Articles Posted in Investment Attorney

shutterstock_32215765-300x200The securities and investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Malcolm Segal (Segal). According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck record, there are at least 11 disclosures on Segal’s record including customer complaints, multiple regulatory actions, and one employment separation from Aegis Capital Corp. The customer complaints against Segal allege misappropriation of customers’ funds, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.

Throughout his career with Aegis, Segal received number customer complaints:

January 2016: Alleging misappropriation of funds and misrepresentation. The damage amount requested is $135,000.00. This complaint is currently pending.

shutterstock_102217105-300x200The securities and investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker David James Mura (Mura). According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck records for Mura, there are at least 14 disclosures on Mura’s record including customer complaints, multiple regulatory actions, and one employment separation from Aegis Capital Corp. The customer complaints against Mira allege securities law violations that claim unsuitable investments, excessive trading or “churning”, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty.

The most recent customer complaint against Mura was in August 2014, alleging unsuitable investments, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. This claim occurring during Mura’s employment at J.P. Turner & Company. The customer alleged losses of $268,000.00 and the claim settled for the amount of $55,000.00.

In July 2013, another customer complaint was filed with FINRA alleging that Mura of unsuitable investments in private placement exchange-traded funds, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. The statement of claim did not specify an amount and the settled for $1,100,000.00.

shutterstock_102242143-300x169The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating a customer complaint filed with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Ziv Ohel (Ohel). According to BrokerCheck records, Ohel has been subject to at least seven customer complaints, one regulatory action and one employment separation for cause among other claims. The customer complaints against Ohel allege securities law violations that include unsuitable investments, churning, and failure to follow instructions among other claims.

The most recent customer complaint was filed in November 2016 alleging damages stemming from unauthorized investments made in October 2016. The complaint settled for $20,000. The complaint was settled for $30,996.00.

In January 2017, the state of Michigan filed a claim alleging that Ohel engaged in dishonest or unethical practices within the last 10 years. In addition, Ohel was terminated from his position at Ameriprise Financial on October 25, 2016 for policy violations including receiving a loan from and being named in fiduciary capacities for a client of the firm.

shutterstock_95416924-300x225The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Tracy Rae Turner (Turner). According to BrokerCheck records, Turner has been subject to at least 31 customer complaints, two employment separations for cause, one regulatory, and one financial among other claims during his 22 years of experience. The customer complaints against Turner alleges securities law violations that including unauthorized trading, fraud, breach of contract, negligence, and failure to supervise among other claims.

In a FINRA regulatory action against Turner in November 2016, the agency alleged that he offered and sold interests to investors totaling approximately $4.1 million without giving prior notice to and receiving prior written permission from his member firm. For successfully soliciting these investments, Turner received approximately $270,000 in compensation. A decision was rendered in April 2017 which resulted in barring Turner from FINRA association and fining him for $272, 879.04. The findings of the decision also alleged that Turner created a publically available offering memorandum to market sales of interest in private securities without providing a sound evaluation of investments and included false and misleading statements.

In June 2009, Turner was permitted to resign from his position at CapWest Securities, Inc. for conducting sales in states where he was not registered.

shutterstock_78835723-300x198The investment fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating regulatory complaints of broker Thomas Edward Gackle (Gackle). According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Thomas Edward Gackle was permanently barred in July 2016 from the securities industry for failing to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation. In addition, the broker has been subject to at least one customer complaint and one employment separation for cause among other claims. The customer complaint against Gackle involve direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).

In April 2015, a customer filed a complaint alleging that the amount of income ($100,000.00) stated on the suitability form was invalid and an investment purchased March 2015 caused $1,000,000.00 in damages. This complaint is currently pending.

This customer complaint resulted in Gackle to resign from his position at Lowell & Company in April 2015. This was based on allegations of failure to disclose material levents prior to association with Lowell & Company, which was an order issued by the Kansas Bar for the indefinite suspension from practicing law in the state of Kansas. Gackle’s resignation preceded FINRA’s sanctions, barring him from securities industry.

shutterstock_183201167-300x198The investment attorneys of Gana LLP are interested in speaking with clients of broker Parks Heard Brown Jr. (Brown). According to his BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Brown has been the subject of at least four customer complaints. The customer complaints against Brown allege securities law violations that claim unsuitable investments, churning, unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in October 2016, alleging that the broker while employed at VSR Financial Services Inc. made unsuitable investments based on the client’s liquidity needs. In March 2014, FINRA found that Brown violated FINRA rules 2090 and 2111 that require the use of reasonable diligence when recommending investment strategies. In addition, a customer alleged an unsuitable series of investments made in account between June 2012 and January 2014 resulting in damages of $245,750.00. The case settled for $71,500.00.

In another case filed in March 2004 a customer alleged that in June 2003 Brown misrepresented and failed to inform the account activity that caused $7,000.00

shutterstock_185582-300x225The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating a pending customer complaint filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Silvano Rolando Trino (Trino). According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck record for Trino, there are at least 4 disclosures on Trino’s records, all pertaining to customer complaints. The customer complaints against Trino allege unauthorized use of margin, unsuitable trading, and churning.

All brokers who are registered with FINRA are required to disclosure customer complaints and arbitrations, regulatory actions, employment terminations, bankruptcy filings, and criminal or civil judicial proceedings.

The most recent customer complaint against Trino was filed with FINRA in September 2014 alleging unauthorized use of margin, unsuitable trades, and churning. This claim occurred during Trino’s current employment at Northeast Securities, Inc.

shutterstock_128655458-300x200Our law firm, Gana LLP, is investigating claims made by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker James Vernon Regier (Regier), formerly associated with Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. The customer complaints allege that Regier engaged in securities law violations, including making unsuitable investments in clients’ accounts. The most recent complaint filed in July 2016 alleges that between 2010 and 2015, Regier engaged in unsuitable trading in a customer’s account by recommending purchases of publicly traded shares of United Development Funding IV (UDF). The complaint is currently pending. In April 2016, another investor filed a complaint and alleged unsuitable activity occurring in the investor’s account from April 2015 – March 2016, causing damages of greater than $5,000.00. That complaint is also currently pending. In January 2012, a customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable trading activity in 2008. The claim was settled for $104,191.00.

Regier first became associated with FINRA in 2002. Below are the firms that Regier has been employed by and registered with throughout his career:

  • Washington Square Securities, Inc. (January 2002 – August 2002)

shutterstock_39128059-300x174The investment and securities fraud attorneys of Gana 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.

shutterstock_188269637-300x200Gana LLP’s securities fraud investigation has uncovered a complaint filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Gerald O’Halloran (O’Halloran). O’Halloran was  formerly associated with Kovack Securities Inc. The complaint alleges that O’Halloran has been the subject of at least eight customer complaints, two employment separations for cause, and one criminal charge. The customer complaints against O’Halloran is a makeup of allegations of numerous securities law violations, including that O’Halloran engaged in unauthorized trades, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty & breach of contract among other claims.

The most recent complaint against O’Halloran was filed in August 2016, alleging $135,000.00 in damage stemming from violation of trading negligently, misrepresentation, omission of a material fact, breach of fiduciary duty & breach of contract in customer’s account while employed at Credit Suisse Securities. The claim is currently pending.

In 2011 a customer filed a complaint alleging unauthorized trades in the account during February 2011 claiming $14,000.00 in damages. The case was resolved with the customer receiving $27,000.00.