A FINRA panel permanently expelled firm John Carris Investments (JCI), LLC and barred its CEO George Carris for a series of misconduct, including reckless sales of securities on the basis of false statements and misleading omissions, unsuitable recommendations and willful price manipulation constituting securities fraud.
The extended hearing panel's decision comes over a year after FINRA first charged JCI and George Carris with fraud and stock manipulation, when the regulator filed a cease-and-desist order against the firm to stop it from soliciting the Fibrocell Science, Inc. stock, which the hearing panel now says was the target of JCI's manipulation scheme.
In its 115-page report, the Office of Hearing Officers' panel revealed new evidence uncovered since the initial September 2013 cease-and-desist that first accused JCI of using misleading statements and omitting material facts.
The report states that JCI and Carris fraudulently and recklessly sold Fibrocell stock and notes in JCI parent company Invictus Capital, Inc. without disclosing Invictus' financial woes or that JCI was out of net capital compliance, constituting improper sales in violation of industry rules.
The report states Carris converted investment funds for personal use, including liquor store, clothing and dry cleaning purchases. A 2013 New York Post article listed Carris's illicit pleasure purchases, including pet care, motorcycle costs, tattoo parlor expenses, alcohol retail purchases, and firearms-related expenses.
One specific instance of false testimony associated with an overall tenor of incredibility the panel cited pertained to Carris' use of e-mail systems, in which he claimed use of a Sony PlayStation whereas forensic evidence showed Carris sent e-mails from an Apple iPhone.
JCI broker Andrey Tkatchenko also received a penalty—a $10,000 fine and two year suspension—for recommending Fibrocell stock and promissory notes without a reasonable basis, while the panel also sanctioned JCI and George Carris for keeping inaccurate books and records, maintaining insufficient net capital, failure to implement anti-money laundering (AML) policies and procedures, and failure to establish and enforce an adequate supervisory system.
If you have invested with John Carris Investments in Fibrocell Science, Inc. stock or Invictus Capital, Inc. promissory notes, or with any financial adviser or broker like Andrey Tkatchenko whose unsuitable recommendations or omissions of material fact have proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.