Raymond James and Broker Joel Burstein Accused of Aiding $350 Million Fraud

shutterstock_173088497Records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) concerning broker Joel Burstein Jr. (Burstein) reveal ten recently filed customer complaints.  The customer complaints against Burstein involve claims of common law fraud, negligence, violation of Florida Statute 726 (fraudulent transfers), aiding and abetting, unsuitable recommendations, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.  These claims allege hundreds of millions in investor losses.

The claims appear to be related to actions taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a fraud complaint against Ariel Quiros and William Stenger alleging that they and their companies made false statements and omitted key information while raising more than $350 million from investors to construct ski resort facilities and a biomedical research facility in Vermont.

Raymond James was then named in a lawsuit filed by the SEC-appointed receiver.  According to news sources, investors were told they were investing projects connected to Jay Peak Inc. ski resort operated by Mr. Quiros and Mr. Stenger.  While investor money was supposed to be used for to finance specific projects the operators, in Ponzi scheme fashion, used money from investors in later projects to fund deficits in earlier projects.

The SEC did refer to Raymond James throughout the complaint as the firm that received wire transfers beginning in 2008 from a bank in Vermont to brokerage accounts controlled by Mr. Quiros.  According to the complaint those wire transfers were investors’ money slated for the Jay Peak resort which Mr. Quiros later borrowed against in the Raymond James accounts with high interest margin loans.

The SEC’s appointed receiver then named as defendants Raymond James, Mr. Quiros, and Joel Burstein, a Raymond James branch manager.  According to news sources, Mr. Burstein is the former son-in-law of Mr. Quiros.

Burstein entered the securities industry in 2001.  From 2001 Burstein has been associated with Raymond James out of the firm’s Coral Gables, Florida office location.

Gana LLP’s securities fraud attorneys represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts due to claims of fraud and negligence on behalf of securities professionals.  The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA.  Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.