News Release

NASD Regulation, Inc., Bars 20 More Registered Representatives Suspected of Using an Impostor to Take Qualification Examination

Washington, D.C.--NASD Regulation, Inc., today announced that it has barred, fined, and censured 20 individuals suspected of paying an impostor to take a qualification examination on their behalf. More than $1.8 million in fines and forfeited commissions were assessed.

Since August 1996, 41 registered representatives have been barred, fined, and censured as a result of this ongoing investigation, which is being conducted by the NASD RegulationSM New York District Office. This investigation was launched subsequent to NASD Regulation discovering that individuals were suspected of having paid an impostor to take a qualifying examination on their behalf.

"Every investor has the right to expect that their broker is honest and understands the securities markets and regulations," said NASD Regulation President Mary L. Schapiro. "These entrance exams are a cornerstone of NASD Regulation’s investor- protection framework."

Each of the barred individuals was required to forfeit all commissions earned, a total of more than $1.2 million, while they functioned in a registered capacity. Individual fines included $25,000 for cheating on the examination and $25,000 if they failed to respond to NASD Regulation requests for information, for a total of $650,000.

Upon identification, many individuals were ordered to appear immediately for on-the-record testimony to answer questions regarding the qualification examination at issue.

Individuals Barred Firm At Time of Action Residence
James Contacessa Harriman Group Armonk
Igor Shekchtman M. Rimson & Co. Manhattan
Kevin Coughlin James W. Bullard Inc. Staten Island
Glenn Bennett M. Rimson & Co. Manhattan
Christopher Granese A.S. Goldmen Brooklyn
Rondo Hosang A.S. Goldmen Brooklyn
Tremain McDowell Cressida Capital Staten Island
Victor Lastorino Buttonwood Securities Queens
Norm Rabinovich Stratton Oakmont Manhattan
Peter LaTourette A.S. Goldmen Brooklyn
Christopher Carratura First United Equities Long Island
Joseph DeMarco Joseph Roberts & Co. Brooklyn
Sevgul Paso Norfolk Securities Staten Island
Frank Aquafredda A.S. Goldmen Staten Island
Emil Yunaev Cartwright & Walker Brooklyn
Michael Poliak Cartwright & Walker Queens
William Battista A.S. Goldmen Manhattan
Darian E. Kelty Gruntal & Co. Ft. Lauderdale
Joseph Lanni Hanover Sterling Brooklyn
Vladen Mezhibovsky M. Rimson & Co. Brooklyn

NASD Regulation is continuing its investigation into this matter.

NASD Regulation polices all U.S. stockbrokers and brokerage firms. NASD Regulation is a subsidiary of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD), the largest securities-industry self-regulatory organization in the United States.