Articles Posted in Regulatory Sanction

Published on:

The GMS GroupPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 29, 2018 indicate that New Jersey-based brokerage and advisory firm The GMS Group has received numerous regulatory sanctions and customer complaints. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding The GMS Group (CRD# 8000).

Formed in Delaware in 1997, The GMS Group is headquartered in Livingston, New Jersey and registered with 52 US states and territories. According to its BrokerCheck report, it has received six regulatory sanctions and twelve customer complaints that evolved into arbitration. For instance, in 2016 FINRA sanctioned The GMS Group following allegations it recommended and sold municipal bond investments below the minimum denomination, and that in several instances it failed to disclose to its retail customers that their purchase fell short of the minimum denomination; in addition, customers in certain transactions were not qualified institutional buyers, and thus did not meet the qualifications to purchase the bonds in question, according to FINRA. In this action, the firm was censured and issued a fine of $45,000.

In 2015, FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to adequately supervise a registered representative who made unsuitable recommendations and trades of non-traditional exchange-traded funds, and who also exercised discretion without proper authorization. FINRA found that the firm failed to establish and maintain supervisory procedures designed to achieve compliance with rules governing non-traditional ETF sales and that the firm also failed to provide training to the representative about non-traditional ETFs. According to FINRA, the principal supervising the representative neglected to take certain steps to do so, such as determining whether the representative was using discretionary authority, discussing the risks of non-traditional ETF trades, or discussing the commissions that were being generated. In connection to these findings, FINRA censured The GMS Group and issued it a fine of $75,000.

Published on:

Mark RaezerPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 27, 2018 indicate that former Colorado-based Taylor Capital Management broker Mark Raezer, who was recently sanctioned by state authorities in connection to alleged rule violations, has received a pending customer dispute and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Raezer (CRD# 6439772).

Mark Raezer has spent two years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Taylor Capital Management in Aurora, Colorado (2015-2018). He has no previous registrations. He has passed one securities industry examination: Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination), which he obtained on February 9, 2015. He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one regulatory sanction and one pending customer complaint, and he recently resigned from his former employer in connection to alleged rule violations.

Published on:

Paul MauroPublic records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 27, 2018 indicate that Massachusetts-based Sagepoint Financial broker/adviser Paul Mauro was recently sanctioned by state authorities in connection to alleged rule violations. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Mauro (CRD# 824304).

Paul Mauro has spent 41 years in the securities industry and has been registered with Sagepoint Financial in Westborough, Massachusetts since November 2017. Previous registrations include SII Investments in Westborough, Massachusetts (2007-2017); Legacy Financial Services in Milford, Massachusetts (1999-2007); InterSecurities in St. Petersburg, Florida (1995-1999); PML Securities in Newark, Delaware (1991-1995); RG Dickinson & Company in Des Moines, Iowa (1990-1991); JT Moran & Company (1988-1990); Buttonwood Securities Corporation of Massachusetts (1987-1988); John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company (1976-1987); and John Hancock Distributors (1976-1987). he has passed three securities industry examinations: Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination), which he obtained on April 21, 1999; Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination), which he obtained on February 29, 1988; and Series 1 (Registered Representative Examination), which he obtained on June 26, 1976. He is a registered broker and investment adviser with 26 US states and territories.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received three customer complaints and two regulatory sanctions.

Published on:

Lawrence FawcettPublicly available records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 25, 2018 indicate that former California-based Westpark Capital broker Lawrence Fawcett, who was recently sanctioned by FINRA and barred from acting as a broker, has received pending customer disputes. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Fawcett (CRD# 5851474).

Lawrence Fawcett has spent 5 years in the securities industry and has been registered with Westpark Capital in Los Angeles, California (2015-2018). Previous registrations include Salomon Whitney Financial in Farmingdale, New York (2013-2015); Rockwell Global Capital in Melville, New York (2013); John Thomas Financial in New York, New York (2013); Rockwell Global Capital in New York, New York (2012-2013); and EKN Financial Services in Melville, New York (2012). He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one customer complaint, three pending customer complaints, and two FINRA sanctions.

Published on:

Peter KlaasPublic records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 21, 2018 indicate that former Nevada-based Cetera Advisor Networks broker/adviser Peter Klaas, who has received resolved or pending customer disputes and a regulatory sanction, recently resigned from his former employer in connection to alleged rule violations and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Klaas (CRD# 2381681).

