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Mark Wojno (CRD#: 5623841), a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) with Pinnacle Wealth Management, Inc. (CRD#: 166853) in Brighton, Michigan, is currently involved in an investor dispute, according to his Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) record accessed on July 29, 2020. What happened to lead to this investor dispute? Read on to learn more. 

Mark Wojno
On June 22, 2020, a client filed an investor complaint against Mark Wojno. The client alleges that the broker recommended unsuitable investments and misrepresented these investments. The client purchased the investments in 2015. The client further alleges that the firm failed to supervise the actions of Mark Wojno and failed to conduct due diligence. Mark Wojno’s colleague, Andrew Perri, is also involved in this dispute. 

Mark Wojno has passed the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, the Series 65 – Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, the SIE – Securities Industry Essentials Examination, and the Series 6 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination. He is licensed to sell securities in Florida and Michigan. 

Dave Mock (CRD#: 1309680), a registered representative with Trustmont Financial Group, Inc. (CRD#: 18312) and a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) with Money Management Advisory, Inc. (CRD#: 14983) in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, is currently involved in an investor dispute over suitability, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on July 28, 2020. What happened to lead to this dispute? Read on to learn more. 

Dave Mock
On June 2, 2020, a client filed an investor complaint against Dave Mock. The client alleges that he recommended unsuitable investment products, committed common law fraud, breached his fiduciary duty, engaged in unjust enrichment, engaged in failure to supervise, and violated the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. the activity in question occurred from 2012 to 2017. The client is seeking $375,717 in damages. The matter is pending. Dave Mock’s colleague, Jeff Dillman, is involved in the same dispute. 

Dave Mock has passed the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, the SIE – Securities Industry Essentials Examination, the Series 7 – General Securities Representative Examination, the Series 6 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination, the Series 27 – Financial and Operations Principal Examination, and the Series 24 – General Securities Principal Examination. He is a broker and Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He is licensed to sell securities in California, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, and West Virginia. 

Claudio Gambin (CRD#: 5752180), a registered representative with MML Investors Services LLC (CRD#: 10409), is currently under investigation by Florida securities regulators, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on July 22, 2020. Why is Claudio Gambin under investigation? Read on to learn more.

Claudio Gambin
On May 29, 2020, the Florida Department of Financial Services initiated an investigation into Claudio Gambin’s business practices. The investigation will determine whether or not he violated the provisions of the Florida Insurance Code. The investigation is ongoing. 

This recent investigation is not the only disclosure on Claudio Gambin’s BrokerCheck record. On January 15, 2020, a customer filed an investor complaint against Claudio Gambin. The customer alleged that Claudio Gambin made misrepresentations regarding the premium account they would be required to pay for a non-variable life insurance policy. The customer used funds from their investment account with Northwestern Mutual Investment Services LLC to pay these premiums. The customer sought $79,708.46 in damages and the matter ultimately settled for the same sum.

Ricardo Urrutia (CRD#: 5719923), a former broker with Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc. (CRD#: 611) in Paramus, New Jersey,  has been suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after he failed to comply with an arbitration award, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on April 21, 2020. 

Ricardo Urrutia
On March 31, 2020, FINRA suspended Ricardo Urrutia after he failed to comply with an arbitration award and did not satisfactorily respond to FINRA’s request for information after the self-regulatory organization looked into his compliance. Ricardo Urrutia lost an arbitration with AXA Advisors LLC and AXA Network LLC, his former employers. In the Statement of Claim, AXA Advisors and AXA Network alleged that Ricardo Urrutia breached his promissory note agreement with the firm. The firms are also seeking the return of unearned commissions from Ricardo Urrutia. The arbitration award mandated that Ricardo Urrutia pay the firms $56,746.34 plus interest and attorneys’ fees. A copy of the arbitration award can be viewed here. Ricardo Urrutia’s suspension will begin on March 31, 2020 and continue indefinitely until he pays the arbitration award.

Ricardo Urrutia has passed the Series 65 – Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, the SIE – Securities Industry Essentials Examination, the Series 7 – General Securities Representative Examination, and the Series 6 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination. 

