Articles Tagged with investment fraud lawyer

shutterstock_160486019-300x300According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Eric Stuckey (Stuckey), currently employed by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise) has been subject to five customer complaints and two liens.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of a Stuckey’s customer complaints allege that Stuckey made unsuitable recommendations in different investments including variable annuities and energy stocks.

In May 2018 a customer alleged the broker recommended unsuitable investments, misrepresented features of the investments and failed to disclose risks in the investments causing $220,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In January 2018 a customer alleged that the broker placed them in high risk funds which are not suitable causing $79,000 in damages.  The claim was settled for $25,000.

shutterstock_27597505-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Mitchell Kurtz (Kurtz), formerly associated with Henley & Company LLC (Henley & Company) in Roslyn Heights, New York was terminated by the firm.  In July 2017 Kurtz was discharged after the firm claimed that based discussions with Kurtz and the SEC Auditors that it is necessary to terminate Kurtz’s registrations with Henley & Company due to violations of both FINRA and SEC rules and firm policies and procedures regarding outside business activities (OBAs), selling away, fiduciary duty obligations, violation of professional standards and the firm’s Code of Ethics.

In addition in August 2012 FINRA brought a regulatory action against Kurtz for altering certain account records.  In December 2009 Kurtz was terminated by his prior employer Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (Raymond James) for altering documents.

At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged OBAs and private securities transactions that Kurtz may have been involved in.

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shutterstock_175835072-300x199According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Walter Valenzuela (Valenzuela), currently employed by Hilltop Securities Inc. (Hilltop Securities) has been subject to at least seven customer complaint.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Valenzuela concern excessive trading of unit investment trust (UITs) securities.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Valenzuela engaged in unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentation, and excessive trading involving UITs causing $3 million in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In August 2017 a customer complained of unsuitable recommendations, unsuitable use of margin, churning, financial exploitation, elder abuse and excessive mark-up/mark-down with respect to municipal bond and UIT trades executed in the account.  The complaint also alleged that the representative failed to obtain proper breakpoint discounts for UIT purchases. The customer alleges $9.5 million in damages and the claim is currently pending

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shutterstock_85873471-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor David Barber (Barber), formerly employed by Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (Madison Avenue) has been subject to five customer complaints, two regulatory actions, and one employment termination for cause.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of a Barber customer complaints allege that Barber made unsuitable recommendations in equity securities.

In March 2018, FINRA sanctioned Barber and barred him from the industry.  FINRA alleged that Barber failed to produce information and documents request by FINRA during the course of an ongoing examination to determine whether he engaged in unauthorized trading in the accounts of customers of his member firm, exercised discretion in customer accounts without written authorization, or otherwise acted in violation of FINRA rules.

In addition, in September 2011 Raymond James and Associates, Inc. (Raymond James) discharged Barber claiming that he was alleged to misappropriate funds from a client, engaged in outside business activities and selling away, and that the firm lost confidence in the broker.

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shutterstock_191231699-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Alex Herrera (Herrera), formerly associated with UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS) in Coral Gables, Florida was barred by FINRA.  In the regulatory action FINRA claimed that Herrera consented to the sanction and findings that he refused to provide information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation of his possible participation in unreported outside business activities (OBAs) and private securities transactions.

At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged OBAs and private securities transactions that Herrera was involved in.  However, in May 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Herrera stole her money to buy a vacation home.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_182054030-300x200The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Stoever, Glass & Company Inc. (Stoever, Glass & Company) broker Adam Goodman (Goodman). According to BrokerCheck Records held by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Goodman has been subject to three customer disputes, one of which is still pending. The majority of these disputes concern the misrepresentation of investments and unauthorized trading of customer accounts.

Most recently, in April 2018, a customer alleged that Goodman engaged in numerous fraudulent practices, not limited to high pressure sales practices, unsuitable investment recommendations, and negligence with customer accounts. The customer has requested $25,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In August 2017, a customer alleged that from 2013 to 2017, Goodman executed unauthorized trades in the customer account and over-concentrated investments. The case was settled at $21,000 in damages.

