Guilt by Association

A Cetera Advisors rep took affront to his former coworkers’ comments comparing him to the infamous Bernie Madoff.

Mark Kolta sued Chase Investment Services, his former employer, saying colleagues engaged in a “reprehensible smear campaign,” telling his clients that his activities mirrored those of Madoff, who was convicted of securities fraud in 2009 for his participation in a $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

In his Feb. 12 complaint, Kolta is seeking more than $3 million in damages from the bank.

Scam Within a Scam

A former employee of deceased Friendswood investment advisor Joel David Salinas—who committed suicide in 2011 after his $50 million bogus bond scam was uncovered—is again in hot water over his role in the fraud.

Not only is Brian Anthony Bjork on the hook for his role in Salinas’ fraud, prosecutors claim the Missouri City, Texas-based investment advisor ran a concurrent Ponzi scheme within the larger fraud that swindled investors out of more than $1 million.

While working with Salinas, a Feb. 7 complaint alleged Bjork used client investments for pawnshops and corporate bonds to illegally finance his lifestyle and pay off prior investors.