Articles Tagged with elder abuse

StockCross Financial Services, Inc. (“StockCross Financial”), which was acquired by Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. (“Muriel Siebert”), consented to a censure and $250,000 fine in connection with FINRA’s findings that between July 2009 and December 2019, StockCross Financial had no reasonable surveillance system to review solicited transactions for excessive trading and suitability.

Iorio Altamirano LLP represents investors nationwide that have disputes with their financial advisors or brokerage firms, such as StockCross Financial Services, Inc.

If you have lost money with StockCross Financial Services, Inc., contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation and review of your legal rights.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has barred financial advisor Ronald Giovino from the securities industry for refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into whether Mr. Giovino converted customer funds.  FINRA launched the investigation after it received information through the FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors.  Mr. Giovino has been registered with GWN Securities Inc. in Clearwater, Florida, since March 2004.

Customers of Mr. Giovino or GWN Securities Inc. can contact New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation and review of their legal rights.

Iorio Altamirano LLP represents investors nationwide that have disputes with their financial advisors or brokerage firms, such as GWN Securities Inc.

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 2018 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 (“FINRA”) has barred stockbroker Marc Lippman from the securities industry.  Mr. Lippman consented to the bar after FINRA alleged that he provided false information to FINRA during on-the-record testimony regarding whether he was aware that his customer was deceased at the time of entering a securities transaction in the customer’s account.  Mr. Lippman was associated with Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Incorporated in Washington, DC, from December 2009 until January 2021.

If you have suffered financial losses investing with Marc R. Lippman or Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Incorporated, contact securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation.  

Iorio Altamirano LLP represents investors nationwide that have disputes with their financial advisors or brokerage firms, such as Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Incorporated.

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.

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.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) Office of Hearing Officers has barred stockbroker Mercer (“Toby”) Hicks III from the securities industry for making unsuitable investment recommendations to five elderly customers ranging in age from 73 to 88 years old.   The recommendations involved non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITS”) and a Business Development Company, Business Development Company of America (“BDCA”).  Mr. Hicks apparently targeted retirement communities in and around Southern Pines, North Carolina, for potential clients.

Mr. Hicks, a veteran broker of nearly 50 years, has been associated with Southeast Investments, N.C. Inc. since April 2014.

If you or a loved one were a customer of Mercer Hicks III, contact  New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation.

You worked hard, opened a brokerage or retirement account, and invested your savings with a financial advisor or stockbroker, only to suffer financial losses due to bad investment advice, misleading sales pitches, or brokers that were driven by commissions.  Now what?

Can I Sue My Financial Advisor Over Losses?

Yes, you can sue your financial advisor or broker to recover investment losses if the broker did not have your best interest in mind when they made an investment recommendation or offered investment advice.  You can also sue your financial advisor or broker if the financial advisor misrepresented or omitted material facts that an investor should have known about the security or investment strategy.

A FINRA customer complaint involving Dempsey Lord Smith broker Raymond Sun alleges elder financial abuse as defined by the Welfare and Institutions Code under California law. The claim seeks $1.2 million in damages, including $900,000 in punitive damages. The claim, which was filed on August 28, 2020, is related to Sun’s previous association with Sandlapper Securities, LLC.

FINRA expelled Sandlapper Securities, LLC from the securities industry in June 2020.

Iorio Altamirano LLP is currently investigating claims on behalf of defrauded investors who were victims of the GPB funds scheme. GPB Capital sold unregistered and high commission limited partnership interests in eight alternative-asset investment funds. The GPB funds were marketed to independent broker-dealers and investment advisers who would, in turn, sell the GPB funds to their retail investors. According to publicly available records filed with the SEC, both Sandlapper Securities, LLC, and Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC likely received sales compensation for selling the GPB funds to retail investors.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Department of Enforcement has filed a disciplinary proceeding complaint against former broker Steven Schisler.  The complaint alleges that from April 2009 to October 2020, Steven Schisler committed nine separate violations of FINRA and NASD rules related to his dealings with two sets of retired customers and IFS Securities, the firm that employed him.  Specifically, the FINRA complaint alleges:

  • made an unsuitable recommendation to two elderly, married customers;
  • participated, without the approval of his firm, in a private securities transaction with those customers;
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