July 7, 2014

SignalPoint Asset Management to PAY SEC Fine for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

The Securities and Exchange Commission is ordering the comptroller and principals of SignalPoint Asset Management to pay $215,000 for breach of fiduciary. The regulator claims that the Missouri-based registered investment adviser breached its fiduciary duty when it did not tell clients about certain conflicts of interest.

The SEC says that SignalPoint principals Dennis R. Walker, Jonathan C. Timson and John W. Handy Jr. failed to disclose that they had control of the RIA when they advised clients to invest in it. This failure to disclose the conflict is a violation of the Advisers Act.

Michael Orzel, SignalPoint’s comptroller, was responsible for filing and drafting the RIA’s Form ADVs that also failed to disclose that Walker, Timson, and Handy were not just the principals of the registered investment adviser but also its control persons.

SignalPoint Asset Management is the investment adviser to over 1,800 accounts. Asset under management is about $526 million.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty
a “fiduciary” has a legal obligation to act in another’s best interests. The duty is typically one that is performed in good faith and the fiduciary makes the clients’ interests the first priority over his/her own. Part of this is disclosing to a customer any conflicts of interest, especially when making an investment recommendation that will benefit the fiduciary. Examples of other duties that should be honored including: providing complete and fair disclosure of important facts, and exercising professional judgment, skill, care, and diligence.

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, our securities lawyers represent securities claims for investors who have lost money because a breach of fiduciary duty occurred. Contact our investment adviser fraud attorneys today.

SEC fines Missouri RIA for breach of fiduciary duty, InvestmentNews, July 3, 2014


More Blog Posts:
SEC Files Order Against New Mexico Investment Adviser Over Allegedly Secret Commissions, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, June 10, 2014

SEC Charges Total Wealth Management With Securities Fraud, Receiving Undisclosed Kickbacks, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 18, 2014

SEC Temporarily Shuts Down Investment Adviser Over Alleged $8.8M NY Securities Fraud, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, June 4, 2014

June 10, 2014

SEC Files Order Against New Mexico Investment Adviser Over Allegedly Secret Commissions

The SEC has submitted an order against Dennis J. Malouf accusing him of investment adviser fraud. The regulator says that he allegedly took trading commissions that he wasn’t entitled to for himself. He was in charge of UASNM’s bond trading operation between 2008 and May 2011. Malouf, who was the CEO of UASNM Inc. is now with M Wealth Management.

According to the Commission, he set up a secret verbal deal with someone at a broker-dealer branch to send him the commissions generated by the broker for bond trades that this person did with Malouf’s firm. The regulator claims that rather than look for the best way to make the bond trades happen, UASNM worked only with the broker-dealer. Over the approximately three-year period, the investment advisory firm made over 200 bond trades through the unnamed branch. This was about $30 million to $40 million in trades every year, for which Malouf obtained about $1.1M in commissions.

In 2011, UASNM fired Malouf, who was a majority owner,because of misconduct allegations. He then sued for wrongful termination and that is when the firm’s attorneys discovered the purported commission deal.

Meantime, the regulator has censured UASNM, which settled for $100,000. It is also paying over $500,000 to over clients who were affected by the additional markups because the investment advisory firm did not look for the best bond prices.

Please contact our investment advisor fraud lawyers today. We help investors get their money back.

SEC files cease-and-desist order against adviser accused of stealing $1.1 million, InvestmentNews, June 10, 2014

UASNM Inc. settles with SEC over alleged commission scheme, BizJournals, June 10, 2014

Read the SEC Order (PDF)


More Blog Posts:
State Senator Reprimanded For Violating the Texas Securities Act, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 8, 2014

SEC Charges Total Wealth Management With Securities Fraud, Receiving Undisclosed Kickbacks, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 18, 2014

SEC Temporarily Shuts Down Investment Adviser Over Alleged $8.8M NY Securities Fraud
, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, June 4, 2014

May 8, 2014

State Senator Reprimanded For Violating the Texas Securities Act

The Texas State Securities Board has reprimanded Senator Ken Paxton and ordered him pay a $1,000 fine for soliciting investment clients even though he wasn’t properly registered. According to the board’s disciplinary order, Paxton, who is running for state attorney general, violated the Texas Securities Act. Under the Act’s Section 12.B, a person cannot act as an investment adviser representative unless he/she is registered as one for that investment adviser in particular.

The Texas Tribune reports that Paxton started working as a solicitor for companies belonging to Fritz Mowery in 2001. On three occasions, in 2004, 2005, and 2012, he took part in unregistered solicitations and referred the customers to Mowery Capital Management, LLC. The fine is for the last incident, which occurred within the last five years. (One of the incidents led to a Texas securities fraud case in 2009 when investors Teri and David Goettsche sued Paxton and Mowery for breach of duty.

In their Texas investment fraud case, the Goettsches claimed that Paxton recommended they invest with Mowery while failing to mention that he would get a 30% commission for the referral. The couple later dropped the securities lawsuit.

In other Texas securities news, a federal judge has sentenced a Brazoria County woman to three years in prison for investment fraud. Kimberly Fontenot bilked clients when she used a voice actor to pose as a rich investor. She falsely claimed that she knew a lot of rich “angel investors.” Fontenot will have to pay back over $115,000 to victims.

About 20 investors were defrauded in a scam involving her company Stellar Grants Inc. The voice actor was hired to pose as the fake wealthy investors during conference calls.

Prosecutors said that Fontenot used Gmail.com and Yahoo.com to set up bogus email accounts for these fake angel investors, who would then send e-mails to her customers. She had these clients (or their reps) sign “Master Consulting Agreements” that included a penalty clause for directly contacting the angel investors.

Two other Texans also in the headlines over fraud allegations are billionaire brothers Sam and Charles Wyly. The latter is deceased. Both men are on trial for allegedly making $550M because they concealed share holdings in offshore trusts.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, for 13 years the brothers hid trades in four public companies in which they were board members —Michaels Stores. Inc., Scottish Annuity & Life Holdings Ltd., Sterling Commerce Inc., and Sterling Software Inc. The regulator is suing them for insider trading and securities fraud.

