Straight Talk

The purpose of this blog is to provide education and news that will help clients through the litigation process.

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Former Ameriprise Financial Inc. adviser Susan Walker recently pleaded guilty to defrauding 24 clients of $980,000. Walker used the money to pay for personal expenses, including vacations and private school tuition. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota reported that the alleged incidents occurred between 2008 and 2013. According to the complaint filed [...] Read More
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The following article was recently published in the November issue of “Top Producer” magazine: Develop a Succession Plan Toolbox A comprehensive succession plan gives your farm the best chance of surviving for future generations, notes Polly Dobbs, an attorney at Starr Austen and Miller in Logansport, Ind. There isn’t a cookie-cutter approach to estate planning, [...] Read More
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You may dream of someday passing down your family farm and your legacy to the next generation, but are you taking the necessary steps to prepare for that handoff? When it comes to successful succession planning, you do need more than a will – there are other important documents you must consider and open, ongoing [...] Read More
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With a record number of actions taken and fines levied, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) experienced its most prolific year for enforcement in 2014, thanks to new investigative methods and innovative technology. According to the SEC’s preliminary figures, the agency filed 755 enforcement actions and obtained orders totaling $4.16 billion in disgorgement and penalties [...] Read More
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently charged Judy Wolf, a former compliance officer at Wells Fargo Advisors, for improperly altering a document. The SEC alleges that Wolf altered a document before it was provided to the SEC during its investigation into a former broker’s inside trading. Wells broker, Waldyr Da Silva Prado Neto, allegedly [...] Read More
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December 2-3, 2014 The Farm Journal Legacy Project will be hosting their annual Conference on December 2-3 in Kansas City, MO, offering farming families an opportunity to dive deep into the logistics of creating a sound succession plan. Several experts, including attorney Polly Dobbs, will provide information, insight and answer questions about how to take [...] Read More
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Scott Starr and Shannon Starr will be giving a presentation on securities law at the Indiana CPA Society Financial Services Conference on December 18, 2014 from 11:20 am - 12:15 pm. The presentation will address what is and is not a security, under Indiana Securities Law; how creating commercial entities can sometimes cause liabilities under [...] Read More
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Estate planning is important for all families and business owners, but it is crucial for farm families. A solid basic estate plan serves as the foundation for a farm succession plan. Estate planning isn’t for someone older or someone richer; it’s for you. To start, put in place your “not dead yet documents.” These can [...] Read More
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An independent contractor with Raymond James Financial Services, Jo Ellen Fisher, has been barred from serving as an investment adviser after allegedly stealing $924,750 from a 95-year-old client to fund personal expenses. In a settlement posted on its website, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), which barred Ms. Fisher, said the illegal transfer of [...] Read More
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Allowing numerous variable annuity (VA) applications to proceed without being reviewed by a supervisor led the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., (FINRA) to file charges recently against SWS Financial Services Inc. FINRA claims sales of these annuities comprised 16 to 20 percent of SWS' total revenue from September 2009 to May 2011 when the rule violations occurred. The [...] Read More