Articles Posted in Uncategorized

Richard Belott

Publicly available records provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the New Jersey Bureau of Securities accessed on August 16, 2018 indicate that former New Jersey-based investment adviser Richard Belott, and his former employer, Financial Planning Advisors, have been sanctioned by the Bureau in connection to various allegations of fraud.

According to the Bureau’s findings, the allegations against Mr. Belott include selling unregistered securities, acting as an agent without registration, making untrue statements of material fact and/or omitting material facts, engaging in “an act, practice of course of business which would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person in connection with the offer, sale or purchase of securities,” doing the same upon advisory clients, engaging in dishonest or unethical practices in the advisory business, failing to maintain written investment advisory contract, failing to make and keep required books and records, and making false and misleading statements to investigators.

The Bureau’s complaint states specifically that from about 2008 until 2015, Mr. Belott and his employing firm, Financial Planning Advisors, made fraudulent sales of “at least 6.1 million of unregistered securities to at least eight investors,” including customers who were elderly. The products in question were at least 24 promissory notes that were represented as issued by local diners and a developer. “However,” according to the complaint, “instead of receiving promissory notes from the diners and developer, investors received personal promissory notes from the owners of the diners and the developer, who had undisclosed business relationships with Belott, and in one instance, from Belott himself.”

Cryptocurrencies The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a regulatory notice (18-20) on July 6, 2018 titled: “FINRA Encourages Firms to Notify FINRA if They Engage in Activities Related to Digital Assets.” In summary, the notice request that firms “promptly notify FINRA” if they or their associated persons or affiliates are presently engaging or intend to engage in “any activities related to digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and other virtual coins or tokens.”

As the notice observes, the market for digital assets like cryptocurrencies “has grown significantly” in recent years, becoming more attractive to retail investors. However, the market has seen “incidences of fraud and other securities law violations,” which raise concerns for investors. Hence FINRA reminds firms involved in digital assets to bear in mind all relevant state laws, rules and regulations. It has also requested that firms inform their Regulatory Coordinator if they or their persons or affiliates are involved in, or intend to be involved in, a number of activities including:

–“purchases, sales or executions of transactions in digital assets;

Stephanie GrossmanPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on January 19, 2018 indicate that former Minnesota-based Ameriprise Financial broker/adviser Stephanie Grossman recently resigned from her former employer in connection to alleged rule violations and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Ms. Grossman (CRD# 1411355).

Stephanie Grossman has spent 25 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Ameriprise Financial Services in Edina, Minnesota (1992-2018). She was previously registered with IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1992-2006). She has passed two securities industry examinations: Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination), which she obtained on April 16, 1992, and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which she obtained on March 20, 1992. Her FINRA records list the following other, uncompensated business activities: the board of directors of the Tergard Foundation, and a co-trustee of trust accounts. She is currently not registered with any state, firm or self-regulatory organization (SRO).

According to her FINRA-provided BrokerCheck report, she recently resigned her former employer in connection to alleged rule violations.

Theodore FransePublic records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on August 21 2017 indicate that former South Carolina-based Sandlapper Securities broker/adviser Theodore Franse has received a pending customer dispute and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Franse (CRD# 1418012).

Theodore Franse has spent 31 years in the securities industry and has been registered with Sandlapper Securities in Greenville, South Carolina since April 2017. Previous registrations include Independent Financial Group in Fair Oaks, California; First Allied Securities in Fair Oaks, California; AIG Financial Advisors in Fair Oaks, California; SunAmerica Securities in Phoenix, Arizona; and Pruco Securities in Newark, New Jersey. He has passed seven securities industry examinations: Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination); Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination); Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination); Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination); Series 51 (Municipal Fund Securities Principal Examination); Series 24 (General Securities Principal Examination); and Series 26 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Principal Examination). He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he was terminated from his former employer and has received one pending customer complaint.

Judy HealyPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on August 15, 2017 indicate that former Florida-based Merrill Lynch broker/adviser Judy Healy has been sanctioned by FINRA and suspended from acting as a broker. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Ms. Healy (CRD# 4000812).

Judy Healy has spent 15 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Merrill Lynch in Melbourne, Florida (1999-2015). She has no previous registrations. She is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to her BrokerCheck report, she has received one FINRA sanction and one customer complaint, and was terminated from her former employer.

Gary Deardorff

Publicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on May 4, 2017 indicate that Arizona-based National Planning Corporation broker/adviser Gary Deardorff has been the subject of resolved or pending customer disputes. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Deardorff (CRD# 1216674).

Gary Deardorff has spent nineteen years in the securities industry and has been registered with National Planning Corporation in Peoria, Arizona since 2012. Previous registrations include Next Financial Group in Glendale, Arizona; Linsco/Private Ledger Corporation in Glendale, Arizona; National Planning Corporation in El Segundo, California; JW Gant & Associates; Westlake Securities; and Dillon Securities. He is a registered broker and investment adviser with nineteen US states and territories.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received three customer complaints and one pending customer complaint.

As Seen On
New York Post
abc News
Investment News
Daily News
The Huffington Post
Wall Street Journal