Articles Posted in Securities Attorney

shutterstock_156972491-300x198The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Lawrence Delhagen (Delhagen), currently employed by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (Stifel Nicolaus) 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), Delhagen’s customer complaints alleges that Delhagen recommended unsuitable investments, negligence, fraud, misrepresentations, and breach of fiduciary duty among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In September 2018 a customer complained that Delhagen violated the securities laws by alleging unsuitable investments, negligence, fraud, misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of state and Federal securities laws. The claim settled for $30,000.

In June 2018 a customer complained that Delhagen violated the securities laws by alleging unsuitable investments, negligence, fraud, misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of state and Federal securities laws. The claim settled for $270,000.

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shutterstock_99315272-300x300The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor John Dobbertin (Dobbertin), currently employed by American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (American Portfolios) has been subject to at least one customer complaint, one regulatory sanctions, one criminal disclosure, and one termination for cause.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Dobbertin’s customer complaint alleges that Dobbertin recommended unsuitable securities recommendations among other allegations of misconduct relating to real estate and annuity securities.

In May 2019 a customer complained that Dobbertin violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor committed violations of FINRA Rules 2110 and 2111, misrepresentation and omissions of material facts, and breach of fiduciary duty.  The claim is currently pending.

In December 2014 Dobbertin consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that Dobbertin failed to timely amend his Form U4 and disclose in eight subsequent Form U4 Amendments that he had been charged with a fdony offense.  FINRA also found that Dobbertin also failed to timely ammd his Form U4 and disctose in subsequent Form U4 Amendments two unsatisfied federal tax liens that were levied in 2013.

In June 2009 Dobbertin was permitted to resign from LPL Financial after the firm alleged that he failed to follow the firm’s policies and procedures relating to processing variable annuity transactions.

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shutterstock_177577832-300x300The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP is reporting on public disclosures on advisor David Crane (Crane), currently registered with Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus Financial) out of Dacula, Georgia.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Crane has been subject to at least one customer dispute.  In addition, Crane disclosed five tax liens during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Crane’s customer complaint concerns over variable annuity sales practices.

In March 2018 Crane disclosed a $131,644 tax lien against him.  Prior to that, in November 2010 Crane disclosed a $34,101 tax lien against him.  Large tax liens on a broker’s CRD can be a red flag that the broker may be influenced to engage in high commission activity in order to satisfy personal debts.  FINRA discloses information concerning a broker’s financial condition because a broker’s inability to handle their own personal finances has also been found to be material information in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.

In July 2004 a customer alleged that Crane provided negligent investment advice and breached his fiduciary duty concerning the purchase of a variable annuity.  The amount of damages was not specified.  The claim was settled for $225,000.

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shutterstock_179203760-300x300The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Jeffrey Blutstein (Blutstein) engaged in undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs) that were not approved by his brokerage firm.  Blutstein, formerly registered with American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (American Portfolios) and Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra Investment) out of New York, was barred from the financial industry according to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  In addition, Blutstein disclosed one employment termination for cause and one criminal complaint.

In July 2019 FINRA found that Blutstein consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into whether he potentially violated FINRA rules by engaging in undisclosed outside business activities while associated with a member firm.  Accordingly, Blutstein was automatically barred from the securities industry.

At this time it is unclear what OBA Blutstein engaged in that FINRA was investigating and whether or not that activity also involved private securities transactions.  Blutstein’s public disclosures state that he was involved in a number of OBAs including Financial Logistics, an insurance business, among other businesses.  It is unclear if these OBAs were the subject of FINRA’s investigation.

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shutterstock_1832895-300x199The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Rick Konecny (Konecny) engaged in violations of the securities laws.  Konecny, formerly registered with National Securities Corporation (National Securities) and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JP Morgan) out of Chicago, Illinois was barred from the financial industry according to a BrokerCheck report.  In addition, Konecny has been subject to at least eleven customer complaints, three regulatory actions, and one termination for cause during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Konecny concern allegations of unsuitable investments.

In March 2016, Konecny was terminated J.P. Morgan Securities LLC over allegations of his failure to escalate client matters and failed to follow requirements with respect to execution of trades on a discretionary basis.

In April 2018, a customer alleged that from 2008 to 2013, Konecny’s recommendation of high-risk mining and metal equities was unsuitable to the customer’s investment needs. The customer requested $1,210,380 in damages.

In January 2018, a customer alleged that from July 2013 to October 2015, Konecny invested the account in an unsuitable and over concentrated manner causing $81,856.00 in damages.  The claim settled for $2,768.

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shutterstock_175137287-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating broker Douglas Hyer (Hyer), currently associated with First Allied Securities, Inc. (First Allied) out of Great Neck, New York.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Hyer has been subject to at least four customer disputes and one termination for cause during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the customer complaints allege that Hyer engaged in unsuitable sales of 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 April 2019 a customer alleged that from 2009 through 2012, Hyer recommended illiquid, risky and non-traded products that were unsuitable to the customer’s investment needs.  The claim alleged over $5,000 in damages and settled for $15,000.

In February 2013 Hyer was permitted to resign from Next Financial Group, Inc. (Next Financial) after the firm found that Hyer failed to follow company policies and misused the social media.

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shutterstock_136504499-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating advisor John Eads (Eads), formerly registered with Lion Street Financial, LLC (Lion Street Financial) and AXA Advisors, LLC (AXA Advisors) out of Titusville, Florida.  According to a BrokerCheck report,  Eads has been subject to at least seven customer complaints and one employment termination for cause during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Eads concern allegations of variable annuity sales practices.

In January 2018 a customer alleged Eads over forgery.  In February 2018 Lion Street Financial discharged Eads claiming that he submitted client documents without their legal signatures.

In June 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging that in March 2015 Eads recommended an unsuitable annuity causing damages.  The claim settled for $85,821.

In April 2016 a customer alleged that Eads misrepresented and unsuitably recommended variable annuities causing damages.  The claim was denied.

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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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