The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating previously registered broker Mariondy Fernandez (Fernandez). According to BrokerCheck Records held by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Fernandez has been subject to 19 customer disputes, 10 of which are still pending. The majority of these disputes concern violations of various securities laws regarding Puerto Rico municipal bonds and closed-end funds.
Most recently, in June 2018, a client alleged that Fernandez violated various securities laws, was negligent to industry standards, breached fiduciary duty, and failed to supervise in the case of the customer’s investments in Puerto Rico bonds and closed-end funds. This dispute is currently still pending.
In December 2017, a customer similarly alleged that Fernandez unsuitably placed the customer into Puerto Rico municipal bonds and over-concentrated the customer’s funds in the investments. In addition, the customer alleges failure to supervise and negligence. The customer has requested $1,910,000 in damages. this dispute is currently still pending.
Brokers have recommended Puerto Rico bonds over the past decade as an attractive high yielding investment that is triple-tax free – meaning interest earned is free of federal, state, or local taxes. However, Puerto Rico has been devastated by a $70 billion debt it cannot pay in addition to extensive hurricane damage. According to news reports, the process to resolve Puerto Rico’s debts could take years. Brokers must make recommendations that are suitable for their client. The suitability analysis requires recommendation recommendations to have a reasonable basis based upon the broker’s and the firm’s investigation and due diligence into the features and qualities of the securities being offered. Common due diligence looks into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, the issuer, the likelihood of success or failure of the investment, and other relevant factors. Second, if there is a reasonable basis to recommend the product to investors the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives.
Fernandez also has an unusual amount of complaints on his record in comparison to his peers. According to newsources, only about 7.3% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records among brokers employed from 2005 to 2015. However, studies have found that in certain parts of California, New York or Florida, the rates of disclosure go up to as high as 18%. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their CRD customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, and even criminal matters.
Fernandez entered the securities industry in 2001 and was registered with Santander Securities LLC from October 2009 to February 2016. From January 2005 to September 2009, he was registered with Santander Securities. From July 2003 to February 2005, he was registered with Wachovia Securities, LLC. From May 2001 to July 2003, he was registered with Prudential Securities Incorporated. Fernandez is currently not registered wtih any firm.
Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of unsuitable investments and firms’ failure to supervise their employees. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.