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Former Broker Of Success Trade Securities Barred For Failing To Appear In FINRA Disciplinary Proceeding Against Firm and Its President Regarding Fraudulent Promissory Note Investments to NFL and NBA Players

Jinesh “Hodge” Brahmbhatt is a broker formally registered with Success Trade Securities, Inc. (“Success Trade”) from April 2009 until April 2013. Success Trade and its President and Chief Executive Officer, Fuad Ahmed, were charged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) in a Complaint for defrauding various investors, including several NFL and NBA professional athletes, through the sale of $18 million in fraudulent promissory notes. In April 2013, FINRA filed a Complaint against Mr. Ahmed and Success Trade which alleges that “[f]rom March 2009 through at least February 2013, Ahmed and [Success Trade] raised over $18 million from 58 investors, many of whom are current National Football League (“NFL”) and National Basketball Association (“NBA”) players, through the fraudulent and unregistered sales of promissory notes issued by [Success Trade’s] parent company, [Success Trade, Inc.].” (See Department of Enforcement vs. Success Trade Securities, Inc., et al., Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2012034211301). The Complaint also states that the notes purported “to offer interest rates ranging from 12% to 26% paid on a monthly basis typically over three years. To meet its monthly interest obligations at these exorbitant rates, [Success Trade] issued, and [Respondents] sold, additional [Success Trade] notes to new and existing investors,” by making various misrepresentations of material facts and omitting to disclose other material facts to investors. A disciplinary proceeding was held by FINRA regarding their allegations in their Complaint against Success Trade and Mr. Ahmed, during which Mr. Brahmbhatt was supposed to appear.

On November 15, 2013, FINRA filed a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (“AWC”) which settled various FINRA rule violations alleged by FINRA against Mr. Brahmbhatt for his failure to appear and testify in an August 2013 disciplinary hearing regarding its Complaint against Success Trade and Mr. Ahmed. In FINRA’s AWC, Mr. Brahmbhatt agreed that based upon his failure to appear in the disciplinary proceeding, he would be barred from associating with any FINRA member broker-dealer in any way.

It is reported that the sale of the fraudulent promissory notes were made to at least 58 investors, most of which are professional NBA and NFL players. According to Yahoo Sports, some of these athletes include Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight, Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis and Chicago Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye.

Lax & Neville LLP effectively assists investors, and specifically professional athletes, on both a regional and national level, that may have suffered losses as a result of their broker and broker dealer’s sales practice abuses. Furthermore, Lax & Neville LLP has also nationally represented small broker-dealers, financial services professionals and securities industry companies in regulatory matters, including regulatory enforcement proceedings, and securities-related and commercial litigation. Please contact our team of attorneys for a consultation at (212) 696-1999.

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