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This blog is written by Robert H. Rex, Esq. who is a securities attorney and a passionate advocate for investors rights. With over 30 years of legal experience, 25 of which have dealt almost exclusively with the recovery of stockmarket and investment losses for mostly elderly clients, he and his... More
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  • FINRA Announces January 2013 Disciplinary Actions 0 comments
    Jan 15, 2013 4:48 PM

    FINRA Announces January 2013 Disciplinary Actions

    by Robert H. Rex

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issues a report on disciplinary and other actions involving registered brokers, investment advisers and brokerage firms every month.

    Here are significant Florida related actions for January 2013. Follow this link to the FINRA website for all of the January 2013 disciplinary actions as well as prior periods.

    B & T Securities, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL and Brent Daryl Obergfell Registered Principal, Boca Raton, FL submitted
    a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which the firm was censured, fined $20,000, of which $10,000 was jointly and severally with Obergfell, and required to discontinue any use of "B&T Asset Management," and submit for review to FINRA's Department of Advertising Regulation any websites made available to the public or any customer. Obergfell was suspended from association with any FINRA® member in any principal capacity for five business
    days.

    The firm and Obergfell consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that the firm posted a website that made numerous misleading and unsubstantiated claims
    or characterizations, and did not comply with Securities Investor Protection Corporation (OTCPK:SIPC) rules. The findings stated that when trading losses started to mount and the trading strategy the firm employed started changing in
    response to changed markets, other statements posted to the website became misleading. The firm's website failed to provide a basis for the trading model and "Investment Style and Practice" descriptions. The logo on the website's
    first page and elsewhere on the website characterized the firm as an asset management firm and claimed it had a unique market focus without providing a basis for those characterizations. The findings also stated that the firm's
    written supervisory procedures (WSPs) addressing communications with the public did not address continued (or periodic) review of advertising (whether through websites or otherwise) to ensure the material remained accurate. The
    WSPs did not assign anyone responsible for writing, approving or updating the WSPs applicable to advertising (including websites), and failed to designate
    anyone with responsibility for supervising the chief compliance officer (CCO).
    The suspension was in effect from January 7, 2013, through January 11, 2013.

    EFG Capital International - Miami, Florida was censured and fined $40,000. The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to report to TRACE S1 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities within 15 minutes of the execution time. The findings stated that the firm failed to report to TRACE P1 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities within T+1 of the execution time.
    The findings also stated that the firm failed to report the correct market identifier to TRACE for some S1 and P1 transactions, and over-reported some S1 transactions in TRACEeligible securities. The findings also included that the firm failed to report to TRACE the correct contra-party's identifier for transactions in TRACE-eligible securities.

    Tradewire Securities LLC -Miami, Florida- the firm was censured, fined $27,500 and required to revise its WSPs regarding TRACE reporting. The firm consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed, within 90 seconds after execution, to transmit to the FNTRF last sale reports of transactions in designated securities and incorrectly designated as ".SLD" to the FNTRF last sale reports of transactions in designated securities within 90 seconds of execution. The findings stated that the firm double-reported to TRACE transactions in TRACE-eligible securities and reported transactions in TRACE-eligible securities it was not required to report. The findings also stated that the firm failed to report to TRACE S1 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities within 15 minutes of the execution time, and failed to report to TRACE the correct
    capacity in TRACE-eligible corporate securities transactions. The findings also included that the firm's supervisory system did not provide for supervision reasonably designed to
    achieve compliance with applicable securities laws, regulations and FINRA rules concerning TRACE reporting.

    (John Boyd Dexter -North Miami, Florida) was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Dexter
    consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to appear for testimony as FINRA requested in connection with an investigation that FINRA had initiated concerning alleged suspicious activity at a member firm's branch, where Dexter was employed as branch office manager. The findings stated that in a telephone conversation with FINRA, Dexter stated that he would not provide testimony or cooperate with the investigation because he was no longer employed in the securities industry.

    According to FINRA records, Boyd last worked for Murphy & Durieu brokerage firm.

    Alison Marie Janke - Port Richey, Florida was fined $11,600, which includes the disgorgement of financial benefit received of $6,600, and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. Janke consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that she participated in a private securities transaction without providing prior written notice to her member firm. Janke referred a customer who was seeking alternative investments to a registered representative at a different firm, where the customer invested $200,000 in a real estate investment trust (REIT) through the other
    registered representative. Janke not only referred the customer to another representative, but also attended the meeting with the customer and the other representative, and
    assisted with the completion of the purchase transaction. The findings stated that a limited liability company Janke owned received a $6,600 payment in connection with the sale of
    the REIT.

    According to FINRA records Janke works for Summit Brokerage Services. Prior to that she was employed by Wells Fargo Advisors.

    The suspension is in effect from December 3, 2012, through March 2, 2013.

    William Earl Manley -Sarasota, Florida was barred from
    association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Manley consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to respond to a FINRA request for information regarding his arrest, felony charge and termination from his member firm. The findings stated that Manley advised FINRA he would not respond to a request for information.

