A National Securities Arbitration & Investment Fraud Law Firm

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Articles Posted in Elder Fraud

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The SEC recently published some guidance on variable annuities, an investment contract between an investor and an insurance company.

Winston-Turner-Facing-Allegations-of-Variable-Annuity-Fraud-300x200What It Is

A variable annuity is an investment account purchased from an insurance company that includes different types of insurance features. It can grow on a tax-deferred basis, and you can purchase one with a single payment or with regular “installment-plan” payments.

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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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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 One dispute was denied; nine are pending, and the remaining thirteen are settled, with one settlement rescinded.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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Investment Center Broker Accused of Stealing $300K from Elderly Client on silverlaw.comLeon Vaccarelli allegedly defrauded a total of nine clients out of more than $1 million

In May, former financial advisor Leon Vaccarelli was charged with 12 counts of fraud and money laundering in a federal court in Connecticut. If convicted on all of them, he could receive a maximum penalty of 210 years in prison. After pleading not guilty, Vaccarelli was released on a $100,000 bond.

Vaccarelli is alleged to have stolen money from several clients between 2011 and 2017. During that time, he reportedly informed his clients that their money would be invested in different places, including money market accounts and retirement products. What Vaccarelli actually did, according to investigators, was put the money into his own account and use it to pay his own expenses. In addition, federal prosecutors also say that he also used client money to make interest payments to other investors.

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National Securities Corporation: Frequent Customer Disputes with FINRA on silverlaw.comHow the company has violated or been accused of violating FINRA regulations

It is always important for investors to have a good understanding of the financial professionals they work with. Before handing over money to anyone, brokers should be vetted properly. This is why the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) created its BrokerCheck reports.

Not only do these provide good information on where brokers are licensed and their work histories, but they also reveal customer disputes, discharges, and alleged improper activity. But these reports don’t just cover brokers – they also include their member firms.

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Hector May (CRD #323779) is a former registered broker and investment advisor, last employed with Securities America, Inc. (CRD #10205) of New York City. His previous employers include Prime Capital Services, Inc. (CRD #18334) of Poughkeepsie, NY, Equico Securities, Inc. (CRD #6627) and The Equitable Life Assurance Society Of The United States (CRD #4039) of New York City. He has been in the industry since 1973.

May has three disclosures filed this year. The first, on 03/08/2018, is an official criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice for a “suspected felony.”  No additional information is available.

On 3/9/2018, May was discharged from Securities America due to “Misappropriation of client assets.”

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Some of National Securities Corporation’s FINRA-Reported Brokers on silverlaw.comThese five brokers have been accused of numerous infractions

National Securities Corporation has been operating for decades and has offices and brokers all over the U.S. Unfortunately, however, a significant percentage of their brokers have been involved in numerous customer complaints. Here are just a few examples of how National Securities employees have allegedly violated FINRA rules:

Mark Kolta

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Senior Citizens in Florida Reportedly Scammed into Investing in Fake Fish Farm on silverlaw.comSeveral older investors reportedly fell victim to the scam, including a former police officer

From 2013 to 2014, several senior citizens living in South Florida invested over $400,000 in Blue Ocean Farm, a fish farm company. Three purported financial professionals reportedly solicited funds for the farm – Rebecca Gonzalez and Matthew Braun of Boca Raton and Michael Creamer of St. Petersburg. There was just one problem: the Florida Department of Law Enforcement says that the company was completely bogus.

The scheme was allegedly spearheaded by Gonzalez, and now she, Braun, and Creamer are facing several charges, including fraud, selling unregistered securities, and the sale of securities by an unregistered person. The trio reportedly targeted six older investors, all of which handed over thousands of dollars.

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The-SEC-Has-Proposed-New-Regulations-for-Fiduciaries-300x198 What the new code of conduct rule entails and how it could affect elderly investors

Up until earlier this year, the Department of Labor had a rule in effect for fiduciaries that specified that they couldn’t earn commissions unless the advice they offered was in the best interests of their clients. In addition, the rule mandated that they could only earn reasonable compensation and must be transparent about this compensation as well as the products they sell.

However, in March, a federal appeals court struck down the DOL’s rule. Recently the SEC proposed their own rule – called Regulation Best Interest or Reg BI – that aims to address three areas:

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Securities Arbitration Claims Against National Securities Corp. on silverlaw.comAccording to some reports, nearly 1/3 of National Securities brokers have had regulatory issues, legal disputes, or personal financial problems that have been disclosed to investors

National Securities Corporation is one of the oldest financial firms in the U.S., dating back over 70 years. Its the main office is in Seattle, Washington, but the company has licenses to operate in every state in the country, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

National Securities Corporation is registered with the SEC and three self-regulatory organizations: Nasdaq, Cboe BZX Exchanged, Inc., and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) – and it is with the latter agency that the company has come under intense scrutiny over the last couple of decades.

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