The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed lawsuits against two brokers affiliated with Meyers Associates LP for fraudulent, excessive, high-frequency trading. The two brokers pocketed more than $4.6 million combined through their schemes.
The SEC says that the New York-based brokers, Emil Botvinnik and Jovannie Aquino, both of whom were associated with Meyers Associates, violated anti-fraud provisions of federal securities law by recommending a trading strategy involving frequent, short-term trades that carried heavy fees and commissions for the investors.
Broker Emil Botvinnik Engaged in Stockbroker Misconduct
According to the regulator, the strategy touted by 38-year-old Botvinnik made it certain that his customers would lose money. The regulator claims that while working at Meyers Associates from June 2012 to November 2014, Botvinnik recruited five customers to open securities trading accounts with promises that he would employ a trading strategy that would ensure them returns. According to calculations made by the SEC, the clients’ investments would have to reach an annual return of between 31 percent and 150 percent to offset the transaction costs associated with Botvinnik’s strategy.
In addition to the fraudulent scheme, Botvinnik also executed trades without customer approval or providing material facts for the reasons behind the trades. The actions allegedly led to roughly $2.7 million in investor losses and $3.7 million in commissions for himself.
Meyers Associates Broker Jovannie Aquino Excessively Traded Accounts
In the second lawsuit, the SEC alleges that Jovannie Aquino engaged in nearly identical misconduct with at least seven customers. Aquino worked for Meyers Associates from December 2015 to November 2017.
The complaint states that Aquino’s trading was unsuitable for six of the seven customers, costing them approximately $881,000 in losses while Aquino reaped $935,000 in ill-gotten commissions. The investments would have had to generate an annual return of between 21 percent and 406 percent to offset the transaction costs created by Aquino’s trading.
SEC Seeks Sanctions Against Both Meyers Associates Brokers
Each complaint seeks to sanction both men from further violations of securities laws and to order them to disgorge their ill-gotten gains with interest, along with payment of a civil penalty.
The SEC has been actively going after financial professionals who abuse their positions in the industry, pursuing brokers who prey on their customers.
Have You Lost Money with Meyers Associates Brokers?
Did you lose money investing with Meyers Associates or think you may have been misled by a Meyers Associates broker? Investors who are victims of stockbroker fraud may find that they have grounds for financial recovery and compensation. Contact an experienced investment fraud attorney today to learn more.
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