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Smaller Brokerage Firms Are Even Worse!

Last week we posted Have 1.3% or 7.3% of Stock Brokers Engaged in Misconduct? explaining that the competing estimates of broker misconduct differ because of differences in their definition of misconduct and the sample of brokers studied.

Firms with 400 to 999 Brokers Are Much Worse Than Larger Firms.

In last week's post, we listed the 100 highest risk brokerage firms with 400 or more registered brokers sorted by the percentage of their brokers associated with Investor Harm Events as of...

Investors Lose Over $7 Billion in SandRidge Energy Stock and Notes

In recent months, investors have lost billions of dollars as a result of their investments in SandRidge Energy, Inc. stock, notes and bonds. Sandridge is involved in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the continental United States with some interests in the Gulf of Mexico.

SandRidge's stock price has lost 99% of its value since 2014, erasing more than $4 billion of market capitalization. In addition to near complete losses to SandRidge stockholders, investors have lost...

Have 1.3% or 7.3% of Stock Brokers Engaged in Misconduct?

In our recent working paper How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct? we reconcile estimates of misconduct, demonstrate that broker misconduct is predictable and explain that ostensibly publicly available BrokerCheck data could be used to help investors avoid bad brokers and bad brokerage firms if only it were made truly public instead of only speciously so.

Jason Zweig's recent column in the Wall Street Journal Is Your Broker Good or Bad? discussed our research problem. In...

How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct?

In this paper we reconcile widely diverging recent estimates of broker misconduct. Qureshi and Sokobin report that 1.3% of current and past brokers are associated with awards or settlements in excess of a threshold amount. Egan, Matvos, and Seru find that 7.8% of current and former brokers have financial misconduct disclosures including customer complaints, awards, and settlements.

You can download our research paper, "How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct?".

We...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - April 8th, 2016

SEC ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

SEC Charges Four in Fraudulent "Free Dinner" Scheme
April 4, 2016 (Litigation Release No. 63)
Joseph Andrew Paul, John D. Ellis, Jr., James S. Quay and Donald H. Ellison were charged for embezzling money from victims by soliciting a "free dinner" scheme, splitting the victims' money amongst themselves instead of on investments they proclaimed had high returns. Quay has previous convictions of fraud, and both Quay and Ellison have questionable registrations as...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - April 1st, 2016

SEC ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Securities Professional Charged With Defrauding Institutional Investors
March 28, 2016 (Litigation Release No. 58)
The SEC has charged Andrew W.W. Caspersen for embezzling approximately $95 million from two institutions. Caspersen deceived and offered promissory notes issued by Irving Place II SPV LLC, a name deceptively similar to a legitimate private equity fund Irving Place Capital Partners III SPV that is in no way associated with Caspersen. The U.S. Attorney's...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - March 18th, 2016

SEC ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

SEC Approves 2016 PCAOB Budget and Accounting Support Fee
March 14, 2016 (Litigation Release No. 51)
The SEC approved the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) annual budget and accounting support fee for 2016 which is a task that SEC is required to do annually according to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was established in efforts of the SEC to oversee and approve the PCAOB's accounting support fee and budget which funds its...

Ohio Division of Securities, In the Matter of Timothy K. Fife - Ohio IA Registration to be Revoked

In February 2016, after evidentiary hearings, the Hearing Examiner recommended that Timothy Fife's investment adviser representative registration be revoked. The Report and Recommendation is available on our website. Fife's registration is being revoked because he provided investment advice and initiated securities transactions while not licensed in Ohio and because he recommended the unsuitable purchase and holding for extended periods of time of leveraged and inverse ETFs. Dr. McCann ...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - January 15th, 2016

SEC ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

SEC Announces 2016 Examination Priorities
January 11, 2016 (Litigation Release No. 4)
The SEC has announced its new 2016 priorities for its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. The new priorities center around liquidity controls, public pension advisers, product promotion, exchange-traded funds, and variable annuities.

Julie M. Riewe, Co-Chief of Asset Management Unit, to Leave SEC After 10 Years of Service
January 11, 2016 (Litigation Release No. 5)...

Nicholas Schorsch Cheated Investors in Recent Nontraded REIT Mergers

Roll-ups

Recently we posted More Non-traded REIT Perfidy: The Roll-up Grift.

To re-cap: Non-traded REITs are required by state securities regulators to include language in their bylaws which closely tracks the 2007 North American Securities Administrators Association's Statement of Policy Regarding Real Estate Investment Trusts.1

NASAA guidelines protect shareholders in REITs which have not been trading for at least 12 months before being rolled-up. The protections include the requirement...

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