Prima Ventures Founder Facing Charges for Social Media Fraud Scheme

Prima Ventures Founder Facing Charges for Social Media Fraud Scheme

Efstratios “Elias” Argyropoulos of Montecito, California, has been arrested and faces a federal grand jury indictment for running two fraudulent investment schemes. Argyropoulos operated two Santa Barbara investment services firms – Prima Capital and Prima Ventures – and allegedly engaged in a social media fraud scheme that solicited investments in companies such as Facebook and Twitter.

Social Media Fraud Scheme Promised False Securities

According to the indictment, from October 2010 through October 2015, Argyropoulos solicited nearly $5 million from investors to purchase securities in social media companies, including pre-IPO shares of Facebook and Twitter. Instead of purchasing the stocks, Argyropoulos allegedly diverted investors’ funds for personal use, including day-trading in stocks unrelated to the promised investments and personal expenses, including his mortgage, car payments, and casino debts.

Argyropoulos faces six fraud charges for the social media fraud scheme.

Investment Fraud Scheme Extends to Real Estate

Argyropoulos also faces seven fraud charges for allegedly marketing investments in a fake estate settlement called the “Laurence Miles Trust.”

Argyropoulos marketed shares to investors in an investment known as the “Laurence Miles Giant Estate Settlement,” a trust that he told investors was worth up to $1 billion.

According to the indictment, Argyropoulos told investors that Trust’s beneficiary was an ill woman who was the heir to a large estate that was tied up in probate proceedings and money was needed to cover the heir’s medical expenses. Argyropoulos told investors that once the probate proceedings were finished the assets would become available for transfer and investors would receive a large return.

In fact, there was no such estate and no heir with large medical bills. Argyropoulos’ investors lost more than $760,000 in the scam, according to the indictment.

Argyropoulos Violates Prior Court Order

The indictment also includes eight counts of criminal contempt for violating a court order prohibiting Argyropoulos from selling securities.

The counts allege that the solicitation of investments in the Laurence Miles Trust violated the terms of an SEC injunction that prohibited Argyropoulos from acting as an unlicensed broker and selling fraudulent investments. He consented to that injunction in a suit brought by the SEC that was based on the social media investment fraud scheme.

Argyropoulos Facing 20 Years in Prison

If Argyropoulos is convicted of the 13 fraud charges in the indictment, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each count. The eight contempt charges do not have a statutory maximum sentence.

Are You a Victim of Investment Fraud?

If you believe you are a victim of investment fraud, contact a qualified investment fraud attorney today.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today


If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach, Miami, and Detroit, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment  losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule a FREE consultation to review your rights and options.

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FINRA Bars J.P. Morgan Rep Ricardo Rodriguez-Stern

FINRA Bars J.P. Morgan Rep Ricardo Rodriguez-Stern

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) has barred former J.P. Morgan rep and securities broker Ricardo Rodriguez-Stern from the securities industry. The regulator was investigating customer complaints against Rodriguez-Stern, who failed to appear at a hearing.

Ricardo Rodriguez-Stern Investigated by FINRA

J.P. Morgan terminated Rodriguez-Stern in January 2016 for improper account access. According to a report filed by FINRA, Rodriguez-Stern accessed a client’s account to contact them for personal reasons.

After the termination, FINRA opened an investigation into Rodriguez-Stern’s activities. The broker allegedly failed to disclose 10 unsatisfied tax liens and several civil judgments filed between 2006 and 2013. FINRA’s enforcement department also planned to investigate the circumstances surrounding 12 customer complaints against the broker.

Rodriguez-Stern joined Chase Investment Services in 2010, which changed its named to J.P. Morgan Securities in 2012. Prior to J.P. Morgan he held positions at American Capital Partners, Merrill Lynch, Gunn Allen and AXA Advisors.

Are You a Victim of Stockbroker Misconduct?

If you lost money as a result of former J.P. Morgan broker Ricardo Rodriguez-Stern or have been a victim of stockbroker misconduct, contact a qualified investment fraud attorney today.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today


If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach, Miami, and Detroit, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment  losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Couple Pleads Guilty in $50M Federal Reserve Investment Scheme

Couple Pleads Guilty in $50M Federal Reserve Investment Scheme

A couple accused of a $50 million Federal Reserve investment scheme have admitted to conspiracy charges in Manhattan federal court. The scheme involved false claims that an urban revitalization project was backed by the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

The couple, Michael Jacobs and Ruby Handler-Jacobs, pled guilty to conspiring to impersonate officers of the federal government while pitching a fraudulent investment partnership program called the “Cities Upliftment Program.”

