Articles Posted in Investment Attorney

shutterstock_20354398-300x200According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) financial advisor Peter Steege (Steege) has at least 21 disclosable events.  Such events include one criminal matter, four regulatory disclosures, two employment terminations for cause, and 14 customer complaints alleging that Steege engaged in some form of investment related misconduct in the handling of the client’s accounts.  Steege is currently employed by Western International Securities, Inc. (Western International).  Steege’s customer complaints alleges that Steege recommended unsuitable investments, made misrepresentations, and overconcentrated investments relating to the handling of client accounts.

In January 2021 a customer complained that Steege violated the securities laws by alleging that Steege made unsuitable investments resulting in losses in the amount of $163,000 in the account.  The claim is currently pending.

In November 2020 a customer complained that Steege violated the securities laws by alleging that Steege made unsuitable investments and overconcentrated the account resulting in losses in the amount of $5,000 in the account.  The claim is currently pending.

In November 2020 a customer complained that Steege violated the securities laws by alleging that Steege made unsuitable investments resulting in losses in the amount of $50,000 in the account.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_154554782-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that Advisor Michael Lackwood (Lackwood), currently employed by Spring Delta Asset Management, LLC (Spring Delta) has been subject to at least one customer complaint and one employment termination for cause during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Lackwood’s customer complaint alleges that Lackwood recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations involving risky and speculative securities, among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In May 2019, a customer complained that Lackwood violated the securities laws by alleging that Lackwood did not follow the customer’s instructions to sell. The complaint further alleged that Lackwood engaged in unsuitable investment advice, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud. Lastly, the complaint alleged that Lackwood engaged in misrepresentations related to risky and speculative securities. The claim settled in the amount of $115,000.

Brokers are required under the securities laws to treat their clients fairly.  This obligation includes the duties to disclose material risks of the investments they recommend and to present products, particularly complex or confusing products, in a fair and balanced manner that allows the client to evaluate the recommendation.  Another important obligation advisors have is to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client.  There are many investments that are not appropriate for the majority of investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors.  Advisors should not present these investment options to clients.  There are two screens that advisors must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client.  First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors.  The advisor must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one.  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.

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shutterstock_128856874-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that Financial Advisor Eladio Santiago (Santiago), currently employed by Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (Cambridge), has been subject to at least three customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Santiago’s customer complaints alleges that Santiago recommended unsuitable investments in various investments, among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In February 2020, a customer complained that Santiago violated the securities laws by alleging that Santiago engaged in unsuitable investment advice, and mismanagement of accounts. The claim settled in the amount of $75,000.

In August, 2019, a customer complained that Santiago violated the securities laws by alleging that Santiago engaged in unsuitable investment advice, and mismanagement of accounts. The claim settled in the amount of $95,000.

In December, 2002, a customer complained that Santiago violated the securities laws by alleging that Santiago engaged in unsuitable investment transactions in the accounts. The claim alleged $756,000 in damages. The claim was closed without action.

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shutterstock_53865739-300x199Financial advisor Paul Porter, currently employed at Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo), has been subject to at least four customer complaints during the course of his career. His most recent customer complaints allege unauthorized trading and unsuitability. All of Porter’s complaints have occurred at Wells Fargo – his most recent place of employment.  According to a BrokerCheck report, in 2018 Porter was accused of selling the client’s stock without her knowledge. This matter against him settled approximately $61,000.00. In 2012, another client accused porter of engaging in unauthorized trading. Then, in October 2008, another client accused porter of making unsuitable investments. This matter ultimately settled for $30,000.00.

Unauthorized trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior consent from the investor. All brokers, who do not have discretionary authority to trade an account, are under an obligation to first discuss trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b). Under the NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b), a broker is prohibited from trading in a non-discretionary customer account without prior written authorization from the customer. Unauthorized trading is a type of investment fraud because the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has found that disclosures of trades being made are essential and material to an investor. Unauthorized trading is often a gateway violation to other securities violations including churning, unsuitable investments, and excessive use of margin.

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shutterstock_1081038-300x200According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) financial advisor Jeffrey Leach (Leach), currently employed by Morgan Stanley has been subject to at least three customer complaints during the course of his career.  Leach’s customer complaints alleges that Leach recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including energy related investments.  The clients make allegations including breach of misrepresentation among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In May 2020 a customer complained that Leach violated the securities laws by alleging that Leach made investments recommendations that the client were unsuitable with respect to investments in energy sector from July 2014 to May 2020.  The claim alleges $500,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In January 2020 a customer complained that Leach violated the securities laws by alleging that Leach made investments recommendations that the client were misrepresented from September 2018 to December 2019.  The claim alleges $3,000,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_29356093-300x214The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Brian Wudemann (Wudemann), currently employed by RBC Capital Markets, LLC (RBC Capital) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Wudemann’s customer complaints alleges that Wudemann recommended unsuitable investments in various investments and misrepresented investment products including mutual fund securities and structured notes among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In October 2020 a customer complained that Wudemann violated the securities laws by alleging that Wudemann made investments recommendations where the client was not made aware of the downside risk of a structured note he purchased. The claim alleges $51,522 in damages and settled for $14,000.

