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Articles Posted in Misappropriation

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Kristian M. Gaudet (CRD#: 4190811) is a former registered broker whose last employer was Ameritas Investment Corp. (CRD#:14869) of Cut Off, Louisiana. He was previously employed by The Advisors Group, Inc. (CRD#:14035) of Bethesda, MD and Princor Financial Services Corporation (CRD#:1137) of Des Moines, IA. No current employment information is available. He has been in the industry since 2000.FINRA initiated an investigation after it became suspicious that Gaudet was involved in fraudulent activity. On 12/10/2018, following an internal firm investigation, Ameritas discharged Gaudet after discovering that he was using client funds for personal use.Kristian M. Gaudet (CRD#: 4190811) is a former registered broker whose last employer was Ameritas Investment Corp. (CRD#:14869) of Cut Off, Louisiana. He was previously employed by The Advisors Group, Inc. (CRD#:14035) of Bethesda, MD and Princor Financial Services Corporation (CRD#:1137) of Des Moines, IA. No current employment information is available. He has been in the industry since 2000.

FINRA initiated an investigation after it became suspicious that Gaudet was involved in fraudulent activity. On 12/10/2018, following an internal firm investigation, Ameritas discharged Gaudet after discovering that he was using client funds for personal use. Continue reading

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The Massachusetts Securities Division has charged former investment adviser, Bruce Colin Worthington, with allegedly withdrawing $100,000 from a client's bank account.Worthington has been charged with fraudulently misappropriating the investment funds of a retiree and using the money for personal use. He was affiliated with Founders Financial Securities for about five years, and before that, he was with Commonwealth Financial Network.The Massachusetts Securities Division has charged former investment adviser, Bruce Colin Worthington, with allegedly withdrawing $100,000 from a client’s bank account.

Worthington has been charged with fraudulently misappropriating the investment funds of a retiree and using the money for personal use. He was affiliated with Founders Financial Securities for about five years, and before that, he was with Commonwealth Financial Network. Continue reading

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sec-300x198Back in June, we told you about John Greg Schmidt (CRD#: 708094) who was barred by FINRA after a series of allegations of misappropriation of funds. Since then the Securities and Exchange Commission has also investigated Schmidt, and has now filed a civil action.

Schmidt was discharged by his last employer, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (CRD#:11025), of Dayton, OH, after allegations of “unauthorized money movement between clients,” and inaccurate account statements that were not generated or approved by Wells Fargo. Continue reading

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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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John William Cutshall (CRD #874352) is a registered broker and former registered investment advisor currently employed with Lombard Securities Incorporated (CRD #27954) of Woodsboro, MD. His previous employers include Morgan Stanley (CRD #149777), RBC Capital Markets, LLC (CRD #31194) and Ferris, Baker Watts, LLC (CRD #285), also of Frederick, MD. He has been in the industry since 1979.

Three Individuals Charged by the SEC for Defrauding Elderly Clients on elderfinancialfraudattorneys.comCutshall has four recent disclosures in his record. The most recent is a pending FINRA disciplinary complaint filed by their Department of Enforcement on 8/10/2018 (the full complaint is available here.) His actions are described in detail regarding the misappropriation of trusts that he was administering for three individuals. Between 2012 and 2014, Custshall abused his position for these trusts (for one elderly woman and a now-deceased married couple), converting and improperly using funds from the trusts.

The trust provided for the couple’s disabled daughter, who was in a residential facility for intellectually disabled individuals. When the daughter died in 2012, Cutshall used his position as a trustee to write 34 checks from the trust for a total of $400,000. These checks were deposited into his own bank account. Cutshall then presented an unwitnessed handwritten note that was allegedly written by the deceased husband, but not the wife. The note named Cutshall as a 50% beneficiary, defending his converting of funds from the trust. He took a total of $463,000, which was more than he was entitled to, assuming the note was genuine. Cutshall never disclosed this note until 2013, and failed to disclose to two firms that he was a client’s trustee.

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Back in October, we told you about Kyusun Kim (CRD #2864085), a broker who was barred by FINRA after it was discovered he approached individuals who were near or at retirement age, and urged them to liquidate their pensions to invest in “alternative investments.” These investments included risky, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs.)

Are-or-Were-Unsuitable-Non-Traded-REITs-in-Your-Portfolio-300x224-300x224BrokerCheck now reports that Sandlapper Wealth Management, LLC has discharged him from their employment as of 8/31/2018 after he was barred by FINRA.

The allegations against Kim included wrongful conduct, breaches of fiduciary duty, contract and conduct, violations of securities laws, fraud, financial elder abuse, negligent misrepresentation, inappropriate investments and unsuitable recommendations, as well as one allegation of forged signatures.

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In August, we told you about John Cochran Maccoll (CRD #839441) who was barred by FINRA after multiple fraud allegations. Since then, there have been two additional developments.

Another customer has come forward and filed a complaint on 08/16/2018, alleging misappropriation of client funds from 10/01/2015 through 08/16/2018. The case was settled for $158,163.76. No additional information is available. This case is in addition to the previous cases we described in the earlier blog post.

The SEC Has Proposed New Regulations for Fiduciaries on silverlaw.comOn 8/9/2018, The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan filed criminal charges against Maccoll in an action initiated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC.) In it, the SEC detailed how Maccoll persuaded investors, mostly elderly, into investing in what he described as a “highly sought after private fund investment.”  These investors, most of them retired, used their retirement accounts to fund their alleged investments. In return, Maccoll promised a 20% return on investment, as well as diversifying their portfolios and better growth potential than their current investment portfolios.

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