Articles Posted in Investment Fraud

people-4-1163712The securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors who have complaints against stockbroker Michael Fasciglione.  Mr. Fasciglione is believed to be registered with National Securities Corporation, based out of Mineola, NY.  He has also recently been registered with Oppenheimer & Co. and First Montauk Securities, according to industry records.

According to BrokerCheck, as maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Fasciglione has been the subject of more than 10 customer complaints.  Stretching back as far as 1995, Mr. Fasciglione has been accused of recommending unsuitable investments to customers, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, excessive trading, fraud, unauthorized trading, taking excessive risk, misrepresentations, allowing a customer’s account to exceed comfortable margin balances, and charging excessive commissions, per FINRA records.

Of these customer disputes, FINRA records indicate that some customers received back tens of thousands of dollars in connection with their complaints.  One customer reportedly received back $300,000 in connection with an unauthorized trading complaint, while another reportedly received $120,000 in a suitability claim.

Mr. Fasciglione’s BrokerCheck also indicates that he has been the subject of two regulatory investigations.  In 2004, the New York Stock Exchange reportedly suspended Mr. Fasciglione for two months.  Just this past year, Mr. Fasciglione was reportedly suspended for one month and fined $5,000 for failing to timely amend his form U4, a FINRA licensing and disclosure document.

If you or a family member lost money invested with Michael Fasciglione, you are encouraged to contact the securities fraud lawyers at Malecki Law for a free consultation and case evaluation at (212) 943-1233.

Malecki Law has successfully brought securities actions on behalf of investors who suffered losses as a result of unscrupulous actions taken in their securities accounts, recovering millions of dollars for their clients.

Malecki Law takes a proactive and informed approach to the financial news of today: actively engaging in fact-finding analysis on prospective cases from around the world. Our thorough knowledge of securities law’s history and fine points makes us ideal consultants for investors who have suffered losses due to misadvice from their broker or other financial counsel.

 

businessman-silhouette-1237565 The securities fraud attorneys are interested in hearing from investors with complaints involving Dwarka Persaud.  Per his BrokerCheck Report, maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Persaud is a registered stock broker with Buckman, Buckman & Reid, based out of Shrewsbury, NJ.

Mr. Persaud’s BrokerCheck Report indicates that he has been the subject of at least six customer complaints.  At the center of several of these complaints was churning and excessive commissions.  Churning is the frequent,over-trading of a customer’s account by the broker to generate high commissions paid by the customer, benefitting the broker and the firm.  Churning is against the law and industry regulations.

Mr. Persaud is reportedly the subject of at least two currently pending customer complaints, each alleging and “unauthorized trading.”  One of these complaints also alleges churning.  The other alleges that the unauthorized trading caused more than $45,000 in losses.

Just last year, Mr. Persaud was reportedly the subject of another customer dispute alleging “churning,” “breach of fiduciary duty” and “unsuitable investments.”  The case, alleging $100,000 in damages, was reportedly settled for $25,000.

In 2011, Mr. Persaud was again the subject of a “churning, excessive commissions” complaint that settled for $55,000, per FINRA.  Mr. Persaud was the subject of a 2000 customer complaint, in which the customer was reportedly granted $40,000 in damages.

In addition to Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Mr. Persaud has also reportedly been registered with Garden State Securities, Andrew Garrett, Inc., The Concord Equity Group, Gunnallen Financial and Aura Financial Services.

If you or a family member lost money invested with Dwarka Persaud, you are encouraged to contact the securities fraud lawyers at Malecki Law for a free consultation and case evaluation at (212) 943-1233.

Malecki Law has successfully brought securities actions on behalf of investors who suffered losses as a result of unscrupulous actions taken in their securities accounts, recovering millions of dollars for their clients.

Malecki Law takes a proactive and informed approach to the financial news of today: actively engaging in fact-finding analysis on prospective cases from around the world. Our thorough knowledge of securities law’s history and fine points makes us ideal consultants for investors who have suffered losses due to misadvice from their broker or other financial counsel.

