We’ve discussed the risks of margin calls in previous blog posts. Many investors go into an arrangement for margin calls without completely understanding what they’re getting themselves into, only to discover they’ve lost money. While financial advisors frequently fail to properly explain the cost of buying on margin, wall street makes massive profits off of these loans. Continue reading ›
Ralph Michael Byer (CRD #1038411) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (CRD #7691) of Plantation, Florida, where he has been since 1982.
Byer has a total of seven disclosures, all of them customer disputes. The most recent was filed on 06/19/2018, alleging “excessive trading, unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentation from 1990 until 2018.” This case is currently pending.
His next previous dispute, filed on 02/03/2014, alleged misrepresentation involving a life insurance policy purchased in June of 1987. This claim was denied. However, the next dispute, filed on 01/27/2009, was settled for $7,000. The client alleged “unsuitable investment recommendations,” and requested damages of $100,000.
Back in June, we told you about Yousuf Saljooki (CRD #5045123), who was suspended by the state of Arkansas after failing to disclose an outstanding federal tax lien. This failure led to his discharge of employment by Worden Capital. He was previously discharged by SW Financial in 2017 for opening a branch office in another name and attempting to transfer his client list to the new brokerage. In the process, Saljooki also used an unauthorized email address for private client information.
In October, FINRA suspended Saljooki indefinitely after he failed to respond to a request for information. He is now suspended in all capacities from associating with any FINRA member. He has not yet requested termination of the suspension, and will eventually be permanently barred.
Did You Invest With Yousuf Saljooki at Worden Capital?
Cory Bataan (CRD #2755223) has been employed with Emoire Asset Management Company since April 2008. Previous employment includes Empire Asset Management Company from April 2008 to August 2012, Ameritas Investment Corp. from December 2007 to April 2008 and Joseph Stevens & Company, Inc. from October 1996 to July 2001.
According to the FINRA BrokerCheck, there have been complaints against Mr Bataan.
In 2015, while employed by Aegis Capital Corp., Claimant alleges unsuitable recommendations and excessive fees & commissions. Complaint was settled for $25,000.00.
Nick Son (CRD #1178523) has been employed with Aegis Capital Corp since August 2014 and was also registered with Aegis from March 2010 to April 2011. Previous employment includes Alexander Capital, L.P. from March 2012 to August 2014, WTS Proprietary trading Group LLC from December 2011 to June 2012, Gunnallen Financial, Inc. form July 2002 to March 2010, Investprivate, Inc. from June 2001 to July 2002, Josephthal & Co., Inc. from July 1998 to May 2001, JW Charles Securities, Inc. from May 1997 to August 1997, Whale Securities Co., L.P. from September 1996 to May 1997 and State Capital Markets Corporation from December 1995 to September 1996.
According to the FINRA BrokerCheck, there have been complaints against Nick Son.
In 1996, while employed by State Capital Markets Corporation, Client alleges the stock offering from Cable and Fun Tyme were not registered in Texas; The sale of non-registered stock is a violation of Texas State securities Act 7A and is therefore illegal. Complaint was settled for $14,500.00.
Leon 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.
Former broker and investment advisor Michael Edward Fitz-Gerald (aka Michael Edward Fitzgerald, CRD #209062) was last registered with Morgan Stanley (CRD #149777) of San Francisco, CA. Previous employers include Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated (CRD #8209) and UBS Financial Services Inc. (CRD #8174), both of San Francisco. He began working in the industry in 1969.
Fitz-Gerald is the subject of six disputes, dating back to 1987. The latest, filed on 6/6/2018, is pending, and requesting damages totaling $240,000 and allege, “inter alia, unsuitability with respect to investments in accounts -2014 to 2015.”
The previous dispute, filed on 2/14/2017, requested damages of $2,348,175.00, and settled for $185,000. The client alleged that his portfolio was insufficiently diversified from 2012 to 2016. A year before, in 2016, another dispute was filed, with the same allegation of insufficient diversification in the account from 2010 through 2015. The damages were unspecified, and case was settled for $50,000.
Michael Richard Rosalia (CRD #2323953) is a FINRA broker currently registered with Worden Capital Management LLC (CRD #148366) of Melville, NY. He has been with Worden since 12/2/2015. Rosalia’s previous employers include Rockwell Global Capital LLC (CRD #142485), also of Melville, American Capital Partners, LLC (CRD #119249) of Hauppage, NY, and Ladenburg, Thalmann & Co., Inc. (CRD #505) of New York City. He has been in the industry since 1993.
Rosalia’s FINRA record contains 16 disclosures. The most recent was a customer dispute involving a client and the client’s children, with allegations of churning, improper use of margin, unsuitability and high commissions. The children contacted the firm, claiming to represent the customer. But without a power of attorney, or the presence of the client, neither Rosalia nor anyone else the firm could or would speak with them. Eventually, the client and his children had a conference with the firm’s CEO and attorney. The client and children sought damages of $503,828.39; the firm settled for $150,000 to avoid litigation and other related expenses.
Two of Rosalia’s disclosures are bankruptcy dismissals from 2013. Eight of the disclosures from 2009 through 2011 are tax lien judgments totaling $219,663.17. Rosalia’s comment in two of these cases indicated he assumed that they had been already reported on his U4.
Our investment fraud attorneys help victims of precious metal and exotic diamond frauds by con artists who promise quick profits from investing in rare diamonds or other exotic gems. Investors should be wary of any aggressive sales tactics or violations of state or federal securities laws.
Possible Fraudulent Sales Pitch Include:
- Current news already known to the public such as:
Yousuf Saljooki (CRD #5045123, a/k/a “Joe Saljooki”) is a former registered broker with Worden Capital Management LLC (CRD #148366) of Melville, NY. His previous employers include SW Financial (CRD #145012), Legend Securities, Inc. (CRD #44952, expelled) and Tryco Securities, Inc. (CRD #104025), among others. No current employment information is available. He has been in the industry since 2006.
Saljooki has had two employment separations in less than a year, in part, due to a ban by the state of Arkansas. During the application process, Saljooki failed to disclose an outstanding 2016 federal tax lien of $227,859. The state denied his application, and he was banned for five years. First, SW Financial, then Worden discharged him after the denial. He is not currently registered with any FINRA-affiliated broker.
Two previous disclosures in 2018 include customer disputes with almost identical allegations of churning and unsuitability, as well as breach of contract/fiduciary duty and unauthorized trading. The two disputes have requested damages totaling over $1.5 million. Both cases are pending.