The Wylys’ lawyer denies that the men hid the trusts or broke the law.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP is a Texas securities fraud law firm. Our main office is in Houston.

Read the Disciplinary Order against Paxton (PDF)

Paxton Violated Securities Law, Gets Reprimand, The Texas Tribune, May 2, 2014

‘Investment Advisory Firm’ Owner Convicted of Fraud, FBI.gov, December 5, 2013

Jurors Weigh Fraud Charges Against Wyly Brothers Accused Of 13-Year 'Scheme of Secrecy', Forbes, May 8, 2014


More Blog Posts:
Texas Man Gets 25 years in Prison for $11M Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 21, 2014

Securities Lawsuits Accuse BlackRock Of Charging Exorbitant Investment Advisor Fees, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, May 8, 2014

Morgan Stanley Gets $5M Fine for Supervisory Failures Involving 83 IPO Shares Sales, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 6, 2014

April 18, 2014

SEC Charges Total Wealth Management With Securities Fraud, Receiving Undisclosed Kickbacks

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a financial fraud case against Total Wealth Management Inc., an investment advisory firm based in Southern California. The regulator is accusing the firm of getting undisclosed kickbacks over investments recommended to clients. It is also alleging breach of fiduciary duty.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Total Wealth placed about 75% of 481 client accounts into Altus Funds, which is a family of proprietary funds. The investment advisory firm has a revenue-sharing deal that allows them to get kickbacks. The regulator says this was a conflict of interest because customers did not know about the agreement.

The Wall Street Journal reports that according to the SEC, Altus invested 92% of all its investments—$32 million—in funds that had revenue sharing deals with Total Wealth. The agency says that clients likely wouldn’t have put their money with Total Wealth if they had known that the majority of the Altus funds were paying the firm.

The Commission is accusing Total Wealth Management CEO Jacob Cooper, co-founder David Shoemaker, and chief compliance officer Nathan McNamee with setting up business entities to hide the undisclosed payments. While revenue sharing isn’t necessary illegal, they become a problem if they are concealed on purpose. Cooper is also accused of misleading investors about just how much due diligence it conducted on Altus Funds’ investments.

The SEC contends that Cooper and Total Wealth violated federal securities laws’ antifraud provisions, while Shoemaker and McNamee purportedly aided and abetted or violated the provisions. Other charges include custody rule and Form ADV disclosure rule violations. The Commission wants the allegedly ill-gotten gains given back, the imposition of a financial penalty, interest, and remedial relief.

Investment advisers have a duty to act in the best interests of a client. Failure to do that may result in losses for an investor and in some cases intentional gains for the adviser or his firm. If you think your investment losses are a result of your financial adviser breaching its duty to you, please contact our investment fraud law firm today.

Read the SEC Order (PDF)


More Blog Posts:
SEC Says Investment Advisors Can Publish Third-Party Endorsements Online, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 1, 2014

SEC Reveals Plans to Examine Never-Before-Inspected RIAs, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 24, 2014

SEC Sanctions Three Investment Advisory Firms for Custody Rule Violations, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, October 30, 2013

April 12, 2014

FINRA Doesn’t Want Oversight Over Financial Advisers, Says CEO Ketchum

According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority CEO Richard G. Ketchum, the regulator no longer wants to be given oversight over financial advisers. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Ketchum said the self-regulatory agency had done all it could to be granted authority over investment advisers and has decided to stop with additional attempts.

FINRA currently oversees brokers. Meantime, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the states oversee registered investment advisers. The SEC had been exploring having FINRA or another agency police RIAs instead. However, the majority of investment advisers were against such a move because of the way FINRA handles enforcement. They don’t think the regulator understands the way investment advisers operated.

Ketchum is now saying that Congress should give the SEC the resources it needs to enhance its examination program of advisers. The Commission has been asking for more money because it can only afford to examine investment advisor firms about once a decade, which isn’t much oversight at all.

Ketchum also said that he approves of the way investment advisers, like brokers, must now uphold fiduciary standards that mandate that they always act in the best interests of a client. However, it is only brokers who need to ensure that the investment strategies and products they recommend are suitable for a customer.

Meantime, reports InvestmentNews, a five-year bull market is causing advisers to experience the highest levels of compensation and assets under management in seven years. A study just released by Fidelity Investments reports that in the last year approximately 95% of advisers saw their business grow. Also, average compensation was at about $24,000 and average assets under management was at around $60 million. However, many advisory firms are finding it hard to draw in young clients, which could slow long-term growth.

Our securities lawyers represent investors that have lost money because of investment adviser fraud and other forms of financial fraud. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP today.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Finra Backs Off From Expanding Oversight, The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2014

Advisers' business booming, but dark clouds looming, Investment News, April 10, 2014


More Blog Posts:
SEC Says Investment Advisors Can Publish Third-Party Endorsements Online, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 1, 2014

SEC Reveals Plans to Examine Never-Before-Inspected RIAs, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 24, 2014

SEC Sanctions Three Investment Advisory Firms for Custody Rule Violations, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, October 30, 2014

April 1, 2014

SEC Says Investment Advisors Can Publish Third-Party Endorsements Online

The Securities and Exchange Commission says that investment advisers are allowed to publish comments from the public about their services on an independent social media website but that they must include both negative and positive reviews in unedited form. Also, the adviser must not have any affiliation with the site or the ability to influence it. The SEC made the announcement this week in a guidance update.

SEC rules typically don’t allow “testimonials.” The guidance, however, now says that Commission-registered advisers can direct potential clients to the reviews as long as certain conditions are met. The changes are in part because of the rapidly evolving social media market and the fact that this area is becoming a primary way that businesses communicate with prospective customers.

The regulator said that client reviews could only appear on review sites or independent social media. This means, for example, that they cannot be published on an adviser Facebook page. Also, an adviser cannot promise a customer anything in return for favorable reviews and employees are not allowed to write these testimonials.

