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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 →

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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 →

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Christopher Michael Herrmann of Greenwood, Indiana submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended.

From September 2011 to May 2015, Herrmann was employed with Key Investment Services (KIS) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, in September 2013 and October 2014, Mr. Herrmann recommended annuity transactions to retired and elderly customers. The findings stated that Mr. Herrmann failed to facilitate the transactions as a tax-free 1035 exchange, resulting in significant tax liability to the customers. Mr. Herrmann allegedly circumvented KIS’s compliance procedures and supervision by concealing these switch transactions and providing false information. Based upon the foregoing, FINRA concluded that Christopher Herrmann violated FINRA Rules 4511, 2111 and 2010. Continue reading →

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Eric Howard Kunis, of South Setauket, New York, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which Kunis was assessed a deferred fine of $2,500, suspended for two months and ordered to pay $2,189.78 in restitution to his customers.

From 2002 through 2018, Kunis was registered with Maxim Group as a General Securities Principal. According to FINRA, between February 2012 and January 2017 Kunis engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading in the accounts of eleven customers. FINRA stated that Kunis repeatedly recommended his customers purchase and sell unit investment trusts (UITs) before their maturity date, causing the customers to incur unnecessary sales charges. Based on the foregoing, FINRA concluded that Kunis violated NASD Rule 2310 along with FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010. Continue reading →

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John Scott Simoncic of Carlsbad, California submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was barred for willfully violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Exchange Act Rule 10b-5 and FINRA Rules 2020, 2111 and 2010.

From May 2014 until November 2016 Simoncic was registered with Financial West as a General Securities Representative and Supervising Principal. According to FINRA, while registered with Financial West, Mr. Simoncic was responsible for churning, engaging in excessive trading, and making unsuitable recommendations in five accounts held by two customers. FINRA stated that the customers gave Mr. Simoncic de facto control over the accounts and relied upon him completely to advise the accounts. Mr. Simoncic allegedly charged the customers commissions and fees totaling $79,000, earning 88 percent of his gross commission solely from the accounts, and caused the customers to exceed losses of $105,000. Continue reading →

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Jose Luis Paula submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly violating FINRA Rule 2010.

Jose Paula joined NYLife Securities LLC as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative in March 2010 until his termination in January 2017. According to FINRA, Paula attempted to settle a customer complaint related to losses in her account by agreeing to refund her the total principal associated with the trades. The findings stated that when Mr. Paula issued a check in the amount of $10,000, he told the customer not to cash it until he could fund his checking account, but never did. The findings also stated that Mr. Paula never informed his firm of the complaint nor did he obtain authorization to settle the complaint, thereby violating FINRA Rule 2010. Continue reading →

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Daniel K. Kittner, a former registered representative with Ameritas, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was alleged to be in violation of NASD Rule 2510(b), FINRA Rule 2010 and 4511, assessed a fine of $7,500 and suspended.

In 2011, Kittner joined Ameritas Investment Corporation as a General Securities Representative and a General Securities Principal. According to FINRA, from June 2015 to September 2017, Kittner exercised discretion in the account of a married couple without having written authorization and acceptance of the accounts as discretionary by both the customers and the firm. The findings stated that Kittner effected approximately 700 trades in six separate accounts belonging to the customers without contacting them and confirming the details. The findings also stated that Kittner failed to mark the orders as discretionary, causing the firm’s books and records to be inaccurate. Continue reading →

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Chris Raymond Kubiak, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a former registered representative with Freedom and Calton, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) without admitting or denying allegations that he violated FINRA Rules 2150(a) and 2010.

From February 1989 to July 2017, Kubiak was registered with Freedom Investors Corp. (Freedom) as a General Securities Representative. On July 2017, Kubiak left Freedom and joined another firm, Calton & Associates, Inc., as a (GSR) and as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative. According to FINRA, between June 2015 and August 2018, Kubiak converted customer funds in violation of FINRA Rules 2150(a) and 2010. The findings stated that a total of seven customers from Freedom and Calton, gave $270,000 in funds to invest on their behalf. Kobiak, however, allegedly deposited the funds in his own bank account and used it for his own personal use, including to gamble and pay medical bills. Continue reading →

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On September 21, 2018 an Officer of Hearing Officers (OHO) decision became final against David Jonathan Bolton in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for violating FINRA Rules 4511 and 2010 and FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010.

Bolton joined Thurston, Springer, Miller, Herd & Titak, Inc. (“Thurston”) in November 2014 until February 2016 when he handed in his resignation. The findings stated that after Bolton resigned, Thurston filed a Uniform Termination for Securities Industry Registration. According to FINRA, Bolton engaged in unsuitable short-term trading in Class A mutual fund shares in two customers’ accounts causing them to pay $24,747 in unnecessary sales charges. Bolton’s tradings were allegedly unsuitable because the short-term nature of the trades conflicted with the customers’ longer-term investment horizon. In addition, Bolton allegedly caused his firm to maintain inaccurate books by mismarking or causing others to mismark as unsolicited electronic order tickets that he had solicited. FINRA also stated that Bolton took the files of his customers with him when he moved from firm to firm and destroyed them. Continue reading →

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On September 25, 2018 an Officer of Hearing Officers (OHO) decision became final against Matthew Evan Eckstein in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities and ordered to pay $961,781 in restitution to four customers. Eckstein allegedly violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5 along with NASD Rule 3040, FINRA Rules 2111, 2020, 2010, and 8210.

According to FINRA, Eckstein made false and misleading statements in connection with purchases and sales of securities. FINRA stated that Eckstein recommended four customers invest a total of $1.36 million in a company run by one of his close friends along with persuading one of his customers to liquidate $300,000 in mutual fund holdings in order to invest in the issuer. FINRA also stated that Eckstein failed to disclose any information regarding the investment and did not give the customers any written material or other agreement memorializing the customers’ purchases, rather that the undocumented transactions appeared to have been a scheme run by Eckstein’s friend. FINRA further found that after Eckstein left his firm to start his own business, he caused his past firm to violate FINRA’s applicable books and records rule by failing to preserve any communication and account summaries that he created and sent to some customers. During the investigation, Eckstein failed to respond to five requests for documents and information. Continue reading →