Massachusetts Investment Advisor Who Defrauded Dozens of Investors Ordered to Disgorge $9.8 Million

Block & Landsman by Block & Landsman

On November 18, 2013, a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts found that Steven Palladino and his investment advisory firm, Viking Financial Group, perpetrated a fraudulent scheme that raised millions of dollars that were supposed to be used to make short-term, high interest loans to those unable to obtain traditional financing. Ruling in an emergency enforcement action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the court determined that Palladino and Viking lied to at least 33 customers regarding how their investment funds would be u...Read More

FINRA’s High-Risk Broker Initiative Is A Half-Step Measure

Block & Landsman by Block & Landsman

In response to a Congressional inquiry, FINRA Chairman and CEO, Robert Ketchum, recently discussed a new initiative adopted by the regulator to identify and punish dishonest brokers on an expedited basis.  While FINRA should be lauded for its proactive effort to root out fraud, the regulator should use the information developed through the initiative’s data-mining metrics to promptly enjoin high-risk brokers and directly warn their customers of possible fraud until formal action is taken to permanently remove such brokers from the industry. ...Read More

SEC Continues to Roll Out New Enforcement Strategies

Block & Landsman by Block & Landsman

Over the past several months, the SEC has embarked on innovative and aggressive strategies to protect investors by stopping schemes to defraud early in their development.   The latest example of the SEC’s new approach emerged earlier this month when it announced the first deferred prosecution agreement with a former hedge fund administrator who assisted the agency in taking actions against a hedge fund manager who was stealing investor funds.  Never before had the SEC entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with an individual. A...Read More

16 NFL Players Sue BB&T for $53 Million Misappropriated by their Financial Advisor

Block & Landsman by Block & Landsman

Earlier this month 16 current and former National Football League players filed suit against Branch Banking and Trust Co. in the U.S. District Court in Miami for $53 million in losses caused by the bank allowing a financial advisory firm to loot the players accounts. The players, who include Ray Lewis, Jevon Kearse, Santonio Holmes, Clinton Portis, Brandon Meriweather, and others, allege that BB&T is the successor-in-interest to BankAtlantic, which opened several checking accounts based on forged signatures and allowed the players’ fin...Read More