Per Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) announcement this week, a former registered representative of Caldwell International Securities Corp., Richard Adams aka Rasheed Aree Adams, has been barred permanently from the securities industry for churning customer accounts, other securities violations, and failure to report many unsatisfied judgments and liens on his U4 Registration Form as stipulated in FINRA rules. In addition to Caldwell, he was also previously registered with PHD Capital and E1 Asset Management Inc. from 2002 to 2011.

FINRA’s investigation revealed that Adams excessively traded the accounts of two customers, between July 2013 and June 2014, resulting in profits and commissions in the excess of $57,000 for himself while resulting in losses amounting to over $37,000 for customers. The findings stated that as a result Adams willfully violated section 10(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and rule 10B-5, willfully failed to amend Form U4, and failed to provide documents requested by FINRA. Adams neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.

Richard Adams is no stranger to regulatory and legal proceedings and has a reported history of customer disputes and violations. According to the CRD 13 judgement/liens, 5 customer disputes, 2 investigations and 1 regulatory disclosures have been reported against him. In 2001 there were allegations of unsuitability, unauthorized trading, and churning made against him while he was employed at The Golden Lender Financial Group, Inc, and this customer dispute was finally settled for $10,000. Currently, there is a pending FINRA investigation against Adams for potential violation of FINRA rules 2010 and 2111, and willful violations of Article V, section 2 from 2014.

FINRA aims to protect retail investors from broker activities such as churning and aggressively pursues brokers who put their own commissions ahead of customer interests. New York securities law attorneys of Malecki Law have successfully represented investors in cases involving account churning and overtrading, i.e. when a broker trades an account too frequently, usually for his or her own profit.

Please contact Malecki Law if you suspect you have been a victim of securities fraud. To assess if your broker is responsible for misconduct, read here for typical signs associated with securities fraud and misconduct. Investors can obtain more information about, and the disciplinary record of, any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage firm by using FINRA’s BrokerCheck at no cost.

Malecki Law is investigating potential claims by investors relating to Dennis C. Lee, a former AXA Advisors, LLC broker who was recently terminated by the firm in April 2015.  According to Mr. Lee’s publicly available Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, he was “discharged for failing to disclose financial issues requiring Form U4 amendments, mismarking trade tickets, and placing securities trades away from AXA.”  If substantiated, each of these failings could be potentially serious violations of securities laws and rules.

According to Mr. Lee’s BrokerCheck report, he has had other legal issues, including one FINRA Arbitration proceeding that was filed by a customer in February 2015 alleging that he made unsuitable investment recommendations, transferred funds to a new account without the customer’s knowledge or consent, engaged in unauthorized trading and submitted policy documents containing a forged signature.  The BrokerCheck report also details two settlements between Mr. Lee and American Express and Ballys Park Place Casino Resort.

It is believed that other investors may have been misinformed about trading that may have taken place in their accounts that were managed by Mr. Lee.  It is further believed that Mr. Lee may have used his ethnicity and religious background to obtain clients.  The SEC has cautioned investors against affinity fraud, which refers to investment scams that prey on members of religious or ethnic communities, the elderly or other professional groups.  More information regarding affinity and other investment-related fraud can be found on the Malecki Law website.

Malecki Law has previously successfully represented investors in claims arising from affinity fraud and other sales practice violations.  If other investors who entrusted Mr. Lee with their trading, retirement or insurance accounts have questions regarding their account statements, they should contact to attorneys at Malecki Law for a free and confidential consultation.  Malecki Law lawyers would also like to speak with anyone who may have any further information regarding Mr. Lee.

Malecki Law takes a proactive and informed approach to the financial news of today: actively engaging in fact-finding analysis on prospective cases from around the world. Our thorough knowledge of securities law’s history and fine points makes us ideal consultants for investors who have suffered losses due to misadvice from their broker or other financial counsel.