    According to FINRA records, Manley is not currently registered and he last worked for PRUCO Securities in Sarasota, FL.

    James DeFranco Marshall - Longwood, Florida was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 days. Marshall consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he became involved with an entity engaged in non-securities, non-investment related business. Marshall was identified in public documents as one of the entity's three managers/members. Marshall also created and maintained the company's website.

    Marshall received $4,835.47 in compensation for his outside business activity. The findings stated that Marshall failed to provide his member firm with prior written notice of this
    outside business activity.

    The suspension was in effect from December 3, 2012, through January 1, 2013.

    Charles Tuttle Mason aka Chip Mason St. Pete
    Beach, Florida and Darren Duane Gibson Oceanside, California were each fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for
    three months. Mason and Gibson consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that while employed as wholesalers at their member firm, they were responsible for promoting a non-registered entity's offerings to retail broker-dealers, through sales presentations and providing marketing materials to registered representatives. The findings stated that Gibson, through his wholesaling efforts related to the entity's offerings, secured selling agreements from retail broker-dealers, who in turn raised more than $300 million from investors and earned $2,930,000. The findings also stated that Mason, through his wholesaling efforts related to the entity's offerings, secured selling agreements from broker-dealers, who in turn raised more than $132 million
    from investors and earned approximately $1,500,000. The findings also included that Mason and Gibson assisted the retail broker-dealers with product training by providing
    sales and marketing materials designed to encourage individual investors to purchase the offerings. Mason and Gibson read most of the third-party due diligence reports regarding the offerings. Several of the reports raised concerns about the accounting of inter-offering transactions and the ability of the offerings to generate sufficient revenue from oil and gas investments. Mason and Gibson, though aware of the concerns raised in the due diligence reports, continued to market the offerings without having adequately investigated the subject concerns and determining for themselves whether the offerings were appropriate to be recommended to investors.

    Mason's suspension is in effect from November 19, 2012, through February 18, 2013. Gibson's suspension is in effect from November 19, 2012, through February 18, 2013.

    According to FINRA records Mason is not currently registered and last worked Newport Coast Securities.

    Steven Jay Oshinsky - Boca Raton, Florida was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one year. Without admitting or denying the allegations,
    Oshinsky consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to timely respond to FINRA requests for documents and information to investigate his
    potential failure to disclose tax liens and outside business activities on his Form U4. The findings stated that Oshinsky's failure to timely respond impeded FINRA's investigation.
    The suspension is in effect from December 17, 2012, through December 16, 2013. According to FINRA records he is not registered and last worked for Catalyst Financial.

    Clayton George Roach -Jacksonville, Florida was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months.

    Roach consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he participated in the sale of private placements by promoting an offshore investment club,
    referring investors, acting as an officer and registered agent for the offshore investment clubs' Florida-based affiliate, facilitating other people's investment in the offshore
    investment club and receiving no less than $64,000 in compensation from the offshore investment club. Roach did not receive any direct compensation based on the referrals, but he received a monthly stipend for other activities on the offshore investment club's behalf.

    The findings stated that Roach participated in private placement securities transactions without providing the requisite notice to his firm. The suspension is in effect from December 3, 2012, through June 2, 2013.

    According to FINRA records he last worked for Equity Sevices Inc. and is not currently registered.

    Michael Lee Trier (CRD #1628954, Registered Representative, Oviedo, Florida was fined $2,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 business days. Trier engaged in private securities transactions without providing his member firm with the required written notice describing the proposed sales.
    The suspension was in effect from November 19, 2012, through January 3, 2013.

    Ronald E. Walblay Delray Beach, Florida was barred
    from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. The sanction was based on findings that Walblay failed to appear in response to FINRA requests for on-the-record
    testimony.
    The decision has been appealed to the NAC and the sanction is not in effect pending review.
    According to FINRA records Walblay last worked for Energy Securities and is not currently registered.

    Kenneth Andrew Mauchin -Sanford, Florida was
    named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he misappropriated $23,750 from elderly customers' accounts by converting their funds to cashier's checks and depositing
    those checks into a bank account of an entity he controlled. The complaint alleges that Mauchin did so without the customers' knowledge or authorization. The complaint also
    alleges that Mauchin prepared a customer's application for a variable annuity and falsely listed his bank branch office address as the customer's mailing address, which he knew to
    be false. In addition, a customer applied for a premiere select IRA brokerage account with Mauchin's firm and, without the customer's knowledge or authorization, he falsely listed
    his bank branch office address as the customer's mailing address, which he knew to be false. These applications became part of the firm's books and records, causing his firm's books and records to be false. The complaint further alleges that Mauchin failed to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony.
    According to FINRA records he last worked for SunTrust Investment Services.

    If you have suffered losses in your brokerage account due to negligent advice or fraud, you may be able to recover all or a part of those losses through FINRA arbitration. Most of our cases are done on a contingent fee basis, meaning you only pay fees if you recover.

    Nationwide representation.
    Free consultation.

    Rex Securities Law
    561 391 1900

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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