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Articles Posted in Unsuitable Investment Advice

Thomas Marino (Thomas John Marino CRD#: 4438533) is a former registered broker and investment advisor whose most recent employer was R.M. Stark & Co., Inc. (CRD#:7612) of Lake Worth Beach, FL. Previous employers include J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. (CRD#:124583) of Sarasota, FL, Newbridge Securities Corporation (CRD#:104065) of Boca Raton, FL, and Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. (CRD#:34643) of West Palm Beach, FL. He has been in the industry since 2001. Thomas Marino Customer Dispute On 4/12/2019, a customer filed a dispute alleging that Marino made “inappropriate and unsuitable investments for her risk tolerance.”  The client requested damages of $300,000, and the claim is reported as resolved. According to filings in the case, The causes of action relate to Respondent Marino’s alleged recommendation to transfer a portion of Claimant’s retirement assets from various variable annuities and to re-direct the investment proceeds into investments with Respondent Capstone, a single-member Limited Liability Company, owned and controlled by Respondent Marino. A financial advisor generally should not recommend an investment in a company in which he is personally invested. Mr. Marino’s interest in Capstone would need to be clearly explained to the investor and fully disclosed to his employer and the customer.Thomas Marino (Thomas John Marino CRD#: 4438533) is a former registered broker and investment advisor whose most recent employer was R.M. Stark & Co., Inc. (CRD#:7612) of Lake Worth Beach, FL. Previous employers include J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. (CRD#:124583) of Sarasota, FL, Newbridge Securities Corporation (CRD#:104065) of Boca Raton, FL, and Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. (CRD#:34643) of West Palm Beach, FL. He has been in the industry since 2001. Continue reading ›

Bradley Renberg (Bradley Leo Renberg CRD: #2155253, aka “Bradley Leo Rewberg”) is a currently registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Ameriprise Financial Services (CRD#: 6363) of West Des Moines, IA. He was previously employed by Ameriprise Advisor Services, Inc. (CRD#:5979), also of West Des Moines, and by Hibbard Brown & Co., Inc. (CRD#:18246, expelled by FINRA on 2/22/1996) of New York City. He has been in the business since 1991. A client dispute filed on 5/8/2019 alleged that from the five-year period of May 2014 through May 2019, Renberg “recommended unsuitable investments and transactions including high-risk investments in the energy and retail sectors.”  The clients requested damages of $380,000, and Ameriprise settled the case for $150,000, to avoid the potential expense of arbitration.Bradley Renberg (Bradley Leo Renberg CRD: #2155253, aka “Bradley Leo Rewberg”) is a currently registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Ameriprise Financial Services (CRD#: 6363) of West Des Moines, IA. He was previously employed by Ameriprise Advisor Services, Inc. (CRD#:5979), also of West Des Moines, and by Hibbard Brown & Co., Inc. (CRD#:18246, expelled by FINRA on 2/22/1996) of New York City. He has been in the business since 1991. Continue reading ›

According to news stories, biotechnology incubator Fortress Biotech Inc. raised $240 million by using its own brokerage firm, National Securities Corporation, to sell investments to thousands of investors, according to an investigation by Reuters. The company is alleged to have employed analysts who were bullish on their own companies without adequately disclosing this conflict of interest. In August of 2017, National Securities Corporation analyst Jonathan Aschoff recommended that investors buy Avenue Therapeutics Inc. (ATXI.O), a young company with one drug in development and no revenue. His note on National Securities’ website predicted the stock price would double to $15 per share in a year. A year later, the stock traded at around $4. Aschoff made similarly bullish comments about Checkpoint Therapeutics Inc (CKPT.O) and Mustang Bio Inc. (MBIO.O), whose share prices also declined in value. Aschoff did not mention that the company he worked for, National Securities Corporation, is owned by the same company that controls Avenue Therapeutics, Checkpoint Therapeutics, and Mustang Bio, which is Fortress Biotech Inc. Fortress Biotech is led by entrepreneurs Lindsay Rosenwald (President and CEO) and Michael Weiss (Executive Vice Chairman). Rosenwald and Weiss have created over 50 biotechnology companies over the last 20 years.According to news stories, biotechnology incubator Fortress Biotech Inc. raised $240 million by using its own brokerage firm, National Securities Corporation, to sell investments to thousands of investors, according to an investigation by Reuters. The company is alleged to have employed analysts who were bullish on their own companies without adequately disclosing this conflict of interest. Continue reading ›

We previously reported on broker Kevin Richard Wilson (CRD #326701), who had two customer disputes filed in 2018. He is currently employed with Worden Capital Management, LLC (CRD#: 148366) of New York, NY. He has been in the industry since 1999.  Since our previous report, there have been six more disputes with allegations of unsuitability and over-concentration. Two were settled, and four are listed as “pending.”We previously reported on broker Kevin Richard Wilson (CRD #326701), who had two customer disputes filed in 2018. He is currently employed with Worden Capital Management, LLC (CRD#: 148366) of New York, NY. He has been in the industry since 1999.

