Financial Enforcement Actions | Week of July 11 to July 17

Enforcement Report July 11 - 17 feat img

Enforcement Report July 11 - 17

UK-FCA

1 Enforcement Documents

£0.00 in Fines

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Inovtrix Ltd
Violation: IL has failed to comply with the regulatory requirement to submit the Return. IL has not been open and co-operative in all its dealings with the Authority, in that IL has failed to respond adequately to the Authority's repeated requests for it to submit the Return, and has thereby failed to comply with Principle 11 of the Authority's Principles for Businesses and to satisfy the Authority that it is ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system. These failures, which are significant in the context of IL’s suitability, lead the Authority to conclude that IL has failed to manage its business in such a way as to ensure that its affairs are conducted in a sound and prudent manner, that it is not a fit and proper person, and that it is therefore failing to satisfy the Threshold Conditions in relation to the regulated activities for which IL was granted a Part 4A permission... Read More

CFPB

8 Enforcement Documents

$0.00 in Fines

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: GST Factoring, Inc.; Champion Marketing Solutions, LLC; Rick Graff; Gregory Trimarche; Scott Freda; Amanda Johanson; David Mize; Jacob Slaughter; and Daniel Ruggiero;
Violation: Defendant has failed to disclose any material asset or that any of his financial statements or oral testimony contain any material misrepresentation or omission, including materially misstating the value of any asset, the Court shall terminate the suspension of the monetary judgment entered in Section VI and without further adjudication, shall reinstate the judgment entered in Section VI of this Order and the full judgment of $240,000 shall be immediately due and payable, less any amounts paid to the Bureau under Section VI of this Order... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Townstone Financial, Inc.
Violation: Townstone’s practices constitute a pattern or practice of discrimination and discouragement, in violation of ECOA. 15 U.S.C. § 1691(a)(1)... Read More

CFTC

2 Enforcement Documents

$0.00 in Fines

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: The Alista Group, LLC, Marvin W. Courson III, Christopher A. Kertatos, And Luis M. Pineda Palacios, a/k/a Luis Pineda,
Violation: Courson, Kertatos, and Pineda, as described in this Complaint, were done within the scope of their employment and/or agency with Alista. Therefore, pursuant to Section 2(a)(1)(B) of the Act, 7 U.S.C § 2(a)(1)(B) (2018), and Regulation 1.2, 17 C.F.R. § 1.2 (2019), Alista is liable as a principal for each act, omission, or failure of Courson, Kertatos, and Pineda constituting violations of 7 U.S.C. § 6(a)... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Plutus Financial, Inc. (d/b/a Abra) and Plutus Technologies Philippines Corp. (d/b/a Abra International)
Violation: During the Relevant Period, Respondents violated Section 2(e) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. § 2(e)(2018), by illegally entering into off-exchange swaps with U.S. and overseas customers. Respondents also operated as unregistered futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) in violation of Sections 4d(a)(1) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. § 6d(a)(1) (2018). In determining to accept the Offer, the Commission considered remedial acts promptly undertaken by Abra and cooperation afforded to the Commission staff... Read More

FTC

4 Enforcement Documents

$25,000.00 in Fines

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Elanco Animal Health, Incorporated, a corporation; and Bayer Aktiengesellschaft a corporation.
Violation: The Acquisition described in Paragraph 4 constitutes a violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 45. The Acquisition described in Paragraph 4, if consummated, would constitute a violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 18, and Section 5 of the FTC Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 45... Read More

Penalties: $25,000.00
Respondent: GDP NETWORK LLC, a Florida limited liability company, G & G SUCCESS LLC, a Florida limited liability company also doing business as YF SOLUTION LLC, QSC PROFESSIONALS, and G.C.D. MANAGEMENT LLC, G & N SQUARED LLC, a Florida limited liability company also doing business as DYNAMIC SOLUTION GROUP, GINO DE PAZ, individually and as a member, manager, or owner of GDP NETWORK LLC, GRACE DE PAZ, individually and as a member, manager, or owner of G & G SUCCESS LLC and G & N SQUARED LLC, and SHABANA KHUBLAL, individually and as a member, manager, or owner of G & N SQUARED LLC,
Violation: Defendants fail to disclose, or fail to disclose adequately to consumers material terms and conditions of their offer, including that Defendants' service may result in a consumer having to pay additional bank or transaction fees, such as balance transfer fees to credit card issuers which typically total three to five percent of the amount of the consumer's transferred credit card debt... Read More

