Articles Posted in Investment Attorney

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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shutterstock_836360-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor John Davenport (Davenport), currently employed by Liberty Partners Financial Services, LLC (Liberty Partners) has been subject to three customer complaints, one regulatory action, one employment termination for cause, one bankruptcy, and two judgement or tax liens during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the customer complaints against Davenport concern allegations over variable annuity sales practices.

In January 2019 FINRA alleged that Davenport consented to the sanctions and to findings that he placed two securities transactions for a registered representative of another firm and split the commissions generated from the transactions with that representative, without the knowledge or consent of either firm. FINRA determined that Davenport paid the registered representative from the other firm approximately $50,000 on the variable annuity transactions ostensibly as a referral fee causing his firm’s books and records to be inaccurate. FINRA further made findings that Davenport permitted his assistant to use a personal email address to communicate with securities customers concerning business-related matters, which was not approved by the firm, causing the firm to fail to retain the emails among its books and records.

Variable annuities are complex financial and insurance products.  In fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a publication entitled: Variable Annuities: What You Should Know encouraging investors to ask questions about the variable annuity before investing.  Essentially, a variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you.  The investor chooses the investments made in the annuity and value of your variable annuity will vary depending on the performance of the investment options chosen.  The primary benefits of variable annuities are the death benefit and tax deferment of investment gains.

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shutterstock_85873471-300x200Advisor Jeffrey Labelle (Labelle), currently employed by Kovack Advisors, Inc. (Kovack Advisors) has been subject to at least six customer complaints and one employment termination for cause during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, and private placements.  Labelle discloses that he operates out of a d/b/a called Gulf Coast Wealth Advisors and is also affliated with other businesses including Labelle & Associates and Gulf Coast Insurance Group.  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 2007 Labelle was terminated by SII Investments, Inc. for failing to follow the firm’s policies concerning his advertising practices.

In February 2020 a customer complained that Labelle violated the securities laws by alleging that Labelle engaged in sales practice violations related to recommending investments that were not suitable for her. The investor alleges breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligent supervision. The claim seeks $250,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In February 2020 a customer complained that Labelle violated the securities laws by alleging that Labelle engaged in sales practice violations related to recommending investments that were not suitable for her. Claimant generally alleges unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of contract and failure to supervise. The claim seeks $49,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_94332400-300x225Advisor Rodney Potratz (Potratz), currently employed by FSC Securities Corporation (FSC Securities), has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report one of the customer complaints concern alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, and private placements.  Potratz discloses that he operates a number of outside businesses, some of which are investment related, including Stonebridge Financial Advisors and Diversified Financial Advisory Group.  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 Potratz violated the securities laws by alleging that Potratz engaged in sales practice violations related to recommending various alternative investments were inappropriately recommended.  The claim alleges $6,000,000 and is currently pending.

DDPs include products such as non-traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These alternative investments virtually never profit investors and are almost always unsuitable for investors because of their high fee and cost structure.  Brokers selling these products are paid additional commission in order to hype these inferior quality investments providing a perverse incentives to create an artificial market for the investments.

Several studies have confirmed that Non-traded REITs underperform publicly traded REITs with some showing that Non-Traded REITs cannot even beat safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds.  Brokers selling these products must disclose to the investor that non-traded REITs provide lower investment returns than treasuries while being high risk and illiquid – but almost never do.  Because investors are not compensated with additional return in exchange for higher risk and illiquidity, these kinds of alternative investment products are rarely, if ever, appropriate for investors.

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shutterstock_175993865-300x225The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Jeremy Rosen (Rosen), currently employed by Nationwide Planning Associates Inc. (Nationwide Planning) has been subject to at least four customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Rosen’s customer complaints alleges that Rosen recommended unsuitable investments in various investments among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In March 2020 a customer complained that Rosen violated the securities laws by alleging that Rosen made investments in 2016 through 2019 that were unsuitable and misrepresented to them. The clients also alleged that the firm failed to supervise the actions of Rosen. The claim is currently pending.

In January 2020 a customer complained that Rosen violated the securities laws by alleging that Rosen made investments in 2016 through 2019 that were unsuitable and misrepresented to them. The clients also alleged that the firm failed to supervise the actions of Rosen. The claim seeks $140,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In July 2019 a customer complained that Rosen violated the securities laws by alleging that Rosen made investments in 2016 through 2019 recklessly which has jeopardized their family’s future. The claim is currently pending.

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