Broker Investigation: Advisor Dennis Riordan

shutterstock_132704474The investment lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints against broker Dennis Riordan (Riordan). According to Riordan’s BrokerCheck records there are at least 3 customer complaints against Riordan, 1 judgment or lien, and 2 criminal matters. The customer complaints against Riordan allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, excessive trading, and failure to follow instructions among other claims.

The most recent disclosure filed in February 2015 concerns a tax lien for $33,287. Tax liens and judgements are often a sign that the broker cannot manage their own personal finances and may be tempted to recommend high commission products or strategies to clients in order to satisfy debts. The most recent complaint against Riordan was filed in December 2013 and alleges an unsuitable recommendation in a private placement security.

Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client. In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements. First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. Second, the broker then must 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.

The number of customer complaints against Riordan is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

Riordan entered the securities industry in June 2005. From November 2007 through June 2013, Riordan was registered with John Thomas Financial. John Thomas faced allegations of penny-stock fraud by FINRA after the firm reaped more than $100 million in commissions over its six-year history before it closed in July. According to new sources trainees at the firm earned as little as $300 a week to pitch stocks with memorized scripts.  From June 2013, through February 2014, Riordan was associated with Portfolio Advisors Alliance, Inc. From February 2014 until December 2014, Riordan was associated with Corinthian Partners, L.L.C. Finally, from January 2015, until May 2015, Riordan was associated with Rothschild Lieberman LLC out of the firm’s New York, New York office location.

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.

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