Articles Tagged with investment fraud attorney

shutterstock_156972491-300x198The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Lawrence Delhagen (Delhagen), currently employed by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (Stifel Nicolaus) has been subject to at least four customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Delhagen’s customer complaints alleges that Delhagen recommended unsuitable investments, negligence, fraud, misrepresentations, and breach of fiduciary duty among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In September 2018 a customer complained that Delhagen violated the securities laws by alleging unsuitable investments, negligence, fraud, misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of state and Federal securities laws. The claim settled for $30,000.

In June 2018 a customer complained that Delhagen violated the securities laws by alleging unsuitable investments, negligence, fraud, misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of state and Federal securities laws. The claim settled for $270,000.

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shutterstock_173509961-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Robert Montes (Montes) engaged in undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs) and investment sales that were not approved by his brokerage firm.  Montes, formerly registered with Morgan Stanley was subject to a regulatory investigation according to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  In addition, Montes disclosed three customer complaints.

In July 2019, FINRA alleged that Montes accepted a bar from the financial industry, without admitting or denying the findings, that he refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into whether he potentially misused an elderly customer’s assets.

At this time it is unclear what the activity was that was the focus of FINRA’s investigation or the scope of Montes’ activities.  Montes’ publicly available BrokerCheck information discloses several OBAs including a real estate venture and a company called R.J.R. Asset Management, LLC.  It is unknown whether the activity investigated by FINRA involves any of these entities.

Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in receiving loans from clients or selling fraudulent securities sales through OBAs.  The sale of unapproved investment products – is a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – a serious violation of the securities laws.  In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm.  Sometimes those investments have some legitimacy but often times these types of investments can end up being Ponzi schemes or the advisor can be engaging in the conversion of funds.

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shutterstock_180968000-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Thomas Marino (Marino), formerly employed by R.M. Stark & Co., Inc. (R.M. Stark) has been subject to at least three customer complaints, one regulatory sanction, one financial disclosure, and two terminations for cause.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Marino’s customer complaints alleges that Marino recommended unsuitable securities recommendations among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In July 2019 Marino consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that Marino refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into his possible misuse of funds from a senior customer.  As a result, Marino drew an automatic bar from the industry.

In June 2019 Marino was discharged from R.M. Stark after the firm alleged that he engaged in inappropriate and unsuitable investments for a client’s risk tolerance and objectives.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Marino violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor made inappropriate and unsuitable investments for her risk tolerance.  The claim alleges $300,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_20354398-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims against broker Sergio Rovner (Rovner), currently associated with Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis) out of New York, New York.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Rovner has been subject to at least six customer disputes and two regulatory actions during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the customer complaints against Rovner concern allegations of unauthorized trading, unsuitable investments, and misrepresentations among other claims.

In February 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Son executed unauthorized trades in the customer’s account and made unsuitable investment recommendations.  The customer requested $32,398 in damages.  The claim settled for $12,635.

In December 2005 FINRA found that Rovner violated NASD Rules 2110 and 2310 by engaging in excessive trading and unsuitable investments.  Without admitting or denying the allegations, Rovner consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of the findings.  Rovner was fined $10,000 and suspended for 30 days.

Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading.  Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. All brokers are under an obligation to first discuss trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b).  These rules explicitly prohibit brokers from making discretionary trades in a customers non-discretionary accounts. The SEC has also found that unauthorized trading to be fraudulent nature because no disclosure could be more important to an investor than to be made aware that a trade will take place.

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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_102217105-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor John Busco (Busco), currently employed by Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. (Laidlaw) and previously with Morgan Stanley has been subject to at least 11 customer complaints and one regulatory action during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Busco’s customer complaints allege that Busco recommended unsuitable securities recommendations in a variety of products including alternative investments among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In March 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Busco violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Busco made unsuitable investments in alternative investments from 2009 through 2018 causing damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In April 2011 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Busco violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Busco made unsuitable investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac causing $120,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $40,000.

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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_113632177-300x249According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Peter Goffin (Goffin), currently employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge Securities) has been subject to at least nine customer complaints and one regulatory action during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Goffin’s customer complaints allege that Goffin recommended unsuitable securities recommendations in a variety of products including alternative investments among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In March 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Goffin violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Goffin breached his fiduciary duty and was negligent in the sale of alternative investments causing $150,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In January 2012 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Goffin violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Goffin made unsuitable investments in a variable annuity causing $30,000 in damages.  The claim was denied.

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shutterstock_132317306-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating multiple claims that advisor Michael Mackay (Mackay) has engaged in the sale products not approved by his brokerage firm.  Mackay, formerly registered with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (Transamerica) out of Cincinnati, Ohio has been accused by at least one customer of engaging in unapproved activity.  In addition, Mackay disclosed that he has several tax liens totaling over $50,000.

In January 2019 Transamerica terminated Mackay after alleging that the firm received allegations from two customers that the Mackay had referred them to an outside investment opportunity that was not approved by the firm.

Mackay’s FINRA disclosures state that Mackay has several outside business activities including Mackay & Associates, The Homexchange, and WFG.

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shutterstock_94632238-300x214The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating multiple claims that advisor Edward Matthes (Matthes) has engaged in a misappropriation scheme.  Matthes, formerly registered with Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc. (Mutual of Omaha) and operating out of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, has been accused by more than 10 customers of engaging in securities fraud and misappropriating their funds.

In March 2019, Mutual of Omaha terminated Matthes employment stating that Matthes was discharged for creating fictitious account statements and diverting customer funds for his own personal use.  Also in March of 2019 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened an investigation into Matthes for alleged misappropriation of funds.  Since then over ten customers have filed complaints alleging that Matthes misappropriated funds by diverting assets into his own bank account and created fictitious account statements.

Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in misappropriation schemes.  Matthes activities in the sale of unapproved investment products – is a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – a serious violation of the securities laws.  In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm.  Sometimes those investments have some legitimacy but often times these types of investments can end up being Ponzi schemes or the advisor can be engaging in the conversion of funds.

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