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
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
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
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
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
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
The 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.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Emil Botvinnik of taking $3.7 million in a fraudulent scheme involving excessive, high-frequency trading. On November 7, 2018, he asked a New York federal judge to toss the suit because he claimed its allegations do not meet the pleading standard for fraud.
The claims against Botvinnik state that he wrongfully used his clients’ accounts while he was employed at Meyers Associates LP. However, Botvinnik denies these claims and he stated that there are no specific allegations that proves his clients were the type of unsophisticated investors who would not benefit from high-frequency trading. He also stated that his clients may only have been simply unaware of the trading strategy and its risks.
The SEC said that from June 2012 until November 2014, Botvinnik solicited five customers to open securities trading accounts for which he claimed he would employ a profitable trading strategy. He then implemented the strategy of frequent, short-term trades that forced significant costs and commissions on the investors. For example, the accounts would have had to reach an annual return of between 31 and 150 percent just to pay off the transaction costs that built up from the trading strategy. This type of trading is frequently referred to as churning.
Silver Law Group is investigating claims against brokers and financial advisors who committed misconduct in Boca Raton, Florida and the surrounding area.
Boca Raton is located in Palm Beach County, Florida on the east coast of the state. The city is located less than 50 miles away from Miami and less than 20 miles away from Silver Law Group offices. As of July 2015, Boca Raton’s estimated population is just over 93,000.
Boca Raton is home to the main campus of Florida Atlantic University, also known as FAU. Additionally, major supplier of office products and services Office Depot has its global headquarters in Boca Raton.
Silver Law Group is investigating claims against brokers and financial advisors who committed securities misconduct in Orlando, Florida and the surrounding area.
Orlando is located in Orange County, Florida and has a population of just under 2.5 million as of July 2015, the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida.
Orlando is also known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” featuring numerous high-profile theme parks such as Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Epcot, Universal Studios, and Seaworld. In fact, the theme parks attracted over 66 million visitors to Orland in 2015 alone.