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Articles Posted in Stockbroker Misconduct

A broker and his investment firm in Wausau, WI has been charged by the SEC after he was barred last year for defrauding clients.  Anthony B. “Tony” Liddle, (CRD#: 5478479) and his company, Prosper Wealth Management, convinced at least 13 of his clients to invest money in L-Bonds sold by GWG Holdings of Dallas, TX. As we’ve blogged about previously, GWG Holdings ceased selling their speculative and risky L-Bonds prior to their bankruptcy in April of 2022. Liddle continued to “sell” L-Bonds even after the company suspended their sale.  Most of his clients were senior citizens.A broker and his investment firm in Wausau, WI has been charged by the SEC after he was barred last year for defrauding clients.

Anthony B. “Tony” Liddle, (CRD# 5478479) and his company, Prosper Wealth Management, convinced at least 13 of his clients to invest money in L-Bonds sold by GWG Holdings of Dallas, TX. As we’ve blogged about previously, GWG Holdings ceased selling their speculative and risky L-Bonds prior to their bankruptcy in April of 2022. Liddle continued to “sell” L-Bonds even after the company suspended their sale. Most of his clients were senior citizens. Continue reading ›

Charles Malico (Charles Vincent Malico CRD# 1507282) is a previously registered broker whose last known employer was Network 1 Financial Securities Inc. (CRD#:13577) of Huntington Station, NY. His previous employers include MidAmerica Financial Services, Inc. (CRD#:47351, expelled by FINRA on 5/10/2016), Global Arena Capital Corp (CRD#:16871, expelled by FINRA on 1/4/2016), B.B. Graham & Company, Inc. (CRD#:41533), all of Melville, NY. He has been in the industry since 1987.  After a customer’s requested for arbitration, FINRA followed up with its own review. In it, FINRA found that Malico engaged in violations of the Regulation Best Interest’s Care Obligation, set forth at Exchange Act Rule 15l-1(a)(2)(ii). Also known as Reg BI, it’s the standard by which brokers consider potential investments to recommend to their customers. Brokers must consider the customers’ investment profile and act in the customer’s best interest.  In the AWC letter, FINRA found that Malico engaged in excessive trading that would require a customer’s account to recognize an increase of 158% to break even. From July 2020 through November 2021, Malico made multiple recommendations that were excessive for his investment profile. The customer paid more than $54,000 in commissions and other trading costs resulting from Malico’s recommendations, losing more than $17,500. One tactic was to suggest to the customer that he sell a specific security, then re-buy it several days or weeks later. This “in-and-out” trading included shares for a biotechnology company.Charles Malico (Charles Vincent Malico CRD# 1507282) is a previously registered broker whose last known employer was Network 1 Financial Securities Inc. (CRD#:13577) of Huntington Station, NY. His previous employers include MidAmerica Financial Services, Inc. (CRD#:47351, expelled by FINRA on 5/10/2016), Global Arena Capital Corp (CRD#:16871, expelled by FINRA on 1/4/2016), B.B. Graham & Company, Inc. (CRD#:41533), all of Melville, NY. He has been in the industry since 1987. Continue reading ›

MB Schreiber (MB “Mickey” Schreiber CRD# 1032600) is a registered broker whose most recent employer was Aegis Capital Corp. (CRD#:15007) of Red Bank, NJ. His previous employers include National Securities Corporation (CRD#:7569), Newbridge Securities Corporation (CRD#:104065), and Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. (CRD#:34643), also of Red Bank. He has been in the industry since 1982.  Following a customer complaint, FINRA began reviewing Schreiber’s business practices. They found that from 9/2017 through 9/2021, Schreiber exercised discretionary trading without written authorization from 27 customers for nearly 300 transactions. MB Schreiber did not obtain written consent to trade, nor did he have any authorization from Aegis to do so. During this time frame, Schreiber also incorrectly marked 181 of these trades as “unsolicited,” when he solicited them himself.MB Schreiber (MB “Mickey” Schreiber CRD# 1032600) is a registered broker whose most recent employer was Aegis Capital Corp. (CRD#:15007) of Red Bank, NJ. His previous employers include National Securities Corporation (CRD#:7569), Newbridge Securities Corporation (CRD#:104065), and Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. (CRD#:34643), also of Red Bank. He has been in the industry since 1982. Continue reading ›

Efrain Balderrama Trujillo (CRD# 3106482) is a registered broker and investment advisor whose last known employer was Western International Securities, Inc. (CRD#:39262) of Los Angeles, CA. His previous employers were Financial West Group (CRD#:16668, expelled by FINRA on 2/13/2020) and SRM Securities, Incorporated (CRD#:13716), also of Los Angeles. He has been in the industry since 1998.  Trujillo has three FINRA actions in his CRD. The most recent is an eight-month suspension stemming from his borrowing money from nine customers totaling $335,000. Out of fifteen loans, he failed to sign promissory notes for seven. He has repaid nine of the loans and is currently repaying the remaining six. Trujillo also falsely claimed on Western’s compliance questionnaires that he never borrowed money from any of his clients. FINRA fined Trujillo $5,000 and suspended him from 10/17/2022 through 06/16/2023.  Trujillo also failed to obtain approval for these loans and failed to notify his firm that he borrowed money from the customers. Both are violation of the firm’s policies. After discovering the loans, Western International Securities terminated Trujillo’s employment on 10/26/2021.Efrain Balderrama Trujillo (CRD# 3106482) is a previously registered broker and investment advisor whose last known employer was Western International Securities, Inc. (CRD#:39262) of Los Angeles, CA. His previous employers were Financial West Group (CRD#:16668, expelled by FINRA on 2/13/2020) and SRM Securities, Incorporated (CRD#:13716), also of Los Angeles. He has been in the industry since 1998. Continue reading ›