Advisers cannot use client endorsements as part of their advertising materials. They can, however, publish these testimonials from an independent review site in a way that is “content-neutral,” such as alphabetically or chronologically.

Investment advisers that want to use Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn as part of their business will likely feel relief about the new guidance. The SEC’s guidance says that even a “fan” page of the adviser set up by an independent party would not be a violation of the testimonial rule. The regulator, however, warned against investment advisers including a hyperlink to the third party site on its own web pages.

Our investment adviser fraud law firm is here to help investors recoup their securities fraud losses.


GUIDANCE ON THE TESTIMONIAL RULE AND SOCIAL MEDIA, SEC (PDF)


More Blog Posts:
Puerto Rico Bonds Are at Record Low Prices After FINRA Announces It Is Looking At Transactions, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 27, 2014

SEC To Examine Exchange Traded-Fund Regulation Again
, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 22, 2014

FBI Probes Possible High-Speed Trading, Insider Trading Link
, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 1, 2014

February 24, 2014

SEC Reveals Plans to Examine Never-Before-Inspected RIAs

The Securities and Exchange Commission has unveiled its Never-Before-Examined Initiative, which will allow it to look at registered investment advisers that have yet to be examined. The SEC shared details of its plan in a letter to these unexamined advisers, of which there are about 4,000. Some of these firms have been registered with the regulator for more than three years.

The SEC says it intends to inspect a significant number of the advisers who haven’t been examined yet but that the agency will place its emphasis on those who have been registered for at least three years. Its initiative will employ two approaches—focused reviews and risk assessment. The former will look at RIAs’ compliance programs, disclosures, filings, portfolio management, marketing, and client asset safekeeping:

Compliance Programs: Examiners will look at the effectiveness of an RIA’s compliance program. They will also review records and advisory books to figure out if an adviser has properly identified interest conflicts and risks, put into place the appropriate measures and procedures and policies to manage and mitigate both, and hire a competent Chief Compliance Officer.

Filings/Disclosure: NEP (Never-Before-Inspected) staff will assess filing disclosure documents to make sure adequate information is provided to help clients make informed choices about whether to get into an advisory relationship.

Marketing: Staff will look at marketing materials to assess whether there are any false or misleading statements or if material facts were omitted.

Portfolio Management: NEP staff will study a RIA's portfolio decision-making practices to make sure the adviser fulfills its duty to act in the clients’ best interests and disclose and mitigate any material conflicts of interest.

Safety of Client Assets: Advisers with “custody” of client assets must make sure that they execute specific measures to protect against loss or theft. NEP staff will also make sure this compliance meets the requirements of the Advisers Act and other applicable laws.

With the risk-assessment approach, the SEC would seek to better comprehend a registrant, which would include a high-level review of an adviser’s business activities.

Please contact our investment adviser fraud law firm today. We can help you assess whether you have reason to pursue a securities case.

SEC unveils plan to investigate never-before-examined RIAs, Investment News, February 20, 2014

Read the SEC's letter to RIAs (PDF)


More Blog Posts:
SIFMA Tells Labor Department To Wait For SEC on Fiduciary Rulemaking, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 3, 2014

SEC Restructures Trial Unit in an Effort to Decrease Courtroom Losses, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 13, 2014

SEC Accuses Private Equity Manager of $9M Securities Fraud, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, January 30, 2014

February 3, 2014

SIFMA Tells Labor Department To Wait For SEC on Fiduciary Rulemaking

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association wants the US Labor Department to hold back on putting out its expected proposed rule modifying its definition of fiduciary standard of care until the Securities and Exchange Commission decides whether it will put out its own standard for financial professionals. SIFMA is worried that new DOL rules might harm brokers that purchase and sell bonds and stocks in addition to offering investment advice.

The SEC and DOL are both working on fiduciary rules. While many agree that brokers such have fiduciary duties to their clients, there are those who worry that this could make commission-based professional relationships in which a financial representative offers products from his/her employer more challenging. SIFMA says it would like a business model that includes a uniform fiduciary standard that doesn’t prevent a client from buying such products if desired.

The Labor Department, which is accountable for enforcing Employee Retirement Income Security Act rules over qualified plans, is expected to propose a stronger standard than the SEC. Already, ERISA places high care standards and loyalty on the fiduciaries of IRAs and pension plan and the DOL makes it a priority to protect customers from the conflicts of interest of advisors.

While the DOL and SEC are working jointly to make sure regulatory efforts are in harmony, some are worried SIFMA members would have to meet the same standards as certified financial planners and RIAs. Although Congress definitely distinguished between broker-dealers, regulated as sales folk (see the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) and investment advisers, (see the Investment Advisers Act of 1940), the roles have converged since then, with a lot of brokerage firms now providing advisory services not unlike what investment advisers offer. Still, IAs and broker-dealers continue to be subject to different legal standards when it comes to providing advisory services.

The DOL, which proposed a rule revising ERISA’s fiduciary standard definition but later withdrew it, is expected to repropose one again this year. Meantime, the SEC is deciding whether to purpose its own rule about establishing a unified fiduciary standard for brokerage firms and investment advisers that offer personalized investment advice to retail customers.

Sifma Fears New DOL Rules Could Hurt Brokers, FA-Mag, January 20, 2014

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, our securities lawyers work with investors to get their money that they lost from securities fraud back. Contact us for your free case consultation.

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

US Department of Labor


More Blog Posts:
Advice to Advisors: Financial Advisors Taught Ways to Avoid SEC Scrutiny, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 11, 2013

FINRA to Go After Rogue Brokers, & Includes REITs, Municipal Bonds, & Frontier Markets Among Its Enforcement Priorities for 2014, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 3, 2014

FINRA Considers System That Would ‘Red Flag’ Customer Accounts at Brokerage Firms, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, December 27, 2013

November 11, 2013

Advice to Advisors: Financial Advisors Taught Ways to Avoid SEC Scrutiny

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Director Andrew J. Bowden, next year the regulator intends to examine about 4,000 registered investment advisors who have never been visited by its inspectors before. Bowden said that the agency will target about 50% of firms that have yet to be examined. Some of these investment advisers have been registered for over three years.