FINRA

5 Enforcement Documents

$715,000.00 in Fines

Penalties: $10,000.00
Respondent: Robert Patton Stansberry
Violation: From June 2017 to December 2018, Stansberry used an unauthorized personal email account to communicate with customers regarding business-related matters. By doing so, Stansberry prevented his member firms from preserving the emails as required by Exchange Act Rule 17a-4(b)(4). As a result, Stansberry violated FINRA Rules 4511 and 2010. From February 2018 to July 2018, Stansberry had WFAFN customers sign incomplete documents (blank, partially completed, or extracted pages from multi-page forms) and return them to him, so he could subsequently fill in information on their behalf, such as social security numbers and bank routing numbers. Stansberry then submitted the documents to WFAFN without verifying the completed information with each customer. Although the information was unverified, it was not found to be inaccurate or inconsistent with customer instructions. As a result, Stansberry violated FINRA Rule 2010... Read More

Penalties: $700,000.00
Respondent: Citadel Securities LLC,
Violation: The Firm failed to establish a supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures (“WSPs”), reasonably designed to achieve compliance with Trading Ahead and Limit Order Display Rules for OTC customer orders. Among other things, Citadel Securities did not establish WSPs requiring supervisory reviews of OTC customer orders for compliance with FINRA Rules 5320 and 6460, nor did the Firm establish any supervisory reports or other tools to allow supervisors to monitor whether OTC customer orders were handled in compliance with those rules, until October 2014 and June 2015, respectively. Furthermore, the reports the Firm implemented with respect to the display of OTC customer limit orders in June 2015 were not reasonably designed to achieve compliance with FINRA Rule 6460. By virtue of the conduct described herein, Citadel Securities violated NASD Rule 3010(a) and (b) (for conduct before December 1, 2014); FINRA Rule 3110(a) and (b) (for conduct on and after December 1, 2014); FINRA Rule 5320(a) and (b); FINRA Rule 6460; and FINRA Rule 2010... Read More

Penalties: $5,000.00
Respondent: Zahir H. Kanji
Violation: Kanji violated Article V, Section 2(c) of the FINRA By-Laws and FINRA Rules 1122 and 2010 by willfully failing to amend his Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer ("Form U4") to timely report that a judgment had been entered against him between February 2018 and March 2019... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Jean Connell Hick
Violation: In June 2020, Hicks refused to respond to a request for documents and information issued pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210, thereby violating FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Dawn Hare
Violation: Hare introduced the opportunity to her customer, negotiated the loan terms, and wrote out the checks for her customer to sign. Hare had a financial interest in her son's business, having lent it approximately $100,000 over the prior year and personally guaranteed certain outstanding debts. TIAA terminated Hare after learning of the loan from Hare's customer to Hare's son's business. The customer was made whole, including receiving $11,000 from TIAA. By virtue of the foregoing, Hare violated FINRA Rules 3240 and 2010... Read More

SEC

18 Enforcement Documents

$12,780,740.00 in Fines

Penalties: $11,840,107.00
Respondent: Weatherford International PLC, f/k/a Weatherford International LTD., James Hudgins, CPA, and Darryl Kitay, CPA
Violation: According to the Order, the Respondents violated the federal securities laws and engaged in improper professional conduct while serving as the external auditor, coordinating (i.e., signing) partner, and tax partner, respectively for Weatherford in connection with its 2007-2010 financial statements. As a result of this conduct, the Commission ordered the Respondents to pay a total of $11,840,107 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil money penalties to the Commission, and created a Fair Fund, pursuant to Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Dionne Van Zyl
Violation: The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”) against Dionne Van Zyl (“Van Zyl” or “Respondent”)... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: ROBERT RUSSEL TWEED,
Violation: The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”) against Robert Russel Tweed (“Respondent”)... Read More

Penalties: $200,000.00
Respondent: FIRST WESTERN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY,
Violation: From October 2010 through July 2017 (the “Relevant Period”), FWCM purchased for advisory clients securities that were sold in reliance on Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) without having adequate compliance policies and procedures and without providing investment adviser representatives (“IARs”) training and supervision of Rule 144A securities. As a result, over a seven-year period, certain IARs purchased for 81 FWCM advisory clients a gross total of over $666 million worth of securities sold in reliance on Rule 144A when the clients were not qualified institutional buyers in a Rule 144A transaction... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Jack Alan Abramoff
Violation: The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) against Jack Alan Abramoff (“Abramoff” or “Respondent”)... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Hidden Forest Acquisition Corp. and Global 2.0 Corporation,
Violation: "As discussed in more detail above, both Respondents are delinquent in their periodic filings with the Commission, have repeatedly failed to meet their obligations to file timely periodic reports, and failed to heed delinquency letters sent to them by the Division of Corporation Finance requesting compliance with their periodic filing obligations or, through their failure to maintain a valid address on file with the Commission as required by Commission rules, did not receive such letters. As a result of the foregoing, Respondents failed to comply with Exchange Act
Section 13(a) and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Ultimate Products Corporation, Leapfrog Smart Products Inc. a/k/a Smart Frog Holdings, Inc. (n/k/a United Holdings Group, Inc.), and USA Capital Management, Inc.,
Violation: "As discussed in more detail above, both Respondents are delinquent in their periodic filings with the Commission, have repeatedly failed to meet their obligations to file timely periodic reports, and failed to heed delinquency letters sent to them by the Division of Corporation Finance requesting compliance with their periodic filing obligations or, through their failure to maintain a valid address on file with the Commission as required by Commission rules, did not receive such letters. As a result of the foregoing, Respondents failed to comply with Exchange Act
Section 13(a) and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder... Read More

