Financial Industry News

House Panel Passes Social Security Online Tools Act

The bill requires the Social Security commissioner to make publicly available online tools allowing individuals that are eligible for disability benefits “to assess the impact of earnings on the individual’s eligibility for, and amount of, benefits received through federal and state benefit programs.”

Read more

Trump Creates Task Force to Police Elder, Cyber Frauds

  • The Trump administration task force will build on the task force set up “in the wake of the financial crisis” under the Obama administration, “which is now a decade passed and [which] focused on specific financial crimes and frauds.” – Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio

  • The task force “is a broader effort looking at other areas of consumer fraud and market integrity, such as elder fraud and the growing problem of cybercrime.” - Panuccio

  • Cyber threats “present some of the greatest risks confronting today’s financial markets,” with bad actors using “new technology to perpetrate old frauds, including securities offering frauds.” – SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

Read more

SEC Fines Morgan Stanley $3.6M for Failing to Protect Client Funds

  • The SEC finds that they failed to have reasonably designed policies and procedures in place to prevent its advisory representatives from misusing or misappropriating funds from client accounts.

  • Approximately $7 million was misused or misappropriated out of 4 advisory clients’ accounts in approximately 110 unauthorized transactions occurring over a period of nearly a year.
Read more

Wells Fargo Agrees to $5M SEC Settlement

  • The SEC found that Wells Fargo “generated large fees by improperly encouraging retail customers to actively trade the products.”

  • The SEC concluded that the bank’s representatives “did not reasonably investigate or understand the significant costs of the recommendations.”

  • “It is important that brokers do their homework before they recommend that their retail customers buy or sell complex structured products” – Daniel Michael, Chief of SEC Enforcement Division’s Complex Financial Instruments Unit

 

How the Social Security COLA Fails Seniors

  • According to The Senior Citizens League, Social Security benefits lost 34% of their buying power between 2000 and 2018

  • "When costs climb more rapidly than benefits, retirees must spend down retirement savings more quickly than expected and those without savings or other retirement income are either going into debt, or going without" – Johnson, Social Security policy analyst

  • “For every $100 worth of groceries a retiree household could afford in 2000 they can only buy $66 worth today.” - Johnson

Read more

Now All Investors, Pre-Retirees and Retirees, Unfortunately, Will Be Taken to the Proverbial Woodshed by So-Called Advisors

  • 5th Circuit Issues Order to Kill DOL Fiduciary Rule

  • Is your wealth safe? CLICK HERE to learn more!

Read more

Merrill Hit With $15M SEC Penalty Over RMBS Infractions

  • Merrill Lynch agreed to pay SEC $15+ million to settle charges that employees misled customers into overpaying for securities

  • Merrill’s RMBS traders and salespeople “illegally profited from excessive, undisclosed commissions — called ‘markups’ — which in some cases were more than twice the amount the customers should have paid” – SEC

  • Merrill also failed to have compliance and surveillance procedures in place that were reasonably designed to prevent and detect the misconduct that increased the firm’s profits 

Read more

New York Halts $5M Hedge Fund Scheme Targeting Elderly

  • Advisor, Dean S. Mustaphalli, owner and operator of Mustaphalli Capital Partners Fund LP, was charged with operating a securities fraud scheme that involved targeting investors who were elderly and at or near retirement

  • In total, Mustaphalli allegedly fraudulently solicited his former clients to invest over $12 million and lost over $11 million of their money.

  • According to the indictment,  Mustaphalli’s scheme brought in $5M+ from 22 victims between June 2014 and March 2017 and a separate civil lawsuit alleges that he fraudulently solicited an additional $7 million from prior investors between 2012 and 2014

Read more

Treasury’s Crime Unit, Consumer Bureau Team Up on Elder Fraud Prevention

  • Elder financial exploitation, “the illegal or improper use of an older person’s funds, property or assets,” is the “most common form of elder abuse in the United States.”

  • June 7 webcast will spotlight the importance of suspicious activity reports

Read more

Watch Out for These 4 Behaviors by Your Financial Professional

  • Asking for a Personal Loan

  • Sales of Promissory Notes

  • Using Personal Email

  • Asking You to Write a Check to a Person or Entity Other than the Firm

Read more

Pages