Of the close to 11,000 advisers that the SEC oversees, nearly 40% have never undergone inspection by the regulator. Still, some are questioning whether Bowden’s office even has the resources to perform all these inspection.

In InvestmentNews, Ascendant Compliance Management partner Keith Marks lists the compliance issues that these yet to be inspected RIAs should deal with now so that they are ready should the agency come knocking:

Form ADV disclosures, other documents: The SEC will want detailed outlines and information regarding firm procedures and policies and facts. Examiners will ask for Form ADV disclosures and other documents.

Technology controls: Expect examiners to check for adequate risk controls and technology testing. SEC director Bowden has said that compliance issues involving technology is expected to be a big issue in 2014.

Marketing: Examiners may consider marketing materials and investment performance disclosures that contain superlatives that are “seemingly innocuous” to be deficiencies.

Personal securities trading: The SEC will want to know about the holdings and personal securities transactions of certain employees. Examiners want to make sure that advisers are abiding by federal rules and have a written code of ethics.

Custody rules: Advisers that hold client funds have to meet certain requirements for choosing a proper custodian and recordkeeping. SEC examiners will likely consider any custody violation as an indicator of possible fraud.

The interview: Marks said that a common question that examiners will ask is “what are your biggest concerns?” He noted that while it is important to respond honestly, during an interview with examiners the interviewee should try to keep the conversation focused on issues that are already being proactively handled.

Our investment adviser fraud law firm represents individual and institutional investors throughout the country.

6 ways to bullet proof your practice from the SEC, Investment News, November 1, 2013

Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, SEC

Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Investment Adviser Examinations: Core Initial Request for Information, SEC


More Blog Posts:
ICE CEO Says US Equity Markets Lets Traders Advantage of Small Investors, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 7, 2013

Why did UBS Financial Advisors Recommend Puerto Rico Muni Bonds to Elderly and Retired Investors?, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 6, 2013

Puerto Rican Labor Groups Want the US Territory to Sue UBS over the Bond Debacle, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, October 28, 2013

November 5, 2013

Two Investment Advisers Sue Twitter for Secondary Market Fraud

Precedo Capital Group and Continental Advisors SA are suing Twitter for secondary market fraud. The securities lawsuit comes right before the social networking company’s IPO, which is slated for this week. The investment advisor plaintiffs claim that Twitter promised them up to $289 million in shares through another financial firm to try and raise its secondary market valuation and test the market. The third firm, GSV Capital, is not a defendant.

Precedo and Continental claim that GSV’s co-founder and CIO Matthew Hanson reached out to them last year about an arrangement involving his firm giving them shares to market to other accredited investors. The plaintiffs say that Twitter and its legal representation, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, approved the deal. Wanting the healthy commission they expected they’d receive, the investment advisers marketed private Twitter shares to investors abroad and in the US.

Continental and Precedo say they took hundreds of millions of investor orders and collected over $4 million that was placed in an escrow account. The customers wanted exposure to pre-IPO twitter stock.

However, contend the two firms, before payments were accepted Twitter told GSV to cancel the offering, which caused Precedo and Continental to have to pay millions of dollars in lost fees while their reputation suffered. Even though GSV is the one that shut down the offering, the plaintiffs believe that Twitter was the one making the calls and that GSV didn’t have the authority to offer the shares for repurchase. They also claim that Twitter never planned to sell the shares but actually just wanted to get a sense of the demand for the stock so it could set itself up with a high secondary market valuation. Now, Continental and Precedo want $24.2 million in expenses and lost fees.

Twitter says that the lawsuit is without merit and that it never had a relationship with the two investment advisors.

Two Financial Advisers Accuse Twitter of Secondary Market Fraud, NY Times, October 30, 2013

Two Investment Firms Almost Sure They Remember Being Hired to Sell Twitter Stock, Bloomberg, October 30, 2013


More Blog Posts:

Radio Host Dave Ramsey and Financial Advisers Get Into Twitter Fight, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, June 14, 2013

Texas Securities Roundup: $10M Ponzi Scheme, Foreign Note Sale Fraud, Promissory Note Scam, and Money Laundering Lead to Indictments, Criminal Sentences, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 21, 2013

Two Oppenheimer Investment Advisers Settle for Over $2.8M SEC Fraud Charges Over Private Equity Fund, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 14, 2013

Continue reading "Two Investment Advisers Sue Twitter for Secondary Market Fraud" »

June 14, 2013

Radio Host Dave Ramsey and Financial Advisers Get Into Twitter Fight

Dave Ramsey, a well-known radio host, recently got into a twitter war with fee-only financial advisers. The advisers had criticized the radio personality, who is also an author, for telling his readers to expect a 12% investment return and for promoting brokers who are commission-based. Ramsey hosts the popular “The Dave Ramsey Show,” which is a program about money and life.

One adviser, Carl Richards, Tweeted that Ramsey’s advice was “dangerous.” Ramsey responded to his critics also via Twitter, saying that he provides assistance to more people in minutes than all of these advisers ever will.

Another adviser, David Grant, questioned whether the investment professionals that Ramsey recommends on online pay the host for that endorsement. Ramsey did not respond. However, his website does state that local providers that are endorsed do pay a fee for the “local advertising.” All recommended providers, however, have to be Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. members.

Commenting on the Twitter spat, Forbes contributor Tim Maurer said that beneath this social media disagreement is an even bigger problem, which is that the factions in the “financial kingdom” have incentive to work against each other, rather than together, which limits their “collective benefit.” Maurer was also quick to point out that this brawl only includes two of the factions that exist and they aren’t even the most powerful ones.

