Articles Tagged with Morgan Stanley

shutterstock_120556300-300x300The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Rick Davidson (Davidson), currently employed by National Securities Corporation (National Securities) has been subject to at least six customer complaints, one employment termination for cause, and one bankruptcy during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Davidson’s customer complaints alleges that Davidson recommended unsuitable investments in various investments such structured products and corporate debt among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In May 2016 Davidson was terminated by Morgan Stanley on allegations relating to registered representative’s exercise of discretion in clients’ accounts as well as receipt of a loan from a Morgan Stanley employee.

Thereafter, in May 2019 Davidson declared bankruptcy.

The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently representing investors who were surprised to find out that the “bonds” that were recommended by their advisors have almost completely stopped paying interest while plummeting in value.  What many investors in this situation did not realize was that they were not sold bonds at all but instead complex structured products that go by a variety of names including steepener notes, adjustable rate market notes, spread linked notes, or structured notes.  Regulators have already stated that it is imporoper to sell these investments as a fixed income substitute or to compare them to bonds in terms of producing a revenue stream.  However, in our firm’s experience it appears that many brokers have been selling structured products as bond alternatives.

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shutterstock_173864537-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Robert Brinckerhoff (Brinckerhoff), currently employed by Morgan Stanley has been subject to at least five customer complaints and five regulatory actions during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Brinckerhoff’s customer complaints alleges that Brinckerhoff recommended unsuitable investments in various investments such structured products among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently representing investors who were surprised to find out that the “bonds” that were recommended by their advisors have almost completely stopped paying interest while plummeting in value.  What many investors in this situation did not realize was that they were not sold bonds at all but instead complex structured products that go by a variety of names including steepener notes, adjustable rate market notes, spread linked notes, or structured notes.  Regulators have already stated that it is improper to sell these investments as a fixed income substitute or to compare them to bonds in terms of producing a revenue stream.  However, in our firm’s experience it appears that many brokers have been selling structured products as bond alternatives.

Structured products range in risk from benign to extreme.  However, most structured products produce inferior risk/return profiles than ordinary debt or equity instruments because the brokerage firms that issue these products seek to profit from the spread between the payment to investors and the amount of money the brokerage firm can make from the issuance.  When dealing with complex structured products most investors will lack the ability to understand the merits of investments nor are they appropriate for investors seeking a fixed or reliable income and have a desire for preservation of capital.

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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_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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