Malecki Law is investigating possible claims by investors, involving Bright Lake LP and Bright Lake Management, and possibly  Ilan Preis, Mikhail Filshtinskiy, and Carlos Mejia, against various entities including large broker dealers, such as Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan or others.

Apparently, some investors in Bright Lake LP recently received correspondence from Mr. Preis at Bright Lake Management which informed them of large scale losses sustained in their accounts over a relatively short time period.  It is believed that some investors were misled about the risk and other material information relating to the Bright Lake LP fund, as well as that it may have been sold in concert with registered persons at brokerage firms.

These Bright Lake investors may be left confused as to what if anything can be done to recover all or at least some of these losses.  The securities law attorneys at Malecki Law are presently investigating these possibilities for recovery.

So, any and all investors who believe they may have suffered losses in Bright Lake LP or through other investments with Mr. Preis, Mr. Mejia and Mr. Filshtinskiy are encouraged to contact our offices to explore their legal rights and options for recovery, including potential claims against Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan or others..

As part of their investigation, the lawyers at Malecki Law are eager to speak with investors or anyone else with information about Bright Lake LP, Bright Lake Management, Mr. Preis, Mr. Mejia or Mr. Filshtinskiy.

According to FINRA BrokerCheck, Mr. Preis was registered through FINRA to sell securities from 2005 thought 2012, but is not presently registered with any FINRA member firm.  Per his BrokerCheck report, Mr. Preis was discharged from Citigroup in October 2012 amid allegations of wrongdoing in a customer account.

It is believed that after being discharged from Citigroup, Mr. Preis started Bright Lake Management which operates the Bright Lake LP fund.  Mr. Filshtinskiy and Mr. Mejia may have known Mr. Preis and may have worked with him.

According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Mr. Filshtinskiy and Mr. Mejia were both recently registered with Wells Fargo Advisors, a FINRA registered broker dealer.  Mr. Filshtinskiy was reportedly discharged in April 2014 following allegations of a “loss of management confidence involving certain activities undertaken for the purpose of meeting enhanced compensation goals.”

Mr. Mejia is reporting as having been registered with Wells Fargo Advisors from 2010 through April of 2015.  As of June 2015, Mr. Mejia has been reported as being registered with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, per FINRA.

If you or a family member invested in Bright Lake LP, contact the securities fraud lawyers at Malecki Law for a free consultation and case evaluation at (212) 943-1233.

Malecki Law takes a proactive and informed approach to the financial news of today: actively engaging in fact-finding analysis on prospective cases from around the world. Our thorough knowledge of securities law’s history and fine points makes us ideal consultants for investors who have suffered losses due to misadvice from their broker or other financial counsel.

According to a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Thomas Buck has been barred by FINRA from working with any FINRA member firms. Mr. Buck was a former top broker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and was at the time a broker at RBC Wealth Management.

Mr. Buck was a registered broker at Merrill Lynch’s Carmel, Indiana office, which was part of the firm’s Indiana complex. While at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Buck, who reportedly oversaw $1.3 billion in assets, was accused of failing to discuss pricing alternatives with customers, among other allegations.  In addition, Mr. Buck was accused of unauthorized trading and using discretion in customer accounts improperly and in violation of FINRA Rules.

Buck was reportedly fired from Merrill Lynch in March.  Just four months after, he was reported as being barred from working at any FINRA-associated broker-dealer.  According to FINRA, Mr. Buck used commission-based accounts even though fee-based accounts would have been less expensive for clients. In some cases, clients were allegedly charged significantly more in commissions by virtue of the fact that they were not placed in fee-based accounts.

The extent of Mr. Buck’s use of commission-based accounts, if true, is shocking.  Nearly 80% of the revenues generated by Buck were from commission-based activity, according to the AWC.  Whereas, 70% of the revenue generated at the Indiana complex that housed Buck’s group was said to be from fee-based accounts.  Not only did he allegedly mislead clients about the two account options, but he also is said to have actively engaged in unauthorized trading.

