Articles Posted in Stockbrokers In The News

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

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

On July 30 Robert Russel Tweed of Glendale, California appealed an Office of Hearing Officers (OHO) decision to the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) in which he was fined $50,000 and barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for allegedly in violating FINRA Rule 2010 and Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the securities act of 1933. The sanctions are not in effect, pending review of the OHO decision by the NAC. Continue Reading

Robert Rushby Humberston of Longmeadow, Massachusetts submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for a period of three months.

In September 2014, Robert Humberston joined Ameriprise Financial Services as a General Securities Representative. FINRA stated that from September 2016 through January 2018, Humberston violated FINRA Rule 2010 in which he failed to comply with his firms’ policies and procedures requiring him to disclose that one of his customers had designated him as a beneficiary of her estate. According to FINRA, when Humberston found out that the elderly customer had died and left him 10 percent of her estate, he failed to notify his firm or seek revocation of the bequest. FINRA also stated that Humberston notified his firm after receiving the funds totaling $96,662, but only after he deposited them directly in his personal bank account. Humberston allegedly declined to return the funds and instead resigned. Continue Reading

Kenny Danny Mezher a former registered stockbroker with Growth Capital Services, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for a period of two months for allegedly participating in private transactions.

On April 22, 2016, Kenny Mezher joined Growth Capital Services (GCS) as a General Securities Representative. He remained associated with the Firm until his termination on April 11, 2017. According to FINRA, between January 2017 and March 2017, Mezher participated in four private securities transactions in violation of FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010. The findings stated that while with GCS, he was also employed by a now-defunct hedge fund called Crescent Ridge Capital Partners. Mezher allegedly sold four limited partnership interest totaling $179,500 to five investors of whom were his family and friends without providing notice or approval from his firm. Continue Reading

Cheryl A. George of East Aurora, New York submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which George was fined $5,000 and suspended for allegedly participating in unauthorized transactions.

In June 2009, George joined RBC Capital Markets LLC as an Investment Company Products Variable Contracts Representative and a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, RBC suspended George for ten business days for failing to observe firm policies and procedures regarding the authentication of a wire transfer request. The findings stated that an email was sent to George requesting a $33,000 transfer to a third-party company, which was not from the customer but rather an imposter. FINRA found that George only never received verbal authorization from the customer to sell securities in the account totaling $42,980. FINRA further stated that Ms. George falsely attested that she did receive verbal authorization and mismarked the order tickets as unsolicited. Continue Reading

On July 19, 2018 a judgment issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit became final in which Wedbush Securities Inc. was fined $300,000 and Edward William Wedbush was fined $50,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for 31 days.

Edward Wedbush founded his firm in 1955 and served as a general partner when it was a partnership and became president of the Firm when it was incorporated. He also became Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) and the Business Conduct Manager (BCM) in August 2006. Wedbush was responsible for the firm’s compliance system and all regulatory filings. According to FINRA, from January 2005 to July 2010, the firm committed 158 violations of the rules and by-laws of the National Association of Securities Dealers Inc. (NASD), the New York Stock Exchange Inc. (NYSE) and FINRA. The findings stated that the firm reported 129 events late (RE-3, U4 and U5), 18 events inaccurate, and failed to file 11 forms (RE-3, U4 and U5). The Firm and Mr. Wedbush allegedly failed to reasonably supervise regulatory reportings, failed to implement the firm’s supervisory system, failed to detect and prevent violations and failed to implement corrective measures to address the regulatory reporting failures. Continue Reading

Mitchell Toby Yanow of Boynton Beach, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which Yanow was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly using a client’s funds in violation of FINRA Rules 2150(a) and 2010.

In April 2015, Yanow joined Stifel Nicolaus and Company Inc. as a General Securities Representative. The findings stated that Yanow was terminated by his firm on May 10, 2018 for allegedly taking money from a client’s account and using it for his own personal use without authorization. According to FINRA an 87-year-old Firm customer provided Yanow with blank checks that were to be used specifically to pay the clients caregivers if the customer could not pay them. FINRA further found that without the customer’s knowledge or approval, Yanow allegedly used the checks to convert $205,586 in funds to pay for his own expenses, including his overdue homeowner’s association fees, his children’s summer camp and to purchase a 1976 Corvette. Continue Reading

Kevin Robert Loud, of Phoenix Arizona, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was fined and suspended for failing to disclose an outside business and an outstanding tax lien.

In July 2012, Kevin Loud joined Silber Bennett Financial Inc. as a General Securities Representative and as an Investment Banking Representative. According to FINRA, from December 2014 through March 2015, Mr. Loud worked for and was an officer of a development-stage company named DC. During this period, Kevin Loud allegedly solicited individuals who were not Silber Bennett customers, to invest in the company. Along with these solicitations, Loud circulated an offering memorandum for DC that identified him as the company’s Chief Financial Officer directing all payments and subscriptions be made to him. FINRA stated that although his solicitations did not result in direct investments, he did assist in obtaining stock certificates for several investors and failed to indicate his participation in an outside company on his own firm’s compliance questionnaire. Continue Reading

David Raymond Colflesh submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was suspended and ordered to pay 34,546.98 in deferred disgorgement of commissions received.

David Colflesh, of Tarkio, Missouri, was registered with NYLife Securities from 1982 until 2016 as a variable contract representative and a direct participation programs representative. From October 2014 to July 2015, Mr. Colflesh allegedly recommended nondiversified mutual funds to ninety customers without having basis to believe that his recommendations were suitable because he did not understand the funds’ complexity or potential risks. According to FINRA, the customers purchased 250 funds worth $4.5 million and Mr. Colflesh earned $34,546.98 in commissions. FINRA also stated Mr. Colflesh’s recommendations exposed his customers to a level or risk that was unsuitable, given their investment objectives. Based on the foregoing, FINRA concluded David Colflesh violated FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010. Continue Reading