Jacobs and Handler-Jacobs assisted Reinzi Edwards, the scheme’s alleged ringleader, in executing the scheme. Several brokers, including two who also have been charged in the case, marketed the program to investors as overseen by the New York Federal Reserve and backed by the U.S. government.

When the parties involved, including Jacobs and Handler-Jacobs, found willing investors, they stole the money by laundering it through foreign bank accounts in Hong Kong, Barbados, the United Kingdom, and Sri Lanka.

Jacobs and Handler-Jacobs face sentencing in May and each face a maximum of 5 years in prison. They are the only defendants to so far admit guilt.

Are You a Victim of Investment Fraud?

If you believe you are a victim of investment fraud, contact a qualified investment fraud attorney today.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach, Miami, and Detroit, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule a FREE consultation to review your rights and options.

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Osiris Partners CEO Ordered to Pay $4M For Securities Fraud

Osiris Partners CEO Ordered to Pay $4M For Securities Fraud

Michael J. Spak, former CEO of Osiris Partners LLC, has pleaded guilty to bilking investors of millions of dollars and was ordered by a New Jersey federal judge to pay $4 million in restitution. Spak fraudulently inflated his firm’s net assets and squandered millions in investor funds on his lavish personal lifestyle. According to the order, the restitution will go to more than 70 Osiris investors in amounts ranging from $14,000 to $222,000.

CEO of Osiris Partners Used Funds for Personal Use

According to prosecutors, Osiris Partners raised $12 million between June 2009 and November 2011, touting the firm as a boutique ‘mom and pop’ hedge fund that only charged management fees as a percentage of its net asset value. As a result, prosecutors say the fund was able to increase the fees it received by fraudulently inflating its numbers.

According to prosecutors, Spak failed to tell investors that Osiris suffered trading losses of $4.5 million in the spring of 2010. The amount represented about half of the fund’s net asset value at the time. To make up for the loss, Spak fraudulently added $5 million to the fund’s balance sheet.

At the same time, Spak and other Osiris Partners employees began diverting investor funds into their own personal accounts, recording the transactions as loans or intercompany transfers. Spak and former Osiris Chairman Peter Zuck, who was charged as a co-conspirator, diverted much of the money for personal use, including $300,000 that was used to buy a luxury sport fishing boat.

Civil Suit Orders Execs of Osiris Partners to Pay $55 Million

In a civil suit brought by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Spak, Zuck, and others at Osiris were ordered in June 2014 to pay more than $55 million in restitution and penalties. That suit contained similar claims related to the diversion of investor funds and also accused Zuck of failing to disclose that he was previously convicted for securities fraud and misconduct by a corporate officer.

In April 2017, Zuck pleaded guilty to tax evasion and conspiracy charges in exchange for three years in prison and $4.3 million in restitution. Spak waived prosecution and pled guilty in New Jersey federal court in September 2012 to one count of wire fraud.

Have You Lost Money Investing with Osiris Partners?

If you lost money investing with Osiris Partners or are a victim of stockbroker misconduct, contact a qualified investment fraud attorney today.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment  losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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FINRA Bars LPL broker Leslie Koonce For Private Transactions

FINRA Bars LPL broker Leslie Koonce For Private Transactions

Former LPL broker Leslie Koonce has been barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) for denying he took part in the sale of private securities.

According to FINRA, former LPL broker Leslie Koonce misrepresented his involvement in private securities transactions, reporting in compliance questionnaires that he did not participate in any such transactions.

Regulators said that between January and June 2012, Koonce solicited at least 30 prospective investors for convertible promissory notes offered by a private company. Shortly after, he helped three LPL customers move $175,000 so that they could invest in the convertible promissory notes. He also made an investment of $50,000 of his own money in the notes.

FINRA notes that former LPL broker Leslie Koonce did all of this without notifying LPL of his participation in the transactions, which he was required to do.

