Claus Foerster, a financial advisor from South Carolina, has been indicted on fraud charges. Mr. Foerster was barred by FINRA from the securities industry in 2014 after allegations that he was running a Ponzi scheme. Foerster allegedly ran the Ponzi scheme for 14 years and was able to defraud his clients out of $2.8 million. Foerster perpetuated the Ponzi scheme by providing his clients with fictitious account statements. The Ponzi scheme began while Foerster was a financial advisor employed by Smith Barney and continued through his employment with Raymond James. Raymond James terminated Foerster when they learned of the fraud and made restitution to the clients that were involved in Foerster's scheme.
The former president of Coastal Investment Advisors Inc., Michael Donnelly, admitted to defrauding his clients. Donnelly swindled almost $2 million from 13 clients, many of whom were over the age of 65. According to the SEC, Donnelly misappropriated money provided to him by his clients for investment and used it to pay personal expenses. Donnelly was able to perpetuate his scheme by providing false account statements and trade confirmations to the clients. Donnelley's settlement of the SEC's charges requires him to pay $1.9 million in disgorgement and interest of $365,723.
Joseph Zada, a former financial advisor, was convicted of fifteen counts of fraud after allegedly swindling millions from twenty-eight investors. One of Zada's most notable clients was former NHL Red Wing player, Sergei Fedorov. Over an 11 year period, Zada allegedly embezzled $43 million from Fedorov. In 2009, Fedorov filed suit against Zada and ended up with a $60 million award. The award was never paid back to Fedorov. Sentencing for Zada will take place on November 20, 2015 and he faces a maximum 300 year prison sentence.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint against Hans Peter Black. The founder of Interinvest Corporation is accused of defrauding investors and inflicting damages up to $12 million. The SEC believes that Black failed to disclose that he sat on the board of four penny stock companies in which he advised his client to invest. The SEC estimates that of the $ 12 million of the $17 million invested in those penny stocks was lost. One of the victimized clients is a church in New Hampshire.
Two fraud cases have resulted in a $1 million fine and a permanent bar for the principal of Sage Advisory Group, Benjamin Lee Grant. According to the SEC, when Grant first opened Sage Advisory Group he falsely informed clients that utilizing the services of his new firm would result in lower costs and fees than those charged by his prior firm. Additionally, Mr. Grant failed to disclose that his father, an advisor serving clients with Sage Advisory Group, was permanently bared from the industry in 1988.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has ordered Brookville Capital Partners to pay a total of $1.5 million and barred its president, Anthony Lodati, as a result of alleged fraudulent conduct. FINRA believes that Brookville, under the supervision of Lodati, deceptively offered and sold 29 clients over a million dollars worth of shares in a private placement called Wilshire Capital Partners Group LLC. FINRA claimed that Lodati was aware that Wilshire was operated by individuals with felony convictions and intentionally withheld that information from Brookville costumers.
A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) panel expelled both John Carris Investments, LLC and its CEO, George Carris, for fraud and suitability violations. The allegations of wrongdoing related to a scam which involved the sale of stock and promissory notes in a JCI subsidiary known as "Invictus Capital." Some John Carris employees were also disciplined and fined by the arbitration panel. In their decision, the panel noted that John Carris had violated numerous industry rules, failed to remit employee payroll taxes, and that the testimony of George Carris was not credible.
NBA All-Star, Tim Duncan, sued his Atlanta-based financial advisor, Charles Banks, last month after alleging Banks advised him to purchase highly speculative investments which resulted in extreme losses. Banks acted as Duncan's financial advisor for over fifteen years. Duncan is claiming losses of $7.5 million. Duncan believes that Banks forged his signature on a $6 million bank loan. Additionally, Duncan claims that Banks advised him to invest in companies in which Banks held a personal interest and for which Banks received a direct financial benefit. Duncan expressed his disappointment and frustration in a news conference by saying, "I'm saddened that my name will join the list of athletes to fall victim to this sort of misconduct."
Paul Greenwood, a former co-owner of the New York Islanders, was sentenced to ten years in prison on fraud charges. From 1996 through the beginning of 2009, Greenwood and his business partner, Stephen Walsh, used the businesses that they operated, Westridge Capital Management Inc. and WG Trading Co. LP, to swindle funds from investors. The men allegedly cheated institutional investors out of more than a half-billion dollars. Greenwood used the money for a teddy bear collection, a controlling interest in the New York Islanders, and numerous other personal expenditures.
Former NBA player, Sam Young, was awarded $2 million after allegedly being defrauded by his broker, Jinesh "Hodge" Brahmbhatt. The fraud began in 2012 when Brahmbhatt advised Young to invest in unregistered promissory notes. The worthless notes were issued by CFP Group Inc. and also Success Trade Securities, Inc. Brahmbhatt had worked at Success Trade Securities, Inc. in Washington, D.C.