Ex-Stratton Oakmont Broker Accused of Churning Client’s Account
Christopher Veale, a broker who started his career at boiler room Stratton Oakmont Inc., was accused by Massachusetts regulators of excessive trading in the account of an 81-year-old from 2010 to 2012.
The regulators said today in a statement that they’re seeking to bar Veale from the securities business in Massachusetts, along with a former colleague, Ali Habib Mayar, as well as Brookville Capital Partners LLC, the brokerage where they worked at the time.
“Rogue brokers have long been a plague on the investing public,” Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said in the statement. “My office, along with other state and federal regulators, is determined to move aggressively against them as well as the firms that hire them.”
Veale, who now works at Legend Securities Inc. in New York, declined to comment, as did Anthony Lodati, the chief executive officer of Uniondale, New York-based Brookville. A message left for Mayar with a colleague at Brookville wasn’t immediately returned.
Prosecutors said that Stratton Oakmont, the Long Island brokerage depicted in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” generated millions in illicit profits by pushing penny stocks and manipulating their prices from its offices in Lake Success, New York, before it was shut down in 1996.
Veale was employed at Stratton Oakmont from 1995 to 1996, regulatory records show. He’s worked at 17 different firms since then, according to the Massachusetts regulators, including John Thomas Financial Inc., another boiler room that shut down last year amid fraud allegations. That firm pumped brokers up with the “Rocky” theme and made trainees stand to deliver memorized scripts for as little as $300 a week, Bloomberg News reported last year.
According to the regulators, an 81-year-old masonry business owner from Rhode Island opened an account with Brookville in 2010 after getting a cold call from a salesman. Over the next two years, the investor put $873,622 into the account and incurred $319,818 in commissions and hidden markups, the regulators said.
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