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Friday, July 31, 2015

Suing Kenneth Hornyak and Stifel Nicolaus & Co.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Kenneth Hornyak, a former broker with Stifel Nicolaus & Co. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigated him for potential discretionary trading, unauthorized trading and unsuitable short-term trading of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs). Hornyak was registered with Morgan Stanley DW in Purchase, New York from January 1998 until March 2006 and Stifel Nicolaus & co in Traverse City, Michigan from March 2006 until January 2014. He is not currently registered with any member firm. He has four customer disputes against him. FINRA permanently barred him from acting as a broker or associating with firms that sell securities to the public. Stifel Nicolaus & Co. can be sued for failing to supervise him while he was employed there. Please call us at 312-332-4200 to speak with an attorney about your options.

Peter Dourdas and Questar Capital Corp Investigation

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Peter Dourdas, a former broker with Questar Capital Corp. Dourdas is accused of theft and conversion of funds, as well as unauthorized business activity. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a complaint against him seeking to bar him from the securities industry. Dourdas was registered with MML Investors Services in Springfield, Massachusetts from August 2001 until December 2004, USAllianz Securities in Syracuse, New York from December 2004 until December 2006 and Questar Capital Corporation in Syracuse from December 2006 until September 2013. He has two customer disputes against him. He is not currently registered with any member firm nor is he licensed within the industry. If you invested money with Peter Dourdas, you can call our Chicago-based securities law office at 312-332-4200 for a free consultation with an attorney. We may be able to help you sue Questar Capital Corp for investment losses. They had a duty to reasonably supervise him while he was employed there.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Suing Halcyon Cabot Partners, Michael Trent Morris and Ronald Mark Heineman for Selling Away Violations

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Halcyon Cabot Partners, and its principals, Michael Trent Morris and Ronald Mark Heineman. They are accused of engaging in a scheme to defraud investors by causing Halcyon to serve as a bogus placement agent to conceal a kickback of a private placement fee, for the firm to serve as a false sales agent so an expelled broker could charge commissions to buyers and sellers in private sales of securities, to falsify records of securities trades for the now-expelled broker, and of engaging in unauthorized and excessive trading in customer accounts. Excessive trading is also referred to as "churning" and is a practice that largely generates commissions for the broker, and is against securities laws and regulations.

In May 2012, Morris Heineman and now-barred representative, Craig L. Josephberg, set up a scheme so that their member firm, Halcyon, would help conceal the discount provided to a venture capital firm, Socius Capital Group, LLC., when it purchased a private placement in Cell Therapeutics, Inc., a cancer drug development company. The firm would earn a 5% fee in the offering (almost $1 million), but the firm also entered into a separate, undisclosed agreement with an affiliate of Socius, through which Halcyon gave back nearly almost all of the 5% fee back to Socius. The representatives also improperly facilitated efforts by Felix Investments, to collect commissions for themselves from both buyers and sellers, in private securities transactions. Halcyon allowed a Felix broker to dually register with both firms so that Felix could charge buyer commissions and Halcyon could charge seller commissions. Between June 2011 and March 2013, Halcyon, through Josephberg, engaged in churning and excessive trading in the accounts of two firm customers.

During this period, Halcyon and Morris, failed to establish and implement an adequate and reasonable system designed to cause the detection and reporting of suspicious activity. At the time, Morris was designated to serve as the Compliance Officer for Halycon, even though he did not have the requisite knowledge or training to serve as such. According to Michael Trent Morris' BrokerCheck record, he is still registered with Halcyon Partners in New York, New York, and has three prior customer disputes against him. Heineman is also currently registered with Halcyon Partners in New York. If you invested money with Halcyon Partners, you may be able to recover your investment losses in the FINRA arbitration forum by calling our law firm at 312-332-4200. Halcyon Partners may be liable for customer investment losses because they failed to reasonably supervise their brokers, and engaged in securities activities that were against rules and regulations. The call is free with no obligation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis.

Bringing Claims Against Wells Fargo and Denise Francine-Louise Daniel

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Denise Francine-Louise Daniel, who entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Daniel is accused of never having held a securities license and for misappropriating $16,300 from a customer's bank account while registered with Wells Fargo Advisors. For this, she was barred from the industry. If you invested money with Daniel, please call us at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney. Her former firm, Wells Fargo, may be held liable for not properly supervising her while she was employed there. The call is free with no obligation.