Mr. Buck, who had 33 years of experience in the securities industry, has 12 customer disputes according to his FINRA BrokerCheck report. These disputes were all filed in 2015 and seem to stem from his actions at Merrill Lynch.

Malecki Law has previously represented many investors successfully in FINRA arbitration proceedings involving  firms’ failures to supervise their registered representatives and financial advisors.  If you believe you have suffered losses as a result of questionable actions taken in your securities account, please contact us immediately for a confidential consultation.

Per reports, William Galvin, the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, recently filed complaints against Securities America and its broker Barry Armstrong over allegedly misleading advertisements that targeted vulnerable seniors.

Securities America allegedly participated in and failed to supervise Mr. Armstrong, in conducting a misleading radio advertising campaign.  In what has been described as a “bait and switch” technique, Mr. Armstrong reportedly ran the Alzheimer’s disease ads as a pretext to obtain the contact information needed to sell another service.

Mr. Armstrong, who hosts his own radio show, was said to have run ads on various AM radio stations that instructed listeners to call him for free information on Alzheimer’s disease.  Once listeners called in, their contact information was allegedly used to advertise financial services. According to reports, these deceptive ads were submitted to Securities America for review and were all approved by the firm.

The complaints requested a permanent cease and desist order, censure, an undetermined fine, and a requirement that Securities America hire an independent compliance consultant.

These allegations highlight the growing concern in the financial industry regarding elderly investors. Given their vulnerability, both regulators and firms have taken steps to ensure that seniors are protected from potential frauds. For instance, FINRA recently created a securities helpline for seniors.

Securities America is a FINRA registered broker-dealer and believed to have more than 2,000 financial professionals.  According to records, Mr. Armstrong has been a registered broker since 1984 and has been employed at Securities America since 2007. He has five disclosures on his FINRA BrokerCheck report, including three customer disputes. He was previously discharged from a broker-dealer for allegedly violating company procedures and for failure to supervise..

Malecki Law has previously represented many investors successfully in FINRA arbitration proceedings involving  firms’ failures to supervise their registered representatives and financial advisors.  If you believe you have suffered losses as a result of questionable actions taken in your securities account, please contact us immediately for a confidential consultation.

On July 1, 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) accepted settlement offers from brokers Jonah Engler, Hector Perez, Jonathan Michael Sheklow and Joshua William Turney for their roles in selling fraudulent investments to 59 customers.  According to FINRA’s Orders Accepting Offers of Settlement, these individuals sold $3 million worth of Senior Secured Zero Coupon Notes issued by a company called Metals, Milling and Mining LLC.  Mr. Engler himself has settled 11 customer complaints over the years, according to the FINRA CRD system.  The Orders state that each of the brokers has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in the future.

As reported in the Orders, the Notes were sold upon misrepresentations that they would return 100% within one year by extracting valuable minerals left over from mining operations.  The Orders detailed that all investors, except for three, lost all of the money they invested, with those three investors being repaid with money from new investors, a classic sign of a Ponzi scheme.

The Order stated that the company that issued the notes was partially owned or controlled by a Managing Partner of the brokerage firm that the above brokers worked for.  When a brokerage firm owns a company that issues securities, this may create a conflict of interest between the broker-dealer and the customer, because the securities may be recommended in order for the brokerage firm to make money, and not because it is suitable or in the best interest of the customer.

The Orders further detailed that the investments were misrepresented to be collateralized by barrels of “ore concentrate” when, in fact, there was no collateral, and the concentrate the company did have was nearly worthless.  In the Orders, it was described that the brokers failed to confirm whether the collateral existed and recklessly misrepresented the investments would be adequately secured.  Additionally, the brokers failed to investigate and understand the science of the investments, the Orders detailed.

