Articles Posted in Securities Attorney

shutterstock_168326705-199x300According to BrokerCheck records former financial advisor Charles Bloom (Bloom), formerly employed by Chelsea Financial Services (Chelsea Financial) has been subject to at least two customer complaints.  In addition, Bloom has been subject to three regulatory actions, one employment termination for cause, and two financial disclosures including a bankruptcy filing.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Bloom concern allegations of unsuitable investments.

In July 2018 Bloom consented to a FINRA sanction and findings that he refused to appear for testimony in connection with an investigation into allegations that Bloom engaged in an unsuitable pattern of trading in at least three customer accounts.  Bloom accepted a bar from the securities industry.

In November 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Bloom engaged in unsuitable recommendations and made misrepresentation with regard to a REIT purchase.  The customer alleged $99,326 and the claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_157018310-300x200According to BrokerCheck records former financial advisor James Kujawski (Kujawski), currently employed by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise Financial) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints, one employment termination for cause, and one regulatory action.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Kujawski concern allegations of unsuitable investments and material misrepresentations concerning investments being recommended.

In February 2018 Kujawski was terminated by UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS) after the firm claimed that Kujawski’s continued failure to disclose some of his outside business activities/outside business investments was in violation of firm policies.

Thereafter, in August 2018 FINRA brought a regulatory action against Kujawski which Kujawski consented to the findings that he engaged in a private securities transaction by facilitating the repurchase of a call option between two individuals, neither of whom were customers at his member firm.  FINRA found that Kujawski’s participation included the repurchase of the option by introducing a commercial lender to participate in the transaction, attending meetings with the parties, reviewing draft sale contracts and providing comments, and accepting $73,444.90 in compensation for his participation. Kujawski was suspended for four months and agreed to pay financial penalties.

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shutterstock_183554579-300x200Presidential Brokerage, Inc. (Presidential Brokerage) advisor Jason McBride (McBride) has been subject to at least five customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report many 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 May 2018 a client alleged that McBride made unsuitable investments, breached his fiduciary duty, was negligent, and made misrepresentations in the purchase of two REITs and a limited partnership between February 2006 and august 2008.  The complaint claims $251,317 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_160486019-300x300According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Eric Stuckey (Stuckey), currently employed by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise) has been subject to five customer complaints and two liens.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of a Stuckey’s customer complaints allege that Stuckey made unsuitable recommendations in different investments including variable annuities and energy stocks.

In May 2018 a customer alleged the broker recommended unsuitable investments, misrepresented features of the investments and failed to disclose risks in the investments causing $220,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In January 2018 a customer alleged that the broker placed them in high risk funds which are not suitable causing $79,000 in damages.  The claim was settled for $25,000.

shutterstock_175835072-300x199According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Walter Valenzuela (Valenzuela), currently employed by Hilltop Securities Inc. (Hilltop Securities) has been subject to at least seven customer complaint.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Valenzuela concern excessive trading of unit investment trust (UITs) securities.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Valenzuela engaged in unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentation, and excessive trading involving UITs causing $3 million in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In August 2017 a customer complained of unsuitable recommendations, unsuitable use of margin, churning, financial exploitation, elder abuse and excessive mark-up/mark-down with respect to municipal bond and UIT trades executed in the account.  The complaint also alleged that the representative failed to obtain proper breakpoint discounts for UIT purchases. The customer alleges $9.5 million in damages and the claim is currently pending

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shutterstock_1081038-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Clifton Roberts (Roberts), formerly associated with LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial) in Houston, Texas was terminated for cause by LPL Financial in April 2018 after the firm made allegations that Roberts violated of firm policy regarding outside business activities (OBAs).

At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged OBAs that Roberts was involved in.  According to Roberts’ public diclsoures the broker was part of number of OBAs including IDLife, Ursus Wealth Management – a d/b/a entity for his LPL Financial business, Ursus and Company – a real estate management and construction company which Roberts claims is not investment related.  In addition, an unnamed business for insurance is listed.  It is unknown whether LPL’s claims relate to any of these entities.

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shutterstock_62862913-259x300The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) broker Peter Malis (Malis). According to BrokerCheck Records kept by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to BrokerCheck Records, Malis has been subject to five customer disputes, the majority concerning unsuitable investments in mutual funds, municipal bonds, and limited partnerships.

Most recently, in December 2017, a customer alleged that from February 2006 to December 2016, Malis placed the customer in unsuitable investments and executed trades in the account without the customer’s consent.

In September 2016, a customer alleged that from March 2002 to January 2016, Malis placed the customer in unsuitable investments and engaged in unauthorized trades and churning of the account. The case was settled at $1,100,000.

In May 1995, a customer alleged that Malis placed the customer in unsuitable mutual funds and limited partnerships. The case was settled at $12,500.

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shutterstock_36343294-300x225The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating MML Investors Services, LLC (MML Investors) broker Richard Fortune (Fortune). According to BrokerCheck Records, Fortune has been subject to 6 customer disputes, one of which is still pending. The majority of these disputes involve the false representation of variable annuities.

In August 2017, a customer alleged that from February 2015 to October 2015, Fortune did not disclose all possible options regarding withdrawing variable annuity investments.

In September 2015, a customer alleged that in December 2014, Fortune falsely represented the nature of variable annuities which he placed the customer in.

shutterstock_85873471-300x200The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) broker Walter Stucker (Stucker). According to BrokerCheck Records kept by the Financial Industry Regulative Authority (FINRA), Stucker has been subject to three customer disputes, one of which is still pending. The majority of these disputes involve the false representation and unsuitable recommendation of securities in the energy sector and oil and gas limited partnerships.

In April 2018, a customer alleged that from 2011 to 2017, Stucker falsely represented the nature of sector securities to the customer by omitting the risks associated with the securities. The customer also alleged that Stucker unsuitably over-concentrated the customer’s funds into these investments. The customer has requested $600,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In December 2017, a customer alleged that from July 2011 to December 2017, Stucker misrepresented the risky and volatile nature of oil and gas limited partnerships to the customer and unsuitably over-concentrated the customer into these investments.  The customer requested $632,907 in damages.

shutterstock_151894877-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating previously registered broker Paul Dangelo (Dangelo). According to BrokerCheck Records, Dangelo has been subject to six customer disputes, the majority concerning unauthorized trades and unsuitable investment recommendations in Puerto Rico bonds.   In addition, Dangelo has been subject to termination from two firms of employment.

In January 2017, a customer alleged that from March 2005 to January 2017, Dangelo placed the customer in high-risk, uninsured Puerto Rico bonds that were unsuitable for the customer’s investment needs and objectives considering the customers old age of 70 years old and retiree status.

In addition, in September 2016, a customer alleged that from March 2005 to February 2015, Dangelo placed the customer in unsuitable bonds that did not match the customer’s objectives of safe, passive income investments.