Articles Posted in State Securities Laws

CA Dept. of Business Oversight files action against Artec Global Media and Caleb Wickman

The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the investment activity of Artec Global Media and Caleb Wickman, who are the subject of a regulatory filing (Desist and Refrain Order) issued in July, 2019.

The pending regulatory filling that gives rise to this investigation is the CA Department of Business Oversight’s Desist and Refrain Order against Artec Global Media and Caleb Wickman  dated July 19, 2019 whereby the Commissioner of the Department determined that Artec Global Media and Caleb Wickman offered and sold unqualified securities to investors by means of a general solicitation, selling securities to members of the public with whom they did not have a substantive, pre-existing relationship.

Alvin Cohen Michael Reinboth and Ralph Muscatelli subjects of CA Desist and Refrain Order

The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the investment activity of Alvin Cohen Michael Reinboth and Ralph Muscatelli and their companies Encore Releasing, Incorporated Productions  and Mammoth Film Group who are the subjects of a regulatory filing (Desist and Refrain Order) issued in June, 2019.

The pending regulatory filling that gives rise to this investigation is the CA Department of Business Oversight’s Desist and Refrain Order against Alvin Cohen Michael Reinboth and Ralph Muscatelli  and their related companies dated June 11, 2019 whereby the Commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight determined that Cohen, Reinboth and Muscatelli  offered and sold securities to investors while omitting material facts.  Among the omissions were that Muscatelli was the subject of an S.E.C. lawsuit in 1985 whereby he was permanently enjoined from violating the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws; that Cohen was barred from association with any broker dealer by the NASD (now FINRA); that Cohen was the subject of a court judgment, and numerous state and federal tax liens; that the Pennsylvania Securities Commission had ordered Encore Releasing and Alvin Cohen to cease and desist selling securities in Pennsylvania; that in 2012 the California Dept. of Corporations ordered Cohen to cease selling unqualified securities in California; and that investors’ money would be used to pay Alvin Cohen Michael Reinboth and Ralph Muscatelli salaries and commissions and for personal expenses.

Wedbush Securities Bryan Gill activities subject of Nevada Secretary of State Order

securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the sales activity of Bryan Gill, a North Las Vegas based former registered representative and investment advisor formerly affiliated with Wedbush Securities, who was investigated for doing business out of an unlicensed branch office in North Las Vegas.  Gill has been the subject of at two customer complaints that went to arbitration, resulting in awards to the customers.

The administrative action that gives rise to this investigation is the NV Secretary of State (Securities Division) administrative order dated September 17, 2017: “In the matter of Wedbush Securities, Inc.”   In its findings of fact, the Securities Division found that Bryan Gill, while licensed with Wedbush Securities did business out of an unlicensed branch office in North Las Vegas.  According to the finding of fact in the order, the Secretary of State began inquiring into Gill’s activities in North Las Vegas beginning in August, 2016.  Subsequent notices were sent in October, 2016 and March, 2017 asking for information.  On May 3, 2017 investigators for the NV Secretary of State’s Securities Division attempted to conduct an on-site inspection of Gill’s unlicensed branch office but Gill refused to admit his identity to the investigators. Finally, in May, 2017 Wedbush provided the NV SOS with documents establishing that Gill was conducting securities related business out of the North Las Vegas location from July, 2016 through May 2017 while the branch was not licensed.

Former Securities America Broker Jeremy Kisner Conduct Subject of NV Secretary of State Action

The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the sales activity of Jeremy Kisner, a Phoenix based investment advisor formerly affiliated with Securities America, and formerly doing business out of an unlicensed branch office in Las Vegas.  Kisner has been the subject of at least one customer complaint that went to arbitration, resulting in an award to the customer.

The administrative action that gives rise to this investigation is the NV Secretary of State (Securities Division) administrative order dated March 5, 2018: In the matter of Securities America, Inc.”   In its findings of fact, the Securities Division found that Jeremy Kisner, while licensed with Securities America did business out of an unlicensed branch office on Hillwood Drive in Las Vegas.  According to the finding of fact in the order, the same location housed four businesses: American Dream U, Nevada Benefits (Surevest Capital and Financial Services and Investment corporation.  Mr. Kisner has been affiliated with Surevest Wealth Management since 2009, and was the subject of a separate Nevada Secretary of State regulatory action in 2009 regarding Surevest.

Judgement against Ronald J. Robinson former CEO of Virtual Communications Corporation

The Law Office of David Liebrader is pleased to announce a judgment in the Reva Waldo vs. Virtual Communications Corporation and Ronald J. Robinson case in Clark County, Nevada District Court after a bench trial before Judge Timothy Williams in Dept. 16.