LPL Broker Leslie Koonce Barred from Securities Industry

Leslie Koonce began his career in the securities industry in 1974 at Hornor, Townsend and Kent. He was terminated by LPL Financial in December 2015 and was briefly affiliated with Cetera and EK Riley Investments. As of publishing, Leslie Koonce is not employed in the securities industry.

Are You a Victim of Stockbroker Misconduct?

If you lost money on investments made with Leslie Koonce or believe you are a victim of stockbroker misconduct, contact a qualified securities fraud attorney today.

Call a Securities Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the securities fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our securities fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment  losses.

Contact a securities fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Mohlman Asset Management Owner Charged by SEC

Mohlman Asset Management Owner Charged by SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Mohlman Asset Management owner and manager Louis G. Mohlman, Jr. with misleading investors and ordered him to pay $100,000 in civil penalties. The agency also charged two of the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms managed by Mohlman Asset Management with engaging in conflicted transactions and making false statements to investors.

Complaint Alleges Mohlman Repeatedly Misled Investors

The SEC alleges that between 2012 and 2015 Mohlman used money from two private funds managed by his company, Mohlman Asset Management, to satisfy payments to third parties and make a $150,000 unsecured loan. The loan constituted approximately 16% of the fund’s portfolio. Though SEC examiners told Molham that the loan should be fully disclosed to investors, he still misled investors on the nature of the loan.

The complaint also alleges that the fund owner encouraged his clients to invest in his “Roth IRA strategy,” which purportedly was backed by tax and legal opinions acquired from accounting and law firms. These statements were false, and in fact, the SEC cites one accounting firm principal who told Mohlman that he would not endorse such products.

The complaint also alleges that Mohlman Asset Management filed materially inaccurate forms with the SEC, had inadequate compliance programs, and failed to comply with the regulator’s “Custody Rule.”

Mohlman Asset Management Fund to Pay Penalties

Louis G. Mohlman, Jr. has neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s allegations, but he and his firm have agreed to a settlement subject to court approval. Mohlman will pay a $100,000 civil penalty and disgorge $862.03 in ill-gotten gains, plus $75.34 in interest.

Are You a Victim of Stockbroker Misconduct?

If you lost money as a result of stockbroker misconduct or think you may be a victim of securities fraud, contact a qualified securities fraud attorney today.

Call a Securities Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the securities fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our securities fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment  losses.

Contact an securities fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Raymond James Fined $2M Over Email Review System

Raymond James Fined $2M Over Email Review System

Raymond James Financial Services has been fined $2 million by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) for maintaining inadequate supervisory procedures for reviewing emails.

During a nine-year review period, FINRA found that Raymond James’ review system was significantly flawed. According to the findings, millions of emails went without meaningful review, possibly allowing misconduct by firm personnel to go undetected.

FINRA also found that the ‘lexicon’ the combinations of words and phrases used to flag emails for potential misconduct was not reasonably designed to detect possible violations, given the size and structure of the firm.

Knowing this, the firm should have conducted a regular test of its lexicon-based surveillance systems and related procedures, but it failed to do so. Instead of ensuring the system was effectively identifying problematic emails, the firm focused on reducing the number of ‘false positives’.  In other words, in order to save itself time, Raymond James arguably placed in investors at greater risk of broker misconduct.

Emails sent by certain personnel who serviced customer brokerage accounts or worked in branches with private email servers were also unreasonably excluded from email surveillance.

For emails that were flagged in the system, Raymond James failed to devote enough resources and personnel to review them, despite the growth of email usage over time and the fact that misconduct often can be detected by reviewing broker emails.

Raymond James to Conduct Risk-Based Review After Fine

In addition to paying the fine, Raymond James has agreed to conduct a retrospective review of past emails to detect potential violations. The company neither has admitted nor denied the charges filed by FINRA.

Have You Lost Money Investing with Raymond James?

If you lost money investing with Raymond James or are a victim of stockbroker misconduct, contact a qualified investment fraud attorney today.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Broidy Wealth Advisors Exec Gets Time For Bilking Clients

Broidy Wealth Advisors Exec Gets Time For Bilking Clients

An investment advisor and owner of Broidy Wealth Advisors LLC has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison for using his business to bilk customers out of $1.5 million.

Beverly Hills, California investment advisor Marc Broidy was sentenced for the misappropriation of stock held in trusts and withdrawing excess management fees, costing his clients millions. According to the filed complaint, Broidy used his company, Broidy Wealth Advisors, to take advantage of friends and family friends.

