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Articles Posted in Churning

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David Melilli (David John Melilli, CRD# 5254172) is a former broker who recently worked for Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (CRD# 39543), LPL Financial LLC (CRD# 6413), and SagePoint Financial, Inc. (CRD# 133763), all in Moorestown, NJ. Melilli had been in the industry since 2006, and also worked for Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc, and Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation.David Melilli (David John Melilli, CRD# 5254172) is a former broker who recently worked for Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (CRD# 39543), LPL Financial LLC (CRD# 6413), and SagePoint Financial, Inc. (CRD# 133763), all in Moorestown, NJ.

Melilli had been in the industry since 2006, and also worked for Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc, and Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation. Continue reading

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One of the most common claims from unhappy investors is against stockbrokers who churn or excessively trade their account to generate commissions for themselves. Every dollar spent on fees, costs, or commissions is money that needs to be recovered through profit just for the investor to break even. The higher the commissions an investor pays, the less likely they are to make a profit.One of the most common claims from unhappy investors is against stockbrokers who churn or excessively trade their account to generate commissions for themselves.

Every dollar spent on fees, costs, or commissions is money that needs to be recovered through profit just for the investor to break even. The higher the commissions an investor pays, the less likely they are to make a profit. Continue reading

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Demos Argyros (CRD#: 1325219), a currently-registered broker working for Oppenheimer & Co. (CRD# 249) in St. Louis, Missouri, is the subject of 5 disclosures on his FINRA BrokerCheck report. Argyros has been in the industry since 1985 and was previously registered at CIBC World Markets Corp. (CRD#: 630), Kemper Securities Group, Inc. (CRD#: 19616), Blunt Ellis & Loewi Incorporated (CRD#: 7580), and others.Demos Argyros (CRD#: 1325219), a currently-registered broker working for Oppenheimer & Co. (CRD# 249) in St. Louis, Missouri, is the subject of 5 disclosures on his FINRA BrokerCheck report.

Argyros has been in the industry since 1985 and was previously registered at CIBC World Markets Corp. (CRD#: 630), Kemper Securities Group, Inc. (CRD#: 19616), Blunt Ellis & Loewi Incorporated (CRD#: 7580), and others. Continue reading

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James Bradley Schwartz (CRD# 3043085) is a former registered broker whose last employer was Joseph Gunnar & Co. LLC (CRD#:24795) of New York, NY. Previous employers include First Standard Financial Company LLC (CRD#:168340) of Garden City, NY, and Aegis Capital Corp. (CRD#:15007) of Melville, NY.  He has been in the industry since 1998.During his tenure with Aegis (2013 through 2016), Schwartz was the subject of six customer disputes, all of which were settled by the firm. The allegations against Schwartz were similar: unauthorized and excessive trading, unsuitable recommendations, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, misrepresentation, and others. The damages requested for these six disputes totaled $6,861,954.47, and the damages awarded totaled $2,730,286.36.James Schwartz (CRD# 3043085) is a former registered broker whose last employer was Joseph Gunnar & Co. LLC (CRD#:24795) of New York, NY. Previous employers include First Standard Financial Company LLC (CRD#:168340) of Garden City, NY, and Aegis Capital Corp. (CRD#:15007) of Melville, NY.  He has been in the industry since 1998. Continue reading

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FINRA has alleged that in 2011 and 2012, Ami Forte engaged in unsuitable trading with the account of a client who was very near death. With this account, Forte generated more than $9 million in commissions in less than a year. In 2016, Forte was fired by Morgan Stanley after the estate of Roy M. Speer, co-founder of the Home Shopping Network, sued Morgan Stanley for $40 million. In March 2016, a FINRA panel gave more than $34 million to the Speer estate for its claim against Morgan Stanley.FINRA has alleged that in 2011 and 2012, Ami Forte engaged in unsuitable trading with the account of a client who was very near death. With this account, Forte generated more than $9 million in commissions in less than a year. In 2016, Forte was fired by Morgan Stanley after the estate of Roy M. Speer, co-founder of the Home Shopping Network, sued Morgan Stanley for $40 million.

In March 2016, a FINRA panel gave more than $34 million to the Speer estate for its claim against Morgan Stanley. Continue reading

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Gabriel Block (CRD#: 2103543, aka Gabe Block) is a former registered broker and investment advisor whose last employer was First Standard Financial Company LLC (CRD#:168340) of Red Bank, NJ. His previous employers include National Securities Corporation (CRD#:7569) and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (CRD#:249), both of Red Bank, as well as others in Purchase, NY, St. Louis, MO, Charlotte, NC, Boca Raton, FL, and New York, NY. No current employment information is available. He began in the industry in 1990.Gabriel Block (CRD#: 2103543, aka Gabe Block) is a former registered broker and investment advisor whose last employer was First Standard Financial Company LLC (CRD#:168340) of Red Bank, NJ. His previous employers include National Securities Corporation (CRD#:7569) and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (CRD#:249), both of Red Bank, as well as others in Purchase, NY, St. Louis, MO, Charlotte, NC, Boca Raton, FL, and New York, NY. No current employment information is available. He began in the industry in 1990. Continue reading

