Active Investigations

September 27, 2022 – Donnie Eugene Ingram (CRD #1416971) was named as a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that Ingram lacked a reasonable basis to recommend UITs and alternative investments. The complaint alleges that Ingram recommended that his customers purchase standard version units that caused those same customers to incur transactional sales charges. There were fee-based units of the same UIT available to customers that would have …

September 27, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Michael Glenn Seymour (CRD #1597042) was fined $10,000 and was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for one month. Seymour was also required to attend and satisfactorily complete 20 hours of continuing education concerning supervisory responsibilities.

Without admitting to or denying FINRA’s findings, Seymour consented to the sanctions, as well as to the …

September 1, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which John Charles Barnes (CRD #862738) was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for one month. Barnes consented to the sanctions without admitting to or denying the findings. Consent also included entry of findings that he had exercised discretion in transactions under customer accounts without written consent of the customer and without …

September 23, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Alan Zelig Appelbaum (CRD #500336) was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting to or denying the findings, Appelbaum consented to the sanction. This also included the entry of findings that Alan Zelig Appelbaum failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection to the examination of his sales of complex …

August 22, 2022 – Venturino (CRD #5872439) was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and violated FINRA Rule 2020 by churning customer accounts. The complaint alleges that Venturino exercised de facto control of the trading in the accounts, controlling the volume and frequency of trading in the accounts, deciding what securities to buy …

August 31, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Murillo (CRD #4875997) was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for eight months. Murillo is not required to pay restitution because his member firm has agreed to pay as restitution the commissions and other trading costs charged to the customers as a result of his conduct. Without admitting or denying the …

August 12, 2022 – An Order Accepting Offer of Settlement was issued in which Minich (CRD #6465746) was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for four months. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Minich consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he participated in private securities transactions totaling approximately $200,000 without providing prior …

August 10, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Donahue (CRD #1206346) was fined $2,500, suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for 30 days, and required to attend and satisfactorily complete 10 hours of continuing education concerning FINRA’s suitability rule. Restitution is not ordered against Donahue because the customers have settled an arbitration pertaining to his unsuitable recommendation. Without admitting or denying the …

August 3, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Mehlin (CRD #736694) was fined $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for three months. Without admitting or denying the findings, Mehlin consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion in customer accounts without prior written authorization. The findings stated that Mehlin effected trades across the customers’ …

August 2, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Wilkie (CRD #467130) was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for six months. Without admitting or denying the findings, Wilkie consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he circumvented his member firm’s policies requiring disclosure and approval of his beneficiary status on a …

August 22, 2022 – An SEC decision became final in which Ottimo (CRD #2606438) was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. The SEC affirmed the sanctions imposed by the National Adjudicatory Counsel (NAC). The bar was based on findings that Ottimo fraudulently omitted material information from his biography in a private placement memorandum, in violation of Exchange Act Section 10(b), Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, …

August 16, 2022 – An OHO decision became final in which Velten (CRD #2291911) was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. The sanction was based on the findings that Velten failed to produce information and documents requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into an allegation that he had churned and flipped customer accounts by encouraging his elderly customers to surrender their annuities, …