Articles Tagged with Boca Raton Florida Stockbroker Fraud Lawyer

Scottsdale, Arizona-based First Financial Equity Corporation (First Financial) and the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), Melissa Ann Strouse, were named in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) complaint alleging that the firm failed to establish and maintain a proper supervisory system with respect to the appropriateness of fee-based accounts and the monitoring of accounts for potential churning and excessive trading.  Melissa Strouse was named in FINRA’s complaint amidst allegations that as the firm’s CCO, she was responsible for ensuring the firm’s compliance with supervisory procedures.

According to the FINRA complaint, First Financial Equity had inadequate written supervisory procedures (WSPs) with respect to the appropriateness of fee-based accounts for the firm’s customers and had no system in place to address situations where excessive fees may have been charged.  Further, the Complaint alleges that First Financial failed to maintain and enforce a supervisory system related to its options business and that the firm allegedly had no WSPs for the supervision, approval and sale of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).  For her part, the Complaint alleges that Melissa Strouse failed to ensure that the WSPs covered all required areas and were amended as needed. Continue Reading

James P. Hilty Jr., an Ocala, Florida based broker formerly employed with Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. (Edward Jones) submitted a letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he entered discretionary trades customers’ accounts without the necessary prior written customer authorization.

FINRA found that while employed as a General Securities Representative with Edward Jones, James Hilty exercised discretion in three customer accounts with the execution of 14 trades. In violation of NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rule 2010, Mr. Hilty neglected to obtain the necessary prior written authorization for discretionary trading from the customers or his member firm. FINRA stated that none of the customers were aware of the trades executed by Mr. Hilty at the time they were made. Mr. Hilty had instead previously spoken with the customers about a trading strategy, but he failed to discuss the subject trades prior to their execution or on the day of the trades. Continue Reading

Michael Jeffrey Oppenheim of Livingston, New Jersey, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for failing to provide documents and information and an on-the-record testimony in connection with allegations that he may have converted approximately $20 million of customer funds, altered customer documents, and created false account statements.

FINRA began an investigation into Michael Oppenheim’s termination from his member firm, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (J.P. Morgan), as well as allegations that he may have converted nearly $20 million of customer funds between March 2011 and March 2015. FINRA was also investigating the alleged altering of customer documents and creation of false account statements by Mr. Oppenheim. Continue Reading

David Santos of Niskayuna, New York submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after allegedly falsifying letters that enabled an imposter to fraudulently transfer funds from a client and execute unauthorized sales of stocks.

Santos entered the securities industry in 1991 when he became associated with a FINRA member firm. In March 1998, Santos became a General Securities Representative (GSR). Between 1998 and 2006, Santos was a GSR with three different FINRA member firms. On September 2, 2006, Santos became registered as a GSR with Cetera Investment Services, LLC (Cetera). Santos later became a General Securities Principal with Cetera in April 2010 and remained there until he was terminated in May 2014. Continue Reading

At 99 years, Ms. Irene Bergman, a good stockbroker, shares some advice for those who would like to enjoy a long career on Wall Street. A direct quote from Ms. Bergman herself: “Don’t do anything stupid.” Ms. Bergman happens to be one of the oldest working professionals in an industry run by men half her age.

Ms. Bergman offers a rare perspective of the changes in the securities industry. She recalls the small private firms founded by German Jews in the early twentieth century. Her father was a private banker in those days. In 1942, Ms. Bergman began working as a secretary at a bank, and then fifteen years later, Ms. Bergman joined Hallgarten and Co., a member of New York stock exchange. Continue Reading