Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. will pay $1.575 million in fines and another
$1.85 million to customers for failure to report mandated information
to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA fined the
investment firm, according to the action, after it failed to timely report
required information, failed to yield documents in discovery to clients
who filed arbitrations, and for failure to apply appropriate sales charge
waivers to customers.
Brad Bennett, FINRA's executive vice president and chief of enforcement,
explained in a statement that is important for firms to make sure that
their supervisory programs “are designed to comply with FINRA reporting
requirements,” and that they have the proper procedures in place
to ensure their employees are directed to make the filings. He went on
to state, “FINRA uses this information to identify and initiate
investigations of firms and associated persons that pose a risk to investors.”
FINRA found that Oppenheimer neglected to report more than 350 required
regulatory documents over the past several years, including disciplinary
actions initiated by Oppenheimer against employees, securities-related
litigation claims, and settlements connected to securities-related arbitration
and lawsuit filings.
FINRA also found that Oppenheimer did not provide necessary documents throughout
discovery to seven arbitration plaintiffs. From 2010 to 2013, the action
claims that the company failed to appropriately oversee former registered
agent Mark Hotton. Regarding this action, FINRA requires Oppenheimer to
pay out more than $700,000 and make available the copies of the documents
that were not provided in each claimant’s case.
Oppenheimer also was found to have not successfully managed the application
of sales charge waivers to qualified mutual fund sales, according to FINRA.
The company depended on its financial advisors to adequately determine
when sales charge waivers were appropriate but offered no written guidelines
on how the advisors should make that determination. FINRA’s action
resulted in Oppenheimer being forced to pay out $1.14 million in restitution
to consumers who were eligible for mutual fund sales charge waivers but
did not receive them.
SEC: Renewable Energy Company defrauds investors of $30M
The founder and CEO of 808 Renewable Energy Corp., along with three other
top executives, was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange
Commission. The SEC reports the four leaders of the California-based renewable
energy company profited from defrauding investors.
CEO Patrick Carter, Chief Operating Officer Peter Kirkbride, and sales
representatives Martin Kincheloe and Thomas Flowers raised more than $30
million from hundreds of investors during a five-year span that began
in 2009, according to the SEC. Three firms are named in the documents:
808 Investments LLC, West Coast Commodities LLC, and T.A. Flowers LLC.
Flowers and T.A. Flowers LLC have submitted a settlement offer to SEC’s
action, agreeing to complete injunctive relief, disgorgement and prejudgment
interest totally $1.4 million, penny stock bars, and a penalty of $160,000
weighed against Flowers. The settlement, which is still pending court
approval, allows Flowers and T.A. Flowers LLC to rectify the accusations
without admitting or denying guilt.
Pharmaceutical Exec, friend found liable in insider trading scheme
A jury has sided with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding
charges made against a former director at the pharmaceutical company InterMune
Inc., and his friend, a British restaurant owner. The SEC lodged the complaint
more than two years ago, in October of 2014, claiming Sasan Sabrdaran,
the former director of drug safety risk management at InterMune Inc.,
provided Farhang Afsarpour with private insider information.
As a result, Afsarpour used the information to his advantage and illegally
collected more than $1 million from Intermune trading.
Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, says
Afsarpour manipulated the system and profited “at the expense of
ordinary investors who played by the rules.”
“This jury verdict reaffirms our commitment to aggressively root
out and prosecute insider trading schemes to protect the integrity of
our markets," Ceresney said in a statement.
Contact Geraci Law Firm at (949) 298-8050 today, or contact
for more information.