|DENVER – On Monday, Oct. 26, Denver District Court Judge Shelley Gilman permanently barred Boulder-based self-appointed “Wizard of Wall Street” radio host Marc Mandel, as well as his company, Wall Street Radio Inc., from the securities industry in Colorado.
The sanction, which includes a restitution order in the amount of $80,000, comes roughly two months after the favorable ruling on a complaint from Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome, who had alleged that the advice Mandel offered through his daily “Wizard of Wall Street” radio program and the investment website “Ditto Trade” constituted as unlicensed investment advising activity.
The conditions of the order state that defendants Mandel and Wall Street Radio are “immediately and permanently restrained and enjoined from engaging, directly or indirectly…in associating with any broker dealer, sales representative, promoter, issuer, financial planner, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative engaged in business in Colorado, or any individual or entity engaged in the offer, purchase, or sale of securities in or from Colorado.”
Mandel and Wall Street Radio are jointly responsible for the $80,000 in restitution, calculated by determining that 80 of Mandel’s “Lead Trader” clients are entitled to a minimum of $1,000 in return.
Commissioner Rome was represented in the matter by the state’s Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Hunt and Deputy Attorney General Russell Klein.
The Division of Securities, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), first became aware of Mandel in 2007 when he applied for a license to operate his company as an investment adviser and to become a licensed investment adviser representative. Mandel’s request was denied due to false and misleading statements made in his application regarding the financial state of his company, and was not allowed to re-apply for licensure for another 10 years, as dictated by the Colorado Securities Act.
In 2012, Mandel began operating the WinningOnWallStreet.com (WOWS) website where he offered investment-related advice, advertised investment seminars and offered trading alerts. Also in 2012, Mandel began a relationship with Ditto Trade, Inc., a licensed broker-dealer based in Chicago. Through Ditto Trade’s platform, Mandel began leading clients to make securities transactions, and even included a fee-based “Lead Trader Membership” on his website to those who followed and made trades based on his actions on Ditto Trade.
Should Mandel or Wall Street Radio fail to comply with the grounds of the order, the court reserves the right to take further enforcement action.
“Despite his argument to the contrary, the court found that Mr. Mandel was acting in the role of an investment adviser through his various actions over the past three-plus years, and now agrees with us that a permanent bar from the securities industry in Colorado is appropriate,” stated Commissioner Rome. “Licensing of financial professionals plays an important role in protecting the public, especially when they handle their clients’ savings.”
Investors can check that an adviser or broker is properly licensed by contacting the Division of Securities.