Posted On: April 6, 2012

Principals of Global Arena Capital Corp. and Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. Settle FINRA Securities Allegations

Harry Friedman, a principal of Global Arena Capital Corp. has agreed to a bar that prevents him from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority member. Although he has not admitted to or denied the allegations against him, Friedman has consented to the sanction and the entry of findings accusing him of not properly supervising a number of employees who used improper markups in a fraudulent trading scheme that, as a result, denied clients of best execution and the most favorable market price.

It was Friedman’s job to make sure that the head trader provided accurate disclosure on order tickets, such as when they were received and executed, the role that the broker-dealer played, and how much compensation the financial firm would get from each securities transaction. According to FINRA, Friedman either knew or should have known that order tickets were not being marked properly.

FINRA also found that Friedman, whose job it was to supervise and review trading activity involving his firm, failed to reconcile daily positions and trades in principal accounts. Also, per the SRO, Global Arena Capital Corp., through Friedman, did not set up, maintain, and enforce supervisory control policies and procedures that were supposed to ensure that registered representatives and others were in compliance with securities regulations and laws. Also, for three years, Friedman allegedly falsely certified that the financial firm had the necessary processes in place and that they had been evidenced in a report that the CCO, CEO, and other officers had reviewed.

In other FINRA-related news, Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. registered principal Marsha Ann Hill has been suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority member for a year. She also will pay a $20,000 fine.

Hill is accused of allegedly making unsuitable recommendations to a customer regarding the purchase of a variable annuity for $110,418.97 and two private placement offerings for $10,000 each. Per the findings, the transactions were not suitable because over 90% of the client’s liquid net worth had been placed in the variable annuity, which was illiquid and had a seven-year surrender period. (The SRO says that the private placement offerings were not only high risk, but also they failed to meet the client’s investment objectives.) Hill is accused of misusing the customer’s funds when she delayed the investments, resulting in her firm violating SEC Rule 15c3-3.

She also allegedly sold a private placement to an unaccredited investor. When her supervisor noted that this was an accredited-only investment, Hill erased certain information on the Account Information Form and put different yearly income, liquid net worth, and net worth amounts without letting her client know. Hill is settling the securities fraud allegations against her without deny or admitting to them.

Broker-Dealers are Making Reverse Convertible Sales That are Harming Investors, Says SEC, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, July 28, 2011

Despite Reports of Customer Satisfaction, Consumer Reports Uncovers Questionable Sales Practices at Certain Financial Firms, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 7, 2012

SIFMA Wants FINRA to Take Tougher Actions Against Brokers that Don’t Repay Promissory Notes, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, January 17, 2012

Contact our securities fraud law firm. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP has several offices located throughout the US.