Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

March 20, 2019
JPMorgan Chase Bank analyst Sarah M. Wiley pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. As set forth in part in the DOJ Release:
[B]eginning in and around September, 2014, and continuing until in and around October, 2017, Sarah M. Wiley, as an analyst for JPMorgan Chase Bank, accessed without authorization personal identifiers, including names and Social Security numbers of JPMorgan Chase account holders. She then shared the information with her father, Karl Edward Wiley, who was indicted earlier in 2018 on charges of conspiracy to produce counterfeit identification documents and checks. Some of the counterfeit checks were negotiated at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Karl Wiley is pending trial.

Series 52 Test Taker Barred by FINRA for Using Cellphone During Exam In the Matter of Qianqi Rao, Respondent (FINRA AWC 2018058583501)
For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Qianqi Rao submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Qianqi Rao a Bar in all capacities from associating with any FINRA member. On April 23, 2018,Rao allegedly accessed and reviewed prohibited materials while taking the Series 52 Municipal Securities Representative examination in violation of FINRA Rule 2010. As set forth in part in the AWC:

[P]rior to beginning the examination, Rao attested that she had read and would abide by the FINRA Test Center Rules of Conduct, which prohibited the use or possession of phones, notes, study materials and other personal items in the examination room or during a restroom break. The rules further required that all personal items be stored in a locker and not accessed during the examination. During the test session, Rao took an unscheduled break. Rao accessed her cell phone from her locker, conducted an internet search of material related to exam topics and skimmed the search returns hit list. She also accessed and reviewed a printed Series 52 study guide, which she had stored in the restroom prior to the start of the examination. On July 10, 2018, JPMS filed a Form U5 terminating Rao's registration as a result of this conduct.
As this historic bull market rumbles on, many investors have dabbled with a number of so-called non-traditional exchange traded products. Sometimes the investment yields a profit; other times, not so much. Wall Street isn't an insurance policy, however, it's more like a casino: Place your bets. Hands off the table. Dice comin' out!! In a recent FINRA regulatory settlement, we come across one stockbroker who solicited about 1,910 purchases and 1,663 sales of so-called non-traditional exchange traded products from only seven customers, resulting in $279 million in purchases and $275 million in sales, and generating about $890,000 in commissions. In the end, the brokerage firm, its Chief Compliance Officer, and its Chief Executive Officer wind up settling various FINRA regulatory charges.
In a Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio,
 the SEC charged Cardinal Energy Group, Inc.with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act and Sections 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and the reporting provisions of Sections 13(a) and 14(c) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-13, and 14c-6 thereunder, and seeks permanent injunctions and civil penalties. Also, the Complaint charges former Cardinal Chief Executive Officer Timothy W. Crawford with: (i) violating Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; (ii) violating Rule 13a-14 of the Exchange for filing false Sarbanes-Oxley certifications in Forms 10-Q; (iii) violating the reporting provisions of Sections 13(d)(1) and 16(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 13d-1 and 16a-3 thereunder concerning his Cardinal stock holdings and transactions, and (iv) aiding and abetting Cardinal's violations of Sections 13(a) and 14(c) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-13, and 14c-6 thereunder; and seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, an officer-and-director bar, and a penny stock bar. In related proceedings, the SEC also instituted administrative proceedings against Cardinal pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Exchange Act based on its failure to file quarterly and annual reports with the SEC, and issued an Order temporarily suspending trading in Cardinal stock. As set forth in part in the SEC Release:

[I]n mid-2017, Cardinal Energy Group, Inc. ("Cardinal"), based in Dallas, Texas, lost control of its interest in two oil-and-gas leases that accounted for nearly all of the company's revenue. Following the bad news, the complaint alleges that Cardinal and its former CEO Timothy W. Crawford filed quarterly reports with the SEC that misrepresented to investors that the leases were still expected to be part of the company's future business plans. During this period, while concealing the setback to the business, Cardinal and Crawford allegedly raised additional money from investors, misreported Crawford's stock ownership, and Crawford failed to make the required disclosures that he sold millions of shares of Cardinal stock.