Articles Tagged with FSC Securities

shutterstock_154554782-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are reporting on advisor Thomas Gerard Murray (Murray) currently employed by FSC Securities Corporation (FSC Securities) out of Hartsdale, New York.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Murray has been subject to at least one customer dispute and one bankruptcy cause during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Murray’s customer complaint concerns allegations of unsuitable investments.

In February 2018 a customer alleged that Murray engaged in unsuitable investments of oil & gas programs causing $210,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $48,000.

In March 2012 Murray declared bankruptcy.  Information on financial matters such as bankruptcies and tax liens 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_155045255-289x300Advisor Samuel Monchik (Monchik), currently employed by Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. (Geneos Wealth) has been subject to at least two customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report many of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In August 2018, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Monchik made unsuitable recommendations, breach of fiduciary duty, and failure to adequately disclose the risks in REITs and direct investments – DPP & LP interests purchased between March of 2008 and November of 2015.  The complaint is currently pending.

In July 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Monchik made unsuitable recommendation of an oil & gas investment in June 2008.  The complaint was denied by the firm.

In September 2008 FSC Securities Corporation terminated Monchik’s alleging that he violated the firm’s policies with respect to transactions in Non-Traded REITs.

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shutterstock_183525509The investment fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating the regulatory complaint filed by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) involving former FSC Securities Corporation (FSC) broker Leonard Fox (Fox) out of the firm’s Marlton, New Jersey office.  According to BrokerCheck records Fox has been subject to four customer complaints and two regulatory actions.

In August 2016, FINRA brought a regulatory action and barred Fox from the industry.  (FINRA No. 2016050482101).  FINRA alleged that Fox consented to the sanctions and findings that he failed to respond to FINRA’s requests for documents and information related to an investigation into allegations that he had borrowed and misappropriated funds from a firm customer.  This was not the first time FINRA accused Fox of borrowing customer funds.  In May 2012, FINRA brought a separate action against Fox alleging that Fox borrowed $10,000 from a client and suspended him for 10 days.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.

At this time it is unclear the nature and scope of Fox private securities transactions.  However, according to brokercheck records, Fox has disclosed OBAs listed as including Fox Wealth Management Group, LLC.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, real estate brokers, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

shutterstock_123758422The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Gregg Templeton (Templeton). According to BrokerCheck records Templeton is subject to six customer complaints and one employment separation. The recent customer complaints against Templeton allege securities law violations that including misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent supervision among other claims.   The claims appear to largely relate to allegations regarding promissory notes and penny stocks.

The most recent complaint filed in January 2016 alleges that between December 2013 and May 2015 the customer claims to have been defrauded out of $6,750,000 through misrepresentations in what appear to be penny stocks while Templeton was associated with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (Oppenheimer) out of the firm’s New York, New York office location. The dispute is currently pending.

Our firm has represented many clients in who have suffered losses due to inappropriate penny stock trading and manipulation claims. Penny stocks and low priced securities are favorite targets for investment fraud because they are easily manipulated and allow schemers to profit from their victims investments.

shutterstock_115937266A recent article by Bloomberg highlighted a disturbing trend whereby brokers of independent brokerage firms have been able to make substantial profits while providing allegedly unsuitable investment advice and potentially tanking the retirement savings of potentially hundreds and maybe thousands of blue collar workers. These brokerage firms have been able to tap into large corporations with thousands of employees with 401(k) plans and convince them to rollover their accounts to their firm into IRAs. Once there, the brokers recommend unsuitable investments in an already tax-deffered account such as municipal bond funds and variable annuities. Some of the investments are extremely speculative and carry huge commissions and fees. In the end the brokers make hundreds of thousands in commissions while the investor is left with a depleted retirement account.

How the practice works is that brokers form connections with large employers in order to pitch their investment services to employees. Because the employer allows the broker to use their offices and facilities to pitch their investment services, employees often mistakenly believe that the company endorses or has otherwise evaluated the broker. In fact, these companies often have little to no relationship with the broker or a defined screening process.

According to Bloomberg, employees shifted $321 billion from 401(k)-style plans to individual retirement accounts in 2012. As a result, IRAs account assets are up to $6.5 trillion, more than the $5.9 trillion contained in 401(k)-style accounts. However, the shifts have been used by some Wall Street firms to profit at their client’s expense. IRAs often charge higher fees than 401(k) plans which provides brokers an incentive to promote rollovers.