Articles Tagged with Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has barred stockbroker Charles Thomas Stevens from the securities industry for failing to appear and provide on-the-record testimony.

On December 1, 2020, FINRA’s Department of Enforcement filed a three-cause complaint against Mr. Stevens.  The first cause of action charged that Mr. Stevens willfully failed to disclose a judgment and three tax liens on his Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4).  The second cause of action alleged that Mr. Stevens falsely represented to his firm that he did not have any unreported liens.  The third cause of action alleged that Mr. Stevens failed twice to appear and testify at an on-the-record interview.

Mr. Stevens then failed to appear at two-pear hearing conferences scheduled by the hearing officer.  FINRA’s Department of Enforcement then requested a default decision, which the hearing officer granted.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has suspended stockbroker Victor A. Rigoni, III from the securities industry for three months.  FINRA accepted an Offer of Settlement submitted by Mr. Rigoni after FINRA’s Department of Enforcement filed a disciplinary complaint against Mr. Rigoni in August 2020.   The complaint alleged that from August 2012 through March 2019, Mr. Rigoni willfully failed to timely amend his Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4) to disclose six unsatisfied federal and state tax liens totaling $164,521.  On average, Mr. Rigoni disclosed his tax liens almost three-and-a-half years late.  Mr. Rigoni also never disclosed a state tax lien of $11,304.

Mr. Rigoni has been associated with the following broker-dealers:

  • Cetera Advisor Networks LLC in Lake Forest, Illinois, from September 2019 to August 2020.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Department of Enforcement has filed a disciplinary proceeding complaint against broker Megurditch Patatian (aka Mike Patatian) alleging that, while associated with Western International Securities, Inc., Mr. Patatian engaged in conduct in violation of FINRA rules, including:

  • making 81 unsuitable recommendations to purchase over $7.8 million in non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to 59 customers, including 21 senior investors;
  • recommending illiquid non-traded REIT to six customers that also needed liquidity;

FINRA has barred stockbroker Dustin Paul Shafer from the securities industry.  FINRA handed down the expulsion because Mr. Shafer refused to appear for on-the-record testimony with FINRA in connection with FINRA’s investigation into whether Mr. Shafer borrowed money from a customer.  Mr. Shafer was a financial advisor at Newbridge Securities Corporation from September 2019 until the firm fired him in November 2020, alleging that he borrowed money from an existing client.

On December 22, 2020, the State of Illinois Securities Department issued a temporary order prohibiting Mr. Shafer from offering or selling securities in or from the State of Illinois, alleging that he borrowed over $55,000 from one of his elderly clients.

Mr. Shafer has also been the subject of six customer complaints related to non-traded REITs while employed by the following firms:

A recently filed FINRA customer complaint alleges that Mr. Monshi recommended unsuitable investments in a number of business development companies (BDCs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs), as well as other high-commission illiquid investment recommendations. The allegations focus on Mr. Monshi’s time with LPL Financial from 2006 to 2015 and with Ameriprise Financial Services from 2015 to 2016. Claimants’ statement of claim, which was filed on or around September 9, 2020, seeks damages of $3.9 million.

Iorio Altamirano LLP is interested in speaking with any customers who may have suffered losses in their investments with former LPL Financial and Ameriprise Financial Services broker Maziar Monshi. If you have lost money with Maziar Monshi, LPL Financial, or Ameriprise Financial Services, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.

Financial Advisor Maziar Monshi (CRD#: 2629721)

**Update: 3/22/2021** Ms. Cowden has been the subject of two additional customer disputes since November 2020.  First, in November 2020, a customer filed a securities arbitration complaint alleging $400,000 in damages concerning a real estate security recommendation.   The causes of action included breach of fiduciary duty, unauthorized trading, and elder abuse.   Second, in January 2021, a customer filed a written complaint with NPB Financial Group, LLC alleging $350,000 in damages related to an unsuitable investment recommendation.  The customer has not yet filed a securities arbitration complaint.  If you or a loved one were a customer of Diane Cowden, contact securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential review of the investment or retirement accounts.

Original Post:

Financial Advisor Cynthia Diane Cowden (CRD# 2054676) BARRED by FINRA for Recommending High- Risk Investments to Three Senior Customers – Lake Isabella, CA

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