Peter Klaas has spent 24 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Cetera Advisor Networks in Las Vegas, Nevada since (2017-2018). Previous registrations include Allegis Investment Services in South Jordan, Utah (2014-2017); Signator Financial Services in Idaho Falls, Idaho (2014-2017); LPL Financial in Idaho Falls, Idaho (2007-2011); Financial Network Investment Corporation in Idaho Falls, Idaho (2003-2007); Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri (2002-2003); Cuna Brokerage Services in Waverly, Iowa (1995-2002); WMA Securities in Duluth, Georgia (1994-1995); and Fidelity Brokerage Services in Smithfield, Rhode Island (1993-1994). He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one regulatory sanction, three customer complaints, and one pending customer complaint, and he recently resigned from his former employer.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

Don TraywickPublic records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 16, 2018 indicate that Texas-based TCFG Wealth Management broker Don Traywick was recently sanctioned by FINRA in connection to alleged rule violations and suspended from acting as a broker. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Traywick (CRD# 2410109).

Don Traywick has spent 24 years in the securities industry and has been registered with TCFG Wealth Management in Missouri City, Texas since January 2017. Previous registrations include Grown Capital Securities in San Clemente, California (2000-2016); Linsco/Private Ledger Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts (1997-2000); First Allied Securities in San Diego, California (1995-1997); and Chatfield Dean & Company in Greenwood Village, Colorado (1993-1995). He has passed three securities industry examinations: Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination), which he obtained on December 7, 1993; Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on December 1, 1993; and Series 24 (General Securities Principal Examination), which he obtained on August 23, 1997. He is a registered broker with ten US states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one FINRA sanction and two customer complaints.

Published on:

Brian HusseyPublic records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 13, 2018 indicate that former Florida-based Ameriprise Financial Services broker/adviser Brian Hussey has been sanctioned by FINRA in connection to alleged rule violations and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Hussey (CRD# 4640067).

Brian Hussey has spent ten years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Ameriprise Financial Services in Tampa, Florida (2008-2018). He has no previous registrations. He has passed two securities industry examinations: Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law Examination), which he obtained on May 15, 2008, and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on February 15, 2008. He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

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

Published on:

Cory BataanPublic records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 8, 2018 indicate that New York-based Aegis Capital broker Cory Bataan, who has received several customer disputes, has been sanctioned by FINRA in connection to alleged rule violations. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Bataan (CRD# 2755223).

Cory Bataan has spent 15 years in the securities industry and has been registered with Aegis Capital in Melville, New York since 2012. Previous registrations include Empire Asset Management in New York, New York (2008-2012); Ameritas Investment Corporation in New Hyde Park, New York (2007-2008); and Joseph Stevens & Company in Brooklyn, New York (1996-2001). He has passed four securities industry examinations: Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law Examination), which he obtained on February 11, 2008; Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination), which he obtained on October 30, 1996; Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on December 3, 2007; and Series 24 (General Securities Principal Examination), which he obtained on October 12, 2010. He is a registered broker with 25 US states and territories.

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

Published on:

Lloyd JohnstonPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 6, 2018 indicate that former Washington-based Capital Financial Services broker/adviser Lloyd Johnston, who has received a pending customer dispute, was recently discharged from his former employer in connection to alleged rule violations and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Johnston (CRD# 1626695).

Lloyd Johnston has spent 27 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Capital Financial Services in Spokane, Washington (2006-2018). Previous registrations include Legacy Financial Services in Clinton, Maryland (2004-2006); Investors Capital Corporation in Lynnfield, Massachusetts (1996-2004); Intersecurities in St. Petersburg, Florida (1992-1993); and Pruco Securities Corporation in Newark, New Jersey (1987-1992). He has passed five securities industry examinations: Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination), which he obtained on May 29, 1998; Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination), which he obtained on July 19, 1996; Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on July 25, 1997; Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination), which he obtained on February 23, 1987; and Series 26 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Principal Examination), which he obtained on April 30, 1996. He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, Lloyd Johnston has received one pending customer complaint and one regulatory sanction, has been named in a FINRA investigation and was recently discharged from his former employer in connection to alleged rule violations. He has also received 15 unsatisfied judgments or liens.