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Russell L. Forkey

Chimera Energy - IPO, Penny Stock and Microcap Fraud and Misrepresentation South Florida FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

Microcap, Penny Stock and IPO Fraud and Misrepresentation Pump and Dump Scheme Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

SEC Announces Charges in Houston-Based Scheme Touting Technology to End Fracking

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges against a Houston-based penny stock company and four individuals behind a pump-and-dump scheme that misled investors to believe the company was on the brink of developing revolutionary technology to enable environmentally friendly oil-and-gas production.

The SEC alleges that Andrew I. Farmer orchestrated the scheme by creating a shell company called Chimera Energy, secretly obtaining control of all shares issued in an initial public offering (IPO) in late 2011, and launching an aggressive promotional campaign midway through 2012 to hype the stock to investors. Chimera Energy issued around three dozen press releases in a two-month period about its supposed licensing and development of technology to extract shale oil without the perceived environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing known as fracking. However, Chimera Energy did not actually license or even possess the technology it touted and had not achieved the claimed results in commercially developing it. While the stock was being pumped by the false claims, entities controlled by Farmer dumped more than 6 million shares on the public markets for illicit proceeds of more than $4.5 million.

The SEC suspended trading in Chimera Energy stock in 2012 and prevented Farmer and his associates from dumping additional shares or misleading new investors into their scheme.

In addition to Chimera Energy and Farmer, the SEC's complaint charges a pair of figurehead CEOs installed by Farmer. The SEC alleges that Charles E. Grob Jr. and Baldemar Rios approved the misleading press releases and operated Chimera Energy at the minimum level necessary to lend the company a veneer of legitimacy while concealing Farmer's involvement altogether. The SEC's complaint also charges Carolyn Austin with helping Farmer profit from his scheme by dumping shares of Chimera Energy stock in the midst of the promotional efforts.

According to the SEC's complaint filed in federal court in Houston, Farmer obtained control of all 5 million shares of Chimera Energy stock issued in the IPO by disguising his ownership through the use of nominee shareholders. Farmer's name and the nature of his control over the company were not disclosed to investors in any of Chimera Energy's public filings. Following the IPO, Farmer directed the press release barrage along with an Internet advertising campaign designed to increase investor awareness of Chimera Energy's claims. The initial press release issued by the company on July 30, 2012, sported the headline: CHMR Unveils Breakthrough Shale Oil Extraction Method to Safely and Effectively Replace Hydraulic Fracturing.

The SEC alleges that Chimera Energy disclosed in public filings that an entity named China Inland had granted the company an "exclusive license to develop and commercialize cutting edge technologies related to Non-Hydraulic Extraction." The technology that China Inland purportedly licensed to Chimera Energy was described as an "environmentally friendly oil & gas extraction procedure for shale to replace hydraulic fracturing." The SEC's investigation found that the purported acquisition of a license to develop such technology and the license agreement itself are entirely fictitious. No legitimate entity known as China Inland even exists.

The SEC's complaint charges Chimera Energy, Farmer, Grob, Rios, and Austin with securities fraud, registration violations, and reporting violations. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest and financial penalties, penny stock bars, and officer-and-director bars.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Securities, Including Stocks and Bonds Custodian Fraud, Mismanagement and Misrepresentation FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

Securities, Including Stocks and Bonds Custodian Fraud, Mismanagement and Misrepresentation FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Julian R. Brown and Alliance Investment Management Limited, Civil Action No. 14-CV-6130 (N.D. Ill., filed August 8, 2014)

SEC Charges Bahamas-Based Brokerage Firm and President with Facilitating Fraudulent Scheme by Hedge Fund Manager

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a Bahamas-based brokerage firm and its president for enabling a fraud that was halted when the SEC charged the hedge fund manager at the center of the scheme.

The SEC alleges that Julian R. Brown and his firm Alliance Investment Management Limited (AIM) purported to be the "custodian" for assets under the management of Nikolai Battoo. The SEC obtained a court-ordered freeze over Battoo's assets after charging him in 2012 with defrauding investors around the world by hiding major losses while falsely boasting that their investments were performing remarkably during the financial crisis.

