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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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Churning-1024x683-300x200The 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.

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Have-You-Invested-Money-with-William-“Billy”-Nelson-and-Lost-300x200Silver 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.

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iStock-492125706-300x200Silver 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.

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Florida-Broker-Peter-Gouzos-Banned-by-FINRA-300x206Silver Law Group is investigating claims against brokers and financial advisors who committed securities misconduct in Tampa, Florida and the surrounding area.

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It is located on the west coast of Florida on the Tampa Bay near the Gulf of Mexico. As of July 2015, Tampa’s population is estimated to be 369,075. Tampa is part of the Tampa Bay Metropolitan area, which consists of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

Tampa features numerous attractions such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the theme park Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, and crystal blue gulf beaches.

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How to Report Elder Financial Fraud on elderfinancialfraudattorneys.comSilver Law Group is investigating claims against brokers and financial advisors who committed securities misconduct in The Villages, Florida and the surrounding area.

The Villages is located in Sumter County, Florida. According to FOX Business, The Villages is the fastest-growing city in America. The city, one of the fastest-growing retirement communities, also shares the same name as The Villages retirement community. It’s a Manhattan-sized city “with more golf carts than New York has taxis,” according to a Bloomberg report.

While the elder population and retirement communities have grown relatively crime-free, the senior population is not impervious to other financial threats. For aging seniors and retirees, elder financial fraud remains a potential problem.

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Boca-Raton-Financial-Advisor-Robert-Child-Faces-Yet-Another-Customer-Dispute-300x199Erik Patrick Pica (CRD #4829533) is a currently registered broker employed with Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C. (CRD #159744) of New York, NY. His previous employers include Global Arena Capital Corp (CRD #16871, expelled by FINRA on 4/1/2016), First Midwest Securities, Inc. (CRD #21786), Chicago Investment Group, LLC (CRD #11853, expelled by FINRA on 9/14/2010) and Eastbrook Capital Group LLC (CRD #39781, expelled by FINRA on 9/23/2009), all of New York City. He has been in the industry since 2004.

Pica is the subject of seven disclosures, all customer disputes. The first one was filed on 5/10/2018, alleging “unauthorized trade of 6000 shares Rite Aid Corp unauthorized trade of 550 shares Valeant Pharmaceutical.”  The client requests damages of $7,613.65. This case is currently pending.

The next customer dispute was filed on 5/4/2018, with allegations of negligence, over-concentration and suitability.” This client requests damages of $293,000. This case is also currently “pending.”

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Peter Michael Malis (CRD #317892) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (CRD #19616) of Woodland Hills, CA. His previous employers include Prudential Securities Incorporated (CRD #7471) of New York, NY, Bache Halsey Stuart Inc. (CRD #7238) and Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis Incorporated (CRD #640). He has been in the industry since 1969.

Antonio-Costanzo-Permanently-Barred-by-FINRA-After-Alleged-Churning-in-Customer-Accounts-300x202According to CRD records, Malis has five disclosures on his record, all customer disputes. The most recent was filed on 12/7/2017, alleging unsuitable investments and that he never discussed any transactions with the client during the time period 2/13/2006 through 12/31/2016. This claim was denied.

The next claim was filed on 09/13/2016, alleging excessive and unsuitable unauthorized trading, churning, and unsuitable account portfolio management from April 2002 through 2015. This claim went to arbitration and settled on May 2, 2017 for $1,100,000.00. Malis did not contribute to this settlement amount.

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Cristhian Javier Palacios (CRD #3069971) is a registered broker currently employed by Garden State Securities, Inc. (CRD #10083) of Hackensack, NJ. His previous employers include The Concord Equity Group, LLC (CRD #14569) and J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (CRD #43177), of Saddlebrook, NJ, and Barron Chase Securities, Inc. (CRD #18969) of Boca Raton, FL (this firm was expelled by FINRA on 2/28/2002.)

David-Sullivan-Accused-of-Excessive-Trading-on-More-Than-One-Occasion-300x200-300x200Palacios has a total of six disclosures. The most recent is a customer dispute, filed on 6/12/2018. The client alleges unsuitability and excessive trading from 1/2009 through 3/2016, and requests damages of $298,109.00. The case is currently listed as “pending.”

Four of Palacios’ disclosures are tax liens, which he claims to be unaware of. The dates are 7/1/2016, 11/30/2012, 1/31/2012 and 10/31/2011, with the last three listed as “November 2012.” These liens total $239,317. No additional information is available.

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Michael Christopher Venturino (CRD #5872439) is a registered broker currently employed with Spartan Capital Securities, LLC (CRD #146251) of Garden City, NY. His previous employers include Trident Partners Ltd. (CRD #41258) of Woodbury, NY and Aegis Capital Corp. (CRD #15007) of Melville, NY.  Two other prior employers, Craig Scott Capital, LLC (CRD #155924) and Brookstone Securities, Inc. (CRD #13366), both of Uniondale, NY, have been expelled by FINRA.  He has been in the industry since 2010.

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.jpgVenturino is the subject of 8 disclosures, most recently on 9/11/2018. This customer dispute alleges that from 12/24/14 to 02/28/18, he engaged in misrepresentation, unsuitable recommendations and churning. The client has requested damages of $290,359.83. This case is pending.

FINRA filed a disclosure on 7/17/2018 against Venturino for failing to comply with an arbitration award/letter. He was suspended for one day, as his counsel was arranging installment payments; it later became obvious that the claimant had no intention of doing so. Venturino filed a motion to vacate, and FINRA lifted his suspension.

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