Malecki Law has successfully brought many securities actions on behalf of investors who were sold fraudulent investments.  Broker-dealers are required by the securities laws and industry rules to supervise the recommendations of their brokers, and may be liable to investors for their failure to do so.  If you believe you have suffered losses as a result of questionable securities recommended to you, or questionable taken in your securities account, please contact us immediately for a confidential consultation.

Another oil and gas venture domino falls.  The Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) released a press release on July 6, 2015 announcing charges brought against Luca International, a California based oil and gas company, and Bingqing Yang, the company’s CEO.  The SEC charged Luca and Ms. Yang with running an alleged $68 million Ponzi scheme and affinity fraud against the Chinese-American community in California and elsewhere.

The SEC alleged that Ms. Yang knew the company was failing, but misrepresented the projected returns of the company as 20-30% annually.  Ms. Yang allegedly also commingled funds and diverted $2.4 million through a separate offshore entity to purchase a home and pay for personal expenses.

Ms. Yang allegedly relied on two tactics: affinity fraud and Chinese citizens who sought to immigrate to the United States through the EB-5 visa program, which grant green cards for making certain investments in U.S. companies.  Other Luca employees were also reported to be implicated in the fraud.  Additionally, the SEC’s press release noted that in a separate administrative action, Wisteria Global and one Hiroshi Fujigami settled charges that they acted as brokers for the Luca entities and were to disgorge ill-gotten gains of more than $1.1 million.

Affinity fraud occurs when a fraudulent product is marketed towards a specific group that are defined by a common interest, such as through religion or the community.  The Luca International investors were largely Chinese-American investors from the California area.  The investors were allegedly lured by advertisements made in Chinese language television, radio and newspapers.

We at Malecki Law have represented several groups who were drastically affected by affinity fraud.  It is essential that broker-dealers properly vet private placements in investments such as oil and gas ventures before permitted the investments to be marketed and recommended to investors.  Brokers and broker-dealers may be liable to their customers for failing to properly perform this due diligence.

If you believe you have suffered losses as a result of questionable actions taken in your securities account, please contact us immediately for a confidential consultation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that is has formally charged Malcolm Segal with running a Ponzi scheme and stealing investor money from his office in Pennsylvania.  According to his BrokerCheck Report, Mr. Segal was formerly a registered stockbroker with Aegis Capital Corp. and Cumberland Advisors.  Mr. Segal reportedly was a partner in J&M Financial and the president of National CD Sales.

According to the SEC, Mr. Segal allegedly sold what he called certificates of deposit (CDs) to his brokerage customers under the false pretense that he could get them a higher rate of interest than was then available through banks.  Mr. Segal allegedly represented to his victims that his CDs were FDIC insured and risk-free. Mr. Segal reportedly defrauded at least fifty investors out of roughly $15.5 million.

As his scheme was unravelling, Mr. Segal allegedly began to steal from his customers’ brokerage accounts by falsifying fraudulent paperwork such as letters of authorization. This fake paperwork reportedly allowed Mr. Segal to withdraw funds from his customers’ accounts without them knowing.  Ultimately, in July 2014, the scheme collapsed completely.  Mr. Segal has since been barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Because Mr. Segal was registered with a broker-dealer, Aegis, at the time he was operating this scheme, investors may be able to recover against the broker-dealer for supervisory failures and negligence.  In this way, it is possible that Aegis may be responsible to Mr. Segal’s victims for some or even all of their losses.  The same may also apply to Mr. Segal’s prior broker-dealer, Cumberland.

Malecki Law has significant experience representing the victims of Ponzi-schemes and stockbroker theft.  The attorneys at Malecki Law have successfully handled numerous cases on behalf of Ponzi scheme victims.  If you or a family member were a victim of Malcolm Segal or a similar Ponzi scheme, contact the securities fraud lawyers at Malecki Law for a free consultation and case evaluation at (212) 943-1233.