Articles Posted in Investment Attorney

shutterstock_184429547-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that Dean Robert Nowak (Nowak), currently employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge), has been subject to at least three customer complaints in his career. According to records kept by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Nowak’s customer complaint alleges that Nowak made misrepresentations with respect to securities transactions to customers.

In April 2020, a customer complained that Nowak violated the securities laws by alleging that Nowak engaged in unsuitable investment practices and made misrepresentations and omissions regarding the features and risks of a fixed annuity and a real estate trust, including restrictions on liquidity and the applicable time horizon. The claim alleges $100,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_103610648-300x212Advisor Frederick Atiyeh (Atiyeh), currently employed by brokerage firm Crown Capital Securities, L.P. (Crown Capital) has been subject to at least four disclosures and customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report 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 and have recovered in excess of $50 million in investor losses.

In August 2021 a customer complained that Atiyeh violated the securities laws by alleging that Atiyeh made misrepresentation of the risk factors in regards to the purchase of several alternative investments.  The claim is currently pending and the investor seeks $50,000 in damages.

In February 2021 a customer complained that Atiyeh violated the securities laws by alleging that Atiyeh engaged in a lack of proper due diligence, lack of suitability and over concentration in regards to investments in alternative and variable annuity products.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_188606033-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Frank Louis Avallone (Avallone), currently employed by Ceros Financial Services, Inc (Ceros) and formerly registered with National Securities Corporation (NSC) 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), Mr. Avallone’s customer complaints alleges that Mr. Avallone recommended unsuitable investments.

In February 2020, a customer complained that Mr. Avallone violated the securities laws by alleging that Mr. Avallone engaged in unsuitable investment advice. The claim alleges $140,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In November 2019, a customer complained that Mr. Avallone violated the securities laws by alleging that Mr. Avallone engaged in unsuitable investment advice. The claim alleged $209,200 in damages and was later closed-no action.

In December 2013, a customer complained that Mr. Avallone violated the securities laws by alleging that Mr. Avallone engaged in unsuitable investment advice, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, negligence, and breach of contract. The claim settled in the amount of $6,100.

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shutterstock_183554579-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that broker Robert Allan Mann (Mann), currently employed by B. Riley Wealth Management after the firm acquired National Securities Corporation (NSC) 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), Mann’s customer complaints alleges that Mann recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations involving debt-corporate securities, mutual funds, real estate securities and common and preferred stock, among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In January 2020, a customer complained that Mann violated the securities laws by alleging that Mann engaged in unsuitable investment advice. The damage amount requested was $175,000. The claim settled in the amount of $57,500.

In October 2014, a customer complained that Mann violated the securities laws by alleging that Mann engaged in unsuitable investment advice, and charged excessive commissions.  The damage amount requested was $29,000. The claim settled in the amount of $12,500.

In June 2001, a customer complained that Mann violated the securities laws by alleging that Mann engaged in unsuitable investment advice, misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unauthorized trading, fraud, inappropriate use of margin, and churning in the customer’s account. The damage amount requested was $185,000. The claim settled in the amount of $61,000.

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shutterstock_186471755-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that broker Rodrigue Lors (Lors), currently employed by Wilmington Capital Securities, LLC (Wilmington Capital Securities) 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), Lors’ customer complaints alleges that Lors recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations involving private placement securities among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In September 2021, a customer complained that Lors violated the securities laws by alleging that Lors engaged in unsuitability.  The claim alleges $200,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In April 2021, a customer complained that Lors violated the securities laws by alleging that Lors engaged in unsuitable investment advice, common law fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. The claim is currently pending.

In July 2020, a customer complained that Lors violated the securities laws by alleging that Lors engaged in unsuitability. The damage amount requested was $100,000. The claim settled in the amount of $20,000.

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shutterstock_186471755-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Gary Saccaro (Saccaro), currently employed by Paulson Investment Company LLC (Paulson Investment) has been subject to at least 16 customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Saccaro’s customer complaints alleges that Mr. Saccaro recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations involving various securities, among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In January 2012, a customer complained that Mr. Saccaro violated the securities laws by alleging that Mr. Saccaro engaged in unsuitable investment advice. The claim settled in the amount of $115,000.

In April 2004, a customer complained that Mr. Saccaro violated the securities laws by alleging that Mr. Saccaro engaged in unsuitable investment advice, breach of fiduciary duty, unauthorized trading, churning, and breach of contract.  The claim settled in the amount of $50,000.

In September 2002, a customer complained that Mr. Saccaro violated both state and federal securities laws.  The claim settled in the amount of $175,000.

In July 2002, a customer complained that Mr. Saccaro violated the securities laws by alleging that Mr. Saccaro engaged in unsuitable investment advice, unauthorized trading, churning, and violation of margin requirements. The claim settled in the amount of $745,000.

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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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