We are providing FREE consultations via PHONE or VIDEO conferencing for your safety and convenience. Read More!

A National Securities Arbitration & Investment Fraud Law Firm

Articles Posted in Selling away

John Edgar Simmons, Jr. (CRD: #4878890) is a former registered broker and insurance advisor whose last known employer was LPL Financial LLC (CRD#:6413) of Gulf Breeze, FL. He was previously employed with Investors Capital Corp. (CRD#:30613) of Pensacola, FL, LPL Financial in McMinnville, TN, and Edward Jones (CRD#:250), also of McMinnville. He has been in the industry since 2005.  LPL terminated Simmons employment and filed a Form U5 with FINRA on 9/17/2020 indicating his discharge from the firm. The stated reason for his discharge was the result of an internal review investigating Simmons involvement in a private securities transaction. He neither notified the firm nor sought permission.  During the course of FINRA’s investigation, staff sent Simmons a letter requesting he supply information and documentation related to the allegations in the Form U5. FINRA staff sent the letter on 02/24/2021. Simmons’ attorney responded by letter on 3/9/2021, acknowledging receipt of the FINRA request and indicating that he would not provide any information now or in the future. His denial violates FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010, and led to a letter of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC). The letter includes a bar on any involvement with a FINRA member in any capacity. John Edgar Simmons, Jr. (CRD: #4878890) is a former registered broker and insurance advisor whose last known employer was LPL Financial LLC (CRD#:6413) of Gulf Breeze, FL. He was previously employed with Investors Capital Corp. (CRD#:30613) of Pensacola, FL, LPL Financial in McMinnville, TN, and Edward Jones (CRD#:250), also of McMinnville. He has been in the industry since 2005. Continue reading ›

In 2020 alone, Todd Petersen was the subject of eight investor arbitration claims which relate to the sale of diamonds. Many of these claims have been settled, and Petersen’s employer, SCF Securities, Inc., discharged him, alleging Petersen “misstated and/or omitted material facts and circumstances regarding an outside business activity.” Todd Petersen is a former broker and investment adviser who spent 2015-2019 at SCF Securities, Inc. in Roseville, California, and began working in the securities industry in 1984. Customer Disputes Allege Improper Sales Of Diamonds According to Petersen’s BrokerCheck Report, published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, eight investors have filed FINRA arbitration claims involving allegations of “fraud and breach of duty related to the purchase of diamonds Petersen sold . . .” These investors requested damages ranging from $20,000 to $960,000, and several of these claims were settled for amounts ranging from $9,800 to $351,205. One investor’s claim is still pending. The allegations all arise out of the purchase and sale of diamonds and each investor alleges that the diamond sales were part of an “outside business activity.” Brokers are required to disclose the nature of their outside business activities to their employing brokerage firms so that the firms can ensure that they are upholding their legal and regulatory obligations to their clients, including protecting clients from outside frauds and other misconduct committed by the brokers, especially when outside business activities are investment-related. Failure to do so could result in liability for brokerage firms.In 2020 alone, Todd Petersen was the subject of eight investor arbitration claims which relate to the sale of diamonds. Many of these claims have been settled, and Petersen’s employer, SCF Securities, Inc., discharged him, alleging Petersen “misstated and/or omitted material facts and circumstances regarding an outside business activity.” Continue reading ›

Peter Ianace (Peter Vincent Ianace CRD# 3238078) was a registered broker and investment adviser who most recently was registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, but spent 2011-2019 as a registered representative of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in Frisco, Texas. Ianace has been in the securities industry since 1999.  Two Pending Investment Arbitration Claims Allege “Unsuitable” Investment Recommendations  According to Ianace’s BrokerCheck Report, published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), two of Ianace’s customers recently initiated securities arbitrations—one against Wells Fargo and one against Merrill Lynch—relating to the alleged mishandling of their accounts:  One customer alleges Ianace “made unsuitable recommendations and neglected to reduce the over-concentrated and over-leveraged nature of their accounts” resulting in alleged damages of $13,000,000. Another customer alleges “unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentations” resulting in requested damages of $18,000,000.  According to FINRA, the types of investments allegedly at issue include commodities. Regardless of the type of investment, FINRA Rules require brokers to have “a reasonable basis to believe a recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable” based on a variety of factors, including the investor’s age, financial situation, investment objectives, risk tolerance etc. FINRA also requires brokers to “Know Your Customer” so that brokers learn and evaluate these factors before making investment recommendations.Peter Ianace (Peter Vincent Ianace CRD# 3238078) was a registered broker and investment adviser who most recently was registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, but spent 2011-2019 as a registered representative of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in Frisco, Texas. Ianace has been in the securities industry since 1999. Continue reading ›

