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Articles Posted in FINRA Regulatory Notice

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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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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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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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Individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s can be prime targets for financial predators

Unfortunately, we become more susceptible to financial scams from a wide range of offenders as we age. These include trusted advisors such as lawyers, accountants, and financial managers – as well as healthcare providers, caregivers, and even close family members.

Recent studies show that as our brains age, we become less able to detect deception and focus more on the potential for positive outcomes, especially when it comes to trusting people in our own social environment.

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He defrauded his clients – including his own in-laws – of more than $5 million

Former Chicago investment advisor Daniel Glick will be spending the next 12 years in federal prison. He received this sentence in April after being found guilty of using a Ponzi-like scheme to defraud several of his clients of $5.2 million.

From 2011 to 2017, it was revealed that Glick misappropriated funds through the three financial services and accounting firms he owned in Orland Park, Illinois: Glick & Associates Ltd., Glick Accounting Services Inc., and Financial Management Strategies, Inc.

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The New Jersey Bureau of Securities has levied a large fine against LPL Financial LLC, one of the largest independent broker-dealer in the United States. The $950,000 fine also requires LPL to donate $25,000 to the New Jersey state investor education fund. The Bureau of Securities imposed these judgments against LPL for allegedly conducting unsuitable sales of non-traded real estate investment trusts and business development companies.

The Bureau on its settlement with LPL states; “This substantial settlement with LPL Financial sends a message that the securities industry cannot sell unsuitable investments to clients who are unlikely to be able to bear the financial risks,” said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “The standards governing sales of alternative investments are in place to protect investors, and the Bureau will take action when these standards are ignored.”

Generally, Federal statues regulate suitability standards and limit the sale of certain alternative investments based on a complex calculation that reflects a client’s liquid net worth, or a mixture of a client’s income and net worth and other factors. New Jersey also limits the maximum total ratio of alternative investments held by an individual client’s portfolio to not exceed 10 percent of an investor’s complete portfolio.

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Broker Sylvester King Jr. Sanctioned and Suspended by FINRA on silverlaw.com

Allegations of selling away and other policy violations have Wells Fargo broker in hot water

In a recent case drawing from allegations beginning in July 2009 and up to the year 2012, Sylvester King Jr. was accused of violating policies with his employer, Ft. Lauderdale Wells Fargo, in order to assist another broker in covering up more than $400,000 in loans made to three customers at the firms. In addition, King was named in connection with loaning another customer $25,000 without commission and participating in undisclosed private securities transactions known as selling away. This allowed eight customers to invest more than $3 million.

King became active in the securities industry in 1999. Between 2006 and 2009, he worked with Citi Group Global Markets Inc., between 2009 and 2010 he worked with Morgan Stanley and from 2011 until 2015 he was connected to Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo filed a termination form U-5 at the end of April in 2015, the same day that FINRA entered into an agreement with the broker accepting a fine and sanction stating the reasons that he was being discharged from the firm. His FINRA suspension at that time was 18 months. After this date, FINRA filed an additional regulatory action stating that King did not pay the $35,000 required within the settlement.

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