A National Securities Arbitration & Investment Fraud Law Firm

Articles Tagged with securities fraud attorney

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.

Michael Patrick Nixon (CRD #216931) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with Paulson Investment Company LLC (CRD #5670) of Tampa, Florida. His previous employers include Newport Coast Securities, Inc. (CRD #16944) and Meyers Associates, L.P. (CRD #34171), both of Leesburg, VA. Six of his previous employers have been expelled by FINRA, including Newport and Meyers. He has been in the industry since 1991.

Chestnut-Exploration-and-Mark-Plummer-Facing-Allegations-of-Securities-Fraud-With-Oil-Gas-Securities-300x225Nixon has a total of four disclosures in his record, the most recent a customer dispute filed on 7/9/2018. The claimants allege that from 2013 to 2018, Nixon violated both the Florida Securities Act and the Virginia Securities Act. They also allege that he committed common law and securities fraud and breached his fiduciary duty, and completely misrepresented multiple unsuitable securities and investments. Additional allegations include failure to supervise on the part of the firm (Paulson Investment.) Claimants are requesting damages in the amount of $3,000,000. The case is currently pending.

His previous customer dispute was filed on 10/9/1998, which included allegations of “misrepresentation and deceit” in relation to a stock liquidation to meet a margin call. The client requested damages of $9,000, and was granted damages of $2,006.95. Nixon denied the allegations.

The SEC has ordered four entities of Transamerica to refund $97 million to investors after discovering that faulty investment models used for fund management didn’t work as it was purported.

The SEC Has Proposed New Regulations for Fiduciaries on silverlaw.comAegon USA Investment Management, operating through Transamerica Asset Management, Transamerica Capital, Inc. and Transamerica Financial Advisors, discovered the model’s inconsistencies, but didn’t notify anyone when they stopped using it. This kept investors from understanding the risks and kept them from making more informed decisions about their investments.

The quantitative investment models were developed by an inexperienced junior analyst who had no experience in portfolio management. Once the company discovered the errors, the models were quietly taken out of circulation. Investors put billions of dollars into mutual funds and other accounts that used these models, which were sold as “model driven” and “model supported.” However, there was no hard evidence that these models actually worked, and no disclosure of risk was ever offered.

Back in June, we told you about five former brokers charged by the SEC when the agency shut down their Ponzi scheme worth $102 million.

What-Keeps-a-Ponzi-Scheme-Running-300x200Scott Silver recently spoke with Jennifer Cefalu of WHEC News in Rochester, NY, where two of the suspects lived and the scheme originated. The scheme was run by Perry Santillo, Jr. and Chris Parris, with Santillo headlining.

Santillo, Parris and three others recruited their investors by word of mouth, after buying client lists from brokers. Ultimately, 637 people were defrauded, many in the Rochester area. The entities they represented were not registered with any federal agency like the SEC or FINRA, nor were any of them registered brokers or investment advisors.

Sebastian Wyczawski (CRD #2835135) is a registered broker currently employed with Joseph Stone Capital, LLC (CRD #159744) of Holbrook, NY. His previous employers include Cape Securities Inc. (CRD #7072), also of Holbrook,

Bahram-Mirhashemi-Facing-Allegations-of-Elder-Financial-Fraud-300x200Liberty Partners Financial Services, LLC (CRD #130390) of Mount Pleasant, SC, and Milestone Financial Services, Inc. (CRD #43295) of Bohemia, NY. His first employer, Seaboard Securities, Inc. (CRD #755) of Florham Park, NJ, was expelled by FINRA in 2011. He has been in the industry since 1998.

Wyczawski has a total of three disclosures, all customer disputes. The most recent was filed on 7/18/2018, alleging “fraud; negligent misrepresentation; breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the covenants of good faith and fair dealing; negligent supervision; breach of conduct; Section 20 violations.”  This customer is requesting damages in the amount of $100,000.00.

Would you listen if a company selling its stock asked you to reject a buyer’s offer?