Broidy Wealth Advisors Exec Pleads Guilty

In March of this year, Broidy pled guilty to one count of fraud. In a parallel action, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission settled a lawsuit with Broidy, where he agreed to pay a settlement of approximately $1.7 million.

From November 2010 to July 2016, Broidy was given discretionary authority to buy and sell securities in his clients’ brokerage accounts and was allowed to deduct a set percentage as management fees. According to prosecutors, instead of deducting the agreed-upon amount Broidy stole more than $640,000 in excess fees from three clients. To hide the misconduct, he falsified IRS reports to reflect management fees far less than what was deducted.

When the stolen fees were discovered and Broidy was confronted, he sold $865,000 worth of stock held in trust accounts of another client for repayment. He also used the funds for personal expenses, including credit cards bills, mortgage payments and the lease of two luxury cars.

Are You a Victim of Stockbroker Misconduct?

If you lost money investing with Broidy Wealth Advisors or are the victim of stockbroker misconduct, contact a qualified securities fraud attorney today.

Call a Securities Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the securities fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los Angeles, our securities fraud attorneys represent clients throughout Los Angeles County, including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, West Hollywood, Long Beach, El Segundo, Bel-Air, and Malibu, and can help you recover your investment losses.

Contact a securities fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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SEC Bars Hyaline Capital Management Advisor

SEC Bars Hyaline Capital Management Advisor

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has barred New York-based Hyaline Capital Management advisor Justin D. Meadlin from the securities industry. The SEC alleges that Meadlin used false and misleading information to solicit investments for Hyaline Capital Management.

Advisor Uses False Information to Solicit Investors

According to the SEC, Meadlin claimed that Hyaline had $25 million under management and consistently touted positive performance to prospective investors and clients. The claims, delivered in emails and in subscription hedge fund databases, materially inflated the fund’s assets under management and cited favorable returns dating back to 2009 generated by a “proprietary” algorithm.

In a complaint filed in April, the SEC says that none of Meadlin’s statements were true and those who invested with the advisor did so based on fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions. There was no Hyaline fund and Meadlin had not acquired or created a “proprietary” algorithm.

Meadlin Ordered to Pay Penalty

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has ordered Meadlin to pay a civil penalty of $150,000 and disgorge $150,645.66 plus interest, totaling just over $300,000.

Are You a Victim of Securities Fraud?

If you lost money as a result of stockbroker misconduct or securities fraud, contact a qualified securities fraud attorney today.

Call a Securities Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the securities fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our securities fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment losses.

Contact a securities fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Fujitsu Class Action Arrives at $14M Deal

Fujitsu Class Action Arrives at $14M Deal

Fujitsu workers involved in a class action lawsuit told a California federal judge that they’ve come to a $14 million deal with the company. Fujitsu agreed to pay to end a nearly $150 million proposed class action alleging that the company paid more fees than necessary to invest the retirement funds of nearly 23,000 current and former workers.

The workers asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins to approve a deal, stating that the settlement compares favorably to other 401(k) settlements. The deal is worth roughly $600 per class member and a full one percent of the plan’s total value.

Fujitsu Class Action Alleges Firm Mismanaged Retirement Funds

Fujitsu is a Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company whose products are available in over 100 countries. In 2015, it was the world’s fourth-largest IT services provider measured by IT services revenue.

In June 2016, workers sued the company’s California office, alleging the tech firm mismanaged their retirement plans. The suit claims that the company deprived its workers of returns by buying more expensive classes of funds than necessary. It also claims that the company did not monitor the record-keeping and administrative fees it paid, and the plan’s offerings included “excessively costly investments”.

The proposed deal will pay a class of 22,705 members—all of whom participated in the company’s 401(k) plan between June 2010 and September 2017. The payments will be based on the value of the investors’ investments at certain points in the class period. Less weight will be applied to assets held after Fujitsu revised its 401(k) plan in 2016.

Are You a Victim of Securities Fraud?

If you lost money as a result of misconduct on the behalf of your company or are the victim of securities fraud, contact a qualified securities fraud attorney today.

Call a Securities Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the securities fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our securities fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and can help you recover your investment losses.

Contact a securities fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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