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FINRA Disciplinary Actions January 2020

When brokers violate FINRA rules or federal securities regulations—by stealing customer funds, recommending unsuitable investments, or refusing to provide on-the-record testimony to FINRA—the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority holds them to account. FINRA publicizes disciplinary actions taken against brokers in their monthly round-up. The full January 2020 report can be viewed here.

In the most serious cases of broker fraud or misconduct, FINRA permanently bars brokers from the securities industry. Check out the list below to learn about the latest brokers barred from the securities industry.

Individuals Barred

Broker Name CRD Number Location Circumstances Surrounding Bar
Bryce Vance CRD#: 6499644 Caldwell, Idaho “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he falsified insurance applications by submitting unauthorized insurance applications on behalf of customers. The findings stated that Vance collected the customer-specific information by offering free insurance quotes and used the information to submit insurance applications to his member firm’s affiliate insurance company without the customers’ consent.”
Andrew Yoro CRD#: 6870944 Arlington, Texas Cheated on the Series 7 examination
Daniel Boyle CRD#: 5980470 Newtown, Pennsylvania “refused to provide information or documents requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into allegations that he converted assets from his member firm by depositing a check for over $7,000 payable to the firm into his personal bank account.”
Ma Rosa Linan Abrego CRD#: 6122105 Dallas, Texas “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into whether she engaged in misappropriation.”
Gregory Voetsch CRD#: 1223244 New York, New York “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation into the details of a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) amendment submitted by his former member firm. The findings stated that the Form U5 disclosed that an investment-related, consumer-initiated arbitration had been filed against him. The arbitration was later withdrawn.”
Philip Sparacino CRD#: 3243960 Staten Island, New York “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to produce information and documents requested by FINRA while it was investigating allegations that he engaged in unauthorized, excessive and unsuitable trading while registered through his member firm.”
Jun Zhou CRD#: 2825595 Chicago, Illinois “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she participated in private securities transactions with sales of $16,050,000, and selling compensation of $199,000, without providing written notice to, or receiving approval from, her member firm.”
Lance Armstrong CRD#: 4592423 Lafayette, New Jersey “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation of his activities. The findings stated that Armstrong’s member firm filed a Form U5 disclosing that it had discharged him after he solicited and accepted multiple loans from customers in connection with an undisclosed outside business activity.”
Clint Keener CRD#: 2250146 Sunbury, Ohio “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into potential unsuitable recommendations made by him.”
Julie Mineard CRD#: 3230787 Renton, Washington)

 

 

“consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she converted and improperly used approximately $24,044 that she obtained from a co-worker’s brokerage account held at their member firm.”
Linda Jay CRD#: 4633853 Sayreville, New Jersey) “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into whether she submitted certain falsified documents to her member firm, as alleged in a Form U5 filed by the firm.”
Clark Nobil CRD#: 348552 Miami Beach, Florida

 

“consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to produce information and documents requested by FINRA after it began an examination regarding his appointment as trustee of two trusts to determine whether he had engaged in a business activity that should have been disclosed on his Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4) or had otherwise acted in violation of FINRA rules.”
Gerald Eaton CRD#: 2279093 Acton, Massachusetts “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation that began after learning of the conduct disclosed in a Form U5 submitted by his member firm. The findings stated that in the Form U5, Eaton’s firm stated that the reason for the termination was that he fraudulently facilitated distributions from the accounts of clients without their knowledge or consent or for their benefit.”
Joseph Phan CRD#: 2555300 Fountain Valley, California) “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to appear and provide on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into allegations that he borrowed money from clients of his member firm without firm approval, and attempted to deposit a client’s check into his personal bank account.”
Dennis Nakamura CRD#: 819626 Moraga, California “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear and provide on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into whether he violated FINRA rules by making unsuitable investment recommendations to customers while associated with a member firm.”
Matthew White CRD#: 5365185 Little Rock, Arizona “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his termination from his member firm. The findings stated that the firm filed a Form U5 disclosing that it had discharged White for failing to adequately disclose outside activities including his relationship to company business.”
Robert Genito CRD#: 4760338

 

Sarasota, Florida “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA after it began an investigation following receipt of a Form U5 filed by his member firm. The findings stated that the Form U5 indicated that the firm terminated Genito’s registration because it discovered that he was involved in an undisclosed outside business activity or private securities transaction.”
Michael Severance CRD#: 1023971 Loretto, Minnesota “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to produce documents and information requested by FINRA. The findings stated that Severance’s member firm had filed a Form U5 terminating his association with it after the firm discovered that without notifying it or obtaining its approval, he had provided bill-paying services to a firm customer, for compensation, and that the customer had given a monetary gift to Severance’s son in excess of $100.”

