Articles Tagged with Caldwell International Securities

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John Kakonikos, former registered representative with Caldwell International Securities Corp., submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was suspended for 18 months, assessed a deferred fine of $10,000, and ordered to pay restitution of $72,524.53, plus interest, to his customer.  John Billy Kakonikos, of Flushing, New York, was found by FINRA to have engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading in his customer’s account, causing realized trading losses of $72,524.53, while generating $41,617.56 in fees and commissions.

According to FINRA, Mr. Kakonikos was the registered representative for a customer with a high-school education, annual income of approximately $25,000 per year, and no experience actively trading securities.  Further, FINRA alleged that Mr. Kakonikos had de facto control over this customer’s account.   FINRA found that Mr. Kakonikos recommended and executed 117 securities transactions in this account, nearly half of which were placed without the customer’s authorization.  In light of the customer’s financial situation, lack of investment experience and financial needs, FINRA found Mr. Kakonikos’ trading to be unsuitable and excessive.  Mr. Kakonikos was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended by FINRA for 18 months.  The suspension is in effect from November 21, 2016 through May 20, 2018. Continue reading →

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Richard Lee, former registered representative with Caldwell International Securities Corp., submitted an Offer of Settlement to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was suspended for 18 months and required to requalify by exam before reentering the securities industry in any capacity.  Richard Lee, of West Nyack New York, was found by FINRA to have recommended an unsuitable active trading strategy to his customers without understanding the risks involved, whether or not the strategy was suitable for his clients, or the impact the staggering commissions and fees generated by his recommended strategy would have on his customers’ accounts.

According to FINRA, Richard Lee generated new customers by cold calling them and generally targeted customers who would agree to speculation as their investment objective.  FINRA noted that Mr. Lee allegedly believed that once a customer selected “speculation,” that any investment strategy or trade was suitable.  Moreover, FINRA states that the funds in customers’ accounts were considered “gambling money” that the customer could afford to lose.  FINRA found that when customers did complain, Mr. Lee allegedly failed to report the complaints, but rather tried to hide his behavior by reducing sales charges.  For instance, FINRA stated that when one of Mr. Lee’s customers sent him an email telling him to stop trading and “I am very disappointed in you.   You have abused my trust,” Mr. Lee agreed to stop charging the customer commissions until the account was even.  Continue reading →

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Former Caldwell International Securities Corp. broker, Alex Etter, submitted an Offer of Settlement to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay disgorgement of ill-gotten gains of $227,395.45 and restitution to customers.  Without admitting or denying FINRA’s allegations, Alex Etter consented to the entry of findings that he recommended an unsuitable active trading strategy to his customers despite a lack of understanding of the risks involved or the impact the staggering commissions and fees generated by his recommended strategy would have on his customers’ accounts.

According to FINRA, Alex Evan Etter, of Old Tappan, New Jersey, failed to conduct any due diligence into the active trading strategy he was recommending to his customers and routinely recommended the strategy despite the fact that he never reviewed his customers’ accounts to determine if the strategy was successful or suitable for this customers.  FINRA found that when customers did complain, Mr. Etter allegedly failed to report the complaints, but rather tried to hide his behavior by reducing sales charges.  For instance, FINRA stated that when one of Mr. Etter’s customers expressed concerned about the poor performance and excessive commissions in his account, Mr. Etter offered to stop charging commissions for the next ten trades instead of reporting the complaint.  Alex Etter was suspended by FINRA for two years.  The suspension is in effect from October 17, 2016 through October 16, 2018. Continue reading →