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Blog Posts in May, 2018

James Edward Knee Barred, Arrested for Theft from Elderly Client

Two months after his arrest for stealing from an elderly investor, FINRA barred former Ameriprise Financial Services and Voya Financial Advisors broker James "Jim" Edward Knee following an ...
Continue reading "James Edward Knee Barred, Arrested for Theft from Elderly Client" »

FINRA Awards Clients $800,000 for Oppenheimer's Negligence in Energy Stock Recommendations

FINRA awarded a married couple $800,000 after an arbitration panel found Oppenheimer & Co. negligent in recommending these customers invest in energy stocks, including Breitburn Energy Partners, ...
Continue reading "FINRA Awards Clients $800,000 for Oppenheimer's Negligence in Energy Stock Recommendations" »

DOJ Charges Gary Basralian with Fraud, Suit Claims He & Preyed on Elderly Women, Royal Alliance Customers

Former Royal Alliance Associates broker Gary John Basralian, barred from the securities industry in March 2018, faces criminal charges including wire fraud and investment adviser fraud for allegedly ...
Continue reading "DOJ Charges Gary Basralian with Fraud, Suit Claims He & Preyed on Elderly Women, Royal Alliance Customers" »

SEC Bars Lauramarie Colangelo for Helping Tarek Bahgat Misappropriate Client Funds Under Guise of Paying Senior Citizens' Internet Bills

The SEC instituted administrative proceedings ordering former WealthCFO operations manager Lauramarie Colangelo barred from the securities industry in relation to an action against WealthCFO, LLC and ...
Continue reading "SEC Bars Lauramarie Colangelo for Helping Tarek Bahgat Misappropriate Client Funds Under Guise of Paying Senior Citizens' Internet Bills" »

Gross Margin Debt Climbing at an Unsustainable Rate, Placing Investors at Greater Risk

Investing on margin—which means investing funds that are borrowed from a brokerage firm—can look attractive because of the potential for great returns. On the other hand, buying on margin ...
Continue reading "Gross Margin Debt Climbing at an Unsustainable Rate, Placing Investors at Greater Risk" »

Banks and Brokers Recommending Risky Reverse Convertibles to Combat Volatility Despite Prior Discipline

Though one might think banks and brokerages would choose simplicity in the wake of February's volatility-induced panic when uninformed brokers took on too much risk, it turns out the market for ...
Continue reading "Banks and Brokers Recommending Risky Reverse Convertibles to Combat Volatility Despite Prior Discipline" »

Credit Suisse CEO Warned Unsophisticated Investors Not to Invest in XIV as Lawsuit Alleges Fraud

A New York lawsuit filed against Credit Suisse Group AG alleges that the firm failed to disclose that it was manipulating its VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term exchange-traded notes (ticker ...
Continue reading "Credit Suisse CEO Warned Unsophisticated Investors Not to Invest in XIV as Lawsuit Alleges Fraud" »

SEC Warned of Volatility-Linked Exchange-Traded Notes' Complexity Before XIV Crash

Over two years before Credit Suisse's VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term Exchange-Traded Note (NASDAQ:XIV) lost 95% of its value this February, the Securities & Exchange Commission ...
Continue reading "SEC Warned of Volatility-Linked Exchange-Traded Notes' Complexity Before XIV Crash" »

Wells Fargo Survey Finds Two-Thirds of Financial Crimes Against Elderly Are Committed By Trusted Individuals

Wells Fargo released its 2018 Wells Fargo Elder Needs Survey, finding that although older Americans are targeted for scams because of wealth, isolation, and/or cognitive decline, a vast majority think ...
Continue reading "Wells Fargo Survey Finds Two-Thirds of Financial Crimes Against Elderly Are Committed By Trusted Individuals" »

'Volatility Virus' XIV Devastated Wall Street and Ravaged Private Investors as Uninformed Brokers Took on Too Much Risk

Bemoaning the "volatility virus" known as XIV—or Credit Suisse's VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term Exchange-Traded Note—the Financial Times shed the spotlight on an ...
Continue reading "'Volatility Virus' XIV Devastated Wall Street and Ravaged Private Investors as Uninformed Brokers Took on Too Much Risk" »

Revised FINRA Sanction Guidelines Increase Penalties for Brokers with More Complaints

FINRA announced it will consider customer-initiated disputes as part of its disciplinary process when sanctioning brokers for misconduct, writing that brokers with a pattern of causing harm may expect ...
Continue reading "Revised FINRA Sanction Guidelines Increase Penalties for Brokers with More Complaints" »

Fifth Third Securities to Pay $6 Million for Variable Annuity Suitability and Disclosure Failures

FINRA fined Fifth Third Securities $4 million and ordered $2 million in restitution for suitability and related failures pertaining to the firm's variable annuity (VA) business. According to ...
Continue reading "Fifth Third Securities to Pay $6 Million for Variable Annuity Suitability and Disclosure Failures" »

Troubled LPL Financial to Pay $26 Million for Selling Unregistered, Non-Exempt Securities

LPL Financial reached settlement with the North American State Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) to pay nearly $26 million in fines and penalties for selling unregistered securities not ...
Continue reading "Troubled LPL Financial to Pay $26 Million for Selling Unregistered, Non-Exempt Securities" »

Joseph Pratte Barred After Outside Business Activities Investigation

FINRA barred longtime Riverside area broker Joseph Glenn Pratte for refusing to provide requested information related to a review of his outside business activities, thus capping off a 35-year career ...
Continue reading "Joseph Pratte Barred After Outside Business Activities Investigation" »

James and Lorraine Conaway Sanctioned for Real Estate Outside Business Activity Violations, Disclose Failures

FINRA fined and suspended James "Jim" Otis Conaway and Lorraine Annette Campbell Conaway aka Lorraine Annette Espinoza for violations related to Tycon Properties, a real estate company the ...
Continue reading "James and Lorraine Conaway Sanctioned for Real Estate Outside Business Activity Violations, Disclose Failures" »
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