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Articles Posted in Misrepresentation and Omission of Material Facts

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Scott Vincent Kaup (CRD #1002907) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. (CRD #34643) of Stuart, NE. His previous employers include VSR Financial Services, Inc. (CRD #14503), also of Stuart, NE and American General Securities Incorporated (CRD #13626) of Phoenix, AZ. He has been in the business since 1981.

Lawrence-LaBine-Under-Fire-for-Alleged-Unsuitable-Recommendations-and-More-300x200Kaup has two disclosures on his record. The first one, filed on 7/13/2018, alleges “unsuitable investment recommendations, material misrepresentations and omissions, and supervisory due diligence failures.”  The client is requesting damages of $2,600,000.00. No additional information is available.

The second dispute was filed on 4/25/2016. This claim alleges that Kaup, from 3/30/2001 to 6/14/2010, breached his fiduciary duty, violated common law fraud regulations, made unsuitable recommendations for investments and committed negligence. The claim was settled for $173,000. Kaup denied all claims.

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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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Donna Jean Hines (CRD #4275542, aka “Donna Jean Atchison” or “Donna J. Hines”) is a registered broker and investment advisor who is currently employed with Cetera Advisors LLC (CRD #10299) of Weston, WV. Her previous employers include Investment Planners, Inc. (CRD #18557), also of Weston, WV, Sammons Securities Company, LLC (CRD #115368) of Ann Arbor, MI, and Edward Jones (CRD #250) of St. Louis, MO. She has been in the industry since 2000.

Lawrence-LaBine-Under-Fire-for-Alleged-Unsuitable-Recommendations-and-More-300x200On 06/12/20018, a customer filed a dispute against Hines, alleging unsuitable investments from 2005 through 2018, negligence, common law fraud and other claims, and requested damages of $142,026.00. Hines responded that a motion to compel would be filed to bring the case to arbitration, and reasons why the claims were without basis.

Three previous customer disputes were filed on 12/21/2015, 12/24/2015 and 12/28/2015. The claimants were children of a deceased customer, who each inherited from the customer’s estate. The claims allege misrepresentation, omissions, negligence and breaches in regards to “alternative investment products” that Hines sold the customer. The damages requested were different for each case, but all three claims were settled for $100,000. Hines’ response was that the alternative investments were purchased more than ten years ago. The client passed away in 2011, and the claims were settled to avoid the cost and expense of litigation.

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Bryon Edwin Martinsen (CRD #1621649) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Centaurus Financial, Inc. (CRD #30833) of Northport, NY.  His previous employers are AXA Advisors, LLC (CRD #6627) and The Equitable Life Assurance Society Of The United States (CRD #4039), both of New York, NY.  He has been in the industry since 1987.

Martinsen has a total of eight disclosures on his record dating back to 1999, when he was discharged from AXA Advisors for engaging in outside business activities. He had previously been advised to end these business activities.

My-Financial-Advisor-is-Giving-Me-the-Runaround-on-My-Investments-What-Are-My-Rights-300x200His most recent disclosure was filed on 6/25/2018. This customer disclosure is currently pending, and includes allegations of “unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, and omission of material risks, in connection with the sale of various investments.” The client has requested damages of $231,244.71. Martinsen denies the allegations.

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Michael Turner Morrissett (CRD #1456789) is a registered broker and investment advisor who is currently employed with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (CRD #19616) of Roanoke, VA. His previous employers are First Union Brokerage Services, Inc. (CRD #8112) of Charlotte, NC and Dominion Investment Banking, Inc. (CRD #17523)   He has been in the industry since 1986.

Lawrence-LaBine-Under-Fire-for-Alleged-Unsuitable-Recommendations-and-More-1024x683-300x200Morrissett is the subject of four disclosures, the most recent of which was filed on 4/5/2018. The claimants allege that Morrissett “misrepresented” two hedge funds in 2013 and 2015, and that the information provided on the two alternative investments was “misleading.” The clients have requested damages of $2,300,000. This case is currently pending.

The next customer dispute was filed on 1/15/2014, with the client alleging that Morrissett “pursued an unsuitable investment strategy beginning in 2000 that overexposed her account to the volatility of the equities markets during the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.”  The case was settled for $85,000 by the firm to avoid the expense and hassle of litigation.

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Michael Patrick Nixon (CRD #216931) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Paulson Investment Company LLC (CRD #5670) of Tampa, Florida. His previous employers include Newport Coast Securities, Inc. (CRD #16944) and Meyers Associates, L.P. (CRD #34171), both of Leesburg, VA. Six of his previous employers have been expelled by FINRA, including Newport and Meyers. He has been in the industry since 1991.

Chestnut-Exploration-and-Mark-Plummer-Facing-Allegations-of-Securities-Fraud-With-Oil-Gas-Securities-300x225Nixon has a total of four disclosures in his record, the most recent a customer dispute filed on 7/9/2018. The claimants allege that from 2013 to 2018, Nixon violated both the Florida Securities Act and the Virginia Securities Act. They also allege that he committed common law and securities fraud and breached his fiduciary duty, and completely misrepresented multiple unsuitable securities and investments. Additional allegations include failure to supervise on the part of the firm (Paulson Investment.) Claimants are requesting damages in the amount of $3,000,000. The case is currently pending.

His previous customer dispute was filed on 10/9/1998, which included allegations of “misrepresentation and deceit” in relation to a stock liquidation to meet a margin call. The client requested damages of $9,000, and was granted damages of $2,006.95. Nixon denied the allegations.

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Walter Roland Valenzuela (CRD #2280224) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Hilltop Securities Inc. (CRD #6220) of Del Mar, CA. His only previous employer was M.L. Stern & Co., LLC. (CRD #8327) of San Diego, CA, where he worked until 2008.  He has been in the industry since 1993.

Valenzuela is the subject of seven disclosures, all customer disputes. The most recent dispute was filed on 7/23/20018. Alleging unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentation and excessive trading, the client is requesting damages of $3,000,000. This case is “pending,” and no additional information is available.

Three Individuals Charged by the SEC for Defrauding Elderly Clients on elderfinancialfraudattorneys.comAnother still-pending dispute was filed on 8/24/2017, and will be in securities arbitration. The client lists multiple allegations, including elder abuse, financial exploitation, breach of fiduciary duty, excessive trading and misrepresentation. The damages requested are listed at $9,500,000.00. However the claim has no damage amount listed, and the final sum will be determined in arbitration.

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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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Roy Joseph Failla (CRD #2786551) is a registered broker who is currently employed with First Standard Financial Company LLC (CRD #168340) of Red Bank, NJ. His previous employers include Alexander Capital, L.P. (CRD #40077), Brookstone Securities, INC. (CRD #13366, expelled by FINRA on 10/09/2012) and J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (CRD #43177), all of Staten Island, NY. He has been in the industry since 1998.

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.jpgA customer dispute filed on 5/29/2018 alleges that Failla engaged in “unauthorized trading and unsuitable investments,” and requests damages of $1,500,000. Failla denies the allegations.

Two of Failla’s previous disputes were filed during Failla’s tenure at Brookstone Securities. The first, filed on 2/19/2010, alleged “excessive and unauthorized trading, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and unsuitability.”  This customer requested damages of $299,817.48, and the case settled for $75,000. The second case, filed on 5/25/2010, alleged “churning, unsuitable trades and misrepresentation.”  The client requested damages of $417,000.00, and the case was settled for $40,000.

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