Articles Posted in North Carolina

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Former securities broker Gregory Bartko has been found guilty of fraud and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Allegedly, Bartko defrauded 200 investors in a scheme that took $3.3 million from his clients. Bartko’s sentencing took place April 4 in the Federal District Court in Raleigh, North Carolina. According to stock fraud lawyers, Bartko’s victims may be able to recover losses through a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim.

Broker Sentenced for Fraud, Investors Could Recover Losses

Together with Scott Hollenbeck, Bartko’s fraud took place through the sale of unregistered securities. Hollenbeck, a Kernersville, North Carolina resident, was a member of Gospel Light Baptist Church and used his religions connection to target church members. Hollenbeck made false promises of 12 to 14 percent guaranteed interest rates through a fund that was owned by Bartko, the Caledonia Fund.

In April 2004, North Carolina’s secretary of state’s office issued a cease and desist order. Despite the order, Hollenbeck and Bartko continued to raise money for another fund developed by Bartko, the Capstone Fund. According to stock fraud lawyers, the money raised from investors was used for Hollenbeck’s and Bartko’s personal use.

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Investment attorneys turn their eyes to Bank of America once again, only two months into the New Year. Bank of America Corp. has been subpoenaed by William Gavin, the Massachusetts securities regulator, over LCM VII Ltd. and Bryn Mawr CLO II Ltd., two related collateralized loan obligations. These two CLOs led to investor losses totaling $150 million. The subpoena will, hopefully, help authorities in determining if Bank of America knew it was overvaluing the assets of the portfolios. Both Bryn Mawr and LCM were sold in 2007, prior to the 2008 merger between Bank of America Securities and Merrill Lynch.

News: Bank of America Faces More Allegations In 2012

Bank of America held commercial loans from small banks amounting to around $400 million in 2006. In 2007, securities packages were put together from these loans and then sold to investors. The subpoena arrives only one day after Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. settled allegations of engaging in abusive mortgage practices. These abusive practices included engaging in deceptive practices in the offering of loan modifications, a failure to offer other options before closing on borrowers with federally insured mortgages, submitting improper documents to the bankruptcy court and robo-signing foreclosure documents without proper review of the paperwork.

The settlement amounted to $25 billion and involved federal agencies plus authorities in 49 states. This settlement is designed to give $2,000 to around 750 borrowers whose homes were foreclosed upon after the home values dropped 33 percent from their 2006 worth, and to provide mortgage relief. In addition, all five banks will pay $766.5 million in penalties to the Federal Reserve. This is considered to be the biggest federal-state settlement ever. Bank of America will also pay $1 billion to settle allegations that it, together with its Countrywide Financial unit, engaged in fraudulent and wrongful conduct.

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