Update for Victims of Mark Wyatt

Morgan Stanley was ordered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to pay $2.4 million because of Mark Wyatt, a former broker who had claims brought against him for unauthorized and excessive stock-market trading. Mr. Wyatt was accused of purchasing thinly-traded stocks for clients that he himself owned, while also putting speculative bets on exchange-traded funds for other clients. A FINRA panel awarded the $2.4 million decision on July 24th after four other cases settled or resolved. Two more cases against him are pending and Wyatt was found liable in two additional cases. Wyatt was terminated from Morgan Stanley in 2012 and hasn't worked as a registered broker since. Others who were named in the case were branch manager Fred Eugene Brister III and adviser Hilary Zimmerman, who was the senior vice president. They continue to work for Morgan Stanley. The firm will pay fees and interest on top of the $2.4 million. If you invested money with Mark Wyatt, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through the FINRA arbitration process. Please call our securities law firm at 312-332-4200 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Bringing Claims Against Rainmaker Securities for Sale of Private Placements

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Rainmaker Securities, a Chicago-based securities brokerage firm. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a complaint against Rainmaker Securities and its President, Glen W. Anderson. FINRA alleges that Rainmaker and Anderson failed to devote adequate time and attention toward compliance and resources toward compliance and supervision where the sale of private placements was concerned. FINRA further alleged that Rainmaker lacked a "culture of compliance" and that it failed to maintain adequate supervisory systems to monitor its financial advisors. The private placements included: Buttonwood Social Network Fund, Eudora Global LLC, Incubation Factory Technology Fund and the Idea Fund. Rainmaker was fined $125,000 and Anderson was suspended for two months in a principal capacity and paid $10,000 in fines. If you invested money with Rainmaker, please call us at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney. We may be able to help you recover your investment losses. The call is free.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Update for Victims of Thomas J. Buck

Stoltmann Law Offices continues to investigate Thomas J. Buck, who entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to the AWC, Buck engaged in misrepresentations and other misconduct in the handling of customer accounts. Since 2009, he pursued unethical and improper business practices which generated increased commissions and revenues and enhanced his status as a top-producing broker. He held customer assets in commission-based accounts instead of fee-based accounts in order to generate higher revenues, although he knew that some customers would have paid substantially lower fees by using fee-based accounts. He also exercised discretion in customer accounts without written or oral authorization and made unauthorized trades in certain customer accounts. He was recently barred from the industry.

Buck was registered with Merrill Lynch in Indianapolis, Indiana from December 1981 until April 2015, and RBC Capital Markets in Indianapolis from April 2015 until recently. He has 12 customer disputes against him, five of which are currently pending. He is not registered with any member firm and has been barred from the industry. If you lost money with Thomas J. Buck, please call our securities law firm at 312-332-4200. We sue firms such as RBC Capital Markets and Merrill Lynch for failure to properly supervise Buck while he was employed with them. These firms can be held liable for financial losses for this reason.

Suing Transamerica Financial Advisors

Did you lose money with Transamerica Financial Advisors? If so, please call our Chicago-based securities law office at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney about your options. We sue firms such as Transamerica in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum to recover financial losses for investors. Transamerica Financial Advisors entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with FINRA recently for allegations that the firm failed to apply volume discounts to certain customers' eligible purchases of non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business development companies (BDCs). The firm failed to have in place an effective supervisory system and written supervisory procedures reasonably designed to ensure that its customers received appropriate volume discounts on eligible purchases of non-traded REITs and BDCs. This resulted in certain customers paying excessive sales charges of $51,000. For this, Transamerica was censured and fined $85,000 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $51,066.08 plus interest.

Suing Dennis Ray Roberts and Woodbury Financial Services

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Dennis Ray Roberts, who entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Roberts was a registered representative with Woodbury Financial Services. He is accused of borrowing money from a firm customer without Woodbury's approval. In February 2014, Roberts borrowed $600.00 from an elderly customer. Roberts also signed certificates of compliance stating that he was aware of Woodbury's prohibition on customer loans and that he would abide by the rules. For this, he was suspended from association with any FINRA member firm in all capacities for two months.

 Roberts was registered with Woodbury Financial Services in Daytona Beach, Florida, from November 2002 until October 2014. He is not currently licensed in the industry or registered with any member firm. If you lost money with Dennis Ray Roberts or Woodbury Financial Services, Woodbury can be held liable for your investment losses. They had a duty to reasonably supervise Roberts while he was employed with them. Please call our Chicago-based securities law office at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney about your options of suing Woodbury Financial Services.

Bringing Claims Against Mark Welhouse for Cherry-Picking

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently brought charges against Mark Welhouse, of Welhouse & Associates, for cherry-picking. Cherry-picking refers to a method used by fund managers that reduces the amount of time required for researching stocks as the pool of securities in which the fund managers pick from is significantly narrowed. Welhouse did this to ensure that value options trades he gave to personal accounts would appreciate, while the trades he gave to clients, depreciated. The SEC Enforcement Division recently began an initiative against cherry-picking, in which it analyzes trade allocation data in order to identify individuals disproportionately allocating trades. Welhouse gained $442,319 through options trades in an exchange-trade fund. While he had a positive return of 6.28%, his clients had losses of 5.05%. He did this by purchasing the options and putting them in a master account for Welhouse & Assoc and delayed allocations to clients until later in the day, after which he had time to see whether the trades appreciated or depreciated.

If you invested money with Mark Welhouse, and would like to discuss your options with an attorney, please call our securities law office at 312-332-4200 for a free consultation. We sue brokers and firms such as Mark Welhouse and Welhouse & Asssociates for cherry-picking, as well as for other breaches of securities rules and regulations in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum to help investors recover their financial losses.