HELENA, Mont. – Securities Commissioner Matt Rosendale announced today that his office has reached a $101,000 settlement with a New York financial firm for bilking a Chester, Mont., man out of $78,000 through improper securities transactions.
Woodstock Financial Group and its employee Joseph Derrico agreed to pay the victim restitution with interest and an additional $15,000 in fines.
Rosendale’s office had refused to license another Woodstock employee, Ryan Murnane, due to the substantial number of previous customer complaints and regulatory issues he has had, so Murnane used Derrico’s broker information to execute trades on behalf of the Montana resident.
Murnane engaged in “churning,” a practice in which a broker makes excessive trades in a client’s account in order to generate significant commissions. Murnane’s churning in this case depleted the Montana man’s account.
Murnane was also involved in the Alexander Capital case that Rosendale highlighted in December. Murnane was suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in February 2018 for failing to respond to its requests. The suspension is now permanent, meaning Murnane is barred from working in the securities industry in any U.S. state.
“We’re glad we were able to secure restitution and make a fellow Montanan whole again,” Rosendale said. “We found out about this case because the victim contacted our office with concerns. If you suspect something is wrong with your investment account, or a family member’s account, please reach out to my office.”
CSI’s action against Murnane in this case is still pending.
CSI’s agency action with more details of the case is AVAILABLE HERE.
CSI’s consent agreement and final order is AVAILABLE HERE.