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Articles Posted in Broker Permanently Barred

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Jackie Divono Wadsworth (CRD #2342163) is a former registered broker and currently registered investment advisor whose last employer was IMS SECURITIES, INC. (CRD #35567) of Houston, TX. She worked for IMS since 1994, and the firm was expelled by FINRA on 9/04/2018. Previously, she worked for Retirement Investment Group (CRD #7421), also of Houston. She has been in the industry since 1993.

National Securities Corporation: Frequent Customer Disputes with FINRA on silverlaw.comIn 2017, Wadsworth was involved in a customer dispute involving multiple claimants while at IMS Securities. In it, the claimants alleged that “a non-party under the supervision of Respondents induced Claimants to invest in unsuitable, high-risk, illiquid investments, including United Mortgage Trust (“UMT”), United Development Funding II (“UDF II”), and United Development Funding III (“UDF III”).”  These allegations also included “aiding and abetting fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, civil RICO, civil RICO conspiracy, and negligent supervision.” Filed on 6/7/2017, the arbitration was completed on 11/8/2018, awarding a total of $963,836.00 to the claimants.

Following this award, Wadsworth failed to respond to an information request from FINRA, causing a suspension on 8/3/2018. She did not request her suspension to be terminated, and is now barred from any association in any capacity with any FINRA member.

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Daniel John Flores (CRD #2908027) is a previously registered broker and investment advisor whose last employer was Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. (CRD #421) of Appleton, WI. His previous employers include Princor Financial Services Corporation (CRD #1137) of Neenah, WI, Gunnallen Financial, Inc (CRD #17609) and Sii Investments, Inc. (CRD #2225), both of Appleton. No current employment information is available. He has been in the industry since 1997.

Flores has three disclosures in his record, all from 2018. On 4/16/2018, he was discharged from Woodbury for engaging in an unapproved financial transaction with a client.”  No additional information is available for this case.

https://www.silverlaw.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/FINRA-Permanently-Bars-Honetta-C.-Kao-After-Allegations-of-Unauthorized-Trading-and-Mishandled-Accounts-300x200.jpgOn 7/27/2018, FINRA reported that Flores failed to respond for a request for information. Two letters were sent to Flores on 7/27/2018, and 8/20/2018, respectively, with no response. On October 30, 2018, FINRA barred Flores indefinitely and in all capacities from any association with a FINRA member.

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Alex Gerardo Herrera (CRD #3204779) is a former registered broker and investment representative whose last employer was UBS Financial Services Inc. (CRD #8174) of Coral Gables, FL. His previous employers include HSBC Securities (USA) INC. (CRD #19585), also of Coral Gables, Atlas One Financial Group, LLC (CRD #124057) of Miami, FL, and Citicorp Investment Services (CRD #23988) of Long Island City, NY. No current employment information is available. He has been in the industry since 1999.

Herrera is the subject of three disclosures, with the most recent filed on 8/08/2018, a FINRA disciplinary action and Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) form in relation to his employment with UBS Financial Services. The investigation was focused on his voluntary termination “while under review after advising management he had engaged in financial and real estate relationships with longstanding clients without prior approval.” FINRA requested information from Herrera in letters dated May 17, 2018 and June 6, 2018 in relation to the allegations.

Stephen-Grivas-Permanently-Barred-by-FINRA-300x210Through his legal counsel, Herrera indicated to FINRA that he declined to provide the requested information to them. On 7/23/2018, without admitting or denying the findings, Herrera signed the AWC letter, accepting sanctions. In the letter, FINRA indefinitely barred Herrera in all capacities.

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Shakela Yashika Carter (CRD #4321231) is a former registered broker and investment advisor who was last employed with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (CRD #7691) of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Before becoming licensed, she was employed with Bank of America and Capital Strategies, also of Fort Lauderdale. She started in the industry in 2000, becoming a licensed broker in 2009. No current employment information is available, and she is not currently affiliated with any FINRA member firm.

Older Americans Face Exploitation and Financial Abuse in Record Numbers on elderfinancialfraudattorneys.comCarter voluntarily resigned from Merrill Lynch on 2/8/2016, after she was under internal review by the firm for “fraud, wrongful taking of property, or violating investment-related statutes, regulations, rules or industry standards of conduct.” An amended Form U5 added that Carter had participated in outside business activities with a client or clients. Subsequent amended forms indicated that Carter assisted a client with an outside credit agreement and an outside investment arrangement with due diligence.

FINRA’s Enforcement division began an investigation on June of 2016 into the allegations against Carter. FINRA requested on-the-record testimony from Carter in regards to the investigation, and sent multiple notifications to her last known address of record. On 11/29/2017, Carter emailed FINRA staff and notified them that she was no longer interested in working in the industry, and would not testify at any time. She then failed to appear on December 20, 2017 or on January 8, 2018 as requested to provide testimony.

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Douglas Leone (CRD #2453784) has been employed with Salomon Whitney Financial since March 2013.  Previous employment includes Newport Coast Securities, Inc. from October 2008 to March 2013 and Basic Investors Inc. from August 2005 to October 2008.

Leon-Vaccarelli-Fined-and-Sanctioned-by-FINRA-300x199-1-300x199Leone was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. The sanctions were based on findings that Leone failed to attend an on-the-record interview during an investigation by FINRA.  The findings stated that FINRA opened an investigation into Leone’s potential unsuitable recommendations and excessive trading in customer accounts.  FINRA twice requested that Leone appear at an on-the-record interview to provide testimony.

