Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

March 12, 2018

New York Investment Adviser Convicted Of Defrauding Investors (DOJ Press Release)
Between January 2015 and January 2017, Louis F. Petrossi, the founder and president of the Wealth Research Institute, a purported investment research firm, solicited over $1.8 million in investments  from more than 25 investors . Petrossi promoted Chadwicke Partners LLC and Chadwicke Ventures LLC as providing the opportunity to invest in high-profile startups companies such as Lyft, Inc., Maplebear Inc., Pinterest Inc., Spotify Technology SA, and Palantir Technologies, Inc. among others.  Petrossi invested approximately $665,400 in privately held startup companies but used more than $1.1 million in investor funds to pay for personal expenses, including payments to BMW, renovations to his home and to pay his personal legal fees. In or around August 2016, Petrossi sent emails to Chadwicke investors attaching a spreadsheet that contained false and misleading statements about the purchase price and value of the securities held by the Chadwicke funds in order to conceal his misappropriation of investor money.After a four-day jury trial in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, was convicted on three counts of securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, and wire fraud for his role in a scheme to defraud investors.  

Federal Court Sustains FINRA / SEC Over CEO Reckless Disregard of Net Cap Rule ( Blog)
Keith D. Geary was the owner, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of FINRA member firm Capital West Securities, which became Geary Securities, Inc. During two days in May 2009 and 13 days during a three-week stretch in January and February 2010, FINRA alleged that Geary Securities operated pursuant to subparagraph (a)(2)(i) of '34 Act Rule 15c3-1, which imposes a $250,000 minimum net capital requirement based upon the firm's regular receipt of customer checks payable to the broker-dealer. FINRA alleged that the firm failed to maintain its requisite minimum Net Capital. Geary Securities filed BDW on February 29, 2012 and purportedly ceased doing business on April 30, 2012. On September 17, 2012, FINRA's Department of Enforcement filed a Complaint against Keith D. Geary and Norman Frager, who was the firm's Financial and Operations Principal ("FINOP") and the person responsible for preparing and filing the Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single Reports ("FOCUS Reports"). 

Boca Raton Man Arrested for Securities Fraud and Mail Fraud Conspiracy (DOJ Press Release)
A ten-count indictment filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama charged Brian Roger "Mailman' Sodi with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and mail fraud, and related charges. Sodi allegedly used his Florida-based publishing houses to distribute deceptive promotional mailers recommending the purchase of select penny stocks, while hiding from potential investors that he secretly was selling the stocks he was urging them to buy. Sodi allegedly obscured his involvement in the scheme by using offshore accounts and intermediaries to launder the proceeds of his fraud back to himself and his publishing houses.