 

Individuals Suspended

In addition to barring certain brokers from the securities industry, FINRA also suspends brokers for a set period of time. Check out the list below to learn more about the latest suspended brokers.

 

Broker Name CRD Number Location Sanction Circumstances Surrounding Suspension
Beth DeBouvre CRD#: 3176483 St. Clair Shores, Michigan Suspended from November 4, 2019, through February 3, 2021; also assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 DeBouvre and Kopacka “permitted and enabled Kopacka’s husband to associate with and conduct securities business through two member firms and engage in activities requiring registration, despite the fact that he was barred from associating with any member firms and was therefore statutorily disqualified. The findings stated that for much of two decades, DeBouvre and Kopacka allowed Kopacka’s husband to meet with new and existing firm customers and recommend the purchase and sales of securities to them, resulting in securities transactions of more than $40 million and commissions of more than $6 million.”
Kim Kopacka CRD#: 3153396 Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan Suspended from November 4, 2019, through November 3, 2021; also assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and ordered to pay deferred disgorgement of a portion of commissions received in the amount of $350,000 Same as above
Elizabeth Guarino CRD#: 1264531 East Meadow, New York Suspended from November 4, 2019, through February 3, 2021; also assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and required to re-take Series 7 exam “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that she recommended unsuitable speculative securities transactions to an elderly customer at her member firm. The findings stated that Guarino recommended that the customer invest in oil and natural gas limited partnerships that were speculative and whose general credit rating was junk.”
Brendan Flick CRD#: 6130327 Orlando, Florida Suspended from November 4, 2019, through February 3, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he copied and pasted the signature of a customer on wire transfer authorization forms without permission.”
Christopher Kozak CRD#: 5530806 Highlands Ranch, Colorado Suspended from November 4, 2019, through May 3, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in an undisclosed outside business activity with a company. The findings stated that Kozak did not provide written or other notice to his member firm of his outside business activity until after FINRA inquired about the company.”
John Hoagland CRD#: 247075 Bloomfield Hills, Michigan Suspended from  November 18, 2019, through February 17, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he executed unauthorized trades totaling $99,171 in the account of an elderly customer. The findings stated that Hoagland also executed an unauthorized trade for $34,451 in the account of another customer.”
Timothy Millis CRD#: 706959 Lake Orion, Michigan Suspended from November 18, 2019, through February 17, 2020; ordered to pay $7,500 in disgorgement “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he recommended unsuitable short-term Class A mutual fund transactions to customers. The findings stated that although Millis understood that these mutual fund shares are long-term investments, he recommended the purchase and subsequent sale of the mutual fund shares after the customers held them for short periods. As a result, the customers were charged approximately $174,725 in upfront sales charges.”
Ralph Gerard Adamo CRD#: 1624126 Ladera Ranch, California Suspended from December 2, 2019, through April 1, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he borrowed $520,000 from two customers of his member firm and modified the borrowing arrangement with one of them without disclosing this activity to the firm and without receiving its approval to engage in it.”
Rockney Garcia CRD#: 6315252 Miami, Florida Suspended from November 18, 2019, through February 17, 2020; Also assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in a check-kiting scheme while employed as a relationship banker at a bank and registered with a member firm.”
Cody Hawkins-Fitzgerald CRD#: 2506434 Oviedo, Florida Suspended from November 18, 2019, through January 16, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he borrowed $10,000 from an elderly customer in violation of his member firm’s policies.”
Brian Lockett CRD#: 4573162 Bothell, Washington Suspended from December 2, 2019, through January 15, 2020; also fined $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he participated in a private securities transaction without providing prior written notice to his member firm.”
John Mullaly CRD#: 2679121

 

Cohasset, Massachusetts Suspended from December 2, 2019, through March 1, 2020; also fined $10,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to inform his member firm that as a power of attorney he had control over an outside securities account that was held by a relative at another firm.”
Mauricio Abadi CRD#: 4461130 New York, New York Suspended from November 18, 2019, through May 17, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that at a bank customer’s request, he removed information about foreign exchange options positions from the customer’s bank account statement.”
James Kearney CRD#: 265734 Houston, Texas

 

