Seminar Scammers Busted
The SEC has filed civil fraud charges against Linda Woolf and David Gengler, promoters of “Teach Me to Trade” (TMTT) classes, mentoring and computer software programs. In infomercials, and a handful of free seminars held in California, the SEC says Gengler and Woolf lied to listeners about their own trading success while using the products, enticing listeners to buy packages that cost anywhere from $11,000 to $40,000. Further, the pair claimed a 96.5-percent success rate for TMTT students who purchased the products. In his workshops, Gengler urged investors to borrow against their retirement accounts to follow TMTT strategies. The SEC says the two never made a cent in the markets. But they made plenty of money on their scams: According to the SEC, Woolf raked in $4 million and Gengler $2.25 million in commissions from selling TMTT packages. The SEC is demanding disgorgement of all that money, plus civil penalties.
Are Those Your Hands?
FINRA suspended and fined 16 current and former State Farm reps for misconduct related to FINRA's continuing education requirements. Apparently, nine of the reps were supervisors who directed subordinates to take State Farm's “Firm Element” proficiency test for them. The individual reps received fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, and suspensions ranging from 30 days to six months.