Category Archives : Securities Regulation


The Potential for Bias against Women in FINRA’s High Risk Rep Algorithm

The move toward data analytics applied to broker supervision might seem on face value to result in objective identification of “high risk” financial advisers. However, once the technical jargon is stripped away, algorithms are just opinions embedded in mathematics. Algorithms are created by humans and can reinforce human prejudices.  Researchers have noted that big data used in algorithms more »


The Links between FINRA’s High Risk Rep Program and Expungement

Finra released a video interview on 1/10/18 with Mike Rufino,  Executive Vice President and Head of FINRA Member Regulation—Sales Practice, about FINRA’s High-Risk Registered Representative Program. Mr. Rufino discussed some of the criteria and the methodology FINRA uses to identify and monitor High Risk Registered Representatives. He listed the following criteria as inputs into the High more »


The Mathematics Behind an Alleged Ponzi Scheme: Woodbridge Group

The SEC filed a complaint on 12/20/2017 against Robert Shapiro the former CEO of the Woodbridge Group, alleging he operated a $1.2 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Per the complaint: Beginning in July 2012 through December 4, 2017, Defendant Robert H. Shapiro (“Shapiro”) used his web of more than 275 Limited Liability Companies to conduct a more »


Securities Fraud Schemes Account for less than 10% of SAR-SF Filings

Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. analyzed 2017 SAR-SF filings from FinCEN’s SAR Stats to identify filing trends by securities firms regulated by the SEC. Securities firms filed 5 SARs for “Other Suspicious Activity” for every 1 SAR filed relating to securities fraud schemes. Securities firms filed 4.8 SARs for Fraud schemes for every 1 Securities Fraud more »


Would you spend 21 days in prison for $1 million dollars? 2016 Ponzi Scheme Analytics

Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. in partnership with Jordan Maglich of PonziTracker.com published interactive analytics of alleged Ponzi schemes revealed and Ponzi-related prison sentences for 2016. Key Take-Aways:   59 new alleged Ponzi schemes were revealed in 2016. This is down from 61 schemes uncovered in 2015 and 70 schemes in 2014. However, the $2.3 billion more »


SEC vs. FINRA: 2016 AML Priorities

FINRA and the SEC recently released their respective 2016 exam & regulatory priorities. DSA reviewed the priorities for topics that directly or indirectly touch on AML issues. While there is overlap in the areas of cybersecurity, market manipulation and microcap securities, the two regulators diverge on other AML priorities. DSA prepared the comparison below:   more »


Suspicious Activity Reports for Market Manipulation Spikes

On April 22nd, 2015 FinCEN released In Focus: SAR Stats (April 2015). Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. (“DSA“) analyzed the new Suspicious Activity Report-Securities/Futures (“SAR-SF”) data and found that Market Manipulation/Wash Trades SARs have increased 63% from 2014 and 105% from 2013 levels (on a quarterly basis)*. The same day FinCEN released the latest SAR Stats, Navinder more »


45% Spike in SAR- Securities & Futures in 2014

Dynamic Securities Analytics analyzed the latest FinCEN In Focus: SAR Stat report and found that SAR-Securities & Futures filings increased by 45% in 2014 over 2013 filings. 22,448 SAR-SFs were filed in 2014 versus 15,457 in 2013. Try out DSA’s interactive analytics below. SAR-SFs can be filtered by activity type, percentage and count change from more »


1Q14 FINRA Disciplinary Actions: Law Firm Representation Stats

Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. (DSA) analyzed 1Q14 FINRA Disciplinary Actions Letters of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) to determine legal representation trends. There were 164 AWCs during the first quarter of 2014. DSA broke down the analysis between disciplinary actions that named a firm versus those that named an individual. Broker/Dealers 67 AWCs named a Broker/Dealer more »


DSA’s Ponzi Analytics cited by The Street

The Street published an article by Philip van Doorn titled “Ponzi Scheme Database May Shock You” in which Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc’s interactive Ponzi scheme visualization was cited. The first decade of the 21st century goes down as the “golden age” for Ponzi schemes. In the aftermath of Bernard Madoff’s epic 20-year scheme to defraud investors — more »


Disciplinary History in Focus: Exempt Reporting Advisers

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act mandated that advisers to venture capital funds and/or to small private fund (less than $150 million assets under management) report certain items to the SEC. Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. analyzed the disciplinary disclosure items reported by Exempt Reporting Advisers (“ERA”). Key Findings: 3% of ERAs report regulatory, criminal or civil disciplinary more »