Articles Tagged with Morgan Stanley

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_94332400-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Kerry Moy (Moy), currently employed by Western International Securities (Western International) has been subject to at least five customer complaints and one employment termination for cause.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Moy’s customer complaints allege that Moy recommended unsuitable securities recommendations and misrepresented investments among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In May 2019 Moy’s former employer Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC (Morgan Stanley) discharged Moy alleging that he submitted inaccurate information for business expenses, his submission of inaccurate and incomplete information about outside restaurant-related business activities, and his use of firm resources for those outside activities.  In response Moy claims to have “filed a multi-million dollar claim against Morgan Stanley for its wrongful termination of my employment.”

In December 2018 a customer complained that Moy violated the securities laws by alleging that the investments were misrepresented from 2015 to 2018. The claim seeks $14 million in damages and is currently pending.

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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_175137287-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Izhar Shefer (Shefer), formerly employed by Morgan Stanley has been subject to at least ten customer complaints during the course of her career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Shefer’s customer complaints allege that Shefer recommended unsuitable securities recommendations in a variety of products including options trading among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In August 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Shefer violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Shefer made unsuitable investments from 2011 to 2017.  The alleged damages are $700,000 and the claim is currently pending.

In May 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Shefer violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Shefer made unsuitable investments from 2015 to 2017.  The claim settled for $26,840.

In September 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Shefer violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Shefer made unsuitable investments from July 2015 to February 2017.  The claim settled for $30,000.

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shutterstock_123758422-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Richard Bernstein (Bernstein), currently employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) has been subject to at least eight customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Bernstein’s customer complaints allege that Bernstein recommended unsuitable investments and securities among other allegations.

In February 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Bernstein violated the securities laws by, among other things, that the client is seeking at least $53,000.00 in damage and claims that from February 2013 to July 2015 the advisor made unauthorized trades which conflicted with the client’s stated investment goals.  The claim is currently pending

In January 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Bernstein violated the securities laws by, among other things, that from 2015 through 2016 the advisor made unsuitable investments.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_85873471-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Michael Greenfield (Greenfield), currently employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge Securities) has been subject to at least six customer complaints and one bankruptcy cause during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Greenfield’s customer complaints allege that Greenfield recommended unsuitable securities recommendations in a variety of products including master limited partnerships (MLPs), municipal and corporate bonds, and other securities among other allegations of misconduct in the handling of customer accounts.

In January 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Greenfield violated the securities laws by, among other things, that Greenfield was negligent and breached his fiduciary duty with respect to the purchase of MLPs.  MLPs are speculative oil and gas related investments that are linked to the oil markets.  The alleged damages are $200,000 and the claim is currently pending.

In July 2015 Greenfield declared bankruptcy.  Large tax liens or bankruptcy filings on a broker’s CRD can be a red flag that the broker may be influenced to engage in high commission activity in order to satisfy personal debts.  In addition, a broker’s inability to manage their own finances is relevant in a customer’s decision to use their services.

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shutterstock_103681238-300x300According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Keith Kordich (Kordich), currently employed by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise) has been subject to at least six customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Kordich’s customer complaints allege that Kordich recommended unsuitable investments and securities among other allegations.

In February 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Kordich violated the securities laws by, among other things, made unsuitable investments from 2012 through 2015.  The claim alleges damages of $300,000 and is currently pending.

In April 2013 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Kordich violated the securities laws by, among other things, that from May 2011 through September 2012 the advisor traded excessively in the client’s accounts.  The claim alleged $150,000 in damages and resulted in a settlement of $43,000.

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shutterstock_152933045-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Mohamed Yassin (Yassin) has been subject to at least two customer complaints, one employment termination for cause, and two regulatory matters during his career.  Yassin is formerly employed by Morgan Stanley and National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  The customer complaints against Yassin concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as excessive trading or churning.

In October 2018 FINRA alleged that Yassin failed to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request to provide information concerning the status of compliance which triggered an industry bar and suspension.

In June 2017, Morgan Stanley discharged Yassin claiming that he failed to verbally confirm transactions prior to execution in clients’ accounts.

In April 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Yassin violated the securities laws including excessive trading from 2012 until 2016 causing $2 million in damages.  The claim settled for $602,717.

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shutterstock_38114566-300x199According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Barry Speyer (Speyer), currently employed by Morgan Stanley has been subject to at least seven customer complaints and one regulatory action.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Speyer’s customer complaints allege that Speyer made was negligent and made unsuitable investments.

In January 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Speyer violated the securities laws including unsuitable investments from August 2014 until October 2018 causing damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In August 2013 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Speyer violated the securities laws including that Speyer failed to follow the instructions of the client in or about December 2011.  The claim was denied by the firm.

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shutterstock_88744093-297x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor John Buck (Buck), formerly associated with Morgan Stanley in Boston, Massachusetts has been accused by his former firm and barred by FINRA over unapproved securities.

In January 2018 Morgan Stanley terminated Buck stating that there were allegations about the timing and completeness of disclosures to the firm regarding involvement in private investments outside of the firm.

Thereafter, in October 2018 Buck was terminated by FINRA and consented to the sanction that he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information in connection with its investigation concerning his potential involvement in certain unapproved private securities transactions.

At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged outside business activities (OBAs) and private securities transactions.  Buck’s public disclosures only state that he is an investor in Gemini Partners – a venture fund.

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