Suspended from November 18, 2019, through December 9, 2019; also assessed a deferred fine of $2,500 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion by placing trades in customer accounts without written authorization from the customers and without acceptance of the accounts as discretionary by his member firm.”
Fredrick Randhahn CRD#: 1338801 South Ogden, Utah

 

Suspended from November 18, 2019, through August 17, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in unapproved private securities transactions involving the sale of promissory notes to investors, some of whom were also customers of his member firm. The findings stated that Randhahn solicited investors to purchase $625,000 worth of promissory notes related to a purported real-estate investment fund. Randhahn personally invested $125,000 in the promissory notes and received $33,167.67 in commissions in connection with these transactions. Later, the fund filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.”
Paul Mallory CRD#: 4954768 Royal Oak, Michigan Suspended from November 18, 2019, through January 17, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 “Mallory consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to reasonably supervise a former registered representative who, while registered through their member firm, recommended unsuitable trades in multiple customer accounts. The findings stated that Mallory did not take any steps to investigate red flags that the recommended purchases may not be suitable for the customers. Had Mallory done so, he would have learned that none of the customers was accredited and that the recommended purchases were inconsistent with the customers’ express investment objectives and risk tolerance, as well as with their financial situation and needs. Moreover, none of the customers had authorized the transactions.”
Kevin Murphy CRD#: 1645347 Dana Point, California Suspended from November 18, 2019, through June 17, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he participated in an undisclosed private securities transaction away from his member firm by soliciting and negotiating a $500,000 investment in exchange for shares of common stock of a company without providing prior written notice to the firm.”
Michael Collins CRD#: 2915653 Chicago, Illinois Suspended from November 18, 2019, through April 17, 2020; also assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he participated in private securities transactions totaling approximately $200,000 without providing prior notice to his member firm.”
Gregory Pellizzon CRD#: 712667 Ladera Ranch, California   “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he non-willfully failed to disclose a customer’s complaint on his Form U4 [Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer] as required.”
Alexander Lycouris CRD#: 6422905 Boca Raton, Florida Suspended from December 2, 2019, through July 1, 2020; “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he participated in an outside business activity without providing prior written notice to his member firm. The findings stated that a company offering subscription-based stock and cryptocurrency research and recommendations enlisted Lycouris to design an automated system that would direct emails to its existing subscribers nearing expiration, as well the founder’s followers on LinkedIn. The company paid Lycouris a salary and bonuses for his employment.”
David Kendrick CRD#: 4384666 Shreveport, Louisiana Suspended from December 16, 2019, through June 15, 2021; also assessed a deferred fine of $30,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in an outside business activity, as an officer, member and manager of an investment club, without providing prior written notice to his member firm.”
Harold Schwartz CRD#: 841225 Highlands Ranch, Colorado Suspended from December 16, 2019, through January 7, 2020; fined $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he impersonated a customer on telephone calls to an annuity company for the purpose of reducing the periodic withdrawals from the customer’s annuity, a change the customer wanted.”
Seth Warshaw CRD#: 5287542 New York, New York Suspended from December 16, 2019, through June 15, 2020; fined $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he improperly used his member firm’s funds. The findings stated that Warshaw expensed car trips amounting to over $1,200 that were not reimbursable under the firm’s expense policy.”
Carmelo Alvarez CRD#: 5526419 San Juan, Puerto Rico Suspended from December 16, 2019, through January 15, 2020; also fined $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion in customer accounts without written authorization from the customers and without his member firm having approved any of the accounts for discretionary trading.”
Eugene Gordon CRD#: 4744448 Palo Alto, California

 

Suspended from December 16, 2019, through March 14, 2020; also fined $5,000 “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he effected transactions in his customer’s Individual Retirement Account (IRA) based upon instructions given to him by the customer’s wife, who was not authorized to direct transactions in the customer’s account. The findings stated that based upon the instructions received from the customer’s wife, Gordon made mutual fund trades in the customer’s IRA and facilitated distributions from the IRA to the couple’s joint bank account totaling $317,704.88.”
Murry Shapero CRD#: 1846138 Aventura, Florida Suspended from December 16, 2019, through January 15, 2020; “consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion by effecting trades in customer accounts without their prior written authorization and without the firm accepting in writing any of these accounts as discretionary.”

 

If your broker has been suspended or barred from the securities industry, don’t hesitate to contact a securities attorney. Call (877) 238-4175 or email info@fkesq.com for your free consultation.

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