In August 2020 a customer complained that Wudemann violated the securities laws by alleging that Wudemann made investments recommendations from 2012 through 2018 that mispresented the nature of three mutual fund investments.  The claim alleges $1,000,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2018 a customer complained that Wudemann violated the securities laws by alleging that Wudemann misrepresented investments from June 2009 to July 2011.  The claim alleges $44,179 in damages and an arbitration awarded $170,000 in damages.

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Joseph Andreoli Jr is a Financial advisor. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mr. Andreoli Jr holds a Bachelor of Science in business. In 1987 he started his professional career at Hym Financial, INC for a year and proceeded further on his path to work for many firms such as J.B. Hanaur & Company, Smith Barney Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC and is currently working for Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Mr. Andreoli was in the securities industry for approximately 33 years.

A brokerage firm or broker-dealer is in the business of buying and selling securities- stocks, bonds, mutual funds and certain other investment products on behalf of its customer for its own bank. An investment adviser is paid for providing advice about securities to clients. In addition, some investment advisers manage investment portfolios and offer financial planning services. Mr. Andreoli Jr is licensed to sell securities in 17 states.

In or around July of 2000, Mr. Andreoli Jr had his first dispute, the allegations against him consisted of the unsuitable sale of securities, negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, violation of industry rules, federal securities laws, and various Texas state law statutes regarding trading of treasury bonds on margin for capital gains for a requested amount of $196,275.88. The unsuitable sale of securities occurs when a broker fails to take into account customer specific information in making a recommendation. Negligence is the failure to take proper care or carelessness. Breach of contract is the breaking of legal agreement. A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when the fiduciary acts in the interest of themselves, rather than the best returns for the client. Fraud is an intentional act to deceive for personal gain. At the conclusion of the case, the Claimant in this matter was awarded $56,555 by an arbitration panel.

Is Copy Trading on its way to the United States? Adam Gana of Gana Weinstein, LLP spoke with the great Edward Robinson about the pitfalls with copy trading in the United States and the legal ramifications in the article below. Happy reading to our loyal followers!

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-02/robinhood-versus-etoro-brokerage-showdown-looming-in-stock-market-investing?srnd=wealth

shutterstock_77335852-300x225Advisor Robert Gianchiglia (Gianchiglia), currently employed by USA Financial Securities Corporation (USA Financial) has been subject to at least six customer complaints and two criminal complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report several of the customer complaints concern alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like business development companies (BDCs), non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and private placements.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented hundreds of investors who suffered losses caused by these types of high risk, low reward products.

In November 2019 a customer complained that Gianchiglia violated the securities laws by alleging that Gianchiglia engaged in sales practice violations related to misrepresentations in the sale of private placement. The claim alleges $200,000 and is currently pending.

In March 2017 a customer complained that Gianchiglia violated the securities laws by alleging that Gianchiglia engaged in sales practice violations related to misrepresentations, unsuitable trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and failure to supervise relating to DPPs. The claim settled for $45,000.

In November 2014 a customer complained that Gianchiglia violated the securities laws by alleging that Gianchiglia engaged in sales practice violations related to misrepresentations and breach of fiduciary duty relating to DPPs. The claim settled for $14,995

According to BrokerCheck, Gianchiglia operates through several d/b/a entities including Financial Resource Partners, Edia-Eastern Dental Insurance Agency, and PIAM among other business related disclosures.

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shutterstock_85873471-300x200The investment attorneys with Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investors who were inappropriately recommended leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs).  ETFs, also called exchange-traded notes (ETNs) when backed by a note rather than underlining assets, are speculative and volatile investment offerings.

An ETF is a registered investment trust whose shares represent an interest in a portfolio of securities that track an underlying benchmark or index. Shares of ETFs are typically listed on national securities exchanges and trade throughout the day at prices established by the market.  These non-traditional ETFs differ from other ETFs in that they seek to return a multiple of the performance of the underlying index or benchmark or the inverse or opposite performance.

To accomplish their objectives non-traditional and leveraged ETFs typically contain very complex investment products, including interest rate swap agreements, futures contracts, and other derivative instruments.  Moreover, non-traditional ETFs are designed to achieve their stated objectives only over the course of one trading session, i.e., in one day. This is because between trading sessions the fund manager for a non-traditional ETF generally will re-balance the fund’s holdings in order to meet the fund’s objectives and is known as the “daily reset.”  As a result of the daily reset the correlation between the performance of a non-traditional ETF and its linked index or benchmark is inexact and “tracking error” occurs.  Over longer periods of time or pronounced during periods of volatility, this “tracking error” between a non-traditional ETF and its benchmark becomes compounded significantly.

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