Articles Posted in Suitability

shutterstock_189302963-300x194The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C. (Joseph Stone) broker Miguel Murillo (Murillo). According to BrokerCheck Records,  Murillo has been subject to three customer disputes, one of which is still pending. In addition, Murillo has been sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for being in violation of various securities laws.

In September 2017, a customer alleged that Murillo engaged in recommending unsuitable investments, executing unauthorized transactions, excessively trading the account, and security fraud. The customer has requested $800,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In August 2008, a customer alleged that Murillo failed to follow customer instructions and engaged in unauthorized trading and false representation of the nature of the investments recommended. The case settled at $35,000.

Murillo has also been suspended by FINRA for violating certain securities laws. In December 2010, FINRA found that Murillo was in violation of NASD Rules 2110 and 2310 for recommending unsuitable investments to inexperienced, elderly investors. The investment recommendations were alleged to have not matched the investor’s financial needs and objectives.  The customer had stated a desire for a conservative retirement account with low risk and passive income and instead FINRA found that Murillo listed the customer’s objective as speculation and risk tolerance as aggressive. In addition, many of the trades that Murillo executed were excessive and were made on use of margin when the investor had been completely uninformed about the use of margin and its risks. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Murillo consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of the findings. Murillo incurred a restitution fee of $35,000 and was suspended for 20 business days. Continue Reading

shutterstock_160304408-300x199Securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (Raymond James) broker Thomas O’Brien (O’Brien). According to BrokerCheck records, O’Brien has been subject to three customer disputes, one of which is still pending. The majority of these disputes involve the misrepresentation and unsuitable recommendation of annuities.

Most recently, in November 2017, customers alleged that from January 2001 to present, O’Brien engaged in fraudulent representation of investments, over-concentration of investments, and failure of the firm to properly supervise O’Brien’s activities. The customer is requesting $5,000,000 in damages. This dispute is still pending.

In September 2006, a customer alleged that O’Brien falsely represented an annuity purchase to the customer by failing to disclose crucial information that the investor can’t withdraw funds from his annuity investment. The customer requested $5,000 in damages. Continue Reading

shutterstock_141873055-300x268Securities firm Gana Weinstein LLP is investigating Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge Securities) broker Jeffrey Eglow (Eglow). According to BrokerCheck records, Eglow has been subject to 4 customer complaints and one criminal action. The majority of these disputes involve unsuitable, over-concentrated alternative investments.

In May 2017, a customer alleged that Eglow overcharged customers fees for trading which resulted in damages of $48,758. The customer’s request for damages was fully remedied by the court.

In July 2016, a customer alleged that Eglow placed over-concentrated investments in Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) and energy securities which was unsuitable to the customer and resulted in unrealized losses. In addition, Eglow leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) in long positions also resulted in losses to the customer. The case was settled at $115,000.

In September 2015, a customer alleged that Eglow transferred customer’s variable annuities from another firm into Suntrust Investment Services, Inc. without the customer’s knowledge or permission.  The client requested $14,133 for damages. Continue Reading

shutterstock_175835072-300x199The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating claims against Voya Financial Advisors Inc. (Voya Financial) broker Michael Hagan (Hagan).  According to BrokerCheck records, Michael has been subject to seven customer complaints. The majority of these complaints concern the misrepresentation and unsuitable recommendation of variable annuities, equity indexed annuities, and Variable Universal Life (VUL) insurances.

Most recently, in April 2017, a customer alleged that Hagan recommended unsuitable investment products for the customer and misrepresented the nature of the investments.  The dispute was settled at $164,455.

In January 2010, a customer alleged that in February 2000, Hagan’s recommendation of John Hancock Variable Universal Life (VUL) insurance was unsuitable and should be reexamined. Continue Reading

shutterstock_20354401-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating claims against Fortune Financial Services, Inc. (Fortune Financial) broker Bruce Musselman (Musselman). According to BrokerCheck records, Musselman has been subject to nine customer complaints and one criminal regulatory action.

Most recently, in February 2013, customers alleged that Musselman recommended unsuitable investments, misrepresented securities, over-concentrated customer funds into aggressive investments, and excessively used margin. The dispute was settled at $14,900.