According to the SEC's complaint against Brown and AIM in federal court in Chicago, they misrepresented themselves to investors as Battoo's custodian when, since at least 2009, their firm did not have custody of most of the assets listed on investor account statements. Brown and AIM allowed Battoo to create false account statements on AIM letterhead that vastly overstated the value of investors' assets by more than $150 million. Brown and AIM then routinely provided the false account statements to auditors and others acting on behalf of Battoo's investors.

The SEC further alleges that Brown and AIM permitted Battoo to misappropriate at least $45 million of investor funds by transferring money at Battoo's behest from investor accounts to Battoo's direct control. Battoo used investor funds to pay AIM and Brown more than $5 million in return for their critical assistance.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Brown and AIM violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, and aided and abetted Battoo's violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Microcap and Penny Stock South Florida Litigation and Arbitration Attorney

Microcap and Penny Stock South Florida Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. BIH Corporation, et al., Civil Action No. 2:10-CV-577-FTM-29DNF (M.D. FL)

Jury Finds Orchestrator of Microcap Stock Pump-And-Dump Scheme Liable in SEC Enforcement Case

A federal court jury in Fort Myers, Fla., returned a unanimous verdict on August 8 finding Edward W. Hayter of Brooklyn, N.Y., liable for five counts of violating the federal securities laws in connection with a scheme to pump up the stock of a microcap corporation purportedly headquartered in Fort Myers in which Hayter profited by approximately $500,000. Hayter was the lone remaining defendant in the SEC's enforcement case filed in 2010.

Evidence at the trial showed that among other things, press releases that Hayter and BIH issued in 2008 and 2009 falsely claimed BIH was purchasing a restaurant services corporation that purportedly had contracts with such major corporations as Citi Field and Applebee's Restaurants. Other evidence showed that in order to hide his involvement in the scheme, Hayter and others created a fictitious businessman named Cris Galo who was allegedly an accomplished entrepreneur running BIH. Evidence showed all of BIH's contact information traced back to Hayter and an associate in New York, with the Fort Myers office being only a mail drop. Trading records showed the false press releases contributed to BIH's stock rising more than 2,700 percent in a matter of months, allowing colleagues of Hayter to sell stock and funnel approximately $500,000 in proceeds to his own corporations.

The SEC filed its complaint against Hayter, BIH, Wayne A. Burmaster Jr. on Sept. 20, 2010, alleging that they had engaged in fraud and illegal sales of securities. The SEC also alleged securities registration violations by Christopher L. Astrom and his company Bimini Reef Real Estate Inc., Damian B. Guthrie and his company Riverview Capital Inc., and Burmaster's company North Bay South Corporation. The SEC named Baron International Inc., Beaver Creek Financial Corporation, and The Caddo Corporation as relief defendants.

According to the SEC's complaint, Burmaster and Hayter released false information about BIH's operations and business relationships, the company's stock and dividend payments, and the identity of the individuals directing BIH's affairs. The SEC alleged that as part of the scheme, Burmaster and Hayter illegally distributed BIH's stock to North Bay, Bimini Reef, and Riverview, and those entities then dumped more than $1 million of BIH's stock and divided illegally obtained sales proceeds among the defendants and relief defendants.

On Oct. 25, 2010, the Honorable John E. Steele, United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of Florida, entered judgments of permanent injunction and other relief against Astrom and Bimini Reef Real Estate as well as Guthrie and Riverview Capital, enjoining them from violating Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933. In addition to injunctive relief, the judgments order them to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and penalties in amounts to be determined at a later date. Astrom and Guthrie are barred from participating in the offering of any penny stock. They consented to the entry of the judgments without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint.

On Sept. 26, 2012, the court entered a default judgment against BIH and North Bay South Corporation and relief defendants The Caddo Corporation and Beaver Creek Financial, ordering disgorgement with a penalty against BIH and North Bay South Corporation to be determined at a later date. On Dec. 17, 2012, the court entered a default judgment against Baron International.