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You may have heard the term “churning” in discussions of investments and securities. But you probably won’t know what it means unless you’ve actually experienced it. (Hint: it has nothing to do with butter.)“Churning” is when a broker and/or firm conducted extra trading in your account for the sole purpose of earning additional commissions from the transactions. If you’ve ever looked at an account statement and thought, “that’s quite a lot of broker commissions,” it could mean that your account has been churned.Cetera Advisor Networks will be paying about $1.4 million in fines and restitution related to a former broker who made multiple short-term mutual fund purchases. The broker received sales awards in 2013 and 2014 from the firm. FINRA fined Cetera $700,000, and ordered the firm to pay $691,800 in customer restitution.You may have heard the term “churning” in discussions of investments and securities. But you probably won’t know what it means unless you’ve actually experienced it. (Hint: it has nothing to do with butter.)

“Churning” is when a broker and/or firm conducted extra trading in your account for the sole purpose of earning additional commissions from the transactions. If you’ve ever looked at an account statement and thought, “that’s quite a lot of broker commissions,” it could mean that your account has been churned. Continue reading

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Devin Michael McCabe (CRD#: 5645799) is a registered broker currently employed with Westpark Capital, Inc. (CRD#:39914) of Fort Lauderdale, FL. He was previously employed by Laidlaw & Company (UK) LTD. (CRD#:119037), Sterne Agee Financial Services, Inc. (CRD#:18456), and Emmett A Larkin Company, Inc. (CRD#:6625), all of Fort Lauderdale. He has been in the industry since 2009.McCabe is the subject of two disclosures. The first disclosure was filed on 5/15/2018. The customer alleges “churning, unauthorized and unsuitable trading from 2015-2017,” and requests damages of $25,413.00. The claim is currently listed as “pending.”Devin Michael McCabe (CRD#: 5645799) is a registered broker currently employed with Westpark Capital, Inc. (CRD#:39914) of Fort Lauderdale, FL. He was previously employed by Laidlaw & Company (UK) LTD. (CRD#:119037), Sterne Agee Financial Services, Inc. (CRD#:18456), and Emmett A Larkin Company, Inc. (CRD#:6625), all of Fort Lauderdale. He has been in the industry since 2009.

Devin Michael McCabe is the subject of two disclosures. The first disclosure was filed on 5/15/2018. The customer alleges “churning, unauthorized and unsuitable trading from 2015-2017,” and requests damages of $25,413.00. The claim is currently listed as “pending.” Continue reading

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Jonathan Ebel (CRD#: 5902719) is a registered broker currently employed with Laidlaw & Company (UK) LTD. (CRD#:119037) of Melville, NY. He was previously employed with Rockwell Global Capital LLC (CRD#:142485) and Ekn Financial Services Inc. (CRD#:113525), also of Melville. He has been in the industry since 2011. Ebel is currently employed by Network 1 Financial.Ebel has one customer dispute, filed on 5/22/2018, alleging “excessive and unsuitable trading from 2016-2018.”  The client requested damages of $71,000, and the claim was settled for $30,000. Ebel denies the claim.Jonathan Ebel (CRD#: 5902719) is a registered broker currently employed with Laidlaw & Company (UK) LTD. (CRD#:119037) of Melville, NY. He was previously employed with Rockwell Global Capital LLC (CRD#:142485) and Ekn Financial Services Inc. (CRD#:113525), also of Melville. He has been in the industry since 2011. Ebel is currently employed by Network 1 Financial.

Ebel has one customer dispute, filed on 5/22/2018, alleging “excessive and unsuitable trading from 2016-2018.”  The client requested damages of $71,000, and the claim was settled for $30,000. Ebel denies the claim. Continue reading

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FINRA-Permanently-Bars-Gary-Eugene-Donovan-for-Stock-Manipulation-300x200The SEC obtained a preliminary injunction against two individuals and their companies on October 26, 2018. The fraudulent actions of these individuals resulted in more than $165 million of illegal sales and stock in at least 50 microcap companies.

According to the SEC, U.K. citizen Roger Knox and his Swiss-based company, Wintercap SA, was involved in antifraud and violating federal securities laws. German citizen Michael T. Gastauer and six of his entities were involved in aiding and abetting Knox and Wintercap’s violations of the same provisions. The court had originally entered a temporary restraining order and asset freeze on October 2, 2018.

The SEC’s complaint states that Knox and Wintercap aided microcap securities holders in evading federal securities laws that restrict sales by large shareholders. Knox and Wintercap gave anonymous access to brokerage accounts in order to sell shares in the U.S. market. They also helped sellers conceal the amount of stock they wanted to sell. Gastauer allegedly established several U.S. corporations to aid and abet the fraud, and allowed Knox to use certain bank accounts to distribute the proceeds of his illegal stock sales.

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