The investment and securities fraud attorneys of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating potential recovery options for investors with broker Glenn Charles Wiggle Jr (Wiggle). According to BrokerCheck records Charles Wiggle has been subject to four customer complaints among other claims. The customer complaints allege unsuitable investments, and misrepresentation among other claims.
The most recent customer claim was filed in September 2015 alleging that in 2007, Wiggle recommended unsuitable investments in speculative securities such as Behringer Harvard Strategic Opportunity Funds and US Energy Platinum Energy Partners causing $500,000.00 in damages. The claim settled for $109,000.00. In addition, a customer filed a claim in April 2011 alleging that from December 2007 to October 2010, the broker made unsuitable investments in REIT purchases and purchased equities without prior consent, causing $100,000.00 in damages. This claim settled for $55,000.00.
Our firm has represented many clients who invested in REITs, the Behringer Harvard Strategic Opportunity Funds and US Energy Platinum Energy Partners. All of these investments come with high costs and historically have under-performed, even safe benchmarks like U.S. treasury bonds. For example, products like oil and gas partnerships, REITs, and other alternative investments are only appropriate for a narrow band of investors under certain conditions due to the high costs, illiquidity, and huge redemption charges of the products (if they can be redeemed). However, due to the high commissions brokers earn on these products they sell them to investors who cannot profit from them. Further, investors often fail to understand that they have lost money until many years after agreeing to the investment. In sum, for all of their costs and risks, investors in these programs are in no way additionally compensated for the loss of liquidity, risks, or cost.
Brokers have a responsibility to treat investors fairly including an obligation to only make suitable investments for the client. In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements.
- There must be reasonable basis for the recommendation of the product or security based on the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties, including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factor.
2. The broker must then match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives, such as, the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.
Wiggle entered the securities industry in 1996. These are the firms that Wiggle has been associated with throughout his career:
- Financial Network Investment Corporation (April 1996 – June 1997)
- PaineWebber Incorporated (June 1997 – January 2000)
- Next Financial Group Inc. (January 2000 – September 2015)
- Peak Brokerage Services, LLC – Williamsville, NY office (September 2015 – present)
The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. 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.