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Baltimore Securities & Estate Planning Law Blog

Trading of Short- Term Unit Investment Trusts Ends with Suspension and Fines

FINRA suspended ex LPL broker, Mark Tauzin, from the securities industry for eight months for unsuitable short-term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs). FINRA alleged the short term trading was for the purpose of generating excessive commissions. FINRA ordered Tauzin to repay clients $205,000 plus interest and also fined Tauzin $20,000.

Broker Barred for Non-Compliance with FINRA Rules

Henry Al Dean Watson, a former Hillard Lyons broker, was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly engaging in unauthorized trades and excessive trading. Watson recently settled a customer claim relating to those allegations. Watson refused to testify in the regulatory proceeding against him.

Texas Firm and Founding Member Suspended for Five Years

Jens Pinkernell and his firm J. Pinkernell Global Wealth was suspended for five years by the Texas Securities Commissioner for over charging two clients. Pinkernell allegedly overcharged the clients approximately $47,000 over a three year period. According to the Texas Securities Commissioner, Pinkernell withdrew the fees without the consent of the clients. Pinkernell was also ordered to repay the clients $46,915.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Charges Advisor for Operation Ponzi Scheme

The Secretary of the Commonwealth in Massachusetts, William Galvin, charged Stephen Eubanks for engaging in a Ponzi scheme. Eubanks solicited customers to purchase shares of a fund he managed named "Eubiquity Capital Fund." According to authorities in Massachusetts, instead of investing customer monies in the Eubiquity Capital fund, Eubanks used the funds to pay his personal expenses and pay off earlier investors. All together Eubanks misappropriated $529,000 from investors to perpetrate the scheme.

Broker Wires $370k from Family Accounts

As a result of allegedly missing numerous red flags of broker misconduct, FINRA fined Ameriprise $850,000. The fine was imposed as a result of Ameriprise management's failure to detect nine wire transfers, totaling $370,000, from customer accounts to the personal account of an Ameriprise Financial advisor. The advisor's misconduct went undetected for two years and was only discovered when a co-worker became suspicious of the advisor forging customer signatures.

Broker Barred for Borrowing $300k from Clients

A former Morgan Stanley broker, Jeffrey Hunter Smith, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA for borrowing money from clients. Smith was registered with Morgan Stanley from 2009 to 2015. During his time there, Smith borrowed $300,000 from two clients without any written approval or authorization. During FINRA's investigation of the wrongdoing, Smith refused to comply with their requests for documents.

Executive Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors out of $38 million

Andrew Caspersen, a former Park Hill Group executive, has agreed to a settlement with the SEC that bars him from the securities industry. Caspersen also pleaded guilty in July to defrauding investors out of more than $38 million. Caspersen will be sentenced on November 2, 2016.

Logos Wealth Advisor Founder and Fund Manager Barred by SEC

Paul Mata and David Kayatta, operators of Logos Wealth Management, were barred from the securities industry by the SEC. According to the SEC, Mata and Kayatta raised more than $14 million from investors based upon false promises of guaranteed returns.

Churning Costs Firm $2 million

Greg Caldwell, the founder of Caldwell International Securities, was barred from the financial industry by FINRA for allegedly churning customers' accounts. The firm will have to pay a $2 million fine for failing to supervise and prevent the abusive sales practices engaged in by Greg Caldwell. Greg Caldwell was also personally fined $50,000 for his misconduct.
If you believe you have been victimized by securities fraud, financial malpractice, or theft by a FINRA registered broker, please call the securities attorneys of the Costello Law Group at (877) 418-0003 for a free consultation.
To read more, please visit: http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20160830/FREE/160839988/caldwell-international-securities-will-pay-2-million-in-settlement

Ex Eagles Player in Trouble with the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against former Philadelphia Eagle, Merrill Robertson, Jr., and his partner Sherman Vaughn. The SEC believes that Robertson and Vaughn defrauded investors out of $6 million. Robertson and Vaughn were able to raise $10 million from investors based upon false promises of a 20% return. The money was not used for legitimate investment purposes. Instead, investor funds were used to pay personal expenses and to make payments to earlier investors.

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