On July 14, 2014, the court entered a default judgment of permanent injunction and other relief against Burmaster, enjoining him from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5. In addition to injunctive relief, the judgment orders Burmaster to pay, jointly and severally, disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $1,349,158 and a penalty in an amount to be determined at a later date. Burmaster is barred from participating in the offering of any penny stock.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

John Thornes - South Florida Elder and Retirement Financial Abuse, Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Duty FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach and Deerfield Beach, Florida Elder and Retirement Financial Abuse, Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Duty FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney: 

Securities and Exchange Commission v. John Thornes, Defendant, and Christopher Burnell, Kyle Larick, and Doreen Thornes, Relief Defendants, Civil Action No. 14-cv-06088 (C.D. Cal.)

SEC Charges California-Based Broker with Stealing Money from Accounts

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a California-based broker with stealing $4.4 million from two trust brokerage accounts at his firm and diverting it to a pair of friends for uses ranging from gambling to chartering a private jet.

The SEC alleges that John T. Thornes of Redlands, Calif., formerly the sole owner of Thornes & Associates, Inc., diverted funds out of a brokerage account for a trust established for the health and welfare of an 80-year-old dementia patient who has been living at home for several years with 24-hour nurse care. Thornes also siphoned money out of a brokerage account for a trust set up to fund college scholarships for local high school graduates.

According to the SEC's complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Thornes stole money from the two accounts from November 2010 to April 2013 primarily to benefit two of his friends, Christopher Burnell of Highland, Calif., and Kyle Larick of Redlands, Calif. Thornes has tried to pass off the payouts as loans, however there were no loan documents, no stated interest, and no collateral for the funds given. None of the money was ever repaid.

The SEC alleges that Thornes deceived his own mother with respect to the educational trust. She served as trustee, and he periodically asked her to sign blank checks that he then used in his misappropriation scheme. Thornes never informed his mother about trades he made, and he converted the brokerage account to a margin account even though it was designated as a low or minimal-risk tolerance account. He used the margin debt in his scheme and later sold securities from those accounts to avoid the margin calls. Thornes did the same thing with the brokerage account for the elderly dementia patient.

According to the SEC's complaint, after Thornes liberally transferred money from the brokerage accounts to his friends, they used it to charter a private jet, buy a luxury car, and purchase a vacation home. Burnell also used the funds to gamble at a nearby casino or pay gambling debts. Thornes paid his mother about $84,000 in excess trustee fees.

Thornes has agreed to settle the charges and consented to the entry of a final judgment ordering him to pay disgorgement of $4,366,790, prejudgment interest of $278,540, and a penalty of $4,366,790. Without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, he agreed to be permanently enjoined from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 as well as Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. Thornes also has agreed to consent to a collateral industry bar and a penny stock bar.

The SEC's complaint also names Thornes' friends Burnell and Larick as well as his mother Doreen Thornes as relief defendants for the purposes of recovering any illicit funds in their possession.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

CP Capital Securities, Inc. - Hollywood, Florida Improper Markup Corporate Bond FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

Hollywood, Dania, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach, Florida Improper Markup Corporate Bond FINRA Arbitration and Litigation 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:

July 2014 Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions:

http://www.finra.org/web/groups/industry/@ip/@enf/@da/documents/disciplinaryactions/p549766.pdf

Broker Check: http://www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck/

CP Capital Securities, Inc. submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which the firm was censured, fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $1,676.92, plus interest, in restitution to customers.  Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it bought corporate bonds from customers and failed to buy such bonds at a price that was fiar, taking into consideration all relevant circumstances, including market conditions with respect to each bond at the time of the transaction, the expense involved and that the firm was entitled to a profit.  To see a full copy of the release relative to this matter, please follow the above highlighted link. FINRA Case No. 2013035996801.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Capital Path Securities, LLC and William John Davis - South Florida AML Red Flag FINRA Enforcement Defense Attorney

