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Broker Barred for Non-Compliance with FINRA Rules

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group Henry Al Dean Watson, a former Hillard Lyons broker, was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly engaging in unauthorized trades and excessive trading. Watson recently settled a customer claim relating to those allegations. Watson refused to testify in the regulatory proceeding against […]

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Broker Barred for Borrowing $300k from Clients

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group  A former Morgan Stanley broker, Jeffrey Hunter Smith, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA for borrowing money from clients. Smith was registered with Morgan Stanley from 2009 to 2015. During his time there, Smith borrowed $300,000 from two clients without any written approval or […]

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Churning Costs Firm $2 million

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group  Greg Caldwell, the founder of Caldwell International Securities, was barred from the financial industry by FINRA for allegedly churning customers’ accounts. The firm will have to pay a $2 million fine for failing to supervise and prevent the abusive sales practices engaged in by Greg Caldwell. […]

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Longtime Advisor of Widow Charged with Fraud

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a complaint against Hank Werner, formerly with Legend Securities Inc. FINRA believes Werner churned an elderly widow’s account. His client’s husband died in 2012 and from that time up until March of this year, Werner placed over 700 trades […]

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Great Falls, Virginia Broker Ordered to Pay Couple $331,000

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group  Frederick Baerenz was ordered by a FINRA arbitration panel to pay $331,000 for damages caused by unsuitable investment recommendations to clients. The clients invested $1.3 million with Baernez’s Virginia-based firm, AOG Wealth Management. The clients claim that Baerenz invested a large majority of their money in […]

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Firm and Founder Expelled from the Securities Industry

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group William Marshall Dratel and his firm, The Dratel Group, Inc., were both expelled from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also imposed sanctions on the firm for allegedly engaging in a trading scheme in which Dratel […]

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Claus Foerster Indicted on Fraud Charges after an Alleged Ponzi Scheme

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group Claus Foerster, a financial advisor from South Carolina, has been indicted on fraud charges. Mr. Foerster was barred by FINRA from the securities industry in 2014 after allegations that he was running a Ponzi scheme. Foerster allegedly ran the Ponzi scheme for 14 years and was […]

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Firm and its Founder Barred from Securities Industry

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group FINRA arbitration panel awarded investors $1.9 million in compensatory and punative damages against a broker-dealer named NSM Securities, Inc., and its founder, Niyukt Raghu Bhasin. The investors claimed the firm churned their accounts. The firm has been barred from any membership or association with FINRA. Mr. […]

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NYC Broker Disbarment Pending

By Tom Costello of Costello Law Group  Miguel Ortiz, a New York financial advisor, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA after allegations of fraud. FINRA claims that Ortiz falsified account statements and concealed the account value of a joint account held by his one of his customers. The victims believe that […]

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