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Articles Tagged with Florida

Broker Dawn Bennett Has Suspension Lifted by FINRA on silverlaw.comSilver Law Group is investigating St. Augustine Florida-based D.H. Hill Securities, LLLP (CRD# 41528) broker Charles T. Stevens (CRD# 1698058) after FINRA sanctioned D.H. Hill Securities over misconduct concerning public non-traded REITs.

Charles Stevens and St. Johns Financial Planning

Stevens’ runs his own St. Augustine, Florida-based D.H. Hill Securities office under the moniker St. Johns Financial Planning.  St. Johns Financial Planning and Stevens hold themselves out as an independent agency specializing in retirement and estate markets that has been in business in the St. Augustine, Florida area for the past twenty-five (25) years, according to Stevens’ and his firm’s website.

Silver Law Group is investigating claims against Miami-based stockbroker Angel E. Aquino-Velez. According to FINRA records, Mr. Aquino is no longer registered with Morgan Stanley. Aquino’s FINRA BrokerCheck record shows (11) total Customer Disputes with (3) of those disputes still pending resolution. The pending claims allege unsuitability and misrepresentation with respect to municipal bond investments primarily relating to Puerto Rico. The damages being sought in the 3 pending complaints total over $6.9 million.

Silver Law Group has filed on behalf of a customer a securities arbitration claim against Aquino and Morgan Stanley alleging the customer lost several million dollars in Puerto Rico municipal bonds because of Morgan Stanley’s negligence. The allegations against Morgan Stanley and Aquino include unsuitable investment recommendations, failure to diversify, and failure to supervise based on investments in Puerto Rico municipal bonds.

For aggrieved investors, brokers and brokerage firms are required to recommend suitable investments and abide by other securities rules. In some cases with Puerto Rican bonds, these brokers and brokerage firms have failed to make reasonable recommendations among other forms of misconduct.

David Sullivan Accused of Excessive Trading on More Than One Occasion on silverlaw.comSilver Law Group is investigating former Jupiter, Florida-based Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC (CRD# 19616) broker Roberto O. Bastardo (CRD# 6570886) after Wells Fargo Advisors discharged him for allegedly attempting to misappropriate customer funds.

According to Bastardo’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, Wells Fargo Advisors discharged Bastardo in September 2016 for attempting to misappropriate over $185,000 from a Wells Fargo Advisors customer.  The firm allegedly recovered all but $800 of the misappropriated funds, but authorities were contacted.

FINRA followed up the discharge by permanently barring Bastardo from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public in November 2016 after Bastardo failed to respond to a FINRA inquiry.

FINRA Has Darrel Michael “Mike” Cruz Under Fire After Alleged Supervisory Failings on silverlaw.comSilver Law Group is investigating former Florida-based LPL Financial LLC (CRD# 6413) and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC (CRD# 19616) (Also known as Wells Fargo Clearing Services) broker William T. Eaton (CRD# 3058469) after FINRA suspended him.

According to Eaton’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, FINRA suspended Eaton from acting as a broker in September 2016.  Eaton allegedly failed to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request to provide information concerning the status of compliance.

LPL Financial employed Eaton from August 2015 to November 2016 at its West Palm Beach, Florida location.  Wells Fargo Advisors employed Eaton from April 2013 to August 2015 at its Wellington, Florida location.  Prior to Wells Fargo and LPL Financial, Suntrust Investment Services, Inc. (CRD# 17499) employed Eaton from July 2011 to April 2013 at its Delray Beach, Florida branch.

Baton Rouge Broker Ralph Savoie Permanently Barred by FINRA on silverlaw.comSilver Law Group is investigating former UBS Financial Services Inc. (CRD# 8174) broker Michael R. Smith (CRD# 428405) after UBS terminated the broker.

UBS terminated Smith, based out of Aventura, Florida, in October 2015 after he failed to disclose to the firm that he was named trustee for the trust of an unrelated client on two occasions.

In May 2016, FINRA barred Smith from the selling securities after Smith failed to respond to a FINRA request for information.

Silver Law Group is investigation former Florida-based Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC (CRD# 7784) broker Michael J. DeBoer (CRD# 2114067) for allegedly conducting outside business activities without notifying Fidelity and losing his customers a great deal of money in the process.

According to DeBoer’s FINRA BrokerCheck, FINRA permanently barred DeBoer in May 2016 for allegedly recommending two customers collectively invest $200,000 in securities offered by a software development company.  In exchange for the referrals, the company allegedly gave DeBoer $32,000 in compensation, while the customers ultimately lost all of their investments.

Additionally, the Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”), found that DeBoer marketed to his customers and other potential investors the services of an entity that provided separately-managed futures trading accounts.  The AWC states that DeBoer referred approximately 28 people to the entity and received $70,000 in return for his referrals.  Most of the referred individuals lost a substantial amount of the money invested.

Silver Law Group is investigating Boca Raton, Florida-based Revere Securities LLC (CRD# 14178) broker Brett S. Murphy (CRD# 2434384) over allegations that Murphy excessively traded unit investment trusts (“UITs”) in a customer’s account.

According to Scott’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, a customer filed a complaint against Scott alleging Scott churned the customer’s account in UITs and that the UITs were unsuitable.  Further, the customer alleges that Scott’s employing firm, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (CRD# 249) as well as Revere Securities, failed to supervise Scott.

Oppenheimer employed Scott from July 2011 to March 2015 at its Palm Beach Gardens, Florida locations.  Scott then moved further south to Revere Securities in Boca Raton, Florida where he is currently employed.

Silver Law Group is investigating former Boca Raton, Florida-based Raymond James broker Gregory E. Barr (CRD# 1312703) after being discharged by two different firms in less than three years.

Barr was most recently employed by Raymond James & Associates (CRD# 705), but most of his trouble involves his prior firm, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (CRD# 2525).

In May 2014, Deutsche Bank discharged Barr after the he allegedly admitted exercising discretion in non-discretionary accounts.

Silver Law Group is investigating former Clearwater, Florida broker Dennis M. Merritt (CRD# 1748115) after FINRA suspended him for four months and his employing firm terminated him for alleged unsuitable recommendations among other things.

In March 2016, FINRA and Merritt entered into an order accepting offer of settlement (the “Order”).  The Order accepted the punishment without admitting or denying the allegations in the Complaint.

The Complaint alleged that Merritt invested a total of $115,000 in a speculative investment without providing written notice to his member firm prior to participating in the private securities transactions.

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