February 2012 FINRA Florida Disciplinary Actions
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) has taken disciplinary actions against the following individuals for violations of FINRA rules and federal securities laws, rules and regulations.
Olaf F. Gamlen (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member for 10 business days. Olaf Gamlen consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion in a customer’s nondiscretionary advisory accounts. The findings stated that although the customer had given Olaf Gamlen oral authorization to use discretion in his accounts to effect securities transactions, Olaf Gamlen did not obtain the customer’s prior written authorization.
Paul Cragg Larsen (Naples, Florida) and Quentin Marius Silic (Naples, Florida) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which they were each barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Paul Larsen and Quentin Silic consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that they failed to respond to FINRA requests for information and documentation regarding possible undisclosed outside business activities and/or private securities transactions. The findings stated that through counsel, Paul Larsen and Quentin Silic advised FINRA that they would not provide the requested information and documentation.
Jordan Alan Linn (Hallandale, Florida) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $2,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member for 30 days. Jordan Linn consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to amend his Form U4 to disclose a material fact.
Charles Rainsford Marks Jr. (South Jacksonville, Florida) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member for 10 business days. Charles Marks consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion in the accounts of customers who had authorized him to use discretion, but without their written authorization and without his member firm’s acceptance, in writing or otherwise, of the accounts as being discretionary.
Neal Seth Smalbach (Palm Harbor, Florida) submitted an Offer of Settlement in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member. Neal Smalbach consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he fraudulently misrepresented the risks and omitted material facts, for the sale of an oil and gas private placement investment to retired, senior citizen customers. The findings stated that Neal Smalbach claimed to have conducted his own due diligence, which included reviewing the PPM, subscription agreement, promotional material and speaking with employees of the issuer and firm due diligence personnel. The findings also stated that Neal Smalbach told investors that the investment was safe and high-yielding, which was false and misleading, and Smalbach virtually guaranteed his customers a yearly dividend and the return of their principal after three years but omitted telling them that the company had no significant assets, no current cash flow, and no prior operating history which was disclosed in the subscription agreement and PPM.
Armen Karapetyan (Sunny Isles Beach, Florida) was named as a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he knowingly or recklessly made a series of material misrepresentations and omissions, and engaged in fraudulent misconduct, in connection with the sale of private placement offerings to investors using interstate commerce. The complaint alleges that Armen Karapetyan failed to conduct a reasonable investigation prior to recommending that his customers purchase the offerings and relied almost entirely on unsubstantiated statements and although Armen Karapetyan requested audited financial data from the issuer, he never received audited information. Karapetyan was also aware that the founder’s had criminal history prior to offering the security to customers. The complaint further alleges that even the very limited due diligence actually conducted by Karapetyan raised significant red flags which should have prompted additional investigation.
Charles Eugene Bishop Jr. (Pompano Beach, Florida) was named as a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he wrongfully attempted to misappropriate and use for his own benefit, funds from a member firm customer in the amount of approximately $3 million. The complaint alleges that Charles Bishop deceived the customer into believing that the money in her account would be transferred after her death to a company that she created to care for her prized show dogs. Charles Bishop created a company whose business entity name was virtually identical to a company that the customer owned, but which Bishop had recently created and owned entirely.
Anthony Arthur Grey (Winter Park, Florida) was named as a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that Anthony Grey’s firm, though Anthony Grey, intentionally or recklessly charged unfair, unreasonable, excessive and fraudulently excessive markups on municipal bond transactions with retail customers and knew, or should have known, that they charged unfair, unreasonable, excessive and fraudulently excessive markups on the trades. The complaint alleges that Anthony Grey did not disclose to their customers that an account Grey maintained and controlled was interposed or otherwise involved in the transactions or that the charges were unfair, unreasonable, excessive and fraudulently excessive.
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