Active Investigations

From 2012 until 2021, Dallas-based GWG Holdings sold what it called L Bonds. These were a form of privately issued alternative investment. The financial services firm intended L Bonds as an alternative to existing life insurance policies. These bonds promised to pay holders of the bonds more than the surrender values of their life insurance packages.

The L Bonds sold by GWG Holdings were illiquid and highly speculative. Customers found

May 3, 2022 – Peter James Fetherston (CRD #2108610, Garden City, New York) was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he converted and misused customer funds. The complaint alleges that Fetherston induced two customers, a married couple, to write him three checks totaling $89,000. This was accomplished by falsely representing to them that they owed him commissions and that he would use a portion of

May 27, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Palmery Robert Desir (CRD #5559016, Islip, New York) was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for four months. Restitution is not ordered against Desir because the customer has initiated an arbitration pertaining to Desir’s excessive trading of his account. Without admitting or denying the findings, Desir consented to the sanctions and

May 20, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Blakely Chapman Page (CRD #2922955) was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for six months. Without admitting or denying the findings, Page consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he made negligent misrepresentations about the performance of an investment fund to prospective investors. 

May 16, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Bennett Robert Zamani (CRD #6198730) was assessed a deferred fine of $27,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for 14 months. Without admitting or denying the findings, Zamani consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide notice to his member firm that he was participating in

Philip Anthony Riposo (CRD #400056, Cave Creek, Arizona) was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Riposo admitted to creating and providing clients with fictitious account statements, as well as receiving and depositing checks from clients made out to Riposo’s business, in violation of industry rules and regulation. Riposo was affiliated with FINRA member, United Planners’ Financial Services of America a Limited Partner, at the time he …

Philip Marchese (CRD #5905008, Staten Island, New York) was suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay $50,000, plus interest, in deferred partial restitution to customers, for allegations of exercising de facto control over the customer accounts when he recommended high frequency trading in their accounts. Marchese’s trading in these accounts was excessive and unsuitable given the customers’ investment profiles. As a result of Marchese’s excessive trading, the customers suffered …

Robert C. David Jr. (CRD #5211223, Farmington, Michigan) was fined $15,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for 20 months based on allegations of falsifying client account information so he could circumvent Morgan Stanley’s internal procedures and sell clients non-investment grade, fixed-income securities. The findings state that David increased the net worth and liquid net worth of customers and changed the customer’s risk tolerance so …

If you purchased GWG Holdings L Bonds from a broker-dealer or financial advisor, then you may be able to seek recourse against the firm that sold you GWG L Bonds. We understand the brokerage firms that sold GWG L Bonds include, Aegis Capital Corp., Cabot Lodge SecuritiesCapital Investment GroupCentaurus FinancialCenter Street SecuritiesCoastal EquitiesEmerson EquityLandolt Securities, Lion …

If you have lost your money with Carlos Cortez (CRD # 5378014) and/or Cortez Wealth Advisors, LLC (CRD # 285131) related to investments in Bullet Capital & Contract Occurrence Management Merchants (“BCCOMM”), you may be able to recover your losses. The Schwartz Law Firm continues to investigate claims against Carlos Cortez for his recommendations for clients to invest in BCCOMM. We understand that Cortez directed clients to BCCOMM without completing …

FINRA announced that a FINRA extended hearing panel has expelled Salt Lake City-based broker-dealer Alpine Securities Corp. from FINRA membership, and ordered the firm to pay more than $2.3 million in restitution to customers for converting and misusing customer funds and securities, engaging in unauthorized trading, charging customers unfair prices in securities transactions and unreasonable fees, and making an unauthorized capital withdrawal.

The hearing panel also issued a permanent …

FINRA announced that it has fined Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. $2 million for failing to comply with its obligation to seek best execution for its customers’ orders

“The duty to seek best execution for customer orders is a fundamental obligation of any broker-dealer that buys or sells securities on behalf of customers,” said Jessica Hopper, Executive Vice President and Head of FINRA’s Department of Enforcement. “We will continue to pursue …