The decision became final May 21, 2018.

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South-Florida-Broker-Brian-Michael-Berger-Permanently-Barred-by-FINRA-300x200-300x200The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has barred former Waddell & Reed broker, Robert Lee Basile (CRD #2392772). He faces two years of probation after pleading guilty to embezzlement and theft from an elder.

Basile’s mother opened a brokerage account with Waddell and Reed in 2014, shortly after his son joined the firm. Basile served as the broker for the account, but between January 2015 and October 2017, he allegedly withdrew funds to keep for himself. He used them to pay for his own living expenses without her consent.

Police began an investigation after they received information about elder abuse from adult protective services. The report states that the abuse occurred in Boise, Idaho, where Basile’s mother resides.

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Our attorneys currently represent customers of Jon Pariser against Independent Financial Group for losses related to First Nationle Solution. Jon Richard Pariser (CRD #2755015) is a former registered broker whose last employer was Independent Financial Group, LLC (CRD #7717) of Pacific Grove, CA. His previous employers include SWS Financial Services, INC. (CRD #17587) and LPL Financial LLC (CRD #6413), also of Pacific Grove, CA. No current employment information is available. He has been in the industry since 1996.

South-Florida-Broker-Brian-Michael-Berger-Permanently-Barred-by-FINRA-1024x683-300x200Pariser is barred in all capacities after he failed to provide requested information to FINRA for an investigation. The documentation relates to allegations that he referred some of his customers to an individual who was not a registered FINRA broker. This unregistered individual and may have recommended to or actually sold these customers “potentially unsuitable” securities. Pariser violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 by refusing to provide this requested documentation, which led to him being barred. He signed an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) letter consenting to the sanctions, and he is barred effective 10/04/2018.

His next disclosure is an employment separation from SWS Financial Services on 6/20/2014, which is connected by a closed customer dispute filed four days earlier, involving “unauthorized discretion.” The allegations state that “during the course of normal e-mail correspondence review, firm supervisors discovered an e-mail message from the customer containing language indicating that the representative may have engaged in unauthorized discretionary trading.”

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Kyusun Kim (CRD #2864085) is a registered investment advisor and previously registered broker, last employed and registered with Sandlapper Securities, LLC, of San Diego, CA. (He is also known as “Kyu Sun Kim” or “Kenny Kim.”) Kim’s previous employers include Independent Financial Group, LLC (CRD #7717), Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation (CRD #3978), both also of San Diego, and The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company (CRD #2580) of Fort Wayne, IN. He began in the industry in 1997.

Kim is the subject of 23 customer disputes dating back to 2007. One dispute was denied; nine are pending, and the remaining thirteen are settled, with one settlement rescinded. The total for Kim’s twelve settled cases is $2,995,443. His nine pending complaints include requested damages totaling $2,950,000.

New Jersey Broker Richard Grant Cody May Be Facing Serious Penalties on elderfinancialfraudattorneys.comBetween 2008 and 2015, Kim was accused of soliciting the business of individuals who were retired or near retirement age, and recommended that they liquidate their pension plans and 401(k) to invest with him in so-called “alternative investments,” including things like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs.) Many of these customers had little or no investment experience, and were unfamiliar with these types of securities. The higher risk involved made them inconsistent with the more conservative objectives. Kim failed to disclose the extra risk involved in many of these securities, and most suffered substantial financial losses.

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James Edward Knee (CRD #1852920) is a former registered broker and investment advisor who was last employed with Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (CRD #2882) of Concord, NH. He was previously employed by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (CRD #6363), Investors Capital Corp. (CRD #30613) and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (CRD #39543), all of Concord. He has been in the industry since 1988.

Knee is the subject of nine disclosures. One is regarding his discharge from Voya Financial Advisors, one is an unknown pending investigation in the state of New Hampshire, and one is a regulatory action initiated by FINRA. Of the six customer disputes, three were denied and three were settled.

South-Florida-Broker-Brian-Michael-Berger-Permanently-Barred-by-FINRA-300x200-300x200FINRA barred Knee on 05/18/2018 after he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony. He was the subject of allegations of funds misappropriation during his tenures with both Voya and Ameriprise. After signing an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) letter, Knee was indefinitely barred in all capacities.

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Stephen Allen Murray (CRD #343722) is a former registered broker and investment advisor who was last employed by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (CRD #705) of Palm Beach Gardens, FL. He was previously employed by Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. (CRD #4161) of Jupiter, FL and First Financial Equity Corporation (CRD #16507) of Scottsdale, AZ. No current employment information is available. He began in the industry since 1973.

Murray is the subject of 10 different disclosures, dating back to 1982. The most recent, a regulatory action, occurred after he failed to respond to a FINRA request for information. Three letters were issued regarding the suspension, and Murray did not respond to any of them. He became permanently barred from associating with any FINRA representative as of 8/7/2018. No additional information is available.

The next disclosure was filed on 05/26/2017, a customer dispute alleging “churning, unauthorized trading; negligence, violation of FINRA rules . . .breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. Activity date is: 6/2010 thru 4/2017.” The customer requested damages of $100,000, and the case was settled for $60,000.

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