Articles Tagged with broker fraud lawyer

shutterstock_102242143-300x169The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor James McKinney (McKinney), formerly employed by Cetera Advisors LLC (Cetera) has been subject to at least three customer complaints, three tax liens, and one regulatory action during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), McKinney’s customer complaints alleges that McKinney recommended unsuitable investments among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In November 2019 FINRA filed a regulatory action against McKinney alleging that he was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he failed to comply with FINRA requests for information, documents and on-the-record testimony in connection with an investigation of him for possible violations of FINRA rules.  If McKinney does not respond to the investigation the usual outcome is a bar from the securities industry.

McKinney also has three tax lien disclosures including a $622,351 lien from June 2017.  The fact that a broker cannot manage his own personal finances is material information for a client to consider.  In addition, the types of products clients have alleged were unsuitable are high commission products that may be recommended to generate high profits for the advisor at the expense of the client.

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shutterstock_93851422-300x240The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Jamie Westenbarger (Westenbarger), formerly employed by Securities America, Inc. (Securities America) has been subject to at least five customer complaints, two employment termination for cause, and one regulatory action during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Westenbarger’s customer complaint alleges that Westenbarger recommended unsuitable investments in a variety of investment products including alternative investments, non-traded REITs, variable annuities, corporate notes, and UITs among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In August 2019 Westenbarger’s employer, Securities America, discharged Westenbarger alleging that the representative was discharged for violating firm policies and procedures regarding borrowing funds from clients.

Thereafter, FINRA investigated the allegations and in October 2019 barred Westenbarger after alleging that he consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide documents requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation concerning information disclosed by Securities America. FINRA found that Westenbarger intentionally provided a partial response, but did not substantially comply with all aspects of FINRA’s request.

In October 2019 a customer complained that Westenbarger violated the securities laws by alleging that Westenbarger convinced them to purchase a corporate note and instead used the funds for his own purposes, that in June 2018, Westenbarger convinced them to replace a variable annuity for no apparent reason, and that in July 2019 Westenbarger made an unauthorized purchase of a UIT, which was unsuitable.  The claim alleges $212,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_102242143-300x169According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor John Forrester (Forrester), currently employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge Securities) has been subject to at least four customer complaints, one regulatory action, and has two bankruptcy disclosures during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Forrester’s customer complaints allege that Forrester recommended unsuitable securities recommendations in a variety of products including alternative investments among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In April 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Forrester violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Forrester breached his fiduciary duty and was negligent in the sale of alternative investments causing $55,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In June 2017 Forrester declared bankruptcy.  This information has been found to be material for investors to have because an advisor who cannot manage his own finances is a relevant factor for investors to consider.  In addition, a broker in financial distress may be influenced to recommend high commission products or strategies.

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shutterstock_152933045-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Leonard Kinsman (Kinsman), currently employed by Wells Fargo Advisors Network, LLC (Wells Fargo) has been subject to at least five customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Kinsman’s customer complaints allege that Kinsman recommended unsuitable securities recommendations among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In addition, a recent Washington Post article exposed how brokerage firms as large as Wells Fargo still hire brokers with troubling work histories.  Kinsman had prior multiple complaints from clients and worked for two banned brokerages firms.  One firm was Meyers Pollock Robbins, a notorious bucket shop whose ex-president pleaded guilty to charges of engaging in a pump-and-dump stock scheme.  The fraud was alleged to have been linked to a bribery scheme coordinated by organized crime.

Recently, Kinsman was the subject to a new customer complaint where the client accused the broker of losing a $2.25 million insurance settlement after the client’s husband died unexpectedly in 2011.  The complaint alleges aggressive options trading and false documentation.

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shutterstock_15963142-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Clarence McGill (McGill), formerly registered with GWN Securities Inc. (GWN Securities) has been been sanctioned and barred by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  According to FINRA, McGill consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings because he refused to produce information FINRA requested in connection with its investigation of his possible participation in the unsuitable recommendations of investment products to customers.  FINRA’s statement does not include a description of how many customers were involved in the investigation or the types of products and services under inquiry.

According to McGill’s records and public disclosures he is listed as the director and president of The McGill Group which engages in insurance sales and appears to be a d/b/a for the broker.

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shutterstock_175993865-300x225Securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating previously registered broker Shaun Hayes (Hayes). According to BrokerCheck Records, Hayes has been subject to seven customer disputes in the past year, four of which are still pending. The majority of these disputes allege unauthorized trading of customer accounts.

In December 2017, a customer alleged that from May 2013 to December 2017, Hayes was executing unauthorized trades in the customer’s accounts. This dispute  is currently still pending.

In December 2017, another customer alleged that Hayes was engaging in unauthorized trades in the customer account and is requesting $139,000 in damages. This complaint is still pending.