Candido Viyella (Candido Jose Viyella CRD# 1829255) is a former broker and investment adviser who spent the past decade registered with Morgan Stanley in Miami, Florida. Viyella worked in the securities industry since 1988.  Viyella also operated several other business ventures, including VHSC Management LLC, VHSC Family Limited Partnership LP, and Earthview Capital, LLC.  Five Investors File Securities Arbitration Claims Alleging Misconduct By Viyella  According to Viyella’s BrokerCheck Report, published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), five of Viyella’s customers have filed FINRA arbitration claims:  In October 2019, an investor alleged that Viyella “solicited outside investment opportunities not authorized by the firm.” In March 2020, an investor alleged “fraudulent misrepresentation with respect to outside investment opportunities not authorized by the firm.” The investor claims $2,000,000 in damages. In October 2020, an investor alleged that Viyella “solicited outside investment opportunity . . . that was not authorized by the firm.” Morgan Stanley settled with this investor for $140,000. In October 2020, another investor alleged that Viyella “solicited outside investment opportunity . . . that was not authorized by the firm.” Morgan Stanley settled with this investor for $60,000. In October 2020, a third investor alleged that Viyella “solicited outside investment opportunity . . . that was not authorized by the Firm.”Candido Viyella (Candido Jose Viyella CRD# 1829255) is a former broker and investment adviser who spent the past decade registered with Morgan Stanley in Miami, Florida. Viyella worked in the securities industry since 1988.  Viyella also operated several other business ventures, including VHSC Management LLC, VHSC Family Limited Partnership LP, and Earthview Capital, LLC. Continue reading ›

Mark Hopkins (Mark Lewton Hopkins CRD#: 2653473) is a former registered broker who was registered with American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (CRD# 18487) of Grand Blanc, Michigan from 2009 until he was permitted to resign in 2018.  Hopkins worked in the industry since the 1990s. Hopkins also did business under the name Worklife Wealth Management.  Hopkins’ BrokerCheck Report, published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) contains several recent disclosures, including two customer disputes, a regulatory action initiated by FINRA, as well as a Complaint filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Hopkins Was Permitted To Resign From His Position At American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.  Hopkins’ FINRA BrokerCheck Report reveals that in December 2018, Hopkins was permitted to resign amid allegations that he “accepted customers funds for an investment not on the books of the [broker-dealer] without obtaining pre-approval.”Mark Hopkins (Mark Lewton Hopkins CRD#: 2653473) is a former registered broker who was registered with American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (CRD# 18487) of Grand Blanc, Michigan from 2009 until he was permitted to resign in 2018.  Hopkins worked in the industry since the 1990s. Hopkins also did business under the name Worklife Wealth Management. Continue reading ›

Scott Reed (Scott Wayne Reed CRD# 3007033) is a previously registered broker and investment advisor whose most recent employer was First Financial Equity Corporation (CRD#: 16507). Prior to that, Reed spent four years at Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (CRD#: 19616) in Scottsdale, Arizona. Reed has been in the securities industry since 1999.  FINRA And Arizona Corporation Commission Investigate Scott Reed  After learning of allegations concerning Reed following his termination from Wells Fargo, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) began an investigation into Reed’s conduct.  Among other things, FINRA made the following findings of fact:  Reed solicited individuals to invest in securities issued by a software and web development company based in Pasadena, California; Reed received selling compensation of $191,340 from the company for his role in soliciting and facilitating the investments; and Reed failed to provide Wells Fargo with prior notice or obtain the firm’s advance approval for his participation in these private securities transactions.Scott Reed (Scott Wayne Reed CRD# 3007033) is a previously registered broker and investment advisor whose most recent employer was First Financial Equity Corporation (CRD#: 16507). Prior to that, Reed spent four years at Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (CRD#: 19616) in Scottsdale, Arizona. Reed has been in the securities industry since 1999. Continue reading ›

Silver Law Group is representing investors who suffered losses after investing with Glenn Arons (CRD# 2521233). Arons was registered with Park Avenue Securities (CRD# 2521233) from 1999 until 2018, and operated out of Bethesda, Maryland office First Financial Group, LLC during that time. Arons continues to operate his own company: Assets, LLC. Glenn Arons Was Discharged From Park Avenue In 2018 According to Arons’ BrokerCheck Report, published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in November of 2018, Glenn Arons was discharged from Park Avenue securities. The allegations listed in the report state that Arons “[v]iolated Firm’s rules by (i) soliciting outside investments not approved by the firm and (ii) violating the terms of a previous internal disciplinary matter.”Silver Law Group is representing investors who suffered losses after investing with Glenn Arons (CRD# 2521233). Arons was registered with Park Avenue Securities (CRD# 2521233) from 1999 until 2018, and operated out of Bethesda, Maryland office First Financial Group, LLC during that time. Arons continues to operate his own company: Assets, LLC. Continue reading ›

