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New York Brokerage Firm Newport Coast Securities, Representatives Charged with $1 Million Churning Violation

FINRA has filed charges against five stockbrokers formerly employed by Newport Coast Securities Inc., as well as the firm itself and two supervisors, alleging that the firm excessively traded customer accounts for the purpose of generating commissions- a type of violation known as “churning.”

Newport Coast Securities, based in New York, as well as two former supervisors at the firm, Marc Arena and Roman Luckey, were also named in the FINRA complaint.  According to FINRA, from 2008 through 2013, brokers Douglas Leone, Andre LaBarbera, David Levy, Antonio Costanzo and Donald Bartelt churned the accounts of 24 customers, utilizing margin to trade risky securities and charging excessive commissions, causing the customers losses in the sum of over $1 million.  Brokers also allegedly completed new account forms for clients that misstated the customers’ net worth, investment experience and objectives.  FINRA also alleges that Levy, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Costanzo, based in Chesapeake, Va., attempted to discourage several customers from speaking with FINRA investigators.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, “churning refers to the excessive buying and selling of securities in your account by your broker, for the purpose of generating commissions and without regard to your investment objectives.” In short, churning is a form of broker misconduct in which the broker performs excessive trading to generate personal profit. If an investor feels they may be a victim of churning, he should check his monthly statements for numerous stock trades and then contact a stock broker fraud attorney. If you believe you are a victim of churning, you may contact the law office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. to explore the possibility of asserting a claim in FINRA arbitration. 

If you have suffered significant losses as a result of your investment with Newport Coast Securities or another firm, you may have a valid securities arbitration claim. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a securities fraud attorney at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 or for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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