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Articles Tagged with Independent Financial Group

Wenjinn James Chang (CRD #4536266) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Independent Financial Group, LLC (CRD #7717) of Rockville, MD. His previous employers include Ameritas Investment Corp. (CRD #14869), also of Rockville, AXA Advisors, LLC (CRD #6627) of New York, NY, and PFS INVESTMENTS INC. (CRD #10111) of Duluth, GA. He has been in the industry since 2002.

Are-or-Were-Unsuitable-Non-Traded-REITs-in-Your-Portfolio-300x224Two customer disputes were filed this year against Chang. The most recent was filed on 10/15/2018, requesting damages of $50,000. The customer alleges that Chang over-concentrated in non-traded REITS that were unsuitable and caused losses to the account. Chang denies the allegations, and the firm plans to defend the claim.

His prior dispute was filed on 9/11/2018, alleging that Chang “failed to advise of the risks of the investments made and that the Claimant has suffered losses as a result of the investments made.” Although the client requested damages of $75,000, the firm settled the claim for $10,000 to avoid the costs of litigation. The firm also stated that the settlement was neither an admission of guilt or liability, and there were no facts to support the allegations.

John Michael Cione (CRD #1742561) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Independent Financial Group (CRD #7717) of San Diego, CA. His previous employers include Sentra Securities Corporation (CRD #10249) and Spelman & Co., Inc. (CRD #10232) both of Phoenix, AZ and Foresters Equity Services, Inc. (CRD #18464), also of San Diego. He has been in the industry since 1987.

FINRA Reports Brokers Nas Adel Allan and Gregory Anastos Made Unsuitable Recommendations on elderfinancialfraudattorneys.comOne of Cione’s customers recently filed a dispute, alleging that from September 2007 and August 2016, he made unsuitable recommendations for investments that incurred financial losses and “lost opportunity.” For this claim, the client is asking for damages of $671,490.00. Cione denies the claim and intends to defend it.

Cione has one previous regulatory disclosure from 1990, issued by the National Association Of Securities Dealers, Inc. (predecessor to FINRA.) He was censured and fined $2,000. No additional information is available.

Our attorneys currently represent customers of Jon Pariser against Independent Financial Group for losses related to First Nationle Solution. Jon Richard Pariser (CRD #2755015) is a former registered broker whose last employer was Independent Financial Group, LLC (CRD #7717) of Pacific Grove, CA. His previous employers include SWS Financial Services, INC. (CRD #17587) and LPL Financial LLC (CRD #6413), also of Pacific Grove, CA. No current employment information is available. He has been in the industry since 1996.

South-Florida-Broker-Brian-Michael-Berger-Permanently-Barred-by-FINRA-1024x683-300x200Pariser is barred in all capacities after he failed to provide requested information to FINRA for an investigation. The documentation relates to allegations that he referred some of his customers to an individual who was not a registered FINRA broker. This unregistered individual and may have recommended to or actually sold these customers “potentially unsuitable” securities. Pariser violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 by refusing to provide this requested documentation, which led to him being barred. He signed an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) letter consenting to the sanctions, and he is barred effective 10/04/2018.

His next disclosure is an employment separation from SWS Financial Services on 6/20/2014, which is connected by a closed customer dispute filed four days earlier, involving “unauthorized discretion.” The allegations state that “during the course of normal e-mail correspondence review, firm supervisors discovered an e-mail message from the customer containing language indicating that the representative may have engaged in unauthorized discretionary trading.”

What-Keeps-a-Ponzi-Scheme-Running-300x200Silver Law Group and The Law Firm of David R. Chase have filed their second FINRA arbitration claim against Independent Financial Group alleging its broker recommended the services of an individual who was running a Ponzi scheme.

According to the securities arbitration complaint, the Claimant’s elderly father became a client of Independent Financial Group and its broker, Jon Pariser (CRD# 2755015), after meeting him at a gathering hosted by a fraternal order both were affiliated with.

In or around June 2017, Pariser informed the Claimant that he was retiring. Pariser then allegedly recommended to Claimant Christopher A. Parris, an individual who had been unlicensed for over a decade, as a trustworthy and skilled professional. According to the Statement of Claim, this fact was not disclosed by either Pariser or Independent Financial Group.

Silver Law Group and The Law Firm of David R. Chase filed a FINRA arbitration claim against Independent Financial Group, a securities firm, after its broker improperly recommended the services of an individual who the SEC claims was engaged in a Ponzi scheme.

The statement of claim alleges the Claimant was the client of Independent Financial Group and its broker, Jon Pariser (CRD# 2755015).  In or around June 2017, Pariser informed Claimant that he was retiring and that he had a capable and skilled professional who he could recommend to take over — Christopher A. Parris, an unlicensed securities broker.

Pariser allegedly told the Claimant that Parris came highly-recommended and could be trusted, despite the fact that Parris had been suspended by FINRA less than two (2) years prior. The Claimant, according to the statement of claim, was unaware of this fact and relied upon Pariser’s professional opinion.

Silver Law Group is investigating former Nebraska-based Independent Financial Group, LLC (CRD# 7717) broker Matthew L. Geiser after FINRA permanently barred him.

According to Geiser’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, FINRA permanently barred Geiser from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public in November 2016.  FINRA and Geiser entered in an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) in which Geiser consented to the bar and findings that he refused to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony in connection with an investigation into allegations of misconduct against Geiser, including allegations of unsuitable recommendations and misleading statements about variable annuities.

Geiser, who initially was employed by Princor Financial Services Corporation (CRD# 7717), was discharged by Princor in September 2015 for issues involving suitability recommendations.  Princor is also known as Principle Securities, Inc. Since Princor’s discharge of Geiser, 11 FINRA arbitration complaints against Geiser have settled.

Silver Law Group is investigating FINRA-barred broker John Vernon Heath (CRD# 2331052) for stealing client funds and recommending unsuitable investments.

Heath was employed most recently at Independent Financial Group, LLC in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Independent Financial Group then discharged Heath after he admitted to wrongfully taking client funds, according to his FINRA BrokerCheck report.  Shortly thereafter, FINRA permanently barred Heath from securities industry for failing to respond to FINRA’s request for information.

The State of Minnesota Department of Commerce (“MDOC”) commenced a formal criminal action against Heath on the allegations.  In the MDOC complaint, the MDOC alleges that Heath stole the identity of an elderly client and used the client’s funds on various personal expenditures totaling $78,744.54.

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