Articles Posted in Securities Attorney

shutterstock_183554579-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Darrach Bourke (Bourke), currently employed by Emerson Equity LLC (Emerson Equity) has been subject to at least six customer complaints, one regulatory action, one employment termination for cause, and five criminal matters during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Bourke’s customer complaints allege that Bourke recommended unsuitable securities recommendations in a variety of products and unauthorized trading among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In June 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Bourke violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Bourke made unauthorized trades and had discretionary control causing damages.  The claim alleged $173,000 in damages and settled for $32,500.

In March 2017 FINRA found that Bourke consented to sanctions and findings that he exercised discretion without written authorization in the accounts of two customers.  FINRA found that Bourke discussed investment strategies with these customers but that he exercised discretion and executed transactions in the accounts without first speaking with the customers about the specific transactions.

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shutterstock_174858983-300x216According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Mark Kolta (Kolta), currently employed by Worden Capital Management LLC (Worden Capital) has been subject to at least 14 customer complaints and one employment termination for cause.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Kolta’s customer complaints allege that Kolta recommended unsuitable securities recommendations in a variety of products including alternative investments, equities, and annuities among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In April 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Kolta violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Kolta made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence causing $300,000 damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In March 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Kolta violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Kolta made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and misrepresentations causing $15,000 damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In February 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Kolta violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Kolta made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and negligence concerning non-traded REITs and an annuity causing damages.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_182371613-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Dana Hawkins (Hawkins), currently employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus Financial) has been subject to three customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Hawkins’ customer complaints allege that Hawkins made unsuitable recommendations in certain structured products.

Our firm has brought cases against brokers for misrepresenting the features of structured products or selling them as a bond alternative.  Structured products are typically debt instruments where the payout is based on the underlying stock, equity index, currency, or any reference source.  Many, but not all, structured products are advertised as having some principal protection component – meaning that the investor is guaranteed the return of some amount of their initial investment.  However, studies have shown that structured products are often best used as a niche product for sophisticated investors employing complicated strategies.  The typical investor cannot benefit from these products over traditional investments.

In February 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Hawkins violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Hawkins sold unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated from activity in late 2013 to early 2019.  The customer alleged $253,757 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_128856874-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Mitchell Black (Black), currently employed by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise) has been subject to six customer disputes during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the majority of customer complaints against Black concerns allegations over variable annuity sales practices.

In March 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Black violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Black recommended inappropriate variable annuities in 2013 and 2014 and misrepresented the associated provisions causing $1,000,000 in damages.  The claim was denied by the firm.

In May 2014 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Black violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Black sold unsuitable variable annuities, REITs, and was charged excessive commissions and fees of $40,000.  The claim was settled for $24,787.

In March 2011 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Black violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Black sold unsuitable variable annuities, insurance policies, and VULs causing $750,000 in damages.  The claim was settled for $126,424.

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shutterstock_184429547-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Jeffrey Smith (Smith), currently employed by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Smith) has been subject to at least eight customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Smith’s customer complaints allege that Smith recommended unsuitable securities recommendations in equity securities among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In April 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Smith violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Smith made unsuitable investments and failed to follow instructions.  The claim is currently pending.

In February 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Smith violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Smith made unsuitable investments.  The claim is currently pending.

In October 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Smith violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Smith made unsuitable recommendations from March 2015 until October 2016 causing damages.  The claim settled for $50,000.

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shutterstock_12144202-300x200Advisor Michael Fassi (Fassi), currently employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus Financial) has been subject to at least two customer complaints and one bankruptcy during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern 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 extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Fassi violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor recommended an unsuitable investment and several other allegations associated therewith in October 2015 causing $11,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Fassi violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor recommended an unsuitable investments in 2012 and several other allegations associated causing $275,498 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

Our firm often handles cases involving annuities and direct participation products, Non-Traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments which provides a perverse incentives by brokers to create an artificial market for products that no honest advisor would sell.

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shutterstock_93851422-300x240Advisor Kurt Jackson (Jackson), currently employed by Commonwealth Financial Network (Commonwealth Financial) has been subject to at least three customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In March 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Jackson violated the securities laws by alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and other causes of action related to the sale of several alternative investments.  The claim alleges $500,000 in damages and is currently pending.

Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products, Non-Traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments which provides a perverse incentives by brokers to create an artificial market for products that no honest advisor would sell.

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shutterstock_57561913-300x189According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Paul Mante (Mante), employed by The GMS Group, LLC (The GMS Group), has been subject to eight customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Mante has been accused by a customers of unsuitable investment advice concerning recommendations to invest in Puerto Rico bonds.   Puerto Rico has been devastated by a $70 billion debt it cannot pay in addition to extensive hurricane damage.  However, according to news reports, the process to resolve Puerto Rico’s debts could take years.

In January 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Mante violated the securities laws by, among other things, making misrepresentations of Puerto Rico bonds for the period of May 2014 through to December 2017.  The complaint alleged $1 million in damages and was settled for $450,000.

In January 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Mante violated the securities laws by, among other things, that the broker negligently recommended and misrepresented the safety of the Puerto Rico bonds from the time period of May 2013 through to September 2014. The complaint alleged $40,000 in damages and was settled for $13,500.

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shutterstock_132704474-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Andrew Burdsall (Burdsall), currently employed by Securities America, Inc. (Securities America) has been subject to at least five customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Burdsall’s customer complaints allege that Burdsall invested them in a fraudulent private placement security or made unsuitable investments.

In January 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Burdsall violated the securities laws including that after briefly discussing the possibility of generating a monthly income plan, Burdsall placed unauthorized trades within the client’s account which resulted in a loss to his portfolio.  The customer alleges $106,202.16 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

There are also four claims against Burdsall concerning the sale of fraudulent private placements including Provident Shale and Medical Capital.

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shutterstock_34872913-300x209According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Ronald Rothchild (Rothchild), currently employed by National Securities Corporation (National Securities) has been subject to at least four customer complaint, two financial disclosures, and an employment termination for cause.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Rothchild’s customer complaints allege that Rothchild made was negligent, breached his fiduciary duty, made unsuitable investments, and made misrepresentations.

In July 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Rothchild violated the securities laws including negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and unsuitable investments causing $100,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In March 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Rothchild violated the securities laws including that investments were misrepresented to her and were unsuitable based on her investment objectives and risk tolerance which were also incorrectly stated on new account paperwork.  The claim is currently settled.

In December 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Rothchild violated the securities laws including negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentations causing $170,000 in damages.  The claim is settled for $48,000.

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