Since our previous report, there have been six more disputes with allegations of unsuitability and over-concentration. Two were settled, and four are listed as “pending.” Continue reading ›

Joshua Stivers (Joshua Daniel Stivers CRD:#5708565) is a currently registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Kalos Capital, Inc. (CRD#: 44337) of Austin, TX. His previous employers include G.F. Investment Services, LLC (CRD#:132939) and Global Financial Private Capital, LLC (CRD#:132070), both of Austin, TX, and USA Wealth Management LLC (CRD#:122082) of Marble Falls, TX. He has been in the industry since 2009.Joshua Stivers (Joshua Daniel Stivers CRD:#5708565) is a currently registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Kalos Capital, Inc. (CRD#: 44337) of Austin, TX. His previous employers include G.F. Investment Services, LLC (CRD#:132939) and Global Financial Private Capital, LLC (CRD#:132070), both of Austin, TX, and USA Wealth Management LLC (CRD#:122082) of Marble Falls, TX. He has been in the industry since 2009. Continue reading ›

Jeffrey Cohen (CRD: #2528929) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed by Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC (CRD#:282448) of Henderson, NV. His previous employers include Moloney Investment Advisory LLC (CRD#:282140) of Laguna Miguel, CA, Moloney Securities Co., Inc. (CRD#:38535) also of Henderson, and Western International Securities, Inc. (CRD#:39262), of Westlake Village, CA. He has been in the industry since 1994. Cohen is the subject of seven disclosures, six of which were filed in the last year. From 8/23/2019 through 7/13/2020, these disputes all allege “unsuitability” and unsuitable recommendations of “alternative investments” in their claims against Cohen. The combined claims total $7,200,000. None of the claims contain a rebuttal statement from Cohen.Jeffrey Cohen (CRD: #2528929) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed by Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC (CRD#:282448) of Henderson, NV. His previous employers include Moloney Investment Advisory LLC (CRD#:282140) of Laguna Miguel, CA, Moloney Securities Co., Inc. (CRD#:38535) also of Henderson, and Western International Securities, Inc. (CRD#:39262), of Westlake Village, CA. He has been in the industry since 1994. Continue reading ›

Dennis J. Murphy (a/k/a Dennis James Murphy) (CRD# 4840274), a previously-registered broker, has been barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for failing to appear for testimony in connection with a FINRA investigation concerning his employer’s supervision of potentially unsuitable trading. Failing to cooperate with FINRA in this manner constituted a violation of FINRA Rules and Murphy was barred from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.Dennis J. Murphy (a/k/a Dennis James Murphy) (CRD# 4840274), a previously-registered broker, has been barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for failing to appear for testimony in connection with a FINRA investigation concerning his employer’s supervision of potentially unsuitable trading. Failing to cooperate with FINRA in this manner constituted a violation of FINRA Rules and Murphy was barred from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity. Continue reading ›

At the end of March 2020, Allianz Global Investors (Allianz) liquidated two investment vehicles—Structured Alpha 1000 and 1000 Plus—following substantial losses to the funds, resulting in clients losing millions of dollars. According to news reports, other related Allianz Funds, including Structured Alpha 250, 350, and 500, also suffered heavy losses. Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested information about the funds.  The Structured Alpha Funds were a group of investment opportunities offered and managed by Allianz Global Investors. According to marketing materials incorporated into a recent lawsuit against Allianz, the three main principles of the Alpha Funds’ strategy were:  Capitalize on long-term and short-term volatility; Perform irrespective of the market environment; and Employ a three-prong strategy that will (1) profit during normal market conditions, (2) protect against a market crash, and (3) navigate as wide a range of equity-market outcomes as possible.At the end of March 2020, Allianz Global Investors (Allianz) liquidated two investment vehicles—Structured Alpha 1000 and 1000 Plus—following substantial losses to the funds, resulting in clients losing millions of dollars. According to news reports, other related Allianz Funds, including Structured Alpha 250, 350, and 500, also suffered heavy losses. Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested information about the funds. Continue reading ›

SagePoint Financial has been ordered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to pay $1.3 million in restitution to customers for alleged failings related to unit investment trusts (UITs). SagePoint was also ordered by FINRA to pay $300,000 for supervisory violations related to UITs.DID YOUR SAGEPOINT ADVISOR SELL YOU UITs?

SagePoint Financial has been ordered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to pay $1.3 million in restitution to customers for alleged failings related to unit investment trusts (UITs). SagePoint was also ordered by FINRA to pay $300,000 for supervisory violations related to UITs. Continue reading ›

Dennis Ayre (Dennis Phillip Ayre. CRD# 536174) is a registered broker in Beverly Hills, California. Dennis Ayre has 4 disclosures on his publicly-available FINRA BrokerCheck report, all customer disputes, with most alleging suitability issues. Ayre is currently registered with Hilltop Securities Inc. (CRD# 6220). He was previously registered with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (CRD# 249), Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (CRD# 7691), Wells Fargo Advisors (CRD# 19616), and First Republic Securities Company, LLC (CRD# 105108). He has been in the industry since 2008.Dennis Ayre (Dennis Phillip Ayre. CRD# 536174) is a registered broker in Beverly Hills, California. Dennis Ayre has 4 disclosures on his publicly-available FINRA BrokerCheck report, all customer disputes, with most alleging suitability issues.

Ayre is currently registered with Hilltop Securities Inc. (CRD# 6220). He was previously registered with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (CRD# 249), Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (CRD# 7691), Wells Fargo Advisors (CRD# 19616), and First Republic Securities Company, LLC (CRD# 105108). He has been in the industry since 2008. Continue reading ›

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