Articles Posted in Investment Attorney

shutterstock_70999552-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Scott Palmer (Palmer). According to BrokerCheck records, Palmer is subject to at least five customer complaints. The customer complaints against Palmer allege securities law violations that claim unsuitable investments, excessive options trading, and unauthorized investments among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in July 2016, and alleged $125,000 in damages due to claims that the broker made unsuitable investments in clients account while employed at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. The complaint was settled for $75,000.

In January 2015, another customer brought a complaint against Palmer alleging that investments in the customer’s account were unsuitable based on clients’ investment objectives causing alleged damages of $226,877. The complaint was settled for $70,000.

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shutterstock_187083428-300x198The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Robert Estevez (Estevez). According to BrokerCheck records there are at least 9 disclosures on Estevez’s record including customer complaints, multiple regulatory actions, and one judgments or liens among other claims.  Some of the regulatory actions expressed concerns over Estevez’s ability to manage his own personal finances.  Substantial financial disputes on a broker’s record can reveal a financial incentive for the broker to recommend high commission products or services.  A broker’s inability to handle their personal finances has also been found to be relevant in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.  The most recent regulatory action against Estevez was filed by the State of Michigan which is currently pending and remains unresolved at this time.

In September 2016,FINRA alleged that Mr. Estevez recommended unsuitable short-term steepener transactions to his customers, which are highly complex investment products that profits from the difference between short and long term rates. FINRA claims that the market for steepeners are known to have an illiquid nature, making them unsuitable for most customers. This investment strategy resulted in approximately $24,000 in customer loss. Estevez was issued a penalty of $20,000 and suffered a two-month suspension.

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shutterstock_189496604-300x200Our securities fraud attorneys are investigating a complaint filed by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Mike Emmanouilidis (Emmanouilidis) formerly associated with Morgan Stanley. According to BrokerCheck records Emmanouilidis has been subject to 16 customer complaints. The customer complaints against Emmanouilidis allege misrepresenting the facts concerning the nature of investment risks in structured products among other claims.

The most recent claim against Mr. Emmanouilidis was filed in August 2016 and alleges that from 2013 to 2015, the customer was misrepresented of the investment risks in products causing $500,000 in damages. The complaint is currently pending.

In November 2011, a customer alleged that Mr. Emmanouilidis, while employed at UBS Financial Services, from November 2007 to May 2011, misrepresented material facts concerning the risks associated with an investment causing $100,000 in damages. The complaint settled in 2012 for $74,500.

In December 2010, a customer alleged Mr.Emmanouilidis made misrepresentations, omissions of material facts and breached his fiduciary duty in connection to investments in PPN Asian currency baskets causing losses of $54,375. The complaint settled for $100,000.

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shutterstock_182053859-300x200Our investment attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Michael Spears (Spears) currently associated with IMS Securities, Inc. alleging negligence, failure to supervise, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty among other claims. According to BrokerCheck records Spears has been subject to two customer complaints involving direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), and other alternative investments.

The most recent claim was filed in August 2016 and alleges that, while Spears was employed at IMS Securities, acted negligently, misrepresented material facts, failed to supervise, and breached his fiduciary duty in connection to non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) causing damages of $1,667,000. The claim is currently pending.

In July 2016, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Spears breached his fiduciary duty, over-concentrated investments, and failed to supervise in correlation to real estate products and variable annuity investments causing $3,000,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_168326705-199x300The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Linda Dowd. According to BrokerCheck records, Dowd has been subject to employment separation from WFG Investments Inc. (WFG Investments) and one regulatory action. Linda Dowd has spent 27 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Sunbelt Securities, Inc. (Sunbelt Securities) out of the firm’s Carlsbad, California office location. Brokers and investment advisers that forge customer signatures constitute a form of securities fraud.

In July 2016, Linda Dowd was terminated from her position at WFG Investments and has been sanctioned by FINRA. According to FINRA, Dowd had a customer pre-sign distribution requests forms on at least 26 occasions to effectuate a verbal distribution request as an accommodation to the customer. The findings state Dowd additionally utilized a personal email address to create a perception of legitimate customer communications. Dowd was also alleged to have falsely advised the firm’s compliance personnel that she had received the customer’s completed and signed distribution requests via email. For this, Dowd was fined $5,000 and was issued a one-year suspension.

