Articles Posted in Broker Complaints

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. 

Yvonne SilgueroYvonne Silguero (CRD#: 3211495), a registered representative with LPL Financial LLC in McAllen, Texas and Brownsville, Texas, is currently involved in a $500,000 dispute over misrepresentation, according to her BrokerCheck report accessed on October 2, 2019. A client, who filed a complaint on August 9, 2019, alleges that Yvonne Silguero engaged in “negligence, gross negligence, misrepresentation, omission of material facts, breach of fiduciary duty through failure to supervise, and breach of contract” from July 2014 to October 2018.

Yvonne Silguero is also currently involved in a second customer dispute. Filing a complaint on April 12, 2017, a customer alleged that he was sold “unsuitable products for which he was not eligible.”

Yvonne Silguero has enjoyed a 20-year career in the securities industry. Before joining LPL Financial LLC (CRD#: 6413) in 2008, Yvonne Silguero worked for Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (CRD#: 6694) in Pharr, Texas.

Maria Hendershott (CRD#: 818681), a registered representative with Raymond James & Associates in Houston, Texas, is currently engaged in a customer dispute in which a client alleges “unsuitable investments, misrepresentations and omissions, [and] overconcentration,” among other allegations, according to her BrokerCheck report accessed on October 3, 2019. The client, who filed the complaint on August 5, 2019, is seeking $175,000 in damages. This is not the only disclosure on Maria Hendershott’s BrokerCheck record. This is an update to our previous article on Maria Hendershott.

Maria Hendershott
To review, one of Maria Hendershott’s clients filed a complaint on November 27, 2018, alleging that she engaged in “breach of contract and warranties, promissory estoppel, [and violated] provisions of the Texas state securities statues,” among other allegations. The client originally requested $500,000 in damages, but the matter was settled for $55,000.

On October 3, 2017, a client alleged “gross mismanagement of accounts, investor abuse, churning, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, [and] violation of industry rules.” The client requested $100,000 in damages, but the matter was settled for $75,000.

Rob Burns (CRD#: 4066393), a registered representative with Cetera Advisor Networks in Greenwood Village, Colorado, is currently involved in a pending customer dispute in which a client alleges that Rob Burns overconcentrated their portfolio and recommended unsuitable investments in alternative products, according to Rob Burns’ BrokerCheck record accessed on October 2, 2019. They also alleged that Rob Burns’ firm failed to do proper due diligence regarding the alternative investments. The client, who filed the customer dispute on August 9, 2019, is seeking $500,000 in damages.

Rob BurnsAlso known as private placements, alternative investments are only suitable for a small percentage of investors. “Accredited investors” have a high degree of financial literacy and at least an annual income of $200,000 or more. A problem has arisen, however, because these income and net worth guidelines have not changed since 1983. Thus, many individuals and families qualify as accredited investors based on their income but may find themselves in over their heads when it comes to these investments.

On August 3, 2018, a client alleged that Rob Burns recommended unsuitable investments, acted negligently, and breached his fiduciary duty.

Financial Planning AdvisorsPublicly available records provided by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities and accessed on June 20, 2018 indicate that the Bureau has sanctioned New Jersey-based advisory firm Financial Planning Advisors, as well as its owner, Richard Belott, in connection with allegations they defrauded elderly customers. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Financial Planning Advisors and/or Mr. Belott (CRD# 4725262).

According to the Bureau, Richard Belott participated in sales of unregistered securities “to at least eight investors,” including elderly and retired customers. He then allegedly used at least $1.55 million of the investors’ funds on personal expenses, “including his daughter’s college tuition, extravagant trips for himself and his wife, and mortgage payments on the couple’s beach house.”

The Bureau’s findings state that Mr. Belott and Financial Planning Advisors, from 2008 until 2015, offered and sold “at least 24 promissory notes” which they represented as issued by local diners as well as a developer; he allegedly represented to customers that their funds were investments in the businesses in question. However, according to the Bureau, his investors did not receive promissory notes from the diners or the developer, but instead from the owners of the businesses in question, “who had undisclosed business relationships with Belott.” The Bureau states that at least one note was issued by Mr. Belott himself. As for the promissory notes, according to the Bureau, they came with a term of one year, or longer, and their interest rates ranged from 5% annually to 18% annually. The diners, developer and Financial Planning Associates made interest and principal payments from their bank accounts.

bill downingPublic records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on April 20, 2018 indicate that former Texas-based Coastal Equities broker/adviser William Downing, also known as Bill Downing, has received resolved or pending customer disputes. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Downing (CRD# 1529382).

William Downing has spent 31 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Coastal Equities in Wimberley, Texas (2017-2018). Previous registrations include JW Cole Financial in Wimberley, Texas (2012-2017); Merrill Lynch in Austin, Texas (2010-2012); Wells Fargo Advisors in Austin, Texas (2008-2010); AG Edwards & Sons in Austin, Texas (2000-2008); Morgan Keegan & Company in Memphis, Tennessee (1995-2001); Painewebber in Weehawken, New Jersey (1991-1995); Rotan Mosle (1989-1991); and Shearson Lehman Hutton in New York, New York (1986-1989). He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one customer complaint and two pending customer complaints, and he has been terminated from two former employers in connection to alleged rule violations.

Robert BerryPublic records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on March 16, 2017 indicate that Ohio-based Stifel Nicolaus & Company broker/adviser Robert Berry has been sanctioned by FINRA. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. verry (CRD# 849285).

Robert Berry has spent 39 years in the securities industry and has been registered with Stifel Nicolaus & Company in Fairlawn, Ohio since 2009. Previous registrations include Butler Wick & Company in Fairlawn, Ohio; Wachovia Securities in Akron, Ohio; and Merrill Lynch in New York, New York. He is a registered broker and investment adviser with sixteen US states and territories.

According to his BrokerCheck report, Robert Berry has received one FINRA sanction and one customer complaint.

James SpringerThe securities and investment fraud law firm Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Florida-based Stifel Nicolaus broker/adviser James Springer (CRD# 2535792).

James Springer has spent twenty years in the securities industry and has been registered with Stifel Nicolaus & Company in Sarasota, Florida since 2014. Previous registrations include UBS Financial Services in Sarasota (2002-2014); Huntington Investment Company in Columbus, Ohio (1998-2002); NationsBanc Investments in Boston, Massachusetts (1998); Barnett Investments in Jackson, Florida (1997-1998); and First Union Brokerage Services in Charlotte, North Carolina (1994-1997). Mr. Springer is a broker and investment adviser registered in 21 US states and territories.

According to his BrokerCheck report, James Springer is the subject of sixteen customer complaints, two pending customer complaints, and was discharged from UBS Financial Services.

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