Articles Posted in Securities Attorney

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_168326705-199x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor David Krumrey (Krumrey), in January 2018, was sanctioned by FINRA and barred from the financial industry concerning his failure to respond to an investigation into the sales of leveraged exchanged traded funds (Non-Traditional ETFs).  Krumrey was previously terminated by his employer Oppenheimer & Co. Inc (Oppenheimer) because he attempted to settle a complaint away from the firm.  In addition, Krumrey has been subject to five customer complaints concerning his securities activity.  These investors have alleged in losses stemming allegations of unsuitable Non-Tradition ETF trading.

In January 2018 FINRA barred Krumrey for failing to respond to FINRA’s requests for information.

In January 2019 a FINRA panel rendered a ruling that Krumrey’s employer – Oppenheimer – was liable for investments he made to an investor.  The claims involved claims of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, negligent supervision, respondeat superior, unjust enrichment, and violations of the Louisiana Securities Law.  The causes of action relate to securities including Amarin Corp. PLC ADR and Energy XXI Limited, and exchange-traded notes issued by Barclays.

As a background, Non-Traditional ETFs behave drastically different and have different risk qualities from traditional ETFs.  While traditional ETFs seek to mirror an index or benchmark, Non-Traditional ETFs use a combination of derivatives instruments and debt to multiply returns on underlining assets, often attempting to generate 2 to 3 times the return of the underlining asset class.  Non-Traditional ETFs are also used to earn the inverse result of the return of the benchmark.

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shutterstock_164634200-300x200Advisor William Braun (Braun), currently employed by National Securities Corporation (National Securities), has been subject to at least eight customer complaints and regulatory action during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern private placements.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented hundreds of investors who suffered losses caused by these types of high risk products.

In January 2020 a customer complained that Braun violated the securities laws by alleging that Braun engaged in sales practice violations related to breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and unsuitable recommendations concerning investment(s) in private placements. The claim alleges $125,000 and is currently pending.

In November 2019 a customer complained that Braun violated the securities laws by alleging that Braun engaged in sales practice violations related to unsuitable recommendations concerning investment(s) in private placements. The claim alleges $200,000 and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_85873471-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Juan Barreras (Barreras), currently employed by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Merrill Lynch) has been subject to at least five customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Barreras’ customer complaints alleges that Barreras recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations of unsuitable municipal bonds and mutual fund securities among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Barreras violated the securities laws by alleging that Barreras made investments recommendations in unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentation.  The claim alleges $800,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In January 2019 a customer complained that Barreras violated the securities laws by alleging that Barreras made investments recommendations in unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentation.  The claim alleges $600,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In August 2016 a customer complained that Barreras violated the securities laws by alleging that Barreras made investments recommendations in unsuitable investment recommendations, misrepresentation and omission of material facts from January 2011 to December 2016.  The claim alleges $500,000 in damages and settled for $125,000.

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shutterstock_183544004-300x200The investment attorneys with Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investors who were inappropriately recommended UBS ETRACs related investments.  Investors may have potential legal remedies due to unsuitable recommendations by their broker to invest in these speculative and volatile investment offerings.  UBS ETRACs are exchange-traded notes that track and provide monthly payments based on a variety of market indexes.  Many of the ETRACs offerings amplify their returns and risk of the index through the use of leverage.

ETRACs symbols include HDLV, SMHD, DVHL, CEFL, CEFZ, BDCL, LBDC, MORL, MRRL, LRET, MLPQ, HOML, MLPZ, LMLP and WTID.

Close to 30 of these ETRACs leveraged and inverse exchange-traded products had been delisted, closed, or automatically accelerated due to volatility in the wake of COVID-19.  These products are being delisted as they fall in value below the minimum listing standard outlined in the offering documents.

As a background, an exchange-traded note (ETN) is an unsecured debt security issued by an underwriting banking institution.  Many of the largest brokerage firms underwrite these types of products due to the large fees that they can generate for simply creating the security.  Similar to other kinds of debt securities ETNs have a maturity date.  ETNs also carry the risk that they are backed only by the creditworthiness of the issuer and not the value of the underlining securities.

