Articles Posted in Disciplinary Actions

Mercury Securities hit with censure and fine

In July 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) announced that Mercury Securities of San Rafael, CA submitted an acceptance, waiver and consent letter regarding its failure to effectively approve and document private securities transactions made by their representatives. The firm was censured and fined $5,000.

FINRA’s allegations against Mercury Securities concerned the firm’s authorization of private securities transactions made by three of its brokers. They were compensated by outside businesses through these private transactions despite their Written Supervisory Procedures clearly stating that the representatives would need proper approval and written documentation of their outside business dealings. The AWC stated that the firm did not follow the correct protocol and failed to record adequate information about the private deals. It was also discovered that the firm did not record the transactions in their files and allowed the business dealings with their representatives to go unsupervised.

Sean Sladek pleads guilty in Las Vegas USDC

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The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the investment related conduct of Sean Sladek, who plead guilty on October 4, 2017 to defrauding investors as part of a scheme to support his gambling lifestyle in Las Vegas.  Despite not having any securities licenses, Sladek held himself out as a successful securities trader, and told prospective investors that he could generate substantial returns.

FINRA hosts a database that the public can access to check the credentials of their financial advisors.  The website, also known as broker check does not contains a listing for Sean Sladek, which implies that he was never licensed either as a broker dealer, a sales representative or as a registered investment advisor.

Terry Bahgat who was barred by FINRA in March, 2017, has now been sued by the SEC.

In March, 2017 FINRA barred former Cambridge Investment Research and Gradient Securities broker Terry Bahgat, aka Tarek Bahgat for refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation.  On September 29, 2017 the SEC filed fraud charges against Terry Bahgat alleging that he siphoned money out of seven elderly client accounts and directed the money to a company he controlled before fleeing to Egypt in 2016.

Bahgat’s FINRA ban was for avoiding his obligations to provide information and respond to FINRA regulators when conducting investigations.

Sonya Camarco charged with Fraud by SEC

SEC alleges over $400,000 in client funds used to pay credit card bills

The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the securities related conduct of Sonya Camarco (aka Sonya Fatchett), a licensed FINRA registered representative from Colorado Springs, Colorado, formerly affiliated with LPL Financial Services.

Ernest Romer has been barred by FINRA

Update August, 2017: Michigan seeks cease and desist, intent to bar.

On August 16, 2017 the state of Michigan’s Securities Division issued a notice of intent to revoke the securities licensing of Ernest Romer and asked that a cease and desist order be issued.

William Jordan Investments Barred by California DBO; Bankruptcy Filing!

On August 16, 2017 the State of California’s Department of Business Oversight announced a consent order and issued a bar which prevents William Jordan Investments from acting as an investment advisor or a broker dealer in California.  The Order also bars William Jordan from acting as a registered representative or investment advisor in the state. The denial relates back to a January, 2017 filing by the Commissioner that described the DBO’s investigation into  William Jordan Investments and William Jordan’s history of selling unregistered (unqualified) securities.

The Department of Business oversight found that William Jordan Investments sold unregistered securities and made material misstatements and omissions when making the sales.  They also found that Jordan failed to disclose his prior FINRA disciplinary history, and that the investments he sold to clients were losing money.

Kevin Wanner barred over CD sales

In January, 2016 FINRA barred broker Kevin Wanner formerly of Questar Capital Corporation and Woodbury Financial for his role in brokering certificates of deposit and selling unregistered securities.

In August, 2017 the North Dakota Securities Department made findings that Kevin Wanner, doing business as Precision Financial allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme for over fifteen years and victimized dozens of investors in a bogus CD scam as well as by selling unregistered securities.  The findings by the North Dakota department state that Kevin Wanner pocketed most of the money raised from investors and used it to support his lifestyle, and to pay newly raised funds to older investors.  Also as part of the North Dakota findings, Kevin Wanner was referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office for a criminal investigation.

Former Orem, Utah broker Clark Gardner has been barred by FINRA and the SEC

In June, 2016 the SEC announced a bar against former Sammons Securities and Cetera Advisors broker Clark Gardner.  This followed on the heels of a bar issued by FINRA in 2014.  The FINRA bar related to Gardner’s outside business activities, and sales of unregistered securities.  That year, in May, 2014 Gardner was discharged by Cetera Advisors with allegations pending that he failed to disclose his outside business activities and sold unapproved products.

Gardner, of Orem Utah consented to the entry of findings against him in the SEC action.  The SEC proceeding was filed shortly after Gardner plead guilty to securities fraud in Utah District Court, and was sentenced to between one and fifteen years in prison, with the sentence suspended by the court.

Bob Simons suspended over discretionary trading

In June, 2016 FINRA suspended International Assets Advisory broker Bob Simons for 45 days and fined him $5,000 over allegations that Simons used a private email account to conduct firm business and exercised  discretion in customer accounts without complying with firm protocol for doing so. Simons consented to the findings without admitting or denying them, and agreed to the suspension and fine.

Simons, of Brooklyn, Connecticut was affiliated with International Assets Advisory from October, 2014 to May, 2016.  Prior to that he was affiliated with Center Street Securities from September, 2011 to August, 2014.  Before that he was with NY Life Securities.