Articles Tagged with investment advisor fraud attorney

shutterstock_171721244-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Ricky Flatt (Flatt) has taken loans from a client and engaged in certain business activities not approved by his advisory firm.  Flatt, formerly registered with Royal Fund Management, LLC (Royal Fund) out of Troy, Michigan has been terminated by Royal Fund and under investigation by the State of Michigan for accepting funds from a client.  In addition, Flatt disclosed at least 12 tax or judgement liens totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In March 2019 the State of Michigan opened an investigation into Flatt alleging that he borrowed money from a client and defaulted on the loan while also failing to disclose an outside business activity.

In March 2019 Royal Fund terminated Flatt after alleging that Flatt breached the firm’s internal policies and procedures concerning reporting business activities and loans from a client.

Flatt’s IARD disclosures state that Flatt has an outside business activity called Financial Strategies, Inc. selling certain insurance policies.  It is unclear at this time what business activity that investigations concern.

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shutterstock_188874428-300x200Advisor Alan Dole (Dole), currently employed by Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (Cambridge) has been subject to at least two customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report some 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 December 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Dole violated the securities laws including the Virginia Securities Act, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, negligent supervision, breach of contract and violation of FINRA rules by recommending oil & gas and insurance related investments causing $348,366 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In December 2018 another customer filed a complaint alleging that Dole violated the securities laws including the Virginia Securities Act, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, negligent supervision, breach of contract and violation of FINRA rules by recommending oil & gas and insurance related investments causing $497,691 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_112866430-300x199According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Ricky Mantei (Mantei), currently employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus Financial) has been subject to eight customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Mantei’s customer complaints allege that Mantei made unsuitable recommendations in certain corporate debt or other securities.

Our firm has brought cases against brokers for misrepresenting the features of structured products or selling them as a bond alternative.  Structured products are typically debt instruments where the payout is based on the underlying stock, equity index, currency, or any reference source.  Many, but not all, structured products are advertised as having some principal protection component – meaning that the investor is guaranteed the return of some amount of their initial investment.  However, studies have shown that structured products are often best used as a niche product for sophisticated investors employing complicated strategies.  The typical investor cannot benefit from these products over traditional investments.

In November 2018 a customer alleged that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations. The complaint alleges $100,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that their investments were unsuitable based on their investment objectives.  The claim alleges $233,238,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In May 2018 the beneficiaries of a deceased customer allege that the Mantei recommended the client make unsuitable investments.  The claim alleges $100,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_160486019-300x300According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Maria Hendershott (Hendershott), currently employed by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (Raymond James) has been subject to four customer complaints during her career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaints against Hendershott concern allegations of unsuitable investments and allegations of overconcentration.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Hendershott recommended investments that violated the securities laws including breach of contract, violation of provisions of The Texas State Securities Statutes, Ann. Tx Civil Statutes Art. 581-33, violation of The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act Bc. Code Ann. § 17.46 and Tex Bc. Code Ann. § 17.50, breach of fiduciary duty that took place from 01/15/2015 until 09/12/2016.  The customer alleges $500,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.

In October 2017 a customer complained that Hendershott recommended investments that violated the securities laws including during 06/30/2014 until 07/31/2015 claiming gross mismanagement of accounts, investor abuse, churning, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and violation of industry rules.  The customer claimed $100,000 in damages.  The case settled for $75,000.

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shutterstock_103079882-300x239According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Marc Steinberg (Steinberg), currently employed by Westpark Capital, Inc. (Westpark Capital) has been subject to five customer complaints in his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Steinberg concern allegations of unsuitable investments.

In April 2018, a customer complained that Steinberg engaged in unsuitable investments causing $39,796 in damages.  The claim was denied by the firm.

In November 2016, a customer complained that Steinberg engaged in unsuitable investments from December 2012 until February 2015 causing $16,833 in damages.  The claim was denied by the firm.

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shutterstock_157018310-300x200According to BrokerCheck records former financial advisor James Kujawski (Kujawski), currently employed by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise Financial) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints, one employment termination for cause, and one regulatory action.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Kujawski concern allegations of unsuitable investments and material misrepresentations concerning investments being recommended.

In February 2018 Kujawski was terminated by UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS) after the firm claimed that Kujawski’s continued failure to disclose some of his outside business activities/outside business investments was in violation of firm policies.

Thereafter, in August 2018 FINRA brought a regulatory action against Kujawski which Kujawski consented to the findings that he engaged in a private securities transaction by facilitating the repurchase of a call option between two individuals, neither of whom were customers at his member firm.  FINRA found that Kujawski’s participation included the repurchase of the option by introducing a commercial lender to participate in the transaction, attending meetings with the parties, reviewing draft sale contracts and providing comments, and accepting $73,444.90 in compensation for his participation. Kujawski was suspended for four months and agreed to pay financial penalties.

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