Jeffrey Pederson is an attorney who handles investment fraud and stockbroker and financial advisor negligence cases. He represents investors in such cases, usually required to be brought in front of FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) in New Mexico and nationwide*. If you have suffered losses as the result of inappropriate handling of your funds by a broker, financial advisor or other financial professional please submit your information in the boxes below, or 303-300-5022.
Robert Barnard of Las Cruces, New Mexico, on September 30, 2020, a resolution with regulators was announced in which Barnard was barred from association with any securities brokerage in all capacities. Barnard was most recently employed with Primerica and PFS Investments. Without admitting or denying the findings, Barnard consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA, the regulator overseeing brokerage firms, in connection with FINRA’s investigation into allegations referenced in Form U5s, forms filed by a brokerage firm identifying reasons for the broker’s employment ending. The findings stated that Barnard’s brokerage firm filed a Form U5 reporting that it had discharged him after the firm found evidence that Barnard had inappropriate personal financial dealings with clients. Subsequently, the firm amended his Form U5 disclosing an arbitration filed by an investor against the firm that alleged that as an employee of the firm, Barnard sold the investor “outside investments,” investments where the legitimacy was not verified by the firm, and borrowed money from her and her late husband.
Thomas Laws, Silver City, New Mexico, has refused to cooperate into investigations concerning his selling away investments. Investments are “sold away” when the investments are not approved by the broker’s firm. Law’s firm was HD Vest Investments. Selling away is an issue because failing to submit such an investment for review often is done to sell investors an investment that is extremely flimsy or fake. Many Ponzi scams start with a broker selling his investors investments that are not approved by the broker’s firm. Since Law has not cooperated, he has chosen to surrender his license rather than defend his actions.
Marcus D. Parker, with Wells Fargo in Santa Fe and Galisteo, was barred stemming from allegations and failing to answer questions that he misappropriated funds. He first entered the securities industry in February 1982, when he associated with a FINRA member firm. He obtained his Series 7 and 63 licenses in July 1982 and his Series 65 license in November 1997. Parker was registered with numerous other member firms before becoming registered with Wells Fargo. in September 2008. According to the Firm’s Form U-5 termination filing, Wells Fargo terminated Parker’s registration on December 12, 2017 for his “[fjailure to appear for an interview and be questioned about misappropriations from client accounts.” He ultimately received a permanent suspension from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, “FINRA.”
In February 2018, Parker was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Parker consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to respond to FINRA’s requests for documents and information in connection with its investigation of Parker’s termination from his member firm. The findings stated that according to the firm’s Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) filing, it terminated Parker’s registration for his failure to appear for an interview and be questioned about misappropriations from client accounts.
Danielle Jean McAniff, broker from Albuquerque. An AWC, a regulatory settlement, was entered in which McAniff was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member, which is any stockbrokerage firm, in all capacities, for two months. Without admitting or denying the findings, McAniff consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that she engaged, and permitted her office administrator to engage, in a practice of having her customers sign blank and incomplete forms, or using photocopied customer signatures. The findings stated that McAniff or her office administrator then completed the forms and submitted them to her home office as original documents. The forms were used to open customer accounts, record customer financial information and authorize customer transactions.
This is, or can be, a very serious form of fraud. These documents indicate how an investor wants an account handled and gives authorization as to money transactions. The action gives the broker authorization to do things that benefit the broker and not the investor. Because the documents appear signed supervisors have very little way to stop activity that is not in the investor’s best interests since the forged document creates the appearance that the investor has consented.
Ronald Edward Siemon formerly a stockbroker from Albuquerque, New Mexico submitted an AWC in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without
admitting or denying the findings, Siemon consented to the sanction and to the entry of
findings that he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents during the course of its
investigation relating to a customer complaint.
Kevin Paul Hudak, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, formerly of Cetera Advisors and Foothill Securities, was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity over allegations that he falsified investor signatures. FINRA has stated in a press release that Hudak, without admitting or denying the findings, consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he submitted non-solicitation forms to his member firm that had non-authentic customer
signatures. Hudak’s firm required these non-solicitation forms concerning certain low-priced securities to process the transactions for his customers in these securities. Hudak is alleged to have falsified these non-solicitation forms by having customers sign blank forms, which he then photocopied and reused for future low-priced securities transactions. The findings of the FINRA investigation also allege that Hudak provided false and misleading testimony to FINRA by repeatedly denying that he had asked customers to sign blank non-solicitation forms, and that he copied customer signatures for use as if they were authentic
David G. Zeng (CRD #4303055, Merrill Lynch Registered Representative (broker), Santa Fe, New Mexico) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity, effectively making him barred from the securities industry. Without admitting or denying the findings, Zeng consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to respond to FINRA requests for information and documents and failed to appear and provide FINRA-requested testimony concerning several customer complaints that his former member firm became aware of after Zeng resigned from Merrill Lynch. The findings stated that Zeng informed FINRA that he would not cooperate with FINRA’s requests for testimony and documents in connection with this matter.
George Leon Winneberger (CRD #470045, Registered Principal, Santa Fe, New Mexico) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member (stockbrokerage firm) in any capacity for 15 business days. Without admitting or denying the findings, Winneberger consented to the described sanctions. The findings stated that the customer, the investor of Mr. Winneberger, maintained several accounts with Winneberger’s firm, and she gave Winneberger oral authorization to exercise discretion in her accounts. Winneberger would periodically discuss the status of the accounts with the customer. However, the customer did not give Winneberger any written authorization to exercise discretion and the firm did not allow discretionary trading in customer accounts or accept the accounts as discretionary. Approximately 650 trades were placed in the customer’s accounts from their inception through a certain period, a substantial number of which Winneberger placed through the use of discretion. The findings also stated that Winneberger completed employee questionnaires, and in each of them, he answered that he had not handled any customer accounts on a discretionary basis; thereby, misleading the firm, as he was exercising discretion. The suspension was in effect from August 19, 2013, through September 9, 2013. http://www.finra.org/web/groups/industry/@ip/@enf/@da/documents/disciplinaryactions/p342525.pdf
Christopher Jungmann was found to have been selling securities without a New Mexico license from January 2009 thru March 2011. This despite the fact that he transacted business in New Mexico during this time. Respondent then entered into an AWC and indicated that he would stop the offending conduct. Interestingly, the Division of Securities agreed not to report the incident to either the IARD or CRD systems. http://www.rld.state.nm.us/uploads/FileLinks/ec6335f9ebc54276943f6fc9c994b189/Consent_Agreement_Sandia_Investment_Adviser_LLC.pdf
If you have questions concerning losses caused by these or other New Mexico brokers, please call Jeffrey Pederson directly at 303-300-5022 for a free consultation.
Representation is for all areas of New Mexico including Albuquerque, Carlsbad, Farmington, Gallup, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Raton, Rio Rancho, and Roswell.
*Jeffrey Pederson is a licensed Colorado attorney. Colorado attorneys are allowed to represent New Mexico residents in arbitrations. NM Rule 16-505(F)(1). Almost all states allow licensed attorneys to represent parties to FINRA arbitrations within the state without pro hac vice admission. Some states, notably California and Florida, require pro hac vice admission.