Articles Posted in Regulatory Sanction

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Joe Buckner

Publicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 19, 2017 indicate that former Texas-based Brazos Securities broker/adviser Joe Buckner has been sanctioned by FINRA and barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Buckner (CRD# 2187957).

Joe Buckner has spent 21 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Brazos Securities in Dallas, Texas (1996-2015). Previous registrations include Maplewood Investment Advisors in Dallas, Texas; La Jolla Capital Corporation in San Diego, California; and Merrill Lynch in New York, New York. He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one FINRA sanction and one pending customer complaint, and has been named in a pending regulatory investigation.

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Stuart Horowitz
Publicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 19, 2017 indicate that former Florida-based Securities America broker/adviser Stuart Horowitz has received several dozen resolved or pending customer disputes and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Horowitz (CRD# 2795019).

Stuart Horowitz has spent nineteen years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Securities America in Coral Gables, Florida (2009-2016). Previous registrations include NFP Securities in Coral Springs, Florida; Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Massachusetts; Investacorp. in Miami, Florida; and Linsco/Private Ledger Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts. He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received 33 customer complaints, five pending customer complaints, and one regulatory sanction.

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Alex EtterPublic records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 19, 2017 indicate that former New Jersey-based Caldwell International Securities broker Alex Etter has been sanctioned by FINRA and suspended from acting as a broker. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Etter (CRD# 2981742).

Alex Etter has spent fifteen years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Caldwell International Securities in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (2011-2016). Previous registrations include World Equity Group in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; Investors Capital Corporation in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; Brookstreet Securities in New York, New York; and National Securities in Seattle, Washington. He has passed two securities industry examination: Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination) and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination). He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, Alex Etter has been sanctioned by FINRA.

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Deja JeffersonPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 17, 2017 indicate that former North Carolina-based MetLife Investors Distribution Company broker Deja Jefferson has been sanctioned by FINRA and barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Ms. Jefferson (CRD# 6550180).

Deja Jefferson has spent one year in the securities industry and was most recently registered with MetLife Investors Distribution Company in Charlotte, North Carolina (2015-2016). She was previously registered with MetLife Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina (2015-2016). She has passed one securities industry examination: Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination). She is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to her BrokerCheck report, Deja Jefferson has been sanctioned by FINRA.

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Eli UngarPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 17, 2017 indicate that New Jersey-based Wells Fargo Clearing Services broker/adviser Eli Ungar has been sanctioned by FINRA. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Ungar (CRD# 4748236).

Eli Ungar has spent twelve years in the securities industry and has been registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in Chatham, New Jersey since 2016. Previous registrations include HSBC Securities in Florham Park, New Jersey; PNC Investments in North Brunswick, New Jersey; Banc of America Investment Services in Summit, New Jersey; E-Trade Securities in Jersey City, New Jersey; TD Waterhouse Investment Services in Omaha, Nebraska; Ladenburg Thalmann & Company in New York, New York; and Harrison Securities in Port Washington, New York. He is a registered broker with six US states and territories: Alabama, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina.

According to his BrokerCheck report, Eli Ungar has received one FINRA sanction.

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Douglas LeonePublic records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 17, 2017 indicate that former New York-based Salomon Whitney Financial broker Douglas Leone has been sanctioned by FINRA and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Leone (CRD# 2453784).

Douglas Leone has spent 22 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Salomon Whitney Financial in Farmingdale, New York (2013-2017). Previous registrations include Newport Coast Securities in New York, New York; Basic Investors in Hicksville, New York; Joseph Stevens & Company in Brooklyn, New York; Advanced Planning Securities in Smithtown, New York; and Whitehall Wellington Investments in Port Washington, New York. He has passed two securities industry examinations: Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination) and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination).

According to his BrokerCheck report, Douglas Leone has received five customer complaints and one FINRA sanction.

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Investment Professionals, IncPublicly available records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 12, 2017 indicate that Texas-based broker-dealer Investment Professionals, Inc. has been fined by the State of Massachusetts in connection to alleged rule violations. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Investment Professionals (CRD# 30184).

Established in Texas in 1992, Investment Professionals is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and registered as a brokerage and investment adviser firm with 53 US states and territories. Scott Barnes is Chairman of the Board; Richard Dullnig is Registered Options Principal; Jay McAnelly is President and Chief Executive Officer; Christine Walters is Financial Operations Principal and Chief Financial Officer; Brian Surovik is Chief Compliance Officer.

According to the firm’s BrokerCheck report, Investment Professionals was recently sanctioned by the State of Massachusetts.

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Morgan StanleyAccording to an April 2017 report by AdvisorHub, Morgan Stanley has reached a settlement with the State of Massachusetts in connection to “charges that it ginned up sale of portfolio-backed loans in parts of its New England region through sales contests that rewarded brokers with higher expense accounts and paid $50 for each processed loan application to sales assistants.” Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking with investors who have complaints regarding investments made in such products through Morgan Stanley.

Morgan Stanley has neither admitted to nor denied the charges but has consented to sanctions including a censure and a civil penalty of $1,000,000. The alleged misconduct, which would also have been in violation of the firm’s internal policies and procedures, constituted the firm “successfully influenc[ing] 30 brokers and managers in five offices in Massachusetts and Providence, R.I., from late 2013 to early 2015 to open bank lines and have clients draw them down by offering as much as $5,000 of extra ‘business development allowances’ (BDA) to brokers who met targets,” according to the report. AdvisorHub also cites a private internal email which states that the alleged incentive program, in 2014, “generated a 272% increase over the previous year in securities-based loans (known internally as PLAs) and new loan balances of almost $24 million.”

The state’s findings included allegations that “compliance and risk officers turned thumbs down on the program when they learned of it after bankers tried to extend it in the New England complex and expand it to a Pittsburgh complex,” but that those risk officers did not enforce their decisions, per the AdvisorHub article. Morgan Stanley got rid of its New England region during a January restructuring.

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Hossein AmirriaheiPublicly available records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 11, 2017 indicate that former California-based Wells Fargo Advisors broker/adviser Hossein Amirriahei has been sanctioned by FINRA and barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Amirriahei (CRD# 2121350).

Hossein Amirriahei has spent 25 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in Los Angeles, California (2003-2016). Previous registrations include Prudential Securities in New York, New York; Pruco Securities in Newark, New Jersey; and the Prudential Insurance Company of America in Newark, New Jersey. He has passed five securities industry examinations: Series 31 (Futures Managed Funds Examination); Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination); Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination); 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination); and Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination). He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one FINRA sanction and one customer complaint, and was discharged from a former employer.

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Jetmir AhmetiPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 10, 2017 indicate that former Texas-based Edward Jones broker Jetmir Ahmeti has been sanctioned by FINRA and suspended from acting as a broker. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Ahmeti (CRD# 5568499).

Jetmir Ahmeti has spent six years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Edward Jones in Dallas, Texas (2009-2015). He was previously registered with AXA Advisors in Plano, Texas (2008-2009). He has passed two securities industry examinations: Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law Examination) and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination). He is currently not registered with any firm or state.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received two regulatory sanctions and was discharged from a former employer.