Articles Posted in Securities Attorney

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_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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