Financial Enforcement Actions | Week Of November 04 To 09

Financial Enforcement Actions | Week of November 04 to 09

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FINRA

$322,500.00 in Fines

Penalties: $10,000.00
Respondent: Clinton Brian Galyean
Violation: Between 2013 and 2016 (the “Relevant Period”), Galyean used a personal email account to conduct his securities business, thereby violating FINRA Rules 4511(a) and 2010… Read More

Penalties: $5,000.00
Respondent: Luke A. Powell
Violation: Between September 2014 and January 2015, while associated with Flying Cloud, Powell participated in private securities transactions totaling $350,000 in violation of NASD Rule 30401 and FINRA Rule 2010… Read More

Penalties: $20,000.00
Respondent: Craig Scott Hartman
Violation: Respondent failed to timely disclose four federal tax liens on his Form U4. Respondent made false statements to his FINRA member firm regarding the accuracy of his Form U4. Respondent failed to appear and provide testimony in response to two Rule 8210 requests for on-the-record testimony… Read More

Penalties: $50,000.00
Respondent: J.V.B. Financial Group, LLC
Violation: From July 2013 through December 2015 (the “Relevant Period”), JVB failed to establish, document, and maintain a system of risk management controls and supervisory procedures reasonably designed to manage the financial, regulatory, and other risks associated with market access, in violation of Section 15(c)(3) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, Exchange Act Rule 15c3-5 thereunder, and FINRA Rule 2010… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Melissa Lynn Alverio
Violation: Between February 2017 and April 2017 (the “Relevant Period”), Alverio violated FINRA Rules 2150 and 2010 by misusing the funds of five customers and the Firm to conceal her improper transfer of $500,000 from a Firm account, providing false information on multiple Firm transfer forms, and causing the Firm to create and maintain inaccurate books and records… Read More

Penalties: $5,000.00
Respondent: Jahanara Nissar
Violation: From January 2017 to August 2017 (the “Relevant Period”), Nissar converted approximately $5,000 from Odeon by deliberately submitting false claims for business expense reimbursement to the Finn. By converting funds, Nissar violated FINRA Rule 2010… Read More

Penalties: $215,000.00
Respondent: RBC Capital Markets, LLC
Violation: The firm failed to close out fail-to-deliver positions in accordance with Rule 204 of Regulation SHO during the periods June 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013, October 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014, and January 1, 2016 through June 2, 2016… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Commonwealth Financial Network
Violation: Commonwealth failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system, and failed to establish, maintain, and enforce written supervisory procedures, reasonably designed to ensure that Eligible Customers who purchased mutual fund shares received the benefit of applicable sales charge waivers. As a result, Commonwealth violated NASD Conduct Rule 3010 (for misconduct before December 1, 2014), FINRA Rule 3110 (for misconduct on or after December 1, 2014), and FINRA Rule 2010… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Sean William Killoran
Violation: Failure to appear for on-the-record testimony… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Nancy Kimball Mellon
Violation: Between January 2016 and July 2016 (the “Relevant Period”), while registered with FINRA through member firm Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (f/lc/a Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC) (“WFCS” or the “Firm”), Respondent Nancy Kimball Mellon caused her assistant, MM, to submit four false expense reports to the Firm on Mellon’s behalf seeking reimbursement for a 2016 Outback Bowl VIP Club Membership… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Kenneth Luccioni
Violation: Luccioni failed to provide documents and information requested pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210. By failing to provide documents and information, Luccioni violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010… Read More

Penalties: $5,000.00
Respondent: Michael Scott Livermore
Violation: During his association with Merrill Lynch, Livermore willfully failed to file a Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration and Transfer (“Form U4”) Amendment to disclose that he had been charged with two felonies on September 6, 2016. As a result of this misconduct, Livermore violated Article V, Section 2(c) of FINRA’s By-Laws and FINRA Rules 1122 and 2010… Read More

Penalties: $5,000.00
Respondent: Hector Villalta (“Respondent” or “Villalta”)
Violation: Between July 2015 and June 27, 2016 (the “Relevant Period”), while associated with JPMS and registered with FINRA, Villalta engaged in an outside business activity without providing JPMS with prior written notice. Villalta leased vehicles and referred others to lease vehicles on behalf of a third-party company (the “Company”), earning approximately $6,000 in compensation. As a result of the foregoing, Villalta violated FINRA Rules 3270 and 2010… Read More

Penalties: $7,500.00
Respondent: Mark Stewart Saunders
Violation: In February and March 2018, Saunders accepted instructions from third parties to effect transactions in Edward Jones accounts. In February 2018, Saunders violated NASD Conduct Rule 2510 and FINRA Rule 2010 when he purchased mutual funds in a trust account based on instructions from the co-trustees’ daughter, who was not authorized to provide instructions for the trust. In March 2018, Saunders violated MSRB Rule G-17 by accepting instructions to purchase mutual funds in a customer’s 529 plan accounts from the customer’s daughter, who was not authorized to provide instructions… Read More

