Articles Tagged with Florida Stockbroker Misconduct Attorney

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Anthony John Cummings, a former registered representative with Edward Jones, consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) sanction and findings that he converted a customer’s funds for his personal use.

According to FINRA, Anthony Cummings, of Cockeysville, Maryland, solicited $60,000 from a customer for his personal expenses.  The money came directly from the customer’s Edward Jones account.  FINRA found that Mr. Cummings kept the funds and neglected to repay his customer.  FINRA’s finding state that Mr. Cummings acted unethically by accepting the client’s money without the means or intent to repay the customer.  Consequently, Anthony Cummings was permanently barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Continue reading →

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Leon Dixon, a broker formerly registered with AXA Advisors, LLC, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he participated in private securities transactions in contravention of FINRA rules.

FINRA found that Leon Edward Dixon, of Miami, Florida, invested in a private company that offered telecommunications and broadband services.  Mr. Dixon allegedly solicited 15 firm customers to invest in the company, allegedly assisting the clients with sending their payment checks to the company.  In total, the clients invested approximately $181,500 in the company.  According to FINRA, Mr. Dixon received nearly $15,000 in commissions from the company for his participation in the transactions. Continue reading →

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Jose Enrique Jimenez, a former registered principal with PFS Investments, Inc., submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was suspended and assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allowing his son, who was unregistered, to solicit prospective customers and recommend the purchase of mutual funds.

According to FINRA, Jose Jimenez, of Inglewood, California, allowed his unregistered son to solicit prospective customers, make over 100 mutual fund presentations, and recommend the purchase of mutual funds which resulted in total sales of over $800,000 in approximately 35 accounts.  Further, Mr. Jimenez allowed his son to assist customers with completion of the necessary documents and to enter client information into the firm’s computer system utilizing his personal credentials.  FINRA found that Mr. Jimenez falsely stated on three firm compliance questionnaires that he did not allow an unregistered individual to engage in securities activities.  Continue reading →

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Keith Testaverde, a registered representative with Network 1 Financial Securities, Inc. has been fined $25,000 and suspended from association with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity for six months for allegedly failing to disclose the existence of outside securities accounts which he owned or controlled at another firm.

Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Keith Testaverde consented to the findings that he neglected to disclose to his member firm, Network 1 Financial Securities (Network 1 Financial), that he maintained control over and executed trades in a securities accounts which were held at another member firm.  According to FINRA, Mr. Testaverde made approximately 121 trades in one of the accounts, many of which were on Network 1 Financial’s “watch list,” meaning that they required preapproval.  FINRA found that 12 of the trades made by Mr. Testaverde were prohibited outright.  Further, Mr. Testaverde falsely represented on his firm’s annual compliance questionnaire that he did not have any undisclosed outside securities accounts.  Due to the foregoing misconduct, FINRA assessed a fine of $25,000 and suspended Mr. Testaverde for six months.  The suspension is in effect from January 17, 2017 through July 16, 2017. Continue reading →

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Securities America, Inc. has agreed to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution to customers who were overcharged in certain mutual fund purchases.  According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), between July 1, 1009 and July 1, 2015, Securities America disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase Class A shares of certain mutual funds without a front-end sales charge.  The customers were instead sold Class A shares with a front-end sales charge or Class B or C shares with back-end sales charges and higher ongoing fees and expenses.

According to the Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) submitted to FINRA, Securities America failed to reasonably supervise the application of the sales charge waivers to the eligible mutual fund sales, relying on its financial advisors to determine the applicability of sales charge waivers.  Further, Securities America allegedly failed to adequately notify and train its financial advisors regarding the availability of mutual fund sales charge waivers for eligible customers.  Without admitting or denying the findings, Securities America consented to the sanctions, was censured, and agreed to pay restitution to eligible customers who were overcharged of an estimated $1,541,419.  This amount includes the approximately $1.3 million in mutual fund overcharges plus interest. Continue reading →

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The Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a complaint against George Zedan, of Whittier California, for allegedly converting a client’s funds for his own personal use. Mr. Zedan entered the securities in 1998 and later in April 2004, when he became associated with FINRA member firm LPL Financial, LLC (LPL). Mr. Zedan remained associated with LPL until March 2013 when he resigned from the firm while under police investigation.

FINRA alleges that Mr. Zedan, while associated with LPL, took advantage of an elderly client by using their funds for his own personal use. FINRA also alleges that Mr. Zedan proposed a false and inappropriate real estate investment strategy for an 87 year old client. According to the complaint, Mr. Zedan in 2012, started to discuss a $300,000 investment in a real estate venture with the client, none of which was put down on paper. After agreeing to the proposition, the client allegedly, under the direction of Mr. Zedan, wrote a personal check for $300,000 and with the memo line reading “real estate” and handed it to Mr. Zedan. A week later, September 4, 2012, Mr. Zedan deposited the check into his personal banking account and started using the funds for his own personal expenses. Continue reading →

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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 →