The financial planner and educator proceeded to offer his take on the industry’s most powerful, with banks, broker-dealers, and insurance companies among the most influential, followed by independent RIAs (Registered Investment Advisory firms). Then, there are FINRA, the SEC, the Certified Financial Planner Board, the Financial Planning Association, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and the financial media.

Maurer talked about how what sells is differentiation, with little impetus to fine commonality. He did, however, suggest that there should some unifying principals that the public could depend on from these different factions if they would be willing.

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP, our securities lawyers are versed and experienced in securities law, arbitration, and the securities industry. We help investors, both individual and institutional clients, recoup their financial losses caused by unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations, omissions, financial fraud, Ponzi scams, inadequate supervision, failure to execute trades, negligence, breach of promise, margin account abuse, insider trading, registration violations, elder financial fraud, unauthorized trading, and other types of securities fraud.

We know how important it is to choose the right stockbroker fraud law firm, which is why we would like to offer you a free, no obligation, case assessment. Contact us today. We have successfully worked with thousands of clients via FINRA arbitration and the courts.

Dave Ramsey's Online Brawl Shows Problematic Divisions In Finance World
, Forbes, June 4, 2013

Dave Ramsey flames advisers on Twitter, Investment News, June 9, 2013

Dave Ramsey, Twitter

Dave Ramsey


More Blog Posts:

Muni Bonds Draw Investors But Come With Serious Risks, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, June 11, 2013

As Their Prices Hit a 2-Year Low, Gold ETFs Liquidate En Masse, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, June 10, 2013

AIG Drops RMBS Lawsuit Against New York Fed, Fights Bank of America’s $8.5B MBS Settlement
, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, June 5, 2013

June 1, 2013

Stock Trader Faces Front Running Charges In Alleged $1.7M Texas Securities Fraud

The SEC has filed Texas securities fraud charges against Daniel Bergin, a Dallas-based Cushing MLP Asset Management LP senior equity trader. Bergin is accused of front running, insider trading, and failing to notify his employer of certain trades.

According to the regulator, Bergin, who was a primary equity trader at the Swank Capital-owned registered investment advisory firm), allegedly made at least $1.7 million in profits in trading securities before making large orders of the same securities for Cushing customers. He purportedly used accounts that were registered in the name of Jacqueline Zaun, his wife, to make the personal trades. The Commission has named her as a relief defendant.

SEC Enforcement Division's Asset Management Unit Marshall S. Sprung says that Bergin breached clients’ trust by secretly using data about their trades to garner an unfair advantage for himself and make massive profits. (As a Cushing, employee, Bergin had access to information about the trades (and their timing) that the RIA made for clients.

Per the agency’s complaint, over $520,000 of Bergin’s profits was made through Zaun’s accounts involving 132 instances of front running client orders. Bergin also allegedly used privileged information to trade securities in his wife’s accounts at least 400 times.

The SEC has obtained a court order to freeze the assets of Bergin and Zaun. It wants disgorgement of “illicit trading profits, fines, and interest. It is also pursuing a permanent injunction against Bergin. The Commission’s complaint is alleging Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 violations and the Investment Company Act of 1940 and Rule 17j-1 violation.

Meantime, Swank Capital has fired Bergin, noting that it has a zero tolerance policy for illegal trades. Also, per internal policy, its employees are not allowed to engage in personal securities trading within seven days of a client’s trades.

Front Running
Front running is illegal. It is the term given to when a trader takes a position in an equity before an action that his/her financial firm will take. This can move the equity’s price in a predictable manner. Another term for front running is forward trading.

Traders that engage in front running usually have insider information about their firms’ trades. Front running is often done to personally benefit the trader.

At Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas, LTD, LLP, our Dallas securities lawyers know that choosing who will help you invest your money is an important decision. When that trust is breached and your money is negligently mishandled and you find yourself suffering investment losses rather than gains, it is time to contact an experienced front running fraud law firm to explore your legal options. Even if you are resolving your claim via FINRA arbitration, you cannot go wrong by working with an experienced securities arbitration lawyer.

Read the Complaint (PDF)

Stock trader at RIA charged with front running, Investment News, May 24, 2013


More Blog Posts:
Texas Securities Roundup: $10M Ponzi Scheme, Foreign Note Sale Fraud, Promissory Note Scam, and Money Laundering Lead to Indictments, Criminal Sentences, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 21, 2013

Two Men Sentenced in Texas Securities Case Involving $30 Million Promissory Note Fraud that Bilked Investors Via Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, May 14, 2013

Two Oppenheimer Investment Advisers Settle for Over $2.8M SEC Fraud Charges Over Private Equity Fund, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 14, 2013

April 28, 2013

Controversial Democratic Appointee Pushes SEC for Less Talk About Investor and Securities Market Protections and More Action

According to Securities and Exchange Commissioner Luis Aguilar, the growing number of registered investment advisers, the increasing complexity of the financial instruments they use, and the recent trends in securities examinations show that there is a need for the regulator to up the vigorousness of its investment adviser examinations and enforcement activities. He noted that even as the SEC is working to give the regulated community best practices and guidance to enhance compliance, it also intends to increase its scrutiny of advisers, including more exams (especially for private fund advisers). Alternative investment managers will also get more attention.

Aguilar pointed out that with the number SEC registered investment advisers having gone up about 50% to over 10,000 last year, the value of the assets that they manage also increasing from about $22 trillion in 2002 to approximately $44 trillion in 2011, as well as a rise in the number of complex financial instruments that advisers use, there are more chances for “mischief” to happen. Hence, there is the need for more robust enforcement.

Also, as our securities fraud law firm mentioned in a previous blog post, the SEC commissioner wants there to be an end to mandatory arbitration agreements. Per the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the SEC now can prohibit or limit pre-dispute arbitration agreements, which have become standard fare for brokerage firms. Aguilar is concerned that they are also becoming routine for investment advisory firms. He wants the government to ponder the possibility of adopting rules that would stop or limit broker-dealers and investment advisers from mandating that customers sign clauses in their agreements with one another that prevents them from filing securities fraud lawsuits and instead only resolve their disputes via arbitration.