SEC

$75,792,116.82 in Fines

Penalties: $351,074.00
Respondent: Core Performance Management, LLC, et al., RMR Asset Management Company, et al.
Violation: At least 2009 to 2016, Core Performance Management LLC (“CPM”), RMR Asset Management Co. (“RMR”), their principals, and certain of their associates, misrepresented their identities to gain priority in new issue municipal bond allocations… Read More

Penalties: $12,000,000.00
Respondent: ITG Inc. and AlterNet Securities, Inc.
Violation: Failed to disclose certain material features of the POSIT ATS. In particular, ITG did not disclose that, from late 2010 until mid-2014, there were two physically separated pools of liquidity within POSIT, known internally as “POSIT 1” and “POSIT 2” or “P1” and “P2… Read More

Penalties: $38,750,259.82
Respondent: Citibank, N.A.
Violation: Sean Kelly used his companies, Lion’s Share Financial of East Cobb, Inc., Lion’s Share & Associates, Inc., and Lionsshare Tax Services, LLC, to raise at least $1 million from 12 investors, including elderly retirees, promising that he would invest their funds in a variety of investment products including private placements and real estate funds. Rather than investing the money, Kelly spent it on personal expenses including Super Bowl tickets, luxury vacations, and cash withdrawals… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: SEC Complaint – Michael E. Cone, et al
Violation: From August 2017 through at least March 2018, Greenview and Cone, Greenview’s founder and manager, orchestrated an unregistered securities offering fraud that victimized more than 60 investors across 26 states… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Douglas P. Simanski
Violation: While associated with NEXT and while acting as an investment adviser to his clients, Simanski engaged in a scheme to defraud hs clients. Simanski made material misrepresentations to his clients to induce them to send money to him personally to invest in companies which he claimed to own or operate. Simanski did not invest his clients’ money as promised and instead used the money to pay other investors and for his personal expenses… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Michael E. Cone, et al
Violation: Greenview Investment Partners L.P. and its founder Michael E. Cone used misleading marketing materials in raising more than $3.3 million from investors. Cone allegedly employed boiler room sales staff who made cold calls to investors and promised them up to 24 percent annual returns from investments in Greenview… Read More

Penalties: $843,497.00
Respondent: Ricardo H. Goldman
Violation: Goldman misled dozens of day traders into thinking they were opening individual online securities trading accounts with Goldman’s broker-dealer, America Capital Group LLC, which was not registered with the SEC… Read More

Penalties: $1,922,357.00
Respondent: Eric P. Lesak, et al.
Violation: Lesak and his firms cajoled more than 100 cold-called investors into buying more than $2.8 million worth of shares in penny stock company Axiom Holdings Inc., but didn’t tell prospective investors that Lesak had been barred by the predecessor to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or that he had pled guilty to securities and wire fraud… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Jeremy A. Licht d/b/a JL Capital Management
Violation: On September 12, 2017, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative and Cease-and-Desist Proceedings, Pursuant to Section 21C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Sections 203(f) and 203(k) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and Section 9(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions and a Cease-and-Desist Order (“Order”)1 against Jeremy A. Licht d/b/a JL Capital Management (the “Respondent”)… Read More

Penalties: $41,240.00
Respondent: Slobodan Dragojlovic
Violation: Slobodan Dragojlovic misappropriated from his brother material, nonpublic information that Surgical Care Affiliates was in negotiations to be acquired by UnitedHealth Group, Inc… Read More

Penalties: $388,000.00
Respondent: Zachary Coburn
Violation: During the Relevant Period, EtherDelta was not registered with the Commission as a national securities exchange and it did not operate pursuant to any exemption from registration. As a result, and as discussed further below, Coburn should have known that his actions would contribute to EtherDelta’s violations and thus, under Exchange Act Section 21C(a), caused EtherDelta to violate Section 5 of the Exchange Act… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Eric J. “EJ” Dalius et al.
Violation: Dalius stole a large portion of the more than $165 million generated by the scheme through investor contributions and the accumulation in value of Bitcoin that investors paid Dalius to purchase memberships… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: SeeThruEquity, LLC et al.
Violation: Engaged in scalping, which is a form of securities fraud that occurs when a perpetrator makes a stock recommendation to investors and contemporaneously trades against that very recommendation in the open market without adequate disclosure… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Craig H. Carton, et al.
Violation: Carton and another New York City man, Joseph G. Meli, along with six of their companies, with stealing millions of dollars from investors who were allegedly promised their funds would be used for the purchase and resale of concert tickets… Read More

Penalties: $139,813.00
Respondent: James E. Hengen
Violation: Hengen, whose wife worked for a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, Inc., misappropriated material, nonpublic information concerning UnitedHealth’s pending acquisitions of two companies, USMD Holdings, Inc. and Surgical Care Affiliates, Inc… Read More

