According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor William Council (Council), currently employed by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (Raymond James), has been subject to at least three customer complaints and eight financial disclosures during the course of his career. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Council has been accused by multiple customers of unsuitable investment advice concerning various investment products including energy stocks most likely including master limited partnerships (MLPs). 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.
In February 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Council violated the securities laws by purchasing unsuitable securities causing $334,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.
In December 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Council violated the securities laws by purchasing unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, negligence from February 2015 through October 2015 causing $105,000 in damages. The claim settled for $28,000.
Our firm handles claims and is also investigating 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.
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 complaints against Council is unusual compared 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. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their CRD customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, and even criminal matters. However, studies have found that there are fraud hotspots such as certain parts of California, New York or Florida, where the rates of disclosure can reach 18% or higher. Moreover, according to the New York Times, BrokerCheck may be becoming increasing inaccurate and understate broker misconduct as studies have shown that 96.9% of broker requests to clean their records of complaints are granted.
Council entered the securities industry in 1978. From 1978 until November 2013 Council was associated with Crowell, Weedon & Co. From November 2013 until January 2015 Council was associated with D.A. Davidson & Co. Finally, since January 2015 Council has been registered with Raymond James out of the firm’s San Diego, California office location.
At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to inappropriate investments in oil and gas related securities. Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.