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shutterstock_27597505-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating a customer complaint filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Jed Tinder (Tinder). According to BrokerCheck records Tinder has been subject to at least four customer complaints, two judgment or liens, and two employment separations for cause. The customer complaints against Tinder alleges securities law violations that includes negligence, unauthorized trading and unsuitable recommendations among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in August 2016, and alleged $181,668 in damages due to claims that the broker engaged in reckless trading while employed at Western International Securities, Inc. The complaint is currently pending.

In July 2016, a customer filed a complaint against Jed Tinder alleging that while employed at Western International Securities, made an unsuitable recommendation. The customer is seeking $187,000 in damages in the pending complaint. In September 2015 another customer filed a complaint that Mr. Tinder made unsuitable recommendations dating back to 2007 causing $1,200,000 in damages. The complaint is currently pending.

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shutterstock_172034843-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating a customer complaint filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Daniel Kiefer (Kiefer). According to BrokerCheck records Kiefer has been subject to at least three customer complaints and one employment separations for cause. The customer complaints allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in August 2013, and alleged $1,090,718 in damages due to claims that the Kiefer, while employed at J.P Turner & Company, made unsuitable investment recommendations to the client and breached his fiduciary duty. The complaint settled in 2014 for $700,000. In October 2004, another customer filed a complaint alleging that the broker while employed at Grayson Financial, made unauthorized trades in clients account causing $25,000.00 in damages. The complaint settled in 2007 for $4,500.

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shutterstock_190371500-300x200The investment attorneys of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Charles Fischer (Fischer) currently associated with IMS Securities, Inc. alleging negligence, misrepresentation, and unsuitable investments among other claims. According to BrokerCheck records Fischer has been subject to two customer complaints.  The complaints appear to involve alternative investments.

The most recent complaint against Fischer was filed in August 2016, and alleged $500,000 in damages due to claims pertaining to investments that were unsuitable based on the client’s risk tolerance, investment objectives, investment knowledge, time horizon, and liquidity needs. The complaint is currently pending.

In December 2014, a customer brought a complaint against Fischer alleging that he breached the duty of suitability.  The complaint involved securities such as annuities and non-traded REITs causing $240,000 in damages. The claim settled in November 2015 for $146,500.

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shutterstock_145123405-200x300The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Brett Murphy (Murphy). According to BrokerCheck records Murphy has been subject to at least two customer complaint, and one financial disclosure. The customer complaints against Murphy allege securities law violations that including unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading among other claims.

In August 2016, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Murphy was not properly supervised, and excessively traded the account in unsuitable unit investment trusts while employed at Oppenheimer & Company Inc. from July 2011 through August 2016 causing $2,000,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

One customer complaint filed in March 2015, alleged that Murphy made unauthorized transactions in customers account causing aggregate losses of approximately $5,000.

Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading. Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. The broker must first discuss all trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b). These rules explicitly prohibit brokers from making discretionary trades in a customers’ non-discretionary accounts. The SEC has also found that unauthorized trading to be of fraudulent nature.  This is because the omission that the broker intends to engage in trading is material information that the investor is entitled to have prior to the trade’s execution.

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shutterstock_50740552-300x200Our securities fraud attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Howard Brous (Brous) currently associated with Wunderlich Securities, Inc. (Wunderlich) alleging unsuitable investments, common law fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.  According to brokercheck records Brous has been subject to six customer complaints, 14 regulatory sanctions, and one employment separation for cause.  The majority of Brous’ regulatory sanctions involve multiple state regulators seeking heightened supervision plans and otherwise restricting Brous’ activities.

In August 2016 a customer filed a complaint stating that they had maintained an account with Brous for over 10 years and that his accounts were over concentrated in unsuitable securities.  The customer alleged damages of $2,500,000.  The claim is currently pending.

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