South Florida AML Red Flag FINRA Enforcement Defense 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:

July 2014 Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions:

http://www.finra.org/web/groups/industry/@ip/@enf/@da/documents/disciplinaryactions/p549766.pdf

Broker Check: http://www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck/

Capital Path Securities, LLC and William John Davis submitted an Offer of Settlement in which the firm was censured and fined $175,000 of which $25,000 is joint and several with Davis. Davis was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for three months. Without admitting or denying the allegations, the firm and Davis consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it, acting through Davis, its AML compliance officer and president, demonstrated an ongoing pattern of noncompliance with AML rules. The findings stated that the firm and Davis failed to enforce its written AML program to ensure compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act. Davis failed to identify multiple transactions in customer accounts, which triggered many of the "red flags" identified in the firm's AML procedures. Among other things, these customers maintained multiple accounts, had securities-related disciplinary histories, engaged in suspicious penny stock trades and conducted qustionable third-party wire activity. To see a full copy of the release relative to this matter, please follow the above highlighted link.  FINRA Case No. 2011025869201.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Robert G. Bard - South Florida Securities and Bank Fraud and Misrepresentation FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and West Palm Beach, Florida Investment Advisor Securities and Bank Fraud and Misrepresentation FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert Glenn Bard, et al., Civil Action No. 1:09-cv-1473 (M.D. Pa.)

Pennsylvania-Based Investment Adviser Charged in SEC and Criminal Actions Receives Prison Sentence

A Pennsylvania-based investment adviser who was charged with fraud in an SEC enforcement action and later by criminal authorities has received a prison sentence of more than 21 years.

Robert G. Bard of Warfordsburg, Pa., was sentenced on July 31 by Sylvia H. Rambo of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Bard had been found guilty by a jury and convicted of 21 counts of securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements for defrauding his investment advisory clients between December 2004 and August 2009. Judge Rambo sentenced Bard to 262 months imprisonment and ordered him to pay $4.2 million in restitution to 66 victims.

The criminal case, filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on July 18, 2012, arose out of the same facts that were the subject of a civil injunctive action filed by the SEC on July 30, 2009. The Commission's complaint alleged that defendant Bard, an investment adviser, and his solely-owned company Vision Specialist Group LLC had violated the federal securities laws through fraudulent misrepresentations regarding client investments, account performance and advisory fees, and by Bard's creation of false client account statements, and forgery of client documents. On May 23, 2012, after granting summary judgment for the Commission, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered a final judgment against Bard and Vision Specialist Group finding both violated § 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, § 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and §§ 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. In that judgment, the court also entered permanent injunctions for violations of those provisions, and held Bard and Vision Specialist Group jointly and severally liable for disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties totaling $3,003,039.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation. 

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Kenneth Gross - Sale of Unregistered Stock - South Florida Investment and Securities Fraud Litigation and Arbitration Attorney

South Florida Investment and Securities Fraud and Mismanagement Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert Hurd, Your Best Memories International Inc. and Kenneth Gross, Civil Action No. 13-CV-04464-RGK (JCGx) (C.D. Cal. June 20, 2013)

Court Enters Judgment Against Unregistered Broker for Role in Investment Scheme Involving Purported Alzheimer's Treatment

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that on July 31, 2014, a California federal court entered a final judgment against Kenneth Gross, of Porter Ranch, California, who was named as a defendant in an action filed by the Commission in June 2013. The Commission charged Gross with selling unregistered stock in Your Best Memories International Inc. without being registered as a broker-dealer as required by the federal securities laws. Your Best Memories was a California company purportedly raising money for a Massachusetts-based company in the business of developing products intended to improve memory function in individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other conditions. Gross consented to the entry of this judgment.

