Oppenheimer & Co. Hit With FINRA Fine for Failing to Anti-Money Laundering Violations

Block & Landsman by Block & Landsman

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) continues a trend by securities regulators imposing affirmative duties on brokerage firms to detect certain illegal activities in their clients’ accounts.  FINRA’s latest action targets Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., for allowing nearly $1.5 million in unregistered penny stocks to be sold in customer accounts.  This is the second time Oppenheimer has been found to have violated its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) obligations. According to FINRA’s findings, between August 2008 and Septembe...Read More

Majority of Investment Fraud Victims Allow the Fraudsters Off the Hook

Block & Landsman by Block & Landsman

Recently, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published a comprehensive survey on the scope of financial fraud and the characteristics of likely victims.   The report, entitled “Financial Fraud and Fraud Susceptibility in the United States,” presents a troubling view of the breadth of investment fraud schemes and the vulnerability of investors. The report shows that investors are inundated with a vast array of fraudulent schemes through a variety of sources, and are unfortunately ill-equipped to recognize the signs of f...Read More

The SEC Applies its New Policy of Mandatory Admissions of Fault

Block & Landsman by Block & Landsman

In June 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairperson, Mary Jo White, announced that the agency would extract admissions of wrongdoing from certain defendants in contrast to its longstanding “neither admit nor deny” policy.  On August 19, 2013, the SEC announced a settlement of a case against Philip Falcone and his advisory firm, Harbinger Capital Partners, that is the first application of the new SEC policy.  While the announcement provides a broad outline of wrongdoing to which the SEC will deem mandatory admissions app...Read More

Atlanta-Based Securities Firms Charged With Stealing Client Funds

Block & Landsman by Block & Landsman

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint seeking emergency injunctive relief against Bridge Securities, LLC and Bridge Equity, Inc., as well as their owner Paul Marshall, for misappropriating customer funds to pay for Marshall’s extravagant lifestyle.  According to the SEC, the defendants diverted $2 million from advisory clients, several of whom are elderly. Marshall created the Bridge advisory firms in December 2010 and February 2011.  The following year, the defendants advised their clients that the Bridge entiti...Read More