Steven Yellen exercised discretion in a customer’s account without written authorization or acceptance of the account as discretionary and engaged in unauthorized trading. The findings stated that he opened a second account for the same customer without knowledge and transferred $30,000 from the original account to execute two unauthorized transactions. The firm did settle with the customer and filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (“Form U5”) terminating Yellen. Continue Reading