Massachusetts Securities Regulator William Galvin has charged independent broker-dealer Securities America with failure to supervise a broker who allegedly launched a “bait and switch” radio ad campaign. Galvin filed a complaint alleging broker Barry Armstrong ran an ad on his A.M. radio show that ‘falsely advertised one service (information on Alzheimer’s disease) to obtain contact information, and then switched out for another – financial services,” according to the complaint.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has filed a complaint against a Raymond James financial advisor who allegedly took advantage of an elderly client with diminished capacity and attempted to swindle $1.8 million dollars from her estate.
The official FINRA complaint alleges that John Waszolek – who was a financial advisor at UBS Wealth Management at the time of the incident - knew that his 81-year-old customer had been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease and consequently suffered from dementia and memory loss. By the end of 2007, the victim had become frail, withdrawn, isolated and would often forget with whom she was speaking on telephone calls.
FINRA announced today that it is launching a multi-media ad campaign aimed at raising awareness of its online BrokerCheck tool. The print and 15-second digital ads feature scenarios of people making comical "leap before you look" mistakes to emphasize the importance of researching stock brokers and broker-dealers before you invest with them.
Former chief compliance officer William Michael Quigley is facing both civil and criminal charges for a decade-long investment scheme that diverted $800,000 of investor's money to accounts for his and his brother's personal use. After convincing foreign investors to invest in high-profile US companies such as Berkshire Hathaway and Dell, Inc., Quigley would funnel the money to his two brothers in the Philippines, who would then send the investors fake account statements.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it will impose stiffer penalties on its member firms and their brokers who commit fraud or make unsuitable recommendations to investors. Effective immediately, FINRA's adjudicators will strongly consider barring a broker from the industry if they engage in fraudulent activities. The new guidelines also increase the likelihood that brokerage firms that commit fraud will be expelled from the industry by the regulator.