Regarding retail investors, Commissioner Aguilar doesn’t believe they are getting the same degree of protections in both the corporate bond and municipal securities markets. While corporate bonds that the investing public can buy have to be registered with the SEC, no statutory authority exists that requires the same of municipal securities. Also, before municipal securities offering documents are made available to the public, the SEC does not get or even look at these documents. Aguilar says investor protections in this arena are mainly through the regulation of municipal securities dealers and brokerage firms.

Further scrutinizing the SEC, Commissioner Aguilar recently said that the regulator is still missing the mark on certain important initiatives involving investor protection, including the lack of regard he says it exhibited for regulators and investor’ suggestions about the lifting of the ban on private offering-related general advertising. Per the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, the Commission has to amend the 1933 Securities Act’s Rule 506 to get rid of the existing ban on general advertising in specific situations. However, the ban’s removal has led to fear that offerings that are mass-marketed under the rule will place investors at even more risk of abuse and financial fraud.

Aguilar Says SEC Will Ramp Up Examinations To Deal With Increases in Violative Behavior, Bloomberg/BNA, April 19, 2013

Aguilar Speech: Outmanned and Outgunned: Fighting on Behalf of Investors Despite Efforts to Weaken Investor Protections, SEC, April 16, 2013

Aguilar Speech: Keeping a Retail Investor Focus in Overseeing the Fixed Income Market
, SEC, April 16, 2013


More Blog Posts:
SEC Commissioner Aguilar Calls For the Abolishment of Mandatory Arbitration Agreements, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 21, 2013

Court Upholds Ex-NBA Star Horace Grant $1.46M FINRA Arbitration Award from Morgan Keegan & Co. Over Mortgage-Backed Bond Losses, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 30, 2012

US Supreme Court Once Again Upholds Enforcement of Arbitration Agreements, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, February 17, 2013

April 4, 2013

SEC Submits Request for Data on Whether to Make Brokers & Investment Advisers Abide by Uniform Fiduciary Standard

The Securities and Exchange Commission has put out its request for information to help it decide whether to impose a uniform standard of care on both investment advisers and broker-dealers that give advice to retail customers. The comment period ends 120 days after the data request, which was issued on March 1, is published in the Federal Register.

Responding to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s Section 913, the SEC conducted a study on the effectiveness of the current standards for investment advisers and brokers. Following its examination, Commission staff recommended that the regulator take part in rulemaking to establish a uniform fiduciary standard for those that provide customized retail investments. However, last year, after then-SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro announced that the agency was putting together a request for information so it could decide whether to follow this recommendation, the initiative had to be delayed due to a lack of support from other commissioners.

Now, in this latest request request, the Commission was quick to stress that it has yet to decide whether such a rulemaking needs to happen or what one would entail. It also asked for data regarding others areas impacting both investment advisers and brokers that could benefit from harmonization, including business conduct rules, licensing advertising, registration, and books and records.

Please contact our securities law firm and ask to speak with a stockbroker fraud lawyer or an investment adviser fraud attorney. Your no-obligation, case assessment with Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP is free.

SEC Seeks Information to Assess Standards of Conduct and Other Obligations of Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers, SEC, March 1, 2013

Read the SEC Data Request (PDF)

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (PDF)


More Blog Posts:
Deutsche Bank Settles Massachusetts CDO Case for $17.5 Million, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 1, 2013

2nd Circuit Eases MBS Lawsuits by Reinstating Pension Fund’s Case Against Wells Fargo, Royal Bank of Scotland, Wachovia, & Others, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 28, 2013

April 3, 2013

SEC OCIE Finds Custody-Related Deficiencies Involving Investment Advisers

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, it discovered “significant deficiencies” related to custody issues with a third of the investment advisers that it examined, including:

• Failure of an investment adviser to recognize when it has custody
• Failure to satisfy the rule’s surprise exam requirements
• Failure to fulfill the rule’s qualified custodian requirements

Custody by investment advisers refers either to the holding of securities or client funds or the authority to possess them, including the power of attorney to get securities or funds from client accounts. The 1940 Investment Advisers Act’s Rule 206(4)-2 regarding custody prescribes specific requirements for client asset safety.

According to SEC Chairman Elisse B. Walter, it is important for investment advisers to follow this rule, which pertains to the custody of client funds and is supposed to protect investors. Per the custody rule, which is supposed to strengthen safeguard for client assets, SEC-registered investment advisers must:

• Use “qualified custodians” to hold the assets of clients. These custodians can be registered brokerage firms, banks, futures commissions merchants, or specific foreign entities.

• Provide written notice to clients providing details of who is holding their assets and how they are being held.

• Send clients accounts statements that provide details of their holdings at least every quarter. This lets clients oversee their investments and look at their holdings.

• Agree in writing to an annual surprise exam by an independent public accountant each year.

• Provide additional protections when a related qualified custodian is involved.


Investor Due Diligence
If you are an investor setting up an investment account with an adviser, you should:

• Inquire about custody arrangements and make sure you understand how everything works.

• Make sure you get account statements from your qualified custodian at least once a quarter.

• Contact the custodian and the investment adviser if you notice a discrepancy between the account statements that you received from each of them.

If you believe you were the victim of investment fraud, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP today.

