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April 12, 2007
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NFA permanently bars Michael Berkowitz and suspends Jon R. Kramer, both former associated persons of Ace Financial Group
April 12, Chicago - National Futures Association (NFA) permanently barred from NFA membership Michael Berkowitz, a former associated person (AP) of Anthony John Columbo, Inc. doing business as Ace Financial Group (Ace), an introducing broker located in Boca Raton, Florida. The Decision, issued by an NFA Hearing Panel, is based on a Complaint filed in November 2006 and a settlement offer submitted by Berkowitz.
The Complaint charged that Berkowitz made deceptive, misleading, and high-pressured sales solicitations to an NFA Compliance staff member, who posed as a prospective customer. The Complaint also charged that Berkowitz suggested in his solicitations that current events, like hurricanes, would move the market and lead to inevitable profits without disclosing the information that these current events were well-known and already factored into the market.
In a related Decision, NFA suspended Jon R. Kramer, a former AP of Ace, for a period of one year. In the event that Kramer again becomes an NFA Member or Associate, after the expiration of the one-year suspension, he must tape record all conversations between himself and existing or potential customers for one year. The Decision, issued by an NFA Hearing Panel, is based on the same Complaint filed in November 2006 and a settlement offer submitted by Kramer. The Hearing Panel found that Kramer made deceptive and misleading sales solicitations to an NFA Compliance staff member, who posed as a prospective customer.
These actions brought against former APs of Ace stem from an NFA sales practice investigation of the firm in 2005. In February 2007, NFA also suspended Robert F. Allen, a former AP of Ace. See previous press release.
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