Investors Encouraged to Be Vigilant When Exchanging Annuities

Broker-dealers are selling a bigger share of indexed annuities, and investors should be mindful of all the fees associated when moving to an indexed annuity from a variable annuity. When an annuity exchange occurs, investors should investigate whether or not they will incur any increased costs. Investors should also determine if there are any surrender… Read more »

Deepal Wannakuwatte Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in Connection with Orchestrating Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Deepal Wannakuwatte pled guilty to wire fraud in connection with a long-running and a large-scale fraud scheme. Wannakuwatte encouraged more than 100 investors, including individuals, corporate entities, and financial institutions, to invest in a number of business opportunities by misrepresenting the financial worth of himself and his companies. Wannakuwatte’s two companies, IMG and Relyaid, manufactured… Read more »

Michael Martin Sanctioned by Arkansas Securities Regulators after Allegedly Targeting Senior Citizens to Invest in Equity-Indexed Annuities

Michael Hazen Martin was fined and suspended by the Arkansas Securities Department in connection with claims that Martin conducted fraudulent and deceptive business practices. The Peiffer Wolf securities practice attorneys Jason Kane and Joe Peiffer are investigating the matter Martin conducted free lunch and dinner seminars around Arkansas which targeted seniors and retirees, according to… Read more »

Broker Swindles Recently Widowed Woman at the Wake of Her Husband, According to Securities Regulators

Eduardo Guillermo Diaz was barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) in connection with claims that he converted his client’s funds and borrowed money from the client. Diaz befriended his client before the death of the client’s husband, and at her husband’s wake, Diaz approached her and stated that she… Read more »

Harry Stokes Accused of Orchestrating Ponzi Scheme in North Carolina

Harry Stokes, an insurance broker who worked in Monroe, North Carolina, orchestrated a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of millions, according to a complaint filed in a North Carolina state court. Securities attorneys Joe Peiffer and Jason Kane are investigating the matter. Stokes was the owner of Contemporary Benefits Design, an insurance firm located… Read more »

SEC Announces Emergency Action Against Wall Street Banker

Frank “Perk” Hixon Jr., a New York City based investment banker, was recently named in a Securities and Exchange Commission emergency action for allegedly making $1 million in illicit profits from insider trading. According to the emergency action, Mr. Hixon used insider information to trade in three public companies: Westway Group, Titanium Metal Corporation and… Read more »

James Lee Accused of Misleading Investors

James Y. Lee, of La Jolla, California, defrauded investors by charging clients fees based on false performance, concealing from them that they actually lost money, and misleading them by promising to share in the realized losses and the risks of his options trading strategy, according to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission… Read more »

Personal Banker Elaina Patterson Accused of Embezzling over $6 Million from Clients

Elaina Patterson, a former personal banker at Bank of America, embezzled over $6 million from 31 investors and customers, according to an investigation led by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley that led an indictment. Patterson persuaded family and friends to invest in fake accounts that offered high interest rates, according to the attorney general. Patterson… Read more »

Mark E. Rice Sanctioned for Fraudulent Forex Scheme

Mark E. Rice, of Sugar Land, Texas, was ordered to pay $827,000 in restitution and a $673,000 monetary penalty to settle U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission charges regarding fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of customers’ funds to trade leveraged off-exchange foreign currency (forex) contacts. Rice also had permanent trading and registration bans imposed against him as… Read more »

Fri Hensley & Company, Nicholas Fry Investigated by Securities Lawyers

Fry Hensley and Company (FHC) and its president, Nicholas L. Fry, are being investigated by the Peiffer Wolf securities lawyers in following sanctions by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly failing to disclose to their clients significant conflicts of interest from which they profited at their clients’ expense. Fry Hensley and Company and Fry… Read more »