Alex James (CRD#: 5630825), a former registered representative with Allstate Financial Services LLC (CRD#: 18272) in West Palm Beach, Florida, is currently being investigated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for potentially undisclosed outside business activities, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on March 16, 2020. 

Alex James
What happened to lead to this FINRA investigation? On March 6, 2020, FINRA recommended that disciplinary action be brought against Alex James for violating FINRA Rule 3270 and FINRA Rule 2010. FINRA Rule 3270 mandates that brokers receive written approval from their member firms before engaging in any outside business activities. FINRA alleges that Alex James did not do that, instead engaging in private securities activities totaling approximately $667,000. FINRA Rule 2010 mandates that brokers act in a professional manner, and FINRA alleges that Alex James violated Rule 2010 by allegedly providing false information to his firm on annual compliance questionnaires, stating that he reported all outside business activities when that was allegedly not true. 

The Detailed Report of Alex James’s BrokerCheck record lists four outside business activities:

Joe Henehan (CRD#: 1344245), a former broker with Hornor, Townsend & Kent, LLC (CRD#: 4031) in San Bernardino, California, has been permitted to resign from the firm after the company informed him he would be terminated, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on March 10, 2020.

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What happened to lead to Joe Henehan’s resignation? His firm found that he failed to inform the firm of his tax liens, thereby violating firm policy and securities regulations. The firm told Joe Henehan that he would be terminated, so he resigned.

Indeed, Joe Henehan’s BrokerCheck record lists 11 tax liens, starting in 2009, when he became subject to a tax lien of $29,573. Here are his other listed liens:

Paris Lewis (CRD#: 2335964) has been terminated from his role as a broker with NYLife Securities LLC, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on March 3, 2020.

What happened to lead to Paris Lewis’s termination? On December 22, 2019, NYLife Securities terminated Paris Lewis after the firm found that he violated company policy by borrowing money from a customer. How did the brokerage firm become aware of Paris Lewis’s alleged misconduct? The firm received a verbal customer complaint.

This is not the first time that Paris Lewis has been discharged from a firm. On February 26, 2015, MetLife discharged Paris Lewis after the firm found that he did not follow firm policy regarding outside business activities. Per FINRA rules, brokers must receive written approval from their firms before engaging in outside business activities, including private securities transactions.

Andy Grant (CRD#: 2709882), a registered representative with Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. in Melville, NY (CRD#: 119037), has been suspended from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on February 21, 2020.

What happened to lead to Andy Grant’s suspension from the securities industry? On January 17, 2020, Andy Grant entered into an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement with FINRA in which he consented to the entry of findings that he made discretionary trades in customer accounts without customer authorization. Andy Grant also consented to FINRA’s sanction: a 15-day suspension. The suspension will last from February 18, 2020 to March 9, 2020. FINRA also fined Andy Grant $5,000. A copy of Andy Grant’s AWC can be viewed here.

What does it mean to exercise discretion without authorization? Unauthorized trading happens when a broker trades within a non-discretionary account without letting their client know. Did your broker inform you before every trade they made in your portfolio? Did you recognize every trade listed on the monthly or quarterly statements your brokerage firm sent to you? If not, your broker may have exercised discretion without the proper approval, which is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010.

Johnny Guan (CRD#: 5711977), a registered representative with Aegis Capital Corp. (CRD#: 15007) in Red Bank, New Jersey, is currently involved in a pending customer dispute in which a client alleges that he recommended unsuitable investments, overconcentrated their portfolio, made unauthorized transactions, and breached his fiduciary duty (putting his interests ahead of the client’s), according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on February 4, 2020.

Johnny Guan
This is not the only disclosure on Johnny Guan’s BrokerCheck record. On April 15, 2016, he became involved in a customer dispute in which a customer alleged that the broker recommended unsuitable investments, misrepresented investments, and engaged in negligence. The client originally requested $40,000 in damages; the dispute settled for $7,200.

Over his 10-year career in the securities industry, Johnny Guan has worked for three brokerage firms. In addition to his current role at Aegis Capital Corp., he has also worked for National Securities Corporation (CRD#: 7569) and Newbridge Securities Corporation (CRD#: 104065).

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