CMD Investigating First Financial Equity Corporation For Recommending Unsuitable ETFs and Excessive Commissions

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against First Financial Equity Corporation For recommending unsuitable ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), charging excessive commissions and for failure to supervise.

As reported by FINRA, First Financial Equity Corporation had inadequate procedures with respect to the reasonable-basis suitability requirements, in that it had inadequate processes and procedures to ensure that requisite customer information was obtained prior to its representatives recommending securities and/or investment strategies involving securities to firm customers. Although First Financial Equity Corporation recommended and sold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) (including leveraged and inverse ETFs) to its customers, it did not have any written procedures for the supervision, approval and sale of ETFs.

FINRA also found that First Financial Equity Corporation failed to reasonably supervise a registered representative.  After the firm’s risk manager identified certain commissions being charged by the registered representative as being excessive, it failed to take reasonable steps to supervise and address the same.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with First Financial Equity Corporation you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Against David Charles Cannata and Craig Scott Capital, LLC for Churning and Unsuitable Recommendations

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against securities broker David Charles Cannata and brokerage firm Craig Scott Capital, LLC for unsuitable recommendations, excessive trading (a/k/a churning) and failure to supervise.  According to Mr. Cannata’s FINRA BrokerCheck he has been the subject of at least eight (8) customer complaints.

In September 2016, David Charles Cannata was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and ordered to pay $1,566,298.14, plus interest, in restitution to customers.  The sanctions were based on findings that Cannata made unsuitable recommendation and excessively traded in customer accounts at his member firm.  The findings stated that Cannata had de facto control over the customer accounts and made all investment decisions.  Cannata’s trading strategy in each client’s account generated extraordinary levels of activity inconsistent with the clients’ objectives and financial circumstances.  The clients sustained losses ranging from $114,171 to $1,263,527 as a result of Cannata’s trading strategy.

The findings also stated that Cannata churned his customers’ accounts.  Cannata knowingly or recklessly disregarded his customers’ interests by seeking to maximize his own compensation. Both the high turnover rate and cost-to-equity ratio establish that Cannata recommended and executed trades in the customers’ accounts for his own benefit, without regard for his customers’ resources or best interests. As a result of his conduct, Cannata violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 and FINRA Rule 2020.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with David Charles Cannata and/or Craig Scott Capital, LLC, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Against Bahram Mirhashemi and Accelerated Capital Group for Churning, Unauthorized Trading and Unsuitable Recommendations

Burning Money

Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating potential claims against securities broker Bahram Mirhashemi and Accelerated Capital Group for churning (excessive trading), unauthorized trading and unsuitable recommendations.

Recently, Mr. Mirhashemi submitted an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Mirhashemi consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he churned customer accounts, engaged in excessive and unauthorized trading and made unsuitable recommendations to customers. Mirhashemi consistently spread mutual fund purchases across multiple fund families, and in so doing, failed to obtain break point discounts for customers. These short-term mutual fund trades were both excessive and unsuitable, and cost the customers more than $150,000 in overall commissions. Mirhashemi also churned customers’ accounts by conducting short-term equity trades in customer accounts. Such trading was unsuitable and cost the customers more than $665,000 in overall commissions. As a result of his conduct, Mirhashemi willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and FINRA Rules 2020, 2111 and 2010. The findings also included that Mirhashemi distributed materially false and misleading communications to customers..

According to Mr. Mirhashemi’s FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of five (5) customer complaints and three (3) regulatory events.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Bahram Mirhashemi and Accelerated Capital Group, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Against Caldwell International Securities Corporation For Excessive Commissions, Fees and Unauthorized Trading

buring money

Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating potential claims against Caldwell International Securities Corporation, and securities brokers Greg Allen Caldwell, Alex Evan Etter, Alain J. Florestan, Lennie Simmons Freiman, Paul Joseph Jacobs, Richard Andrew Lee, Lucas Dylan Lichtman and Richard Lim.

FINRA’s Department of Enforcement filed a complaint alleging that  alleging that Caldwell International Securities Corporation, by and through one or more of its registered representatives and principals, put profits before customers, growth before compliance and subterfuge before transparency. The complaint alleges that the Caldwell International Securities Corporation’s culture of non-compliance led to serious sales practice, supervisory and reporting violations at its home office and multiple branches. Alex Evan Etter, Alain J. Florestan, Richard Andrew Lee, Lucas Dylan Lichtman and Richard Lim made unsuitable recommendations of an active trading investment strategy to their customers despite the fact these representatives failed to understand the risks of the investment strategy being recommended, or the impact the staggering commissions and fees generated by this active trading investment strategy would have on their customers’ accounts. These representatives had no reasonable basis to recommend such a strategy to their customers. As a result of the recommendation of an unsuitable active investment trading strategy, customer accounts suffered more than $1.1 million in realized trading losses while paying over $1 million in commissions and fees.

The complaint alleged that Caldwell International Securities Corporation and its brokers are liable for the unsuitable recommendations of an active trading investment strategy made by Etter, Florestan, Lee, Lichtman and Lim under the doctrine of respondeat superior because each representative was an agent of the firm acting within the scope of his duties when he engaged in this misconduct. Caldwell International Securities Corporation, acting by and through its registered representatives, made unsuitable recommendations involving inverse and/or leveraged Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) without a reasonable basis for believing these investments were suitable for their customers.

The complaint also alleges that the Caldwell International Securities Corporation, Caldwell, Freiman and Jacobs failed to establish and maintain a system to supervise the activities alleged that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations and NASD/FINRA rules. Caldwell International Securities Corporation, Caldwell, Freiman and Jacobs failed to monitor for, detect and, when detected, investigate multiple instances of potential misconduct by the firm’s brokers involving unsuitable active trading investment strategies, unsuitable ETFs, discretionary trading without written authorization and excessive trading/churning in multiple customer accounts across multiple branches of the firm. In addition, the firm, Caldwell, Freiman and Jacobs failed to implement a reasonable supervisory system to adequately review trades for unsuitable recommendations, such as ETFs, and to adequately monitor whether the firm’s representatives understood the risks and benefits of the active trading investment strategy they were recommending, nor did the firm monitor whether the representatives had done any due diligence on the recommended active trading investment strategy. This grossly inadequate supervisory system resulted in many firm customers suffering significant losses and paying staggering commissions and fees. Caldwell International Securities Corporation, Caldwell, and Freiman failed to establish and maintain a system to supervise the firm’s activities that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations and NASD/FINRA rules and/or the firm’s written supervisory procedures in multiple other ways. Caldwell International Securities Corporation, Caldwell, and Freiman failed to place representatives on heightened supervision, review all electronic correspondence to and from customers, identify and report customer complaints received, and apply right of reinvestment/right of reinstatement fee waivers, resulting in overcharges of $107,367.08 to customers’ accounts.  Moreover, the complaint alleges that the firm willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-10 by charging customers misleading and/or discriminatory miscellaneous fees in several transactions.

If you or someone you know has a complaint or lost money investing with Caldwell International Securities Corporation, and/or securities brokers Greg Allen Caldwell, Alex Evan Etter, Alain J. Florestan, Lennie Simmons Freiman, Paul Joseph Jacobs, Richard Andrew Lee, Lucas Dylan Lichtman and Richard Lim, you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at CMD are experienced in representing investors in fraud, suitability, unauthorized trading, excessive commissions, excessive fees, ETFs and failure to supervise actions against brokers and brokerage firms. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid. Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.