Efthimios George Petrou (CRD# 2672840) is a registered broker last employed with Arive Capital Markets (CRD#:8060) of Ronkonkoma, NY. He was also employed by J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (CRD#:43177) of Middle Island, NY, Investec Ernst & Company (CRD#:266) of New York, NY, and Royce Investment Group, Inc. (CRD#:10494) of Woodbury, NY. He has been in the industry since 1995.  Following FINRA’s 2019 cycle exam of Arive Capital Markets, it was discovered that Petrou had engaged in excessive trading for a retired client. He was a 67 year old pharmacist who had a limited understanding of the stock market.  From January 2017 through October 2018, while employed with Arive, Petrou engaged in excessive trading which included the use of margins. Petrou recommended to his customer a total of 73 trades, all placed on margin. The total of all the trades meant that this customer paid $88,348.13 for commission and trade costs $7,958.52 for margin interest, totaling $96,306.65. This cost-to-ratio was 86%, indicating that the customer’s account would have to increase by 86% to break even. Petrou’s unsuitable recommendations led to the customer losing approximately $17,000 by following his advice.Efthimios George Petrou (CRD# 2672840) is a registered broker last employed with Arive Capital Markets (CRD#:8060) of Ronkonkoma, NY. He was also employed by J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (CRD#:43177) of Middle Island, NY, Investec Ernst & Company (CRD#:266) of New York, NY, and Royce Investment Group, Inc. (CRD#:10494) of Woodbury, NY. He has been in the industry since 1995. Continue reading ›

Dusty Sternadel (Dusty Lynn Sternadel CRD# 5872600) is a former broker and investment advisor who was last registered with Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC (CRD#:6363) of Wichita Falls, TX. Her previous employers were Morgan Stanley (CRD#:149777) and Edward Jones (CRD#:250), also of Wichita Falls. She has been in the industry since 2011.  Ameriprise Financial Services terminated her employment on 7/29/2022. In the Form U5 submitted to FINRA following her discharge, the company stated, “The registered representative was terminated for violation of company policies related to misappropriation of client funds.”  Although Sternadel is no longer employed by a FINRA broker dealer, she is still subject to jurisdiction under Article V, Section 4 of FINRA’s Bylaws. FINRA has this jurisdiction for two years after separation of employment.  Dusty Sternadel (Dusty Lynn Sternadel CRD# 5872600) is a former broker and investment advisor who was last registered with Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC (CRD#:6363) of Wichita Falls, TX. Her previous employers were Morgan Stanley (CRD#:149777) and Edward Jones (CRD#:250), also of Wichita Falls. She has been in the industry since 2011. Continue reading ›

According to FINRA Disciplinary actions for December 2022, the following individuals were suspended from FINRA for failing to comply with a FINRA arbitration award or settlement agreement pursuant to FINRA rules:

NAME FORMER EMPLOYERS
  Christ Baltas   Worden Capital Management LLC
  Wilmington Capital Securities, LLC
  Matthew Beaver   Grit Wealth Management, LLC
  Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
  Seymour Cohen   Wilmington Capital Securities, LLC
  Clark Dodge & Co., Inc.
  James Kirschner   Cetera Advisors LLC
  Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
  Justin Iowe   Broadview International LLC
  Keith Wakefield   IFS Securities
  IFS Capital Markets, LLC
  Jamie Worden   Worden Capital Management LLC
  Salomon Whitney LLC

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According to FINRA Disciplinary actions for December 2022, the following individuals were barred from FINRA and cannot currently work for a FINRA brokerage firm for failing to provide FINRA with information it requested or to keep information current with FINRA pursuant to FINRA rules:

NAME FORMER EMPLOYERS
  Jay Dougall   Principal Securities, Inc.
  Waddell & Reed
  Beth Landwehr   J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
  Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
  Jamie Lemon
  Linda Leong   Valic Financial Advisors, Inc.
  National Planning Corporation
  Michael Richie   Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC
  Edward Von Der Schmidt   Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC
  RBC Capital Markets, LLC
  Cedric Wade   LPL Financial LLC
  National Planning Corporation

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According to FINRA Disciplinary actions for December 2022, the following individuals were suspended from FINRA and cannot currently work for a FINRA brokerage firm for failing to provide FINRA with information it requested or to keep information current with FINRA pursuant to FINRA rules. However, these individuals remain bound by the securities arbitration agreement to arbitrate any disputes between themselves and their former customers:

NAME FORMER EMPLOYERS
  Albert Aviles   Reid & Rudiger LLC
  Spartan Capital Securities, LLC
  Ruth Chambers   Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
  Mutual Trust Co. of America Securities
  Seymour Cohen   Wilmington Capital Securities, LLC
  Clark Dodge & Co., Inc.
  Anthony DiLullo   LPL Financial LLC
  ING Financial Partners, Inc.
  John Fabiano   LPL Financial LLC
  JD Financial Services Inc.
  Samuel Heavrin   J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
  Austin Lazarus   Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
  J.P. Morgan Secvurities LLC
  Jason Long   State Farm VP Management Corp.
  Pamelia Owensby   UBS Financial Services Inc.
  Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
  Alexandra Smith   J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
  Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated

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scott-silverIt’s not uncommon for employees of nearly any type of business to branch off and form their own company. When that company is a new broker dealer firm and a competitor for the former employer, things get complicated. Especially if that employer is Wells Fargo Advisors.  Continue reading ›

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