Articles Posted in Theft

Florida Broker/Dealer and Account Executive Negligent Supervision and Account Executive Financial Misappropriation, Unauthorized Loan and Elder Abuse FINRA Arbitration, Litigation and Probate Estate Attorney.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) is a self-regulatory authority assigned the responsibility, by the Securities and Exchange Commission, to license, regulate and discipline securities broker/dealers and their employees, including account executives. In the event that FINRA elects to institute an enforcement action, firms and licensed individuals have the responsibility to reflect such action on their U-4 and/or U-5 filings, which can be viewed on the FINRA website under the broker-check section of the site or by viewing the monthly disciplinary information also provided on the FINRA site.

The monthly disciplinary information is referenced on the FINRA site generally in alphabetical order. This post relates to the following company or individuals. If the reader would like to review the entire FINRA release or the broker-check information concerning this matter, you can follow these highlighted links:

South Florida Misappropriation of Funds and Breach of Fiduciary Duty FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Michael P. Zenger, Civil Action No. 2:14-cv-00065 (USDC Utah, Filed January 31, 2014)

SEC Obtains Asset Freeze and Other Relief Against Michael P. Zenger

Broker/Dealer Investment and Securities Fraud, Misrepresentation, Mismanagement, Theft and Breach of Fiduciary Duty FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. David L. Rothman, et al., Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-05412 (E.D. Pa.)

Court Enters Final Judgment Against Broker in Settlement of Claims Arising from Fraudulent Misrepresentations and the Misappropriation of Funds

Elder, Senior and Financial Abuse and Exploitation FINRA Arbitration, Litigation and Probate Estate Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.

Extent of Elder Abuse Victimization:

We have been focusing recently or our website, and on this blog about various issues relating to elder, senior and retirement financial abuse and exploitation.  This post is designed to provide some statistics which reflect the growing problems in this area of senior life.

Financial Elder Abuse and Elder Exploitation – Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Florida Statute Section 415.1111 grants to vulnerable (elder) adults a cause of action as a result of financial and other types of abuse. It provides that a vulnerable adult who has been abused, neglected, or exploited as specified in the law has a cause of action against any perpetrator and may recover actual and punitive damages for such abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The action may be brought by the vulnerable adult, or that person’s guardian, by a person or organization acting on behalf of the vulnerable adult with the consent of that person or that person’s guardian, or by the personal representative of the estate of a deceased victim without regard to whether the cause of death resulted from the abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The action may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce such action and to recover actual and punitive damages for any deprivation of or infringement on the rights of a vulnerable adult. A party who prevails in any such action may be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees, costs of the action, and damages. The remedies provided in this section are in addition to and cumulative with other legal and administrative remedies available to a vulnerable adult.

As the elder population in Florida has increased, incidents of financial elder abuse has accelerated at an alarming rate. An area of financial elder abuse that has recently exploded is the twisting (unnecessary sale and purchase of annuities) of variable and fixed annuities.

In the Matter of John Micciola:

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced the issuance of an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions (Order) against John Micciola (Micciola), a resident of Freehold, New Jersey. The Order finds that, on August 8, 2011, Micciola was convicted in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in People of the State of New York v. Joseph Stevens & Co., Inc., et al., Case Number 02394-2009 of two counts of securities fraud, one count of grand larceny in the second degree, and one count of grand larceny in the third degree. The Order further finds that Micciola participated in firm-wide schemes that resulted in excessive and undisclosed commissions on stocks.

Based on the above, the Order bars Micciola from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization and from participating in any offering of a penny stock, including acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent or other person who engages in activities with a broker, dealer or issuer for purposes of the issuance or trading in any penny stock, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any penny stock. Micciola consented to the issuance of the Order.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. CKB Holdings Ltd., et al., Civil Action No. 13-5584 (E.D.N.Y., filed October 9, 2013)

SEC Halts $20 Million Pyramid Scheme Targeting Asian-American Community

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges and asset freezes against the operators and promoters of a worldwide pyramid scheme targeting members of the Asian-American community. The perpetrators of the scheme falsely promised exponential, risk-free returns to investors in a venture that purportedly sold Internet-based children’s educational courses.

SEC Charges Operators of Boiler Room Scheme Targeting Seniors to Invest in Football-Related Scam

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged the operators of a South Florida-based boiler room scheme with defrauding seniors and other investors they pressured into purchasing stock in a company that purportedly developed ground-breaking technology for the National Football League to use in the Super Bowl.

The SEC alleges that Peter Kirschner of Delray Beach, Fla. and his business partner Stuart Rubens of North Miami struck an agreement with Thought Development Inc. (TDI) to solicit investors and sell unregistered company stock to help the Miami Beach-based company raise capital. TDI states that its signature invention is a laser-line system that generates a green line on a football field that is visible as a first-down marker not only on television, but also within the stadium to players, fans, and officials. TDI claims its technology would decrease the time needed by officials to determine first downs and generate more time to be sold to television advertisers.

SEC Charges Father and Son in South Carolina for Fraudulent Program Designed to Profit From Fate of Terminally Ill

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a father and son in Lexington, S.C., with operating a fraudulent investment program designed to illegally profit from the deaths of terminally ill individuals.

The SEC alleges that Benjamin S. Staples and his son Benjamin O. Staples deceived brokerage firms and bond issuers and made at least $6.5 million in profits by lying about the ownership interest in bonds they purchased in joint brokerage accounts opened with people facing imminent death who were concerned about affording the high costs of a funeral. The Stapleses recruited the terminally ill individuals into their program by offering to pay their funeral expenses if they agreed to open the joint accounts and sign documents that relinquished their ownership rights to the accounts or any assets in them.

Joseph Paul Zada Indicted for Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) recently announced that on September 4, 2013, a Grand Jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida returned an Indictment charging Joseph Paul Zada with 21 counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering, and two counts of interstate transportation of stolen property. The Indictment also seeks forfeiture of properties obtained as a result of the alleged criminal violations.

The Indictment alleges that from at least January 1998 through August 2009, Zada caused over twenty investors to invest over $20 million based on materially false statements and omissions. According to the Indictment, Zada attracted investors by projecting an image of great wealth, portraying himself as a successful businessman and investor with connections to Saudi Arabian oil ventures. He also hosted extravagant parties, drove expensive luxury vehicles, and maintained expensive homes in Wellington, Florida and Grosse Pointe, Michigan. The investors sent money to Zada with the understanding that he would use the funds to invest in various oil ventures on their behalf. The investors usually received promissory notes reflecting the principal amount of their investment. Zada deposited investors’ funds into bank accounts he controlled. Instead of investing the funds in oil ventures, Zada used the money to support his lavish lifestyle and to make purported returns on investments to prior investors.

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