In December 2016, a customer alleged that Goodman falsely represented the nature of investments to the customer and executed trades in the account without the customer’s prior authorization. The case settled at $50,000 in damages.

Unauthorized trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior consent from the investor. All brokers, who do not have discretionary authority to trade an account, are under an obligation to first discuss trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b). Under the NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b), a broker is prohibited from trading in a non-discretionary customer account without prior written authorization from the customer. Unauthorized trading is a type of investment fraud because the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has found that disclosures of trades being made are essential and material to an investor. Unauthorized trading is often a gateway violation to other securities violations including churning, unsuitable investments, and excessive use of margin. Continue Reading

shutterstock_103681238-300x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Thomas Sova (Sova), formerly associated with Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. (Hornor Townsend) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was terminated by his firm concerning allegations that Sova violated firm policies and procedures regarding disclosure of outside business activities relating to the outside sale of an unapproved and unregistered security.  That termination came on the heels of an arbitration complaint filed a couple of months earlier in April 2018.  The customer complaint alleged that Sova sold and unregistered security in May 2016 and seeks $100,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

At this time, the claims against Sova are unclear as to the exact nature and extent of the activity other than that it involves a mortgage investment fraud or real estate security.  Sova has outside business disclosures including Sova Financial Group – his investment d/b/a.  Sova also discloses that he is the owner of rental property.

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shutterstock_103665437-300x300According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Charles Kenahan (Kenahan), currently employed by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Merrill Lynch) has been subject to four customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of a Kenahan’s customer complaints allege that Kenahan made unsuitable recommendations or engaged in excessive trading – sometimes referred to as churning.

In May 2018 a customer alleged excessive trading and unsuitable investment recommendations from 2012 until 2017. The claim alleged $700,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In March 2018 a customer alleged unsuitable investment recommendations, excessive trading and misrepresentation from February 2012 until December 2017.  The claim is currently pending.

shutterstock_188141822-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (Cetera Advisor) broker Jaret Mutter (Mutter). According to BrokerCheck Records, Mutter is currently subject to a pending regulatory matter in which the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC) has sanctioned Mutter for the violation of various securities laws. Mutter has also been subject to seven customer disputes, one of which is still pending.  The majority of these disputes concern the misrepresentation and unsuitable recommendation of investments in Unit Investment Trusts (UITs).

In April 2018, VSCC placed a Special Supervision Order on Mutter due to numerous disclosures and complaints from customers at Cetera Advisor, Mutter’s firm of employment. Consequently, Mutter has been placed under special supervision for a year.

In addition, Mutter has been subject to multiple customer disputes. Most recently, in May 2015, a customer alleged that Mutter misrepresented investments to the customer and placed the customer in investments that were unsuitable to their investment portfolio and objectives. The customer was awarded $50,310 in damages.

shutterstock_7947664-300x200Investment attorneys with our offices are currently investigating previously registered broker Matthew Singer (Singer). According to BrokerCheck Records,  in March 2018, Singer was barred from the financial industry for failing to appear at an on-the-record testimony concerning allegations that he was recommending unsuitable investments to customers while employed at Morgan Stanley.  According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Singer consented to the sanction and bar due to the fact that he refused to appear to the testimony.   For failing to appear for testimony, Singer was in violation of FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 and automatically barred.

In addition, Singer has been subject to multiple customer complaints. In December 2016, a customer alleged that from May 2015, to January 2016, Singer misrepresented investments and executed unauthorized trades in the customer account regarding option investments. The case was settled at $60,000.

In February 2016, a customer alleged that Singer recommended unsuitable options to the customer.  The customer requested $381,929 in damages.  In October 2015, a customer alleged that from June 2015, Singer recommended highly risky and unsuitable investments to the customer.