The final judgment entered by the United States District Court for the Central District of California holds Gross liable for disgorgement of $269,000, representing money he was paid for the sale of unregistered securities, plus prejudgment interest of $10,897.81, but waives payment of the disgorgement and interest and does not impose a civil penalty based on Gross's financial condition. Previously, the court entered a partial judgment on March 14, 2014, based on Gross's consent, which enjoined him from violating Sections 5(a) and (c) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the securities registration provisions of the Securities Act) and Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the broker-dealer registration provisions of the Exchange Act). The Commission also issued an Order against Gross on June 6, 2014, permanently barring him from the securities industry.

On June 10, 2014, the Court entered final judgments by default against the other Defendants in the action, Your Best Memories, its president, Robert Hurd, and Smokey Canyon Financial Inc., another company controlled by Hurd. The Commission charged Your Best Memories and Hurd with misleading investors about how their funds would be used and making misleading statements that one of the products touted to investors had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The final judgments imposed permanent injunctions prohibiting Your Best Memories and Hurd from future violations of the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws, ordered Your Best Memories, Hurd, and Smokey Canyon to pay $963,000 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest of $34,170, and ordered Your Best Memories and Hurd to pay a civil penalty of $963,000.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Registration of Dealers, Associated Persons and Investment Advisers in Florida - South Florida Securities Attorney

Registration of Dealers, Associated Persons, and Investment Advisers in the State of Florida - South Florida Securities Attorney:

Chaper 517.12 Fla.Stat. labeled Registration of dealers, associated persons, and investment advisers provides in relevant part that:

(1) No dealer, associated person, or issuer of securities shall sell or offer for sale any securities in or from offices in this state, or sell securities to persons in this state from offices outside this state, by mail or otherwise, unless the person has been registered with the Department of Financial Regulation ("office") pursuant to the provisions of this section. The office shall not register any person as an associated person of a dealer unless the dealer with which the applicant seeks registration is lawfully registered with the office pursuant to this chapter.

(2) The registration requirements of this section do not apply to the issuers of securities exempted by s. 517.051(1)-(8) and (10).

(3) Except as otherwise provided in s. 517.061(11)(a)4., (13), (16), (17), or  (19), the registration requirements of this section do not apply in a transaction exempted by s. 517.061(1)-(12), (14), and (15).

(4) No investment adviser or associated person of an investment adviser or federal covered adviser shall engage in business from offices in this state, or render investment advice to persons of this state, by mail or otherwise, unless the federal covered adviser has made a notice-filing with the office pursuant to s. 517.1201 or the investment adviser is registered pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and associated persons of the federal covered adviser or investment adviser have been registered with the office pursuant to this section. The office shall not register any person or an associated person of a federal covered adviser or an investment adviser unless the federal covered adviser or investment adviser with which the applicant seeks registration is in compliance with the notice-filing requirements of s. 517.1201 or is lawfully registered with the office pursuant to this chapter. A dealer or associated person who is registered pursuant to this section may render investment advice upon notification to and approval from the office.

(5) No dealer or investment adviser shall conduct business from a branch office within this state unless the branch office is notice-filed with the office pursuant to s. 517.1202.

Please keep in mind that this information is being provided for educational purposes only.  It is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  Thus, it should not be relied upon as legal or investment advice.  If the reader has any questions concerning the contents of this post, you should contact a qualified professional.

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With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Do CFPs Have to Register as an Investment Adviser in Florida - Delary, Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, Florida FINRA Arbitration, Litigation and Elder Abuse Attorney

Do CFPs have to register as an Investment Adviser in Florida - Delray, Boynton Beach, Lantana, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach FINRA Arbitration, Litigation and Elder Abuse Attorney:

Any person who for compensation refers, solicits, offers, or negotiates for the purchase or sale of investment advisory services is required to be registered in Florida, regardless of their professional designation as a Investment Adviser and/or Associated Person of a broker/dealer.

Please keep in mind that this information is being provided for informational purposes only.  It is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  Thus, it should not be relied upon as legal or investment advise.  If the reader has any questions relating to this post, you should contact a qualified professional.  

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

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Russell L. Forkey, P.A.

2888 East Oakland Park Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

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Phone: 954-514-9605

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