New fiduciary standards and stockbroker fraud

There is a battle going on right now in Congress that will affect stockbroker fraud cases in the years to come. Here are some updates and stories from various news sources to get you up-to-speed quickly.

  • Department of Labor Proposes Rule to Address Conflicts of Interest in Retirement Advice, Saving Middle-Class Families Billions of Dollars Every Year. Read more.
  • Simfa Overview: The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a change to the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that would expand the scope of those who become fiduciaries. Read more.
  • As DOL fiduciary clears latest hurdle, stockbrokers expect changes will be made. Read more.
  • New York Times – Why Investors Are Right to Be Distrustful. Read more.
  • What a fiduciary standard would do to stockbroker fraud. Read more.

Ultimately, if you believe you have been a victim of stockbroker frauds and need to talk to a securities fraud lawyer in Baltimore or Maryland, contact West & West immediately.

FINRA Bars Two Virginia FAs In Connection With Allegations Involving Converting Client Funds

Tammy Charlene Petersen formerly of Merrill Lynch and Kirsten Flynn Hawkins formerly of SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. both were barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity in connection with allegations involving the conversion of client funds.

Tammy Petersen, formerly with Merrill Lynch in Carrollton, Virginia, consented to the bar and to the entry of findings that she converted approximately $107,378 from customers for her own use and benefit without the customer’s knowledge or consent.  For more information click here to see her Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent.

Kirsten Hawkins, formerly with SunTrust in Staunton, Virginia, consented to the bar and to the entry of findings that she failed to provide FINRA with documents and information in connection with an investigation into allegations that she converted approximately $500,000 from a customer.  For more information click here to see her Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent.

If you believe you may have been a victim of either of these brokers or have had other issues with Merrill Lynch or SunTrust please contact an Investment Fraud Attorney at West & West for a free initial consultation.

Former Stockbroker Apparently Staged Disappearance

In Florida, the Sun Sentinel reported that Richard Ohrn, 44, a former stock broker who disappeared while fishing in the Atlantic ocean a month ago, admitted that he staged his disappearance by abandoning the boat and driving to Albany, Georgia.

According to the article Ohrn was trying to escape legal issues, including a suit by a former employer alleging that he stole from customer accounts.  FINRA records indicate that he was named in a FINRA complaint in December 2014 alleging that he converted $15,250 from two elderly clients by forging signatures. According to FINRA records, Ohrn, who is not currently registered, was previously registered with Wells Fargo Advisors

If you believe you may have a claim against Mr. Ohrn or Wells Fargo Advisors contact the stockbroker fraud lawyers at West & West for a free initial consultation.

Ronald Berman Formerly Of Axiom Capital Management Withdraws Maryland Registration

On March 25, 2015, Ronald M. Berman, formerly of Axiom Capital Management, Inc., withdrew his registration with the State of Maryland and agreed not to reapply for registration in Maryland as a broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser or investment adviser representative for a period of five (5) years.  Previously, Mr. Berman’s general securities representative registration was revoked by FINRA based upon Mr. Berman’s disciplinary and regulatory record, Axiom’s failure to show that it could effectively supervise Mr. Berman and Mr. Berman’s outstanding loans and the conflict presented by these loans.  To see the order click here.

If you believe that you may have been the victim of stockbroker misconduct at the hands of Mr. Berman, Axiom Capital Management or any other broker or firm, please contact West & West, LLC for a free initial consultation.