That’s the conundrum facing stockholders of American Finance Trust, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFIN.) This REIT was formerly not traded, and sponsored by AR Global. The company has 75% of its Class A and former Class B-1 shares, 400,000, on the NASDAQ. The remaining Class B-2 shares are expected to be listed in January 2019.

Are-or-Were-Unsuitable-Non-Traded-REITs-in-Your-Portfolio-300x224McKenzie Realty Capital Inc. made, for the second time, an unsolicited tender offer to purchase up to 400,000 shares of each class of the company’s common stock. AFIN’s board is urging stockholders to reject McKenzie’s offer.  However, both sides offer reasons for their recommendation.

The SEC recently published some guidance on variable annuities, an investment contract between an investor and an insurance company.

Winston-Turner-Facing-Allegations-of-Variable-Annuity-Fraud-300x200What It Is

A variable annuity is an investment account purchased from an insurance company that includes different types of insurance features. It can grow on a tax-deferred basis, and you can purchase one with a single payment or with regular “installment-plan” payments.

Marc Korsch (CRD #5525226) has been employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc. since February 2014. Korsch was registered with the following firms: Trustmont Financial Group, Inc. from March 2011 to March 2014, Capital Financial Services, Inc. from July 2010 to March 2011, Variable Investment Advisors, Inc. from April 2010 to July 2010 and Gradient Securities, LLC from July 2009 to April 2010.

Christopher Robert Hickman is Sanctioned by FINRA on elderfinancialfraudattorneys.comAccording to the FINRA BrokerCheck, there have been complaints against Marc Korsch.

In 2018, while employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc., Claimant alleges that recommendation of annuity switches are unsuitable and that the fees, surrender penalties/charges and annuity terms were not adequately discussed.

Jonathan William Iraggi (CRD #5857254) is a former registered broker whose last employer was National Securities Corporation (CRD #7569) of Morganville, NJ. His previous employers include Garden State Securities, Inc. (CRD #10083) of Red Bank, NJ, Spartan Capital Securities, LLC (CRD #146251) and Portfolio Advisors Alliance, Inc. (CRD #101680) of New York, NY.  No current employment information is available. He has been in the industry since 2011.

David-Ledoux-Fined-and-Suspended-by-FINRA-After-Failing-to-Disclose-Liens-on-His-Registration-300x200Iraggi is the subject of four disclosures, the most recent a disciplinary action by FINRA, as well as one employment discharge and two denied customer disputes. In the FINRA action, filed on 8/23/2018, Iraggi failed to notify his employer firm, Garden State Securities, that he had verbal authorization to exercise discretion in three customer accounts. Iraggi did not obtain written authorization from the clients, nor written authorization from the firm to service the accounts on a discretionary basis.

Later, when filling out an annual compliance questionnaire in December of 2016, Iraggi failed to disclose to the firm that he had exercised discretion with a customer’s account, answering “no” when he actually had. Iraggi was fined $5,000 and a 30-day suspension from any association with a FINRA member firm, consented to the findings and signed a letter of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC.)

Atul Makharia (CRD #5070762) is a registered broker currently employed with Centaurus Financial, Inc. (CRD #30833) of Lexington, SC. Makharia’s previous employers are J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (CRD #43177), Gunnallen Financial, Inc. (CRD #17609), and First Allied Securities, Inc. (CRD #32444), also of Lexington, SC. Makharia has been in the industry since 2006.

Broker-Ricardo-Broome-Permanently-Barred-From-FINRA-300x200-300x200There are three disclosures in Makharia’s FINRA record. Two nearly identical customer disputes were filed on 11/8/018 and 10/15/2018. Both allege “unsuitability,” and one describes but doesn’t include “several other allegations associated therewith.”  Makharia denies allegations in both disputes. Both disputes are currently pending.

A third customer dispute, filed on 1/31/2017 with the state of South Carolina, alleges that Makharia sold the customer a CD but failed to provide a prospectus. The client requested damages of $20,000. After an investigation provided the required information to the state, the claim was closed with no further actions.

Contact Information