The Judgment is against Las Vegas businessman Ronald J. Robinson, who guaranteed the promissory note issued by Virtual Communications Corporation, creator of the ALICE virtual receptionist system.

Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund of Sherman Oaks, California has been the subject of several regulatory actions concerning allegations that the firm used unlicensed individuals to sell unregistered securities.

On November 1, 2017 the SEC initiated a proceeding to obtain information from Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund of Sherman Oaks, California seeking to compel the firm to produce documents as part of an investigation into Woodbridge’s fund raising efforts

The SEC action concerns Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund’s conduct in raising over one billion dollars from investors, and whether the offerings were completed using unregistered securities.  The SEC contends that Woodbridge has delayed responding to its prior requests for production of documents and information, necessitating the filing of the action in the Southern District of Florida District Court.

Conestoga Life Settlements Services, Conestoga International, Conestoga Trust and Conestoga Member Services were all named as related entities in a Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Division of Securities Cease and Desist Order involving insurance agents Jace  McDonald, Peter Viater and Derek Anderson.

The Order dated May 15, 2015 made findings of fact that  Conestoga Life Settlments had IC agreements with Jace  McDonald, Peter Viater and Derek Anderson whereby they were authorized to sell fractional interests in life insurance policies to Wisconsin residents.

Among the findings were that Jace McDonald put on seminars where he made misrepresentations and misleading statements concerning the Conestoga Life Settlements by comparing them to bank CDs and other statements implying the investors were guaranteed a return on their investments.  These statements were contrary to the risk disclosures in the PPM, which stated that the investments were speculative in nature and did not provide any guarantee.

Ryan Miguel, Infinity Fuels hit with cease and desist order in Arizona.

On April 11, 2017 the Corporation Commissioner for the state of Arizona, acting through the Securities Division issued a cease and desist order against Ryan Miguel, a former registered representative with Merrill Lynch for violations of the Securities Act of Arizona, specifically section 44-1801.  As a result of the cease and desist order Miguel had his license to sell securities in Arizona revoked.

The Securities Divisions’ complaint stems from an investigation into Infinity Fuels, a Nevada Corporation, which issued securities via a non-exempt private placement.  Infinity Fuels was a startup company that purportedly was raising money to develop “waste to fuel” refinery capabilities.  Miguel served as the chief development officer and was on the board of directors for Infinity Fuels.  The Corporation Commissioner also found that Miguel made misstatements of material fact during the sales presentation for Infinity Fuels, which resulted in a customer being misled about the prospects of the company, and the return on the investment.

Marc Sarner of Beacon Financial Advisory Services Hit with Cease and Desist Order by California’s Department of Business Oversight

Marc Sarner BarredOn June 30, 2016 the State of California’s Department of Business Oversight issued a cease and desist order against Marc Sarner of Beacon Financial Advisory Services over allegations he participated in two unqualified offerings of securities to California residents.  The claim relates to the offering of securities in “Image Development” a California company that was issuing bonds in order to purchase distressed real estate, as well as an offering by Usee Corp, a Texas company selling stock and promissory notes to raise money to fund its internet video-phone business.

According to an order issued in December, 2015, Sarner persuaded several of his clients to cash out annuities to purchase Image Development securities which he described as “conservative investments.”  The clients incurred significant surrender penalties when redeeming the annuities.  Sarner also solicited his clients to invest in Usee’s securities for which he received sales commissions of ten percent. Neither Image Development nor Usee were successful ventures, and neither returned the investors’ principal.

Derrick Stephens, D Stephens Management and Consulting, Lola Korneevets Hit with Cease and Desist Order by California’s Department of Business Oversight

Derrick Stephens cease and desistOn June 22, 2016 the State of California’s Department of Business Oversight issued a cease and desist order against Derrick Stephens and D Stephens Management and Consulting over allegations they participated in an unqualified offering of securities to California residents.  Also named in the desist order was Olena Korneevets aka Lola Korneevets.  D Stephens Management and consulting had been the subject of a 2008 desist order issued by the Department of Business Oversight.

The present desist order relates to the offer and sale of investment contracts (securities) with a purported return of over 20%, guaranteed by Stephens.  According to the desist order, the investor was told that the only way he wouldnt get his principal returned was if the entire United States financial system collapsed.  the investor was also not told about the existence of the 2008 desist order, a material omission of fact. The order also alleges that D Stephens Management and Consulting and Derrick Stephens offered and sold unqualified securities, as the investment contracts were neither qualified for sale, nor exempt from qualification.