In May, 2017, a FINRA arbitrator panel sitting in Los Angeles issued a $1,378,800 binding arbitration award against Charles Laverty in a case involving personal loans that the clients made to Laverty.

The underlying matter involved allegations that Charles Laverty breached his fiduciary duty by soliciting a loan in violation of firm and industry rules.  Allegations were also raised concerning the mismanagement of the account.  Among the claims made were those for fraud, violations of state and federal securities laws and violations of FINRA’s rules.

After a twelve day arbitration hearing stretching from June, 2016 to April, 2017, the arbitrators rendered their decision and awarded the Claimant $1,378,800 in damages.

LPL Financial hit with $160,000 FINRA arbitration award.

In June, 2017, a FINRA arbitrator panel sitting in San Francisco issued a $160,000 binding arbitration award against LPL Financial in a case involving VIX derivative securities.

The VIX is a measure of the expected volatility in the stock market, specifically the S&P 500.  The VIX serves as a barometer of investor sentiment, and it is used as a tool to hedge against market volatility.  Among the ways to benefit from the rise and fall of the VIX index is buy purchasing or selling VIX option and futures. This can also be done via fund shares or exchange traded notes.

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.

Todd Pilosi, a registered representative from Clovis, California, formerly with LPL Financial was suspended from FINRA membership as a result of an investigation into his borrowing money from a customer without obtaining firm approval, which is a violation of LPL and FINRA rules.   Pilosi entered into an acceptance waiver and consent agreement with FINRA in which he neither admitted nor denied the findings, but agreed to a suspension of four months and a fine of $5,000.

In June, 2017 Todd Pilosi agreed to the suspension and FINRA published its findings that Pilosi borrowed $150,000 from a customer, which has not been paid back.  Pilosi has entered into a settlement agreement with the customer.  FIRNA also found that Pilosi misled LPL when he submitted a compliance questionnaire in which he denied engaging in the loan transaction with the customer.

Todd Pilosi’s registration and disciplinary history

John Olinghouse, a registered representative from Sparks, Nevada, formerly with HD Vest and Fortune Financial Services was suspended from FINRA membership as a result of an investigation into his reusing customer signatures by affixing them to different documents.  Olinghouse entered into an acceptance waiver and consent agreement with FINRA in which he neither admitted nor denied the findings, but agreed to a suspension of one year and a fine of $15,000.

In June, 2017 John Olinghouse agreed to the suspension and FINRA published its findings that Olinghouse used whiteout  and cutouts of client signatures on broker dealer documents and settled a customer complaint without notifying the firm.

John Olinghouse’s registration and disciplinary history

Clay Hoffman, a registered representative from Brunswick, Georgia, formerly with Summit Brokerage Services and Suntrust Investment Services was barred from FINRA membership as a result of failing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation. Hoffman has a long list of customer disputes (14) as well as being the subject of regulators’ investigations on four occasions.  See below.

FINRA Rule 9552. Failure to Provide Information or Keep Information Current

This FINRA rule provides if a FINRA member fails to provide information or testimony requested or required by FINRA’s By-Laws or FINRA rules, or fails to keep his or her membership and supporting documents current, FINRA, after providing  21 days’ notice may suspend the FINRA membership of the person. If the suspension is not challenged within 90 days, FINRA may bar the individual.

Ronald Broadstone, a registered representative from Columbus, Ohio, formerly with UBS Financial Services was barred from FINRA membership as a result of failing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation.

FINRA Rule 9552. Failure to Provide Information or Keep Information Current

This FINRA rule provides if a FINRA member fails to provide information or testimony requested or required by FINRA’s By-Laws or FINRA rules, or fails to keep his or her membership and supporting documents current, FINRA, after providing  21 days’ notice may suspend the FINRA membership of the person. If the suspension is not challenged within 90 days, FINRA may bar the individual.

Hossein Amirriahei, a registered representative from Los Angeles, California, formerly with Wells Fargo Advisors was barred from FINRA membership as a result of failing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation.

FINRA Rule 9552. Failure to Provide Information or Keep Information Current

This FINRA rule provides if a FINRA member fails to provide information or testimony requested or required by FINRA’s By-Laws or FINRA rules, or fails to keep his or her membership and supporting documents current, FINRA, after providing  21 days’ notice may suspend the FINRA membership of the person. If the suspension is not challenged within 90 days, FINRA may bar the individual.

BOK Financial Settles SEC claims over Christopher Brogdon Senior Housing Deals

On September 9, 2016 the SEC announced a settlement with BOK Financial Corporation whereby the firm agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle allegations that it failed to disclose a number of problems and concerns with several Christopher Brogdon municipal bond offerings.

The SEC contended that Bok Financial was aware of numerous red flags related to the offerings, such as the fact that Brogdon was withdrawing money from the bond offering reserve funds, and not filing annual financial statements for the offerings.  The SEC charged Brogdon with fraud and he has since agreed to repay over eighty million dollars to investors.

The SEC charged South Carolina resident Dwayne Edwards with fraud for his role in a $62 million assisted living municipal bond offering.

On January 10, 2017 the SEC charged South Carolina business man Dwayne Edwards with fraud in connection with a series of municipal bond offerings that raised funds for assisted living centers across the south, in Georgia and Alabama.

Edwards was charged with comingling funds, diverting funds and improperly using funds which were raised to purchase and renovate the adult car facilities.