Gary Hammond (Gary Wayne Hammond CRD# 2660432) is a previously registered broker and investment advisor who last worked for Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. and MML Investors Services, LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for brief periods in 2017, but spent the bulk of his career registered with MSI Financial Services, Inc., also located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hammond worked in the industry since 1995.  Gary Hammond Discharged By Employer For Selling Away And Violation Of Company Policies  According to Hammond’s FINRA BrokerCheck Report, published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in April 2017, MML Investors Services terminated Hammond “in connection with an internal review relating to company policy as to the handling of a customer complaint and selling away.”  “Selling away” is the industry term that refers to the practice of selling products not endorsed or sold by the firm.Gary Hammond (Gary Wayne Hammond CRD# 2660432) is a previously registered broker and investment advisor who last worked for Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. and MML Investors Services, LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for brief periods in 2017, but spent the bulk of his career registered with MSI Financial Services, Inc., also located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hammond worked in the industry since 1995. Continue reading ›

Tyler Delahunt (Tyler Dean Delahunt CRD#: 4419594) is a formerly registered broker and investment advisor whose last known employer was Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (CRD#:7691) of Atlanta, Georgia. His previous employers include PFS Investments Inc. (CRD#:10111) of Duluth, Georgia and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (CRD#:6694) of Alpharetta, Georgia.  Delahunt has been in the industry since 2001.  Tyler Delahunt Discharged By Merrill Lynch For “Selling Away”  According to Delahunt’s CRD Report, published online by FINRA, Merrill Lynch discharged Delahunt in August 2020. The allegations against Delahunt in connection with his discharge involve “improper solicitation of clients related to an outside investment and participating in financial arrangements involving clients.” Solicitation of clients for an outside investment not approved by a broker’s employing firm is often referred to in the securities industry as “selling away”.  After Delahunt’s Discharge, FINRA Initiated an Investigation  FINRA began an investigation after receiving paperwork from Merrill Lynch with the reasons for his termination.  According to FINRA’s Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent with Delahunt (AWC), FINRA was investigating “whether Delahunt had solicited clients in a private securities transaction without approval of Merrill Lynch and whether he had accepted loans or other funds from clients without notice to his firm.” The AWC indicates that Delahunt failed to respond to FINRA’s inquiry, in violation of FINRA Rules.Tyler Delahunt (Tyler Dean Delahunt CRD#: 4419594) is a formerly registered broker and investment advisor whose last known employer was Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (CRD#:7691) of Atlanta, Georgia. His previous employers include PFS Investments Inc. (CRD#:10111) of Duluth, Georgia and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (CRD#:6694) of Alpharetta, Georgia.  Delahunt has been in the industry since 2001. Continue reading ›

Michael Anthony Tavel (CRD# 4862463) was recently suspended from acting as a broker by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Tavel was registered with broker-dealer LPL Financial LLC from 2004-2019, operating out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Tavel was also providing investment advice through Charter Advisory Corporation, an SEC-registered Investment Adviser, as well as providing tax services and insurance products through Tavel Insurance & Financial Services, LLC.  Tavel Consented To 18-Month Suspension And $20,000 Fine  According to FINRA’s Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC), from 2017-2019, Michael Tavel participated in improper private securities transactions, at least one of which Tavel recommended “without having  a reasonable basis to believe that it was suitable.” Specifically, FINRA states the following in its AWC:  Tavel agreed to act as a placement agent for a private issuer purportedly in the business of making commercial loans . . . In 2018, the issuer and its chairman were charged by the SEC with fraud and [the investor] lost his entire investment. Tavel agreed to act as a placement agent for an oil-extraction company . . . Tavel received a total of $19,700 in commissions for the transactions. Tavel failed to provide a written disclosure to LPL in connection with any of these investments, which were done away from the firm, and falsely attested to LPL in August 2018 that he had not solicited any unapproved private placements.Michael Anthony Tavel (CRD# 4862463) was recently suspended from acting as a broker by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Tavel was registered with broker-dealer LPL Financial LLC from 2004-2019, operating out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Tavel was also providing investment advice through Charter Advisory Corporation, an SEC-registered Investment Adviser, as well as providing tax services and insurance products through Tavel Insurance & Financial Services, LLC. Continue reading ›

Contact Information