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Articles Posted in Cetera Financial Group

Craig Blattner has been in the securities industry for 31 years most recently with Cetera Advisors LLC in Longwood, FL from September 2016 – February 2018. Previous registrations include Investors Capital Corp in Longwood, FL form May 2006 – October 2016.  Mr. Blattner is no longer a registered stockbroker.

Blattner was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for 15 business days following allegations that he settled a client complaint away from his member firm.

FINRA’s findings stated that the value of a joint account of two clients served by Blattner allegedly declined by approximately $75,000. One of these clients complained, orally and in writing by e-mail, to Blattner about his management of their account and the losses they had suffered. Blattner did not disclose the client’s complaint to the firm, and that the complaint was never reported on his Form U4.

Truitt Ficklin, a former financial advisor with Cetera Investment Services, LLC, is barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Respondent failed to request termination of his suspension within three months of the date of the Notice of Suspension; therefore, he is automatically barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Contact Our Firm if You’ve Invested with Truitt Ficklin of Cetera Investment Services, LLC

If you invested with Truitt Ficklin and believe you have lost money due to his misconduct, you may be able to file a claim to recover your losses through FINRA arbitration. For a free evaluation of your potential case by as securities attorney, please contact Silver Law Group.

Morgan Stanley Discharges and FINRA Permanently Bars Broker Samuel Wylie Sloane on silverlaw.comFINRA entered into a settlement with Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (CRD# 13572) over improprieties related to mutual sales fund charge waivers.

According to the Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (“AWC’) entered into between Cetera and FINRA, Cetera disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase certain shares in mutual funds without a front-end sales charge.  Instead, Cetera sold these customers shares with front-end or back-end sales charges and higher ongoing fees and expenses.

Cetera did not waive the additional mutual fund sales charge even though customers qualified for it and, according to the AWC, Cetera carried on this conduct between July 2009 and January 2017.

Our firm has filed a complaint against Irvine, California-based Cetera Advisors (CRD# 10299) relating to broker Daniel B. Vazquez Sr. (CRD# 3141463) after FINRA permanently barred Vazquez.

According to Vazquez’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, FINRA permanently barred him from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public in June 2016 for failing to respond to a FINRA request for information.

The permanent bar comes just two months after a FINRA arbitration was filed alleging unsuitable recommendations and unauthorized trades which led to portfolio losses.

Silver Law Group is investigating Colorado-based Cetera Advisors LLC (CRD# 10299) broker Ken A. Balser (CRD# 704053) after FINRA permanently barred him.

According to Balser’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, FINRA permanently barred Balser from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.  The permanent bar follows Cetera Advisor’s discharge of Balser in July 2016 due to allegedly engaging in private securities transactions in violation of Cetera Advisors policy.

Balser, according to the FINRA BrokerCheck report, consented to sanctions and the entry of findings that he refused to appear for testimony and provide documents and information requested by FINRA for an investigation into the allegations that Balser had engaged in private securities transactions with Cetera Advisors.

Cetera Brokerage Firm Investors Capital Corp Fined $1.1 Million Over Sales of Unit Investment Trusts

Silver Law Group is investigating investor claims against Cetera Financial Group-owned Investors Capital Corp. (CRD# 30613) after FINRA fined the firm and ordered it to pay restitution of over $1.1 million for allegations of short-term trading of unit investment trusts (“UITs”).

According to the Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) Investors Capital Corp. (“Investors Capital”) and FINRA entered into in October 2016, FINRA found that Investors Capital recommended unsuitable short-term trading of UITs and Steepener Notes (“Steepener Notes”) in 74 customer accounts.  Additionally, Investors Capital failed to apply sales charge discounts to certain customers’ purchases of UITs, according to the AWC.  The misconduct occurred between June 2010 and September 2015.

Silver Law Group is investigating former Georgia-based Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. (CRD# 34643) broker Clay E. Hoffman (CRD# 4371162) due to multiple FINRA actions pending against him and his racking up of 16 BrokerCheck disclosures in the past five years.

FINRA has initiated four regulatory actions against Hoffman in 2016, according to Hoffman’s FINRA BrokerCheck report.  Our attorneys have been monitoring FINRA’s actions against Hoffman.

The first, initiated in February, alleged Hoffman exercised discretion in a customer’s account and made unauthorized transactions without written authorization from the customer or the approval of Hoffman’s firm.  Hoffman was fined $5,000 and suspended for 15 days.

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