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Dan Vazquez, Barred Broker, Convicted of Fraud

Dan Vazquez (CRD#: 3141463), a former registered representative who has been barred by FINRA, is the subject of a final judgment by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on March 23, 2020. He has pled guilty to fraud in connection with real estate investments. Dan Vazquez

On January 12, 2018, the SEC announced that it had charged Dan Vazquez with violating the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC complaint alleges that an investment adviser and its CEO, Dan Vazquez, raised $2.18 million from 27 investors between  2011 and 2014, ostensibly to invest in the New Economic Opportunity I LLC fund, which they started with the goal of buying and flipping real estate.. The investors took money from their retirement accounts based on misrepresentations that Dan Vazquez allegedly made regarding the fund. The complaint alleges that Dan Vazquez misused investor funds, including $780,000 misappropriated since January 2013. The complaint further alleges that Dan Vazquez and the broker-dealer violated federal broker-dealer registration regulations. 

What was the outcome of this case against Dan Vazquez? The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated public administrative proceedings against Dan Vazquez on March 3, 2020. The SEC alleges that Dan Vazquez violated the Securities Act and the Exchange Act. On December 11, 2019, a final judgment was entered against Dan Vazquez, which was heard in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The SEC complaint provides more details and names the investment advisory: Hoplon. In May 2019, Dan Vazquez pled guilty to two counts of mail fraud and eight counts of wire fraud. In July 2019, Dan Vazquez was ultimately sentenced to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release. 

Dan Vazquez’s run-ins with the SEC come after Dan Vazquez was barred by FINRA. How did that come about? On June 8, 2016, FINRA suspended Dan Vazquez after he failed to provide on-the-record testimony in the course of a FINRA investigation. Before the ink had even dried on that suspension, Dan Vazquez became involved in a customer dispute. On August 29, 2016, a client alleged that Dan Vazquez recommended unsuitable investments, engaged in excessive trading, acted negligently, and violated FINRA rules, among other allegations. The client initially sought $107,392 in damages; the matter was settled for $65,000. Then, on September 12, 2016, FINRA barred Dan Vazquez from associating with a FINRA member in any capacity after he failed to request termination of his suspension. 

Soon after his bar, Dan Vazquez became involved in a series of customer disputes.

On December 13, 2016, a client alleged that Dan Vazquez recommended unsuitable investments. The client is seeking $150,000 in damages and the dispute is pending. 

On February 10, 2017, a second client filed a complaint against Dan Vazquez, alleging that he engaged in fraud, engaged in deceit, made misrepresentations, and recommended unsuitable investment products, among other allegations. The client originally requested $127,825 in damages; the matter later settled. 

On June 13, 2017, Dan Vazquez became involved in a third customer dispute. Clients alleged that he made unsuitable investment recommendations while working for two different broker-dealers and that these recommendations led to losses. The clients sought $230,000 in damages; the matter later settled. 

On July 14, 2017, Dan Vazquez became involved in a fourth customer disputeand this time the customers were his own relatives. His relatives alleged that, from September 2010 to May 2013, Dan Vazquez made unsuitable investments and engaged in selling away, which led to losses. When a broker “sells away,” they are selling an unapproved investment without their firm’s knowledge, which can set up investors for significant losses. The relatives also allege that they loaned money to Dan Vazquez between 2015 and 2015, but that he did not fully repay the loans. FINRA Rule 3240 generally prohibits brokers from borrowing money from clients unless the clients meet certain criteria, such as being a member of the broker’s immediate family. The relatives originally sought $500,000 in damages; the matter later settled.

Over his 17 years in the securities industry, Dan Vazquez worked for 12 brokerage firms:

  • Cetera Advisors LLC (CRD#: 10299)
  • Investors Capital Corp. (CRD#: 30613)
  • Foothill Securities, Inc. (CRD#: 1027)
  • Associated Securities Corp. (CRD#: 12969)
  • First Midwest Securities, Inc. (CRD#: 21786)
  • Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (CRD#: 3600)
  • AIG Financial Advisors, Inc. (CRD#: 133763)
  • Sunamerica Securities, Inc. (CRD#: 20068)
  • PMB Securities Corp. (CRD#: 118642)
  • BrookStreet Securities Corporation (CRD#: 14667)
  • Paulson Investment Company, Inc. (CRD#: 5670)
  • Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. (CRD#: 7556)

If Dan Vazquez was your broker and you have concerns about your investments, don’t hesitate to contact the securities attorneys of Fitapelli Kurta. Call (877) 238-4175 or email info@fkesq.com for your free case consultation with a securities attorney. 

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