Sep 22

Schwab Reprimanded, Fined $95,000 for Supervisory Failures

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. was reprimanded and agreed to pay a $95,000 fine for failing to verify that certain individuals with powers of attorney in client accounts were required to be registered as investment advisers.

The reprimand and fine are part of a Consent Order entered by...

Sep 19

Travis Iles Named Deputy Commissioner

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan announced today that Travis J. Iles has been named Deputy Commissioner of the State Securities Board.

Iles joined the State Securities Board in 2001 and for the past six years served as Assistant Director of the Enforcement Division. He also...

Aug 25

Investor Alert: Scams Target Immigrant Visa Program

An immigrant visa program designed to attract foreign investment in U.S. businesses has also attracted scammers targeting immigrant investors.

At issue is the federal immigrant visa known as the Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB-5) visa. Foreign investors who meet certain...

Aug 15

15-Year Sentence for Stock-Trade Scam

Enticed by the promise of quick profits, investors in and around the small South Texas town of Alice sunk at least $5 million into Michael Anthony Collins’ stock-trading operation only to see their money stolen outright or used to fund a Ponzi scheme.

Collins pleaded guilty to charges of...

Aug 15

Emergency Action Filed Against Dallas-Area Investment Promoter

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order on Aug. 15 that requires Bobby Eugene Guess, an unregistered investment promoter, to stop engaging in fraud in marketing promissory notes tied to a wide array of businesses.

The emergency order cites...

Jun 30

Administrative Action Report: April-June 2016

The following are summaries of administrative actions and orders taken from April 1 through June 30, 2016.

Ralph W. Lillard and Stanley B. Catlin: Cease and Desist, Fines

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on May 31 entered consent orders that fined two unregistered individuals...

May 23

Houston Investment Adviser Sanctioned for Violations of 'Custody Rule'

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on May 23 entered a Consent Order against Post Oak Investment Management Inc. , a Houston investment adviser.

Post Oak Investment Management paid a $1,000 fine and was reprimanded for violating the State Securities Board’s “custody rule,” which...

Apr 5

Investor Alert: Pitfalls of Pension Advance Schemes

If you are receiving regular payments from your pension, keep an eye out for sales pitches that ask you to trade the stability of those payments for the opportunity to make a quick buck.

The come-on will probably be as subtle as a used-car ad: Are you earning a pension from your former employer 

Apr 1

Austin Forex Trader Ordered to Stop Fraudulent Offering

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on March 30 entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order requiring David Del Castillo of Austin to stop offering for sale investments in a foreign exchange trading operation.

Del Castillo promoted his supposed expertise in forex trading –...

Mar 31

Administrative Action Report: January-March 2016

The following are summaries of administrative actions and orders taken between Jan. 1 and March 30, 2016.

SoBell Corp. and Andrew Gamber: Emergency Cease and Desist Order

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on Feb. 1 entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order against a heavily...

Mar 30

Perpetrator of $37M Real Estate Fraud Sentenced to 19 Years

Derek A. Nelson ’s Garland-based real-estate investment program promised huge profits, with little risk, from the business of buying and renovating distressed properties.

Distress, yes: Investors poured approximately $37 million into the promissory notes Nelson sold to purportedly fund...

Feb 18

LPL Fined $95,000, Reprimanded, For Supervisory Failures

LPL Financial LLC was reprimanded and will pay a $95,000 fine for supervisory failures related to a former agent who obtained $2 million in loans from a LPL client. Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered the Consent Order on Feb. 18.

The fine will go into the General Revenue...

Feb 16

Carrollton Investment Adviser Suspended

Ronald Eugene Harrison , an investment adviser representative in Carrollton, has been suspended for 90 days and is required to repay a client $5,000, which represents a portion of the commissions he earned in the sale of an investment to the client. Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan...

Feb 3

Tune Out the Noise and Turn On to the 2016 Investor Guide

The State Securities Board’s newest version of the Texas Investor Guide has landed, bigger and better than ever.

The 2016 edition of the Texas Investor Guide: Strategies for Investing Wisely and Avoiding Financial Fraud , has been substantially revised and expanded to help investors –...

Feb 1

Firm Ordered to Stop Sale of Pension-Linked Investments

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on Feb. 1 entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order against a firm selling investments that supposedly earn returns from the payout of pension benefits it acquires from federal government employees, members of the military, and certain corporations....

Dec 10

Investor Alert: Third-Party Asset Recovery Firms

State securities regulators said Thursday that victims of investment fraud should be extremely careful when approached by companies -- known as third-party asset recovery firms -- promising to help them recover their money or bring the perpetrator to justice.

A third-party asset recovery...

Oct 29

Stock Trader Indicted In $5 Million Investment Scheme

Michael Anthony Collins of Alice was indicted Oct. 26 on charges of securities fraud, theft, and money laundering for allegedly stealing at least $5 million from investors who sunk money into his stock-trading operation.

The indictment alleges that from 2013 through mid-2015, Collins sold “investment plans” in Collins Financial Group of Alice. Investors were told . . . 

Oct 9

Stellar Content, Easier to Navigate – Good Looking, Too

The Texas State Securities Board’s new website is designed to provide the investing public and industry professionals more efficient ways to access the most relevant content.

The site offers new ways to stay connected to the State Securities Board, including Twitter ( @TxSSB ), and...

Sep 29

Three-Time Felon Indicted for Short-Term Loan Program

Larry David Eckenrode of McKinney, a three-time felon, was arrested Sept. 29 and faces securities fraud, theft, and money laundering charges related to his sale of investments in a short-term lending program that was allegedly making loans to international fuel businesses.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Eckenrode on Aug. 20, 2015. The indictment alleges . . .


Sep 22

Investor Alert: Seniors Remain Top Target for Fraud

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) reported that senior investors continue to be a primary target for fraudulent investment pitches. In its 2015 Enforcement Report on 2014 Data , released Sept. 22, NASAA, based in Washington, D.C., reported that affinity fraud and...