Articles Posted in Securities Lawyer

shutterstock_77335852-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Stephen Carver (Carver), formerly employed by Lifemark Securities Corp. (Lifemark Securities) and Cetera Advisors LLC (Cetera Advisors) has been subject to at least two customer complaints, one regulatory complaint, three employment terminations for cause, and three tax liens.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Carver’s customer complaints allege that Carver made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of securities including alternative investments such as REITs.

In January 2019 FINRA brought a complaint against Carver alleging that he willfully failed to timely amend his Form U4 to disclose three unsatisfied Internal Revenue Service tax liens totaling approximately $92,000 that were filed against him. FINRA claims that Carver also falsely attested to his member firm on an annual compliance questionnaire that he was in compliance with FINRA’s Form U4 disclosure requirements.  The regulatory complaint is currently pending.

In October 2018 a customer brought a complaint against Carver alleging the broker violated the securities laws by committing elder abuse.  The claim alleged $9.3 million in damages and is currently pending.

In September 2017 Cetera Advisors discharged Carver claiming that he violated firm policy by not disclosing gifts from a client.

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shutterstock_143094109-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Robert Salles (Salles), currently employed by Herbert J. Sims & Co, Inc. (Herbert J. Sims) has been subject to at least six customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Salles customer complaints allege that Salles made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of investments including junk bonds, Puerto Rico bonds, and structured notes.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Salles violated the securities laws by engaging in unsuitable investments.  The customer alleges $100,000 in damages and the claim was denied by the firm.

In May 2018 a customer complained that Salles violated the securities laws by engaging in conduct from September 2009 to present that was a breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of contract, fraud misrepresentation, and failure to supervise involving junk bonds, Puerto Rico bonds, and structured notes. The customer alleges $200,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_836360-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Scott Mass (Mass), currently employed by David Lerner Associates, Inc. (David Lerner) has been subject to five customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Mass’ customer complaints allege that Mass made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of investments including REITs, Puerto Rico bonds, and mutual funds.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud and breach of contract in connection with the sale of Puerto Rico Bonds.  The customer alleges $500,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In December 2016 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments from June 2007 through July 2015 causing $90,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $15,000.

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shutterstock_112866430-300x199According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Ricky Mantei (Mantei), currently employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus Financial) has been subject to eight customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Mantei’s customer complaints allege that Mantei made unsuitable recommendations in certain corporate debt or other securities.

In November 2018 a customer alleged that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations. The complaint alleges $100,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that their investments were unsuitable based on their investment objectives.  The claim alleges $233,238,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In May 2018 the beneficiaries of a deceased customer allege that the Mantei recommended the client make unsuitable investments.  The claim alleges $100,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_182054030-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Ronald Walker (Walker), currently employed by NYLife Securities LLC (NYLife) has been subject to five customer complaints during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the customer complaints against Walker concern allegations over variable annuity sales practices.

In June 2018 a client complained that Walker violated the securities laws because a client claimed she was not aware that she would be subject to a new surrender period when she agreed to move funds from one variable annuity to another in February 2017.  The customer also alleged that being invested in 100% high yield bond funds does not match her risk tolerance.  The customer alleged $13,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In November 2017 a client complained that Walker violated the securities laws because a client claimed that the firm approved modifications to two variable annuity contracts.  The firm denied the claim.

In October 2017 a client complained that Walker violated the securities laws alleging that he recommended a rider to his variable annuity contract purchased in September 2005 that was unnecessary and expensive.  Customer alleges that he did not need the rider because he does not intend to withdraw from the variable annuity.  The claim settled for $11,020.58.

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shutterstock_188269637-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Steven Reznik (Reznik), formerly employed by Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (Raymond James) has been subject to twelve customer complaints during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaints against Reznik concern allegations of unsuitable investments and allegations of overconcentration involving equities and options.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Reznik recommended investments that violated the securities laws including suitability, overconcentration, unauthorized trading, negligence, violation of FINRA Rules, breach of contract, negligent supervision, and breach of fiduciary duty from 9/26/16 – 10/31/18.  The customer alleges $125,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.

In September 2017 a customer complained that Reznik recommended investments that violated the securities laws misrepresentations and omissions relating to unauthorized trades, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise, negligence, gross negligence, negligent retention, negligent misrepresentation, concentration, and respondeat superior liability occurring from 3/25/15 to 9/13/18.  The customer claimed $2,000,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_112866430-300x199According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Travis Hughes (Hughes), currently employed by Cetera Advisors LLC (Cetera) has been subject to twelve customer complaints and one employment termination for cause during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the many of the customer complaints against Hughes concern allegations over variable annuity sales practices and non traded real estate investment trusts (Non-Traded REITs).

In August 2008 Hughes was terminated by AXA Advisors, LLC (AXA) after the firm alleged that Hughes failed to follow compliance procedures and policies after the broker was placed on enhanced supervision by the firm.

In August 2018 a client complained that Hughes violated the securities laws by recommending Non-Traded REITs.  The customer alleged $18,253 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In January 2017 a client complained that Hughes violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments between 2011 and 2013.  The customer alleged $85,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $37,500.

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shutterstock_70999552-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Charla Kabana (Kabana), formerly employed by SagePoint Financial, Inc. (SagePoint) has been subject to one regulatory action, one one employment termination for cause, and multiple financial disclosures during her career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the regulatory action against Kabana concern allegations over variable annuity sales practices.

In August 2018 Kabana consented to sanctions and to the entry of findings that she failed to provide FINRA with the documents and information requested in connection with its investigation concerning the reasons for her termination including concerns regarding her practices in respect to variable annuity business and related responses to compliance. Because Kabana refused to appear for FINRA and provide on-the-record testimony FINRA automatically barred her from the industry.

In July 2016, LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial) discharged Kabana claiming that the firm had concerns regarding the Representative’s practices in respect to variable annuity business and related responses to compliance.

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shutterstock_57938968-200x300According to BrokerCheck records former financial advisor Michael Ralby (Ralby), formerly employed by Morgan Stanley has been subject to eight customer complaints and one regulatory matter in his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Ralby concern allegations of unsuitable investments.

In March 2018, Ralby entered into a consent agreement with FINRA where Ralby consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for a FINRA on-the-record testimony for the regulator’s investigation into whether Ralby had accepted loans from a customer in violation of FINRA rules.

In July 2018, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Ralby engaged in unsuitable investments in structured products from March 2016 until August 2016.  The client alleged $37,170 in damages and the case was resolved.

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shutterstock_92699377-300x285According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Michael Pepe (Pepe), currently employed by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise) has been subject to six customer complaints, one criminal matter, and one tax lien in his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Pepe concern allegations of unsuitable investments.

In August 2018, Pepe disclosed a tax lien of $34,439.  This information has been found to be material for investors to have because an advisor who cannot manage his own finances is a relevant factor for investors to consider.  In addition, a broker in financial distress may be influenced to recommend high commission products or strategies.

In May 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Pepe engaged in unauthorized trading in unsuitable securities. It was further alleged that had he been suitably invested, he would have generated a profit of approximately $750,000 under a well-managed portfolio damages analysis.  The complaint is currently pending.

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