ETRACs investments effected include:

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shutterstock_156562427-300x200Advisor Enrique Lopez (Lopez), currently employed by Arkadios Capital, has been subject to at least four customer complaints 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.  Lopez discloses that he operates a number of outside businesses, some of which are investment related, including Cristobal Eden Partners, LLC, Lopez Brothers Distribution, LLC, Gallop Investment Partners, LLC, Cordero Diego, LLC, and Texas Regional Bank.  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 January 2020 a customer complained that Lopez violated the securities laws by alleging that Lopez engaged in sales practice violations related to recommending investments that were not suitable including non-traded REITs.  The claim is currently pending.

In June 2019 a customer complained that Lopez violated the securities laws by alleging that Lopez engaged in sales practice violations related to between 2014 and 2016 advisor misrepresented and recommended unsuitable, concentrated investments in speculative real estate investment trusts. The investor also alleged that the advisor recommended an unsuitable annuity switch. The claim seeks $2,000,000 in damages 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. Continue Reading

shutterstock_136504499-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Vincent Mazza (Mazza), formerly employed by National Securities Corporation (National Securities) has been subject to at least six customer complaints, six tax liens, and one regulatory action during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mazza’s customer complaints alleges that Mazza recommended unsuitable investments among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In July 2019 FINRA filed a regulatory action againt Mazza alleging that Respondent Mazza failed to respond to FINRA’s request for information concerning his activities.  The failure to respond to the requests resulted in an automatic bar from the securities industry.

Mazza also has six tax lien disclosures including a $123,222 lien from February 2014.  The fact that a broker cannot manage his own personal finances is material information for a client to consider.  In addition, the types of products clients have alleged were unsuitable are high commission products that may be recommended to generate high profits for the advisor at the expense of the client.

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shutterstock_94719376-300x214The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Clint Keener (Keener), formerly employed by Capital City Securities, LLC (Capital City) has been subject to at least five customer complaints, three regulatory actions, and one employment termination for cause during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Keener’s customer complaint alleges that Keener recommended unsuitable investments among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In November 2019 FINRA brought a regulatory action against Keener that he settled consenting to findings that he refused to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony requested in connection with an investigation into potential unsuitable recommendations.

In July 2010 FINRA brought a regulatory action against Keener that he settled consenting to findings that he made unsuitable trades resulting in an overconcentration in a client account of non-investment grade bonds.  FINRA also determined that certain transactions were mismarked as unsolicited when in fact thery were solicited.

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shutterstock_157506896-300x300The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Brian Lockett (Lockett), formerly employed by Independent Financial Group, LLC (Independent Financial) has been subject to at least nine customer complaints and one regulatory action during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Lockett’s customer complaint alleges that Lockett recommended unsuitable investments among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In November 2019 FINRA brought a regulatory action against Lockett that he settled consenting to findings that he participated in a private securities transaction without providing prior written notice to his member firm. FINRA found that one of Lockett’s customers invested a total of $50,000 in a private placement offering and that Lockett participated in the transaction by introducing the transaction to the customer, summarizing the reasons he liked the investment, meeting with the customer to review and sign the paperwork and causing the paperwork to be submitted. FINRA found that Lockett did not receive compensation for his participation in the transaction and that Lockett attempted to conceal his role in the transaction by suggesting to the customer that the customer communicate about the transaction with Lockett in the future via Lockett’s personal email address. According to FINRA, after the customer complained to the firm, it entered into a settlement to resolve the complaint.

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shutterstock_132317306-300x200Advisor David Miller (Miller), currently employed by PeachCap Securities, Inc. (PeachCap Securities) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concerns alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented dozens of investors who suffered losses caused by these types of high risk, low reward products.

In October 2019 a customer complained that Miller violated the securities laws by alleging that Miller engaged in sales practice violations related to mismanagement of her accounts from October 2015 to October 2016. The claim alleges $43,541 in damages and is currently pending.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Miller violated the securities laws by alleging that Miller made investment recommendations that the investor was unhappy with. The claim alleges $1.2 million in damages and is currently pending.

In June 2019 a customer complained that Miller violated the securities laws by alleging that Miller made investment recommendations that the investor was unhappy with. The claim alleges $550,000 in damages and was denied by the firm.

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