Articles Tagged with elder abuse

On November 8, 2021, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and Aegis Capital Corp. (“Aegis Capital”) entered into Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2016051704305 (the “AWC”).  After conducting an investigation, FINRA alleged in the AWC that from July 2014 through December 2018, Aegis Capital failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures (WSPs), reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the suitability requirements of FINRA Rule 2111 as it pertains to excessive trading. As a result, Aegis Capital failed to identify trading in hundreds of customer accounts that were potentially excessive and unsuitable, including trading conducted by eight Aegis Capital registered representatives in the firm’s Melville and Wall Street branches whose trading in the accounts of 31 firm customers resulted in an average annualized cost-to-equity ratio (or break-even point) of 71.6%, an average annualized turnover rate of 34.9, combined customer costs (including commissions, markups or markdowns, margin interest, and fees) of more than $2.9 million, and cumulative losses of $4.6 million.

Additionally, the FINRA AWC alleged from July 2014 to June 2019, Aegis Capital failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system, including WSPs, reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the suitability requirements of FINRA Rule 2111 when selling leveraged, inverse, and inverse-leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds (Non-Traditional ETFs) to retail customers. As a result, Aegis Capital failed to identify customers who purchased and held Non-Traditional ETFs for extended periods of time or whose purchase was inconsistent with their recorded investment objective, risk tolerance, or finances.

Customers of Aegis Capital, including customers that have been notified that they may be receiving restitution, should consult with a securities arbitration law firm.  If you or a loved one were a customer of Aegis Capital, contact  New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation and review of your legal rights.

On August 20, 2021, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an emergency action to stop a fraudulent Ponzi scheme allegedly perpetrated by Marietta, Georgia resident John Woods and two entities he controls: registered investment adviser Livingston Group Asset Management Company, d/b/a Southport Capital (“Southport”), and investment fund Horizon Private Equity, III, LLC.

The complaint alleged that John Woods has been running a massive Ponzi scheme for over a decade. At the end of July 2021, Woods and Southport have raised more than $110 million from over 400 investors in 20 states by offering and selling membership units in Horizon Private Equity, III, LLC (“Horizon”).

Many of the victims are elderly retirees preyed upon by investment advisers at Southport Capital (“Southport”), a registered investment advisory firm owned and controlled by Woods.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Woods, Southport, and other Southport investment adviser representatives allegedly told investors that their Horizon investments were safe and they would receive returns of 6-7% interest, guaranteed for two to three years.  Investors were also allegedly told that they could get their principal back without penalty after a short waiting period.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has barred stockbroker Thomas Stratton from the securities industry for refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into whether Mr. Stratton misused customer funds with respect to the sale of promissory notes related to a third party’s life insurance policy, and misrepresentation thereto.   The investigation was launched after FINRA received a tip to FINRA’s Securities Helpline for Seniors.

Mr. Stratton has been associated with World Choice Securities, Inc. in Melbourne, Florida, since January 2004.

If you or a loved one were a customer of Thomas Stratton or World Choice Securities, Inc., contact  New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation.   

On August 3, 2021, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and former Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C. stockbroker Eugene McAdams entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2020066887801 whereby Mr. McAdams consented to a bar from the securities industry.  Mr. McAdams consented to the expulsion after refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into whether he made suitable investment recommendations to customers while registered with Joseph Stone Capital.

Mr. McAdams, associated with Joseph Stone Capital from September 2015 to June 2020, has also been the subject of at least two customer complaints.  The causes of action of the two complaints, which resulted in monetary compensation to the customers, included excessive trading on margin, elder abuse, false and misleading statements, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and unauthorized trading.

If you have suffered financial losses investing with Eugene McAdams or Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C., or suspect that Mr. McAdams 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 legal rights.

In an arbitration award published by FINRA on July 30, 2021, Boca Raton, Florida financial advisor William Friedman was ordered to pay $250,000 in damages to a Claimant.

Notably, Mr. Friedman was suspended by FINRA on July 2, 2021, over his failure to respond to a FINRA request for information. He is currently facing a potential bar from the securities industry on October 5, 2021, if he fails to request the termination of his suspension.

If you have lost money with Boca Raton, Florida financial advisor William Friedman, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.

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.

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