Read the SEC Alert (PDF)

Read the SEC's Bulletin to Investors


More Blog Posts:
Deutsche Bank Settles Massachusetts CDO Case for $17.5 Million, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 1, 2013

Galleon Group Founder’s Brother Pleads Not Guilty to Insider Trading, Institutional Investment Fraud Blog, April 2, 2013

March 26, 2013

Investment Advisors Report: SEC Division Reviews Application of Investment Advisers Act, New Commission Unit Will Watch For Adviser Risk, & Just 1 in 10 SEC Exams Leads to Enforcement Action

SEC Division Reviews Investment Advisers Act As It Applies to Private Fund Advisers
Currently examining the way applies the 1940 Investment Advisers Act to private fund advisers, the Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly concentrating specifically on the areas of Form ADV and advertising. SEC Division of Investment Manager Director Norm Champ, who recently spoke at an Investment Adviser Association compliance conference, said that rules related to both areas might have to be modified in the wake of changes brought about due to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The Advisers Act’s Rule 206(4)-1 doesn’t let adviser use advertising that includes misleading or false statements or refers to testimonials. Champ, however, noted that because of the advent of new forms of communications, including social media, as well as the birth of new business models since the rule was promulgated decades ago, there might be a need to revise the rule. As to Form ADV, which new registrants to the SEC must fill out, Champ pointed out that the way it is designed may not be take into consideration the sometimes complex nature of private funds.

New Commission Unit REG to Watch For Adviser Risk
Champ also spoke about how the Division of Investment Management’s Risk and Examinations Group has a dual role. REG is tasked with monitoring risks involving the asset management industry , as well as examining registrants under the Division of Investment Management’s jurisdiction.

He said that not only will REG staff conduct qualitative and quantitative financial analyses of the industry and make sure that other SEC divisions understand the risks, but also the group will work with the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations to create and execute its own exam programs. It was the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s Section 965 that mandated the creation of a group such as REG.

Just 1 in 10 SEC Exams Leads to Enforcement Action, Says OCIE Official
According to Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Deputy Director Andrew Bowden, over the past two years, just 1 in 10 SEC examinations have led to a referral for enforcement. Among the questions asked to determine when such an action is necessary:

• Can remediation occur without a referral?
• Is there an ongoing fraud?
• Are there investors who are being egregiously harmed?
• Is a cover-up taking place?
• Is a recidivist violator is involved?

Bowden talked about how registrants that show Commission examiners that they are committed to dealing with any problems lower their chances of getting a referral. She said that a common mistake registrant makes is not making sure the right people are placed before examiners.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP represents investment adviser fraud victims throughout the US. We have helped thousands of investors recoup their losses.

Related Web Resources:
Only One in 10 SEC Exams Referred For Enforcement Action, Official Says, Bloomberg/BNA, March 11, 2013

Read Mr. Champs' remarks to the IAA Investment Adviser Compliance Conference
, SEC, March 8, 2013

1940 Investment Advisers Act
, SEC (PDF)


More Blog Posts:
Houston-Based Receiver Files $1.8B Class Action Filed Against Law Firms Accused of Helping R. Allen Stanford Carry Out His $7B Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 5, 2012

SEC Gets Initial Victory in Lawsuit Against SIPC Over Payments Owed to Stanford Ponzi Scam Investors, Institutional Investor Securities Fraud Blog, February 10, 2012

March 22, 2013

FINRA CEO Says Now is Time to Make Investment Advisers and Brokers Adhere to a Fiduciary Standard

According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Ketchum, now is the right time to make brokerage firms and investment advisers that provide personalized retail financial advice adhere to a uniform fiduciary standard. However, he warned that such a standard, whether by itself or combined with other regulatory harmonization, does not guarantee misconduct will not happen.

Establishing a uniform fiduciary duty for investment advisers and setting up new oversight for them were both recommended in Securities and Exchange Commission studies that were conducted over two years ago under the order of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Earlier this month, the SEC requested quantitative and economic information to help it decide what that standard of care should be. It also engaged in the conversation of whether investors would benefit more if rules were harmonized in other sectors of investment adviser and broker-dealer regulation, including supervision, firm licensing, advertising, individual qualification, books and records, and others.

Addressing the Consumer Federation of America earlier this month,
Ketchum noted that even if such standard were to be imposed, compliance must be regularly and thoroughly studied and enforced to make sure that investors are protected. The self-regulatory organization, which has been pushing for new laws mandating that an SRO supervise and examine advisers, has been lobbying for the job.

Securities Fraud

Our securities fraud law firm represents investors that have sustained losses due to investment adviser fraud. Please contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP and ask for your free securities case evaluation.


Related Web Resources:
FINRA Chairman and CEO Ketchum's Presentation, FINRA

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (PDF)


More Blog Posts:
New Hampshire Investment Adviser Focus Capital Wealth Management Accused of Elder Financial Fraud to Pay Exchange Traded Fund Victims $2.4M, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 14, 2013

Two Oppenheimer Investment Advisers Settle for Over $2.8M SEC Fraud Charges Over Private Equity Fund, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 14, 2013

March 14, 2013

New Hampshire Investment Adviser Focus Capital Wealth Management Accused of Elder Financial Fraud to Pay Exchange Traded Fund Victims $2.4M

Focus Capital Wealth Management and its owner Nicholas Rowe are now barred from having a license to serve as either an investment adviser or a broker-dealer in New Hampshire. Rowe and his financial firm are accused of elder financial fraud. Per the settlement with the state, they must pay $2.4 million in client restitution.

The Bureau of Securities Regulation acted against Rowe last year following complaints from clients claiming they’d lost significant amounts of money in risky investments of leveraged exchange-traded funds, which are also known as ETFs. According to the bureau, these investments are not for clients who have a low or medium tolerance for risk. Rowe also allegedly misrepresented his credentials and charged investors unreasonable fees, claiming that these were going to third parties with close Wall Street ties, when, actually, he was keeping part of that money.

Rowe eventually consented to FINRA arbitration over claims filed by a number of his former clients, who alleged civil fraud and negligence. One of the arbitrator’s panels ruled against him for $1.8M in restitution.

Following the ruling, Rowe and Focus Capital Wealth Management filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Inverse and Leveraged ETFs
Leveraged and inverse ETFs comprise about $28 billion of the $1.2 trillion US ETF market. These types of exchange-traded funds are meant to enhance short-term returns via the use of derivatives and debt. They tend to be more appropriate for professional traders, rather than long-term retail investors. In 2009, regulators began to issue warnings over concerns that brokers were selling these instruments to buy-and-hold investors—a strategy that is more than likely to end in serious losses for a customer.

