John Dobbertin Subject to Customer Complaint and Regulatory Sanction

shutterstock_99315272-300x300The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor John Dobbertin (Dobbertin), currently employed by American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (American Portfolios) has been subject to at least one customer complaint, one regulatory sanctions, one criminal disclosure, and one termination for cause.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Dobbertin’s customer complaint alleges that Dobbertin recommended unsuitable securities recommendations among other allegations of misconduct relating to real estate and annuity securities.

In May 2019 a customer complained that Dobbertin violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor committed violations of FINRA Rules 2110 and 2111, misrepresentation and omissions of material facts, and breach of fiduciary duty.  The claim is currently pending.

In December 2014 Dobbertin consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that Dobbertin failed to timely amend his Form U4 and disclose in eight subsequent Form U4 Amendments that he had been charged with a fdony offense.  FINRA also found that Dobbertin also failed to timely ammd his Form U4 and disctose in subsequent Form U4 Amendments two unsatisfied federal tax liens that were levied in 2013.

In June 2009 Dobbertin was permitted to resign from LPL Financial after the firm alleged that he failed to follow the firm’s policies and procedures relating to processing variable annuity transactions.

Brokers are required under the securities laws to treat their clients fairly.  This obligation includes the duties to disclose material risks of the investments they recommend and to present products, particularly complex or confusing products, in a fair and balanced manner that allows the client to evaluate the recommendation.  Another important obligation advisors have is to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client.  There are many investments that are not appropriate for the majority of investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors.  Advisors should not present these investment options to clients.  There are two screens that advisors must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client.  First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors.  The advisor must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one.  Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.

According to newsources, a study revealed that 7.3% of financial advisors had a customer complaint on their record when records from 2005 to 2015 were examined.  Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their BrokerCheck reports that include customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, terminations, and criminal cases.  In addition, research has show a disturbing pattern with troublesome brokers where brokers with high numbers of customer complaints are not kicked out of the industry but instead these brokers are sifted to lower quality brokerage firms with loose hiring practices and higher rates of customer complaints.  These lower quality firms may average brokers with five times as many complaints as the industry average.

Dobbertin entered the securities industry in 2002.  Since September 2009 Dobbertin has been registered with American Portfolios out of the firm’s Fayetteville, New York office location.

Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation.  At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts.  Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA.  Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.