Articles Tagged with boiler room

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Department of Enforcement has filed a disciplinary proceeding complaint against financial advisor Michael Giovannelli, who also goes by the name Michael Anthony.  The complaint alleges that between February and April 2020, while associated with Spartan Capital Securities, LLC, Mr. Giovannelli made 12 unauthorized transactions in the account of an elderly customer.   The complaint also alleges that Mr. Giovannelli attempted to conceal the unauthorized trades from FINRA and testified falsely at his on-the-record interview.

Separately, FINRA alleged that between September 208 and March 2019, while registered with Richard James & Associates Inc. (“Richard James”), Mr. Giovannelli made 100 trades in the accounts of four Richard James’ customers without obtaining the customers’ prior authorization for the trades.  Mr. Giovannelli did not have written authorization to make discretionary trades in the four customers’ accounts from either the customers or Richard James.

If you or a loved one were a customer of broker Michael Giovannelli, Spartan Capital Securities, LLC, or Richard James & Associates, Inc.,  contact securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential review of your legal rights.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Department of Enforcement has filed a disciplinary proceeding complaint against financial advisor Marc Reda.  The complaint alleges that from January 2017 to December 2019, while associated with Spartan Capital Securities, LLC, Mr. Reda recommended to all of his customers an investment strategy – actively trading in anticipation of corporate announcements – that was unsuitable because he failed to consider that the substantial commissions and costs associated with his investment strategy made it unlikely that his customers could profit from it.

The recommended strategy and its high total costs allegedly harmed his customers.  The complaint alleges that across 66 customer accounts in which Mr. Reda executed ten or more trades connected with his unsuitable investment strategy, Mr. Reda charged $952,764 in commissions and fees, while the customers lost $934,482.

If you or a loved one were a customer of broker Marc Augustus Reda or Spartan Capital Securities, LLC,  contact securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential review of your legal rights.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has barred stockbroker Salvatore Pizzimenti from the securities industry.  Mr. Pizzimenti was expelled from the brokerage industry for refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation related to improper trading in customer accounts while associated with Worden Capital Management LLC in New York.

According to a 2017 investigation by Reuters, Worden Capital Management hired more brokers with a history of significant disclosures than all but twenty-three other firms in the country. In 2021, Iorio Altamirano LLP set out to update that analysis.

The investigation revealed that fifty-four percent (54%) of Worden Capital Management’s brokers and supervisors have significant “red flag” public disclosures.  Significant red flag disclosures include:

Philip Connors is a stockbroker with Worden Capital Management LLC (“Worden Capital Management”) in New York, New York.  Mr. Connors has a history of customer disputes and a past association with a disreputable brokerage firm that has been expelled by FINRA.

If you have lost money with broker Philip Connors or Worden Capital Management, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential review of your account.

Worden Capital Management

David Murray is a stockbroker with Worden Capital Management LLC (“Worden Capital Management”) in New York, New York.  Mr. Murray has a history of customer disputes and associations with disreputable brokerage firms that have been expelled by FINRA.

If you have lost money with broker David Murray or Worden Capital Management, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential review of  your account.

Worden Capital Management

On June 8, 2021, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and Titan Securities entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”) whereby Titan Securities consented to a censure and $20,000 fine.  The sanctions are a result of Titan Securities’ failure to properly conduct an evaluation of a broker’s proposed sale of Future Income Payments to customers.

Unrelatedly, just last week, Titan Securities CEO and owner Brad Brooks was suspended for one year for failing to supervise a broker’s outside business activities between 2009 and 2012.

FINRA Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2019061705101

On June 2, 2021, FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council modified a FINRA’s Office of Hearing Officers decision from 2019 that was filed by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement against Titan Securities, Brad Brooks, and broker Richard Demetriou.   The modified order has resulted in a one-year suspension of Titan Securities’ CEO and owner Mr. Brooks.

The enforcement action arose out of alleged misconduct of Mr. Demetriou’s involvement with a private placement of preferred units in a limited partnership, RBCP Preferred, LLC (“RBCP”).  RBCP was organized by the owner of Mr. Demetriou’s previous member firm, who employed Mr. Demetriou to solicit investments from Mr. Demetriou’s previous firm, and Mr. Demetrious represented that RBCP was offered to them as a means of recouping those losses.   Mr. Demetriou recommended RBCP, made misrepresentations concerning the supposed collateral securing the investments, and told customers that an investment of 10 percent of their previous losses would result in recovery of their lost investments, plus a profit – alleged returns of more than 1,000 percent.  The investors did not recoup their losses but instead lost an additional $337,000 when RBCP failed, and the alleged collateral was not foreclosed.

FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council made the following findings:

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) Office of Hearing Officers has barred stockbroker James W. Flower from the securities industry for excessively trading in five customers’ accounts, executing 17 unauthorized trades, and mismarking 58 transactions.  According to the findings, although he is based in New York, Mr. Flower generated business by cold calling people all over the country, focusing primarily on senior and elderly customers who are small business owners and retirees. Cold-calling customers is a common tactic for “boiler room” brokerage firms.

Mr. Flower was also ordered to pay restitution plus prejudgment interest to harmed customers.  However, it is unclear whether he will be able to satisfy the judgment.

Mr. Flower was associated with Spartan Capital Securities, LLC since June 2019.  Previously, he was associated with SW Financial from December 2015 to June 2019.

Ross Barish is a stockbroker with Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C. (“Joseph Stone Capital”) in Mineola, New York. Mr. Barish is currently under investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for defrauding sixteen retail customers by executing a high-cost, in-and-out pattern of trading that lost his customers over $800,000 while generating commissions and fees for him of more than $400,000.  

The sixteen customers experienced total losses of $814,509.

If you have suffered financial losses investing with Ross Barish or Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C., or suspect that Mr. Barish did not have your best interest in mind when recommending investments or making account transactions, contact New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential review of your account or annuity contract.

A FINRA Dispute Resolution Services arbitration panel in Richmond, Virginia, found Westpark Capital, Inc. to be liable for actions of its disgraced former broker, Lawrence Fawcett, and ordered the firm to pay nearly $800,000 to customers Charles and Karen Hailey.  The award included over $545,000 in compensatory damages, $33,500 in costs, and $215,000 in attorneys’ fees.    The arbitration panel found Westpark liable for failing to supervise Mr. Fawcett, who churned the Hailey’s accounts and made unsuitable investment recommendations.  The unsuitable investment recommendations related to private placement investments in the following entities:  Protagenic Therapeutics, Inc., Monster Digital, Inc., Miamar Labs, Inc.

The former stockbroker, Lawrence (Larry) Fawcett, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in March 2018 for failing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into his outside business activities.  FINRA subsequently revoked Mr. Fawcett’s securities license for failing to pay a fine and suspended him for failing to comply with an arbitration award.  Mr. Fawcett, who had only been in the securities industry for five years, had an extensive history of customer complaints, regulatory sanctions, associations with disreputable brokerage firms, and an employment termination after allegations of wrongdoing.

If you have lost money with Lawrence Fawcett or Westpark Capital, Inc., contact FINRA arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.

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