Penalties: $150,000.00
Respondent: PLUTUS FINANCIAL INC. d/b/a ABRA and PLUTUS TECHNOLOGIES PHILIPPINES CORP
Violation: The contracts offered and sold by Abra and Plutus Tech were security-based swaps. As a result, Abra and Plutus Tech violated Section 5(e) of the Securities Act by offering and selling those security-based swaps to persons who were not eligible contract participants without an effective registration statement. In addition, Abra and Plutus Tech violated Section 6(l) of the Exchange Act by effecting transactions with foreign and U.S. retail investors in security-based swaps that were not effected on a registered national securities exchange... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Temenos Advisory, Inc.
Violation: The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 203(e) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”) against Temenos Advisory, Inc. (“Respondent”)... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: GEORGE L. TAYLOR
Violation: The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”) against George L. Taylor (“Respondent”)... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: THUNDERBIRD POWER CORP., RICHARD HINDS, ANTHONY GOLDSTEIN, and JOHN ALEXANDER VAN AREM
Violation: Defendants violated, and unless enjoined, are reasonably likely to continue to violate, Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ e(a) and 77e(c)... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Thunderbird Power Corp., et al.,
Violation: According to the SEC's complaint, Thunderbird's CEO, Richard Hinds (of Arizona), former Thunderbird president Anthony Goldstein (of Canada), and consultant John Alexander "Lex" van Arem (of Canada) orchestrated the fraudulent offering and were responsible for numerous false and misleading statements in offering materials, press releases, and a YouTube video regarding the status of the wind turbine technology, purported validation of the technology by a nationally known firm, and Thunderbird's use of investor proceeds. The complaint further alleges that Goldstein and van Arem retained a national network of sales agents to email and cold-call prospective investors using the false claims. According to the complaint, Hinds, Goldstein, and van Arem misappropriated nearly $850,000, representing more than 40% of investor funds, to enrich themselves and pay the sales agents to seek out more unsuspecting investors... Read More

Penalties: $590,633.33
Respondent: Abetterfinancialplan.com, LLC, d/b/a A Better Financial Plan and Dean J. Vagnozzi,
Violation: These proceedings arise out of registration violations by Vagnozzi and ABFP, a company he wholly owns. First, during the period from April 2013 through August 2017, Respondents offered and sold securities in five funds. The transactions were neither registered with the Commission under the Securities Act nor satisfied any exemption from registration in violation of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act. Second, from late May 2018 through early September 2018, Vagnozzi (through ABFP) acted as an unregistered broker and earned transaction-based compensation in connection with raising funds for a separate entity, Fallcatcher, Inc. (“Fallcatcher”) without being associated with a registered broker-dealer in violation of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. Thus, Respondents’ conduct violated Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: World Moto, Inc.,
Violation: "As discussed in more detail above, the Respondent is delinquent in its periodic filings with the Commission, has repeatedly failed to meet its obligation to file timely periodic reports, and failed to heed a delinquency letter sent to it by the Division of Corporation Finance requesting compliance with its periodic filing obligations or, through its failure to maintain a valid address on file with the Commission as required by Commission rules, did not receive such letter. As a result of the foregoing, the Respondent failed to comply with Exchange Act Section 13(a) and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Wonhe High-Tech International, Inc.,
Violation: "As discussed in more detail above, the Respondent is delinquent in its periodic filings with the Commission, has repeatedly failed to meet its obligation to file timely periodic reports, and failed to heed a delinquency letter sent to it by the Division of Corporation Finance requesting compliance with its periodic filing obligations or, through its failure to maintain a valid address on file with the Commission as required by Commission rules, did not receive such letter. As a result of the foregoing, the Respondent failed to comply with Exchange Act Section 13(a) and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder... Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: PAUL J. KONIGSBERG,
Violation: The Securities and Exchange Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to issue an order of forthwith suspension against Paul J. Konigsberg pursuant to Rule 102(e)(2) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice (17 C.F.R. § 201.102(e)(2))... Read More

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