Penalties: $45,000.00
Respondent: Mark A. Elste
Violation: From January 2012 to June 2014, Mark A. Elste (“Elste”), who was the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”) of Pennant Management, Inc. (“Pennant”), a formerly registered investment adviser, aided, abetted and caused Pennant’s violations of Section 206(4) of the Adviser Act and Rule 206(4)-7 thereunder (the “Compliance Rule”)… Read More

Penalties: $400,000.00
Respondent: Pennant Management, Inc.
Violation: From May 2013 to September 2014, Pennant advised clients to purchase interests in facilities and other investments containing repurchase agreements (“repo(s)”) originated by a repo counterparty, First Farmers Financial (“First Farmers” or “FFF”)… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Avant Diagnostics, Inc., et al.
Violation: ChitrChatr failed to comply with Exchange Act Section 13(a) and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder because it has not filed any periodic reports with the Commission since April 29, 2016… Read More

Penalties: $187,767.00
Respondent: Robert A. Ferrante and Marilyn R. Thomassen, et al.
Violation: Robert A. Ferrante and attorney Marilyn R. Thomassen participated in a fraudulent scheme with PDC Capital Group and its principal, Emilio Francisco, to defraud at least 135 investors out of $9.5 million using 19 different EB-5 offerings made primarily to investors in China… Read More

Penalties: $20,723,109.00
Respondent: TelexFree, Inc
Violation: On November 2, 2018, the SEC obtained default judgments against two entities, TelexElectric, LLLP and Telex Mobile Holdings, Inc., which were both named as relief defendants for the purpose of recovering ill-gotten gains that the entities received from TelexFree, LLC in connection with the TelexFree pyramid scheme… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Arthur Lamar Adams et al.
Violation: Arthur Lamar Adams lied to investors by telling them that their money would be used by his company, Madison Timber Properties, LLC, to secure and harvest timber from various land owners located in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, and promised annual returns of 12-15%… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Kevin B. Merrill, et al.
Violation: Amanda Merrill and Lalaine Ledford, the wives of Kevin B. Merrill and Jay B. Ledford, respectively, received millions of dollars’ worth of proceeds from the fraud their husbands and another individual ran in the form of real property, cash, luxury items, and other goods, to which they have no legitimate claim… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Joseph Meli, et al.
Violation: Joseph Meli raised money from investors to fund businesses purportedly created to purchase and resell tickets to such high-demand shows as Adele concerts and the Broadway musical Hamilton… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Eldrick E. Woodley d/b/a Woodley & Co. Wealth Strategies
Violation: Woodley, a state-registered investment adviser, perpetuated a fraudulent scheme to misappropriate money from his clients over the course of more than two years… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Pyxus International, Inc.
Violation: This matter concerns violations of the reporting, books and records, and internal accounting control provisions of the Exchange Act by Alliance One, a tobacco processing company, from at least 2011 to 2015. Throughout the period, the processes and control activities designed to support the amounts of inventory, deferred crop costs, and the revenue transactions at Alliance One’s subsidiary in Kenya, Alliance One Tobacco (Kenya) Ltd. (“Alliance One Kenya”), were not sufficient at a local or regional level. Additionally, Alliance One Kenya’s management overrode existing controls and failed to report accounting errors to Alliance One. As a result, Alliance One filed with the Commission materially misstated financial statements in annual and quarterly reports from at least 2011 through the second quarter of 2015… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Salvadore D. Palermo
Violation: Between at least August 2014 and March 2015, Palermo entered certain fictitious sales orders in J.P. Turner’s books, records and electronic trading systems, despite knowing that the named counterparty/purchaser had never agreed to buy the instruments and that each sales order would ultimately be canceled with the instruments being returned to J.P. Turner’s inventory… Read More

FTC

$125,000,000.00 in Fines

Penalties: $125,000,000.00
Respondent: MoneyGram
Violation: MoneyGram agreed to make changes to make it harder for con-artists to use MoneyGram to defraud consumers… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Payless Solutions
Violation: Payless Solutions LLC made illegal sales calls and falsely claimed that their interest rate reduction program would save purchasers at least $2,500 and help them pay off their debts more quickly… Read More

Penalties: TBD
Respondent: Ecological Fox, LLC
Violation: The defendants operated a set of interrelated businesses (the Sanctuary Belize Enterprise or SBE) and ran commercials on Fox News and Bloomberg News advertising parcels of land that were part of a luxury development in Belize. They also advertised the property through infomercials. Consumers who expressed interest in buying property would receive a call from California-based telemarketers who identified themselves as “property consultants” or “investment consultants”… Read More

Penalties: N/A
Respondent: Terrance S. Hood
Violation: Between January 2015 and December 2016, Hood submitted falsified receipts in order to receive childcare reimbursements from Merrill Lynch that he was not qualified to receive. As a result, Hood converted $4,910 from the Firm in violation of FINRA Rule 2010… Read More