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Articles Tagged with SEC

Stockbroker-Misconduct-1-300x150-300x150The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has stated that in 2019, it plans to keep pressure on state officials who consider following Nevada in imposing a higher standard of care on broker-dealers. Leaders of the organization said that after praising a federal proposal that has been in the making for decades, SIFMA is committed to heading off state efforts that could overlap with the proposal, known as the Regulation Best Interest.

For years, the industry has disagreed about how to ensure that broker-dealers and investment advisers act in their clients’ best interests when recommending investments. In April, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission introduced Regulation BI, which is a proposal that would put checks on brokers and advisers.

“We would hope that states will pause, let the SEC act and then figure out how that’s going to protect their constituents within their states,” SIFMA’s president and CEO, Kenneth Bentsen said. “It is an issue of high interest to us and something we’ve been very involved in.”

In August, we told you about John Cochran Maccoll (CRD #839441) who was barred by FINRA after multiple fraud allegations. Since then, there have been two additional developments.

Another customer has come forward and filed a complaint on 08/16/2018, alleging misappropriation of client funds from 10/01/2015 through 08/16/2018. The case was settled for $158,163.76. No additional information is available. This case is in addition to the previous cases we described in the earlier blog post.

The SEC Has Proposed New Regulations for Fiduciaries on silverlaw.comOn 8/9/2018, The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan filed criminal charges against Maccoll in an action initiated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC.) In it, the SEC detailed how Maccoll persuaded investors, mostly elderly, into investing in what he described as a “highly sought after private fund investment.”  These investors, most of them retired, used their retirement accounts to fund their alleged investments. In return, Maccoll promised a 20% return on investment, as well as diversifying their portfolios and better growth potential than their current investment portfolios.

The-SEC-Has-Proposed-New-Regulations-for-Fiduciaries-300x198 What the new code of conduct rule entails and how it could affect elderly investors

Up until earlier this year, the Department of Labor had a rule in effect for fiduciaries that specified that they couldn’t earn commissions unless the advice they offered was in the best interests of their clients. In addition, the rule mandated that they could only earn reasonable compensation and must be transparent about this compensation as well as the products they sell.

However, in March, a federal appeals court struck down the DOL’s rule. Recently the SEC proposed their own rule – called Regulation Best Interest or Reg BI – that aims to address three areas:

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The New York broker has been charged with numerous violations, including misappropriation

Though he’s currently not registered with a firm, Demitrios Hallas may never be allowed to work as a broker again. According to the SEC, from March 2014 to May 2016, Hallas violated a variety of anti-fraud provisions by recommending unsuitable investments, not performing his due diligence on these products, and misappropriating thousands of dollars.

The SEC complaint alleges that Hallas bought and sold daily leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds and Notes for several customers, even though they weren’t suitable investments. In addition, Hallas did not fully understand how these products worked or the risks involved. While accumulating $128,000 in fees and commissions for himself and his firm, his customers lost around $150,000 in total.

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A Long Island-based cold-calling scam allegedly stole more than $10 million from clients

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently brought charges against 13 defendants who allegedly operated two cold-calling investment scams in Long Island, NY. According to the complaint, the companies involved defrauded investors out of more than $10 million. The firms’ salespeople reportedly convinced clients to purchase a number of penny stocks while making a wide variety of outlandish and misleading claims about the investments themselves.

The telemarketing scam reportedly operated by artificially inflating the prices of penny stocks

Silver Law Group and The Law Firm of David Chase are reviewing potential claims of fraudulent inducement of federal employees into purchasing high fee paying variable annuity products by LPL Financial LLC (CRD#6413) affiliated brokers Brandon Long (CRD# 5975459) , Christopher S Laws (CRD#4479529) , Johnathan Dax Cooke (CRD#5365691) and Danny Scott Hood (CRD#3236852).

Variable annuities (“VAs”) are highly-complex financial products.  According to FINRA, a good way to think of a VA is as a cross between an insurance product and an investment product.

Like other annuities, a VA is a contract between the investor and an insurance company.  The investor pays the insurer a single payment or a series of payments called premiums.  In exchange for those premiums, the insurer promises to make periodic payments to you either immediately or at some point in the future.

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