Michael Roger Griffith of Middle River, Maryland was barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Griffith was accused of allegedly submitting an unauthorized life insurance application and setting up unauthorized automatic withdrawals from the customer's bank account to fund the policy. Once the customer discovered the unauthorized debits, the firm was alerted and the money was returned.
Charles J. Broida, an attorney from Columbia, Maryland, pleaded guilty to stealing over $28,000 from a client. Broida received a six month suspended jail sentence and was ordered to complete 300 hours of community service. The state's attorney charged Broida with one count of theft. Broida, in connection with his representation of an estate, stole investment dividends instead of distributing the dividends to the widow of the decedent. The widow thought that the dividend checks were going into an account that would be reassigned to her, but found out later that she had no access to the account or funds. Shortly after her discovery, she filed a complaint with the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission.
Jonathan Spencer Williams, a registered representative from Forest Hills, Maryland, was barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA barred Williams after he did not provide testimony in a proceeding regarding his U-5. Williams has had five customer disputes, three of which are ongoing.
Former Frederick attorney, Richard A. Brennan, is now facing jail time after pleading guilty to mail fraud and tax charges. Brennan first opened his practice in 2006 with the main focus of providing clients with debt-settlement services. Brennan allegedly misappropriated clients' funds intended to pay off their debts, and used the money for his own needs. Over a three year period this caused his clients to lose about $2.9 million. In 2007, the Maryland Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division investigated him for these allegations. The Attorney General and Brennan came to a settlement in which he would pay $200,000 in fines and costs and repay clients harmed by his scheme. Unfortunately, Brennan never followed the terms of the settlement and never returned any of the money to his clients.
Former financial advisor, Travis Wetzel, was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to a former client. Wetzel was first charged in May of last year with 24 counts of wire fraud and money laundering after he allegedly transferred money from a client's account into his own, without the knowledge or permission of the client. Over a 26 month span, Wetzel used his position as the branch manager at Research Financial Strategies to embezzle $1,282,224 from his client's annuity account.
Travis Wetzel, an advisor from Frederick, Maryland was indicted on wire fraud charges last month. Wetzel was the branch operations manager at Research Financial Strategy, an advisory firm located in Rockville, Maryland. Wetzel allegedly embezzled $1,282,224 from a clients of the firm. On May 9, 2014, FINRA permanently barred Wetzel from the securities industry
Signator Investors, a John Hancock company, and their former employee James Glover were ordered to pay investors $1.6 million by a FINRA arbitration panel. The three victimized investors met Mr. Glover at their church in Maryland. The investors claimed that Glover fraudulently induced them to purchase interests in a real estate venture known as Colonial Tidewater. The investors also claimed that Signator investors failed to properly supervise Glover's activities.