Articles Tagged with Florida Stockbroker Misconduct Lawyer

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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 →

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Richard Stephen Hughes submitted a submitted of Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was fined and suspended for unsuitable recommendations.

In October of 2011, Hughes registered as a General Securities Representative and General Securities Principal with Wells Fargo. According to FINRA, between April 2015 and May 2016 Hughes made unsuitable recommendations to a customer resulting in short-term switches between Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) and Class A-share mutual funds. The findings stated these recommendations were unsuitable because of the frequency and cost of the transactions. The findings also stated that the customer’s account incurred over $34,000 in excessive commissions and fees and that Hughes created a script containing false statements for the customer to use if contacted by the firm about the transactions made. Hughes’ conduct violated FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010. Continue reading →

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George Louis McCaffrey III, a former registered stockbroker submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he has been fined and suspended for participating in private securities transactions.

McCaffrey was registered with NTB Financial Corporation as a general securities representative and agent from July 1989 until his termination in October 2017. According to FINRA, Mr. McCaffrey participated in a total of 22 undisclosed private transactions, in which ten investors purchased $1,775,000 in debt and equity securities without first providing notice to his firm. The findings stated that McCaffrey introduced these customers to representatives of a greenhouse building and leasing company, so they would make an investment. McCaffrey allegedly reviewed and edited the documents for the investment and forwarded investment-related documents to the customers. The findings stated that the investors purchased $1,775,000 in promissory notes and McCaffrey received $124,250 in commissions from these transactions. In addition, FINRA stated McCaffrey incorrectly indicated that he had not participated in private securities transactions. Continue reading →

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Lloyd Thomas Layton, a former registered stockbroker submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly engaging in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs).

Layton was registered from June 2009 to March 2015 as a General Securities Representative of Morgan Stanley. According to FINRA, Layton repeatedly engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading of UITs in a total of 54 customer accounts. Mr. Layton allegedly recommended that these customers purchase then sell their UITs before their maturity date. In addition, Layton also recommended his customers to use the proceeds from a short term sell of a UIT and purchase another with similar or identical investment objectives. Due to Layton’s unsuitable recommendations, his customers incurred unnecessary charges. Continue reading →

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Earle Clement Tingley, a former registered representative with Wells Fargo, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was in violation of Rule 3240(a), assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended for 45 days.

According to FINRA, Tingley was a general securities representative of Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) from January 2008 until May 2014. He registered with FINRA through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (WFAFN). In May of 2018, WFAFN filed a U-5 form disclosing Tingley’s Termination. During his time with WFA, Tingley allegedly borrowed $35,000 from a customer without notifying or seeking approval from his firm. The findings also stated that Mr. Tingley did repay the customer prior to detection by his firm but did not document the loan or terms for repayment. Continue reading →

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David Panetta, a representative formerly employed with Allstate Financial Services, LLC (Allstate), 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 engaged in outside business activities without his firm’s approval.

FINRA’s findings state that while employed by Allstate, David M. Panetta, of Clark, New Jersey, sold nine unapproved insurance products through an entity unaffiliated with Allstate.  Mr. Panetta allegedly received $12,000 in compensation for the prohibited sales, but failed to disclose the sales or his compensation to his member firm.  Further, FINRA found that Mr. Panetta falsely answered “no” on the firm annual attestations to the questions asking if he had any outside business activities or accepted compensation from any unapproved entity.  Mr. Panetta was assessed a deferred fine of $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two months. The suspension was in effect from June 5, 2017 through August 4, 2017. Continue reading →

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William McWilliams, a registered representative formerly employed with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (Raymond James), 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 exercised discretion at least 28 times in eight customer accounts without the necessary prior written authorization.

FINRA found that William Harrison McWilliams, of Columbia, Missouri, failed to obtain the necessary written authorization from his customers or his member firm when he exercised discretion in the accounts of eight customers.  According to FINRA, Mr. McWilliams exercised discretionary trading authority in response to customer liquidation requests six times in four customers’ accounts without the requisite prior written authorization from customers and without the accounts accepted as discretionary by his member firm.  Further, FINRA found that Mr. McWilliams exercised discretionary trading authority at least 22 times in four other customer accounts without discussing the trades with the customers on the day of the trades, which was required by the firm. Continue reading →

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Former National Securities Corporation (National Securities) broker, Glenn McDowell, has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for executing 38 unauthorized transactions in his customer’s account in a three month time period without the authority to do so.  Glenn McDowell, of Springfield Gardens, New York, caused his client to suffer losses of $64,740.08 as a result of the unauthorized trades.

According to FINRA, Mr. McDowell entered 38 unauthorized transactions in his customer’s account in a three month time frame.  FINRA deemed the number of unauthorized trades over the course of just three months to be quantitatively egregious misconduct.  Further, FINRA found that Mr. McDowell sometimes bought and then sold, or sold and then bought, the same securities within a few days.  By engaging in such misconduct, he generated $5,300 in commissions for himself while causing nearly $65,000 in losses to his customer. Continue reading →

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James Davis Trent, of Lexington, South Carolina, was named a Respondent in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) complaint for allegedly recommending and executing unsuitable mutual fund trades in the accounts of elderly retirees, causing the customers to suffer substantial losses.

FINRA alleged that while employed with AXA Advisors, LLC, James Trent engaged in a pattern of recommending unsuitable short-term trading of Class A mutual fund shares to four customers.  In the 14 transactions at issue, Mr. Trent is alleged by FINRA to have recommended the sale of Class A mutual fund shares within less than a year, on average just six months.  This unsuitable trading activity resulted in the customers incurring over $6,000 in unnecessary sales charges and a commission, for Mr. Trent, of nearly $3,000. Continue reading →

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Craig David Dima, a stockbroker formerly employed with K.C. Ward Financial, submitted an Offer of Settlement to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member.  Without admitting or denying FINRA’s allegations, Craig Dima consented to the entry of findings that he made unauthorized and unsuitable trades in the IRA account of an elderly retiree.

According to FINRA, Mr. Dima sold nearly all of his 73-year old customer’s Colgate-Palmolive stock, which she had accumulated during her 28 years of employment with the company.  FINRA alleged that on 11 occasions, Mr. Dima sold the customer’s shares without permission and even after the customer told him not to sell the stock.  When Mr. Dima’s elderly customer confronted him about the sales, he misrepresented to her that the transactions were caused by a computer glitch.  As a result of Mr. Dima’s unauthorized sales, the customer was charged more than $375,000 in mark-ups, mark-downs, and fees.  Further, the customer was deprived of substantial dividends she would have received had she held the Colgate shares as she had intended. FINRA found that the unauthorized, unsuitable trades executed by Mr. Dima totaled approximately $15 million in his customer’s retirement account.  In the Order Accepting Offer of Settlement, Mr. Dima was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Continue reading →