Jorge A. Reyes (CRD #4256834, Miami, Florida) was fined $4,009,000 plus interest, in restitution to clients and was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. This FINRA sanction was based on the alleged findings that Reyes defrauded customers a violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 and Sections 17(a)(2) and (a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933. 

The findings found that Reyes allegedly:

On December 31, 2019, the firm Wilson-Davis & Co., Inc., and brokers Byron Bert Barkley, and James C. Snow Jr were fined $1,100,000, and had to pay disgorgement in the amount of $51,624, prejudgment interest and are required to retain an independent consultant to recommend changes to its WSPs. There were additional fines, sanctions, and suspensions.

The sanctions were based on findings that the firm was engaged in short selling which is a violation of Rule 203(b)(1) of Regulation SHO of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Reg SHO).  ( FINRA Disciplinary Actions March 2020).”

Barkley and Snow were allegedly involved in various violations and activities including: 

Samuel Lek, former Chief Executive Officer of Lek Securities Corporation (Lek Securities) (CRD #1642936)– An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Lek was permanently barred from the securities industry in all capacities. Lek was fined $900,000 for violating FINRA and Exchange supervisory rules, specifically Rule 15c3-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Market Access Rule), among other infringements. Action was taken by FINRA, the NASDAQ Stock Market, the New York Stock Exchange, Cboe Global Markets, and certain of their various affiliated Exchanges. The fine was shared proportionally between FINRA and the exchanges. 

Lek Securities was providing market access to foreign traders for several years while they would perform manipulating trading on US exchanges including activities such as spoofing, layer, and cross-product manipulation. Samuel Lek himself allegedly assisted with these tradings through a sub-accounting held and Lek Securities.

Even when FINRA, the Exchanges and the SEC began investigations into certain suspicious activity, Samuel Lek continued with these manipulative trading practices. Lek may have even provided office space, trading software, computer servers, and other services to the customer traders of this sub-account.

Nomura Securities International, Inc. (CRD #4297, New York, New York) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Nomura Securities International, Inc. was fined $300,000 and censured by FINRA. The firm consented to the sanctions without confirming or denying the findings. FINRA found that the firm underwent system-wide coding related issues that caused them to exclude certain foreign-listed securities from its short interest submissions to FINRA. Nomura Securities International, Inc. is also believed to have inaccurately reported the short interest positions that they did submit to FINRA. 

Another issue was Nomura Securities International, Inc.’s alleged lack of supervisory oversight.  The firm may not have established a proper supervisory system.

If you lost money with Nomura Securities International, Inc. or any broker or brokerage firm, call us immediately to discuss your situation.  We are here to attempt to recover your investment losses. NO RECOVERY, NO FEE! Costs are additional.

The coronavirus (a.k.a. the Chinese Virus/ Chinese Flu) is clearly affecting the stock market in a very negative way. However, once the market dropped during the first week or so, your financial advisor was supposed to contact you and make recommendations to protect your portfolio.

  • Did your financial advisor recommend stop orders? 
  • Did they have a specific exit strategy? 

(FINRA Case #2017053342601)

 Brian John Hussey Jr. (CRD #4640067, Zephyrhills, Florida) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Hussey was suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for seven months. In light of Hussey’s financial status, no monetary sanction has been imposed.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Hussey consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he made unsuitable recommendations to a customer that she sell 100 percent of the mutual fund positions in her individual retirement account (IRA) and invest the proceeds in penny stocks focused on the marijuana business.

First Disciplinary Action by FINRA Involving Cryptocurrencies

FINRA announced that it filed a complaint against Timothy Tilton Ayre of Agawam, Massachusetts, charging him with securities fraud and the unlawful distribution of an unregistered cryptocurrency security called HempCoin. This case represents FINRA’s first disciplinary action involving cryptocurrencies.

In the complaint, FINRA alleges that, from January 2013 through October 2016, Ayre attempted to lure public investment in his worthless public company, Rocky Mountain Ayre, Inc. (RMTN) by issuing and selling HempCoin – which he publicized as “the first minable coin backed by marketable securities” – and by making fraudulent, positive statements about RMTN’s business and finances. RMTN was quoted on the Pink Market of OTC Markets Group and traded over the counter.

(FINRA Case #2016048942501)

 Heather Xanthe VanLandingham (CRD #5343446, Odessa, Florida) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which VanLandingham was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for 20 business days.

Without admitting or denying the findings, VanLandingham consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that she effected transactions in a customer’s account at her member firm without the customer’s knowledge or authorization.

(FINRA Case #2017056130301)

Andrew Jay Lowe (CRD #4636118, Leesburg, Alabama) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver, & Consent) was issued in which Lowe was assessed a deferred fine of $20,000, suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for nine months and ordered to pay $36,180.87, plus interest, in deferred disgorgement of commissions received.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Lowe consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he recommended and engaged in unsuitable trading of Class A mutual fund shares. The findings stated that Lowe’s recommendations caused the customers to incur unnecessary sales charges, and were unsuitable in view of the short holding periods and cost of the transactions. At the time Lowe recommended Class A shares, he knew that these customers had short-term income needs and would need to make complete or partial liquidations of their investments within a year to meet those needs. Nevertheless, Lowe recommended that these customers purchase the A shares because of his belief that, in the long term, the A share investments provided a better value to the customers. Subsequently, over a two-year period, Lowe effected total or partial liquidations of the A shares, over half of which were held for less than 12 months, to meet his clients’ income needs.

(FINRA Case #2012034389202)

Bernard G. McGee (CRD #1203327, Cazenovia, New York) – A United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Summary Order became final in which McGee was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities and ordered to pay $237,643.25, plus interest, in restitution to a customer.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied McGee’s petition for review following appeal of an SEC decision.