The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP continue to report on investor related losses and potential legal remedies due to recommendations to investor in oil and gas and commodities related investments. Customers have recently filed about five complaints with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Bradley Ross (Ross), a registered representative with UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS) out of the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida office location since 2011.
The customer complaints against Ross allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments and overcenoncetrated clients in gold and commodities related investments among other claims. The most recent complaint was filed in May 2016 and alleged over-concentration and unauthorized trading with respect to certain securities. The customer is seeking $99,000 in damages in the pending complaint. In April 2015, a customer alleged that Ross refused to follow client’s directives, breached his fiduciary duty, executed unauthorized trades, and sold unsuitable investments. The complaint settled in December 2015 for $35,000.
Before recommending investments in oil and gas and commodities related investments, brokers and advisors must ensure that the investment is appropriate for the investor and conduct due diligence on the company in order to understand the risks and prospects of the company. Oil and gas and commodities related investments have been recommended by brokers under the assumption that commodities prices would continue to go up. However, brokers who sell oil and gas and commodities products are obligated to understand the risks of these investments and convey them to clients.
The number of customer complaints against Ross is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.
Our firm is investigating potential securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendations of oil & gas and commodities products such as exchange traded notes (ETNs), structured notes, private placements, master limited partnerships (MLPs), leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks. Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.