In August 2011, a customer alleged that from 2007 to 2009, Musselman recommended highly risky investments that were unsuitable and inappropriate to customer’s needs. The customer requested $80,000 in damages. Continue Reading

shutterstock_159036452-257x300Securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS Financial) broker David Watkins (Watkins). According to BrokerCheck records, Watkins has been subject to two customer disputes, one of which is still pending. In addition, Watkins has been subject to two tax liens. The majority of these disputes concern unsuitable recommendations in bonds, stocks, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

In August 2017, a customer alleges that from May 2013 to October 2016, Watkins recommended for the customer to buy fixed-income securities and ETFs which were unsuitable to the customers investment needs. The customer has requested $5,000,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In September 2015, a customer alleged that from January 2011 to August 2015, Watkins placed the customer in bonds that were unsuitable to the customer and not rated AA or higher as the customer had approved. The case settled for $60,000.

In July 2005, Watkins was charged for a tax lien of over $40,000. A tax lien is a sign that a financial advisor is struggling with their finances. FINRA makes this information available to the public so that investors can determine whether or not their advisor’s financial situation influences the advisor’s recommendations. Continue Reading

shutterstock_176284139-300x200Investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating Dawson James Securities, Inc. (Dawson James Securities) broker Thomas Curtis (Curtis). According to BrokerCheck Records, Curtis has been subject to 6 customer disputes, one of which is still pending. The majority of these disputes involve unsuitable investment recommendations and the false representation of investments.

In August 2017, a customer alleged that Curtis misrepresented the nature of securities and provided unsuitable investment recommendations to the customer. The customer is requesting $4,952,610 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In October 2015, a customer alleged that from October 2014 to September 2015, Curtis misrepresented the material facts of the investments recommended. The customer has requested $100,000 for damages.

In addition, in September 2015, a customer alleged in December 2013, Curtis misrepresented the nature of material facts of private placement investments. The case settled for $60,000. Continue Reading

shutterstock_45316696-300x200The investment attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating previously registered broker Thomas Logue (Logue). According to BrokerCheck Records, Logue has been subject to 5 customer complaints concerning misrepresentation and unsuitable investment recommendations, two of which are still pending. In addition, Logue has been subject to a financial regulation.

In February 2018, a customer alleged that Logue misrepresented the material facts about an investment and that this investment recommendation was unsuitable. The customer has requested $188,025.76 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In December 2017, a customer alleged Logue made unsuitable transactions and is requesting them to be rescinded. The customer has requested $127,520.30 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In September 2017, a customer alleged that Logue misrepresented the investments and that the investments were unsuitable to the customer. The dispute settled at $23,500. Continue Reading

shutterstock_26813263The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (J.P. Morgan) broker Jeffrey Mcaleney (Mcaleney). According to BrokerCheck Records, Mcaleney has been subject to 10 customer disputes, the majority of which concern unsuitable equity, preferred stock, funds, and limited partnership investments.

In October 2017, a customer alleged that from 2007 to 2016, Mcaleney recommended investments that were unsuitable because they were contrary to the customer’s stated goals. The customer requested $313,909.22 in damages.

In October 2017 another customer similarly alleged that from 2014 to 2016, Mcaleney was recommending unsuitable investments that didn’t align with the customer’s needs and goals.

In March 2014, a customer alleged that Mcaleney placed the customer into risky high-yield closed-end funds, equities, and preferred stocks which were risky and volatile and unsuitable to the customer. The customer also alleged that the portfolio was over-concentrated and that the risks of the investment weren’t properly disclosed. The customer requested $200,000 in damages. Continue Reading

shutterstock_132704474-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating The GMS Group, LLC (GMS Group) broker Cormac Maughan (Maughan). According to BrokerCheck records, Maughan has been subject to 2 customer disputes involving unsuitable recommendations of municipal bonds, one of which is still pending. Maughan has also been subject to two regulatory actions in which New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) sanctioned Maughan for various violations of the securities laws, including unauthorized trading and unsuitable investments.

In November 2017, a customer alleged that from January 2009 through to November 2015, Maughan recommended Puerto Rico municipal bonds which were unsuitable to the customer’s investment needs and that Maughan breached his fiduciary duty to the client. This dispute is still pending.

In addition, in May 2004, the NYSE found that Maughan engaged in unauthorized trading by exercising discretionary power with oral but not with written authorization from customer or member firm. The NYSE also found that Maughan also engaged in unsuitable investments that were inconsistent and excessive for his customer in terms of the  customer’s age, investment objectives, and financial circumstances. This violation of NYSE rules 408(a) and 3529c) resulted in a one month suspension for Maughan. Continue Reading