Senior Financial Fraud
Unfortunately, seniors are a favorite target of those seeking to commit securities fraud. Many elderly investors are not investment savvy and/or due to health and/or aging issues may lack the ability to fully comprehend what they are agreeing to by investing. For seniors, becoming the victim of investment fraud can mean the loss of their retirement and life savings, which can adversely affect their life and care during their later years.

Questions to Ask About Financial Products (From the SEC)
Regardless of your age or whether you are a seasoned or novice investor, there are key questions you need to ask your financial representative, including:

• Is the investment product registered with state and federal regulators?
• Is this investment in line with your investment objectives? Is it suitable/appropriate?
• What makes this investment profitable?
• Are there any accompanying fees and what are they for?
• Is the investment liquid?

Make sure you document what is said to you. Also, you shouldn’t only base your decision to invest on the word of the financial adviser. Ask to see financial statements, the most current annual report, or the prospectus. You can even go online for information about a prospective investment.

N.H. Advisor Ordered To Pay $2.4M In Restitution For Client Losses, Insurance News, March 15, 2013

Questions You Should Ask About Your Investments ... and What To Do If You Run Into Problems, SEC

N. Hampshire investment adviser must pay $1.8 mln in ETF case, Reuters, December 3, 2012


More Blog Posts:

Financial Industry Representatives Settle FINRA Cases Over Securities Fraud, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 12, 2013

Financial Representatives Settle with FINRA Over Allegations Related to Excessive Commissions, Elder Financial Fraud, and Funneling Client Funds for Personal Gain, Stock, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 8, 2013

Two Oppenheimer Investment Advisers Settle for Over $2.8M SEC Fraud Charges Over Private Equity Fund, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 14, 2013

February 23, 2013

Virgin Islands-Based Investment Adviser Faces SEC Fraud Charges Involving Alleged Kickbacks

The Securities Change Commission is charging TAG Virgin Islands owner James S. Tagliaferri with securities fraud. The investment adviser is accused of getting kickbacks from putting investors’ funds in companies that were being thinly traded in and then employing a Ponzi-like scam to give clients their supposed “returns.”

According to the SEC’s Enforcement division, Tagliaferri allegedly exercised his discretionary authority over his clients’ accounts to buy promissory notes that were put out by certain private companies. TAG was given millions of dollars in compensation, including cash in return for financing these companies—a conflict that investors didn’t know about. When it was time to pay these investors, Tagliaferri then used other clients’ funds to meet these obligations.

Specifically, contends the regulator, after 2007 the Virgin Islands-based investment adviser began placing TAG clients’ money in securities that were highly illiquid, including in promissory notes put out by different private companies that actually were holding companies, as well as $40M of investor funds in notes in International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, Inc.

The SEC’s securities fraud order says that TAG got $3.35M and about 500,000 stock shares of a microcap company in exchange for placing investments with these companies. Such compensation is a conflict of interests that investors must know about.

Tagliaferri also allegedly defrauded investors by putting their money in public companies that were thinly traded to raise a minimum of $80M to pay principal or interest owed to other clients on promissory notes. In its securities case, the SEC is accusing him violating sections of both the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

Meantime, the US government is also going after Tagliaferri. In a 15-count criminal indictment, prosecutors are claiming that he invested over $120 million of funds at TAG Virgin Islands LLC to commit securities fraud. The allegations are related to the ones noted in the SEC’s civil claim. The criminal charges against Tagliaferri included eight counts of violating the Travel Act and seven counts of fraud.

U.S. charges adviser in fraud tied to microcaps, NY horse firm, Reuters, February 21, 2013

Read the SEC order (PDF)


More Blog Posts:

FINRA Pulls Back on Regulating Registered Investment Advisers, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 19, 2013

NH Investment Adviser to Pay $1.8M to Investors in FINRA Securities Arbitration Case Over Leveraged and Inverse Exchange-Traded Funds, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 14, 2013

UBS Fails in Bid to Block $125M ARS Arbitration Case by Allina Health System, Institutional Investor Securities Fraud, February 14, 2013

February 19, 2013

FINRA Pulls Back on Regulating Registered Investment Advisers

According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Chief Executive and Chairman Richard Ketchum, the SRO is pulling back from its bid to regulate Regulating Registered Investment Advisers. This move comes after FINRA spent the last couple of years lobbing to become the main regulator for RIAs.

However, according to Ketchum, in the wake of the current political climate and changes in leadership during the 2012 election, he does not expect that the House of Representative Financial Services Committee will try to revamp the way RIAs are currently regulated, which is via the Securities and Exchange Commission. For advisers that did not want FINRA overseeing them, this is good news.

However, not all of those that were against the SRO taking over RIA regulation are convinced that FINRA has completely given up. Some are worried that the regulator intends to return to the issue at a later date.

For example Investment Adviser Association executive editor David Tittsworth doesn’t believe Ketchum’s remarks are confirmation that FINRA has truly given up. He thinks that seeing as Congress may have other priorities at the moment, the SRO is choosing to focus on other issues for the time being. There are also those that believe that FINRA's pullback is good for investors. Some have questioned whether the SRO would be able to meet the current standard set by the SEC.

Investment adviser fraud costs investors money every year. Our securities law firm is here to help our clients recoup their losses.

Advisors Cheer as FINRA Drops Bid to Regulate RIAs, Financial Planning Staff, February 7, 2013


More Blog Posts:
Securities Roundup: Lawmaker Presses SEC to Tackle High-Frequency Trading, Approval of Nasdaq’s Plan to Payback FB IPO Investors is Delayed, & Less Investors Filed Securities Lawsuits Against Corporate Firms in 2012, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 18, 2013

Judge that Dismissed Regulators’ Claims Against Morgan Keegan to Rule on ARS Lawsuit Again After His Ruling Was Reversed on Appeal, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, November 27, 2012

Amendments Clarify FINRA’s Right to Look at Firm Records, Books, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 9, 2013