Articles Tagged with suitability attorney

shutterstock_145123405-200x300According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) financial advisor David Hirons (Hirons), currently employed by Wedbush Securities Inc. (Wedbush Securities), has been subject to at least four customer complaints and one termination for cause during the course of his career.  Hirons’s customer complaints alleges that Hirons recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including equities, futures funds, and options.

In April 2018 Hirons was discharged by RBC Capital Markets, LLC when the firm alleged that he was terminated for violating the firm’s order execution policy.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Hirons violated the securities laws by alleging that Hirons made investments recommendations that the client alleges involved options trading from June 2018 until December 2018 resulted in liquidations and losing funds. The claim alleged $712,080 in damages and settled for $65,000.

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shutterstock_24531604-200x300John Timberlake (Timberlake), a previously registered broker formerly employed at Carter Terry & Company, Inc. (Carter Terry), has been subject to at least four customer complaints during the course of his career. His most recent customer complaints allege Timberlake of making unsuitable trading recommendations. Additionally, Timberlake was recently discharged from Cater Terry & Company for violating the firm’s policies.

According to a BrokerCheck report, there have been four complaints against Timberlake in the past 5 years alleging him of making unsuitable recommendations. Collectively, the allegations brought up against Timberlake have settled for over $200,000.00. In October 2019, a customer filed a complaint against Timberlake for unsuitably recommending a speculative investment strategy. This matter settled for $50,000.00. Additionally, In March 2019, a customer alleged that Timberlake failed to make suitable investments, implement a proper investment strategy and properly manage the account. This matter settled in favor of the client for $55,000.00. Similarly, in January 2016, another customer alleged Timberlake of making unsuitable recommendations. Here, the customer settled for over $105,000.00.

Brokers have an obligation to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client.  There are many investments that are not appropriate for the majority of investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors.  Brokers should not present these investment options to clients.  There are two screens that brokers must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client.  First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors.  The broker must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one.  Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short-term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.

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shutterstock_1832895-300x199The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Rick Konecny (Konecny) engaged in violations of the securities laws.  Konecny, formerly registered with National Securities Corporation (National Securities) and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JP Morgan) out of Chicago, Illinois was barred from the financial industry according to a BrokerCheck report.  In addition, Konecny has been subject to at least eleven customer complaints, three regulatory actions, and one termination for cause during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Konecny concern allegations of unsuitable investments.

In March 2016, Konecny was terminated J.P. Morgan Securities LLC over allegations of his failure to escalate client matters and failed to follow requirements with respect to execution of trades on a discretionary basis.

In April 2018, a customer alleged that from 2008 to 2013, Konecny’s recommendation of high-risk mining and metal equities was unsuitable to the customer’s investment needs. The customer requested $1,210,380 in damages.

In January 2018, a customer alleged that from July 2013 to October 2015, Konecny invested the account in an unsuitable and over concentrated manner causing $81,856.00 in damages.  The claim settled for $2,768.

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shutterstock_188269637-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Steven Reznik (Reznik), formerly employed by Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (Raymond James) has been subject to twelve customer complaints during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaints against Reznik concern allegations of unsuitable investments and allegations of overconcentration involving equities and options.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Reznik recommended investments that violated the securities laws including suitability, overconcentration, unauthorized trading, negligence, violation of FINRA Rules, breach of contract, negligent supervision, and breach of fiduciary duty from 9/26/16 – 10/31/18.  The customer alleges $125,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.

In September 2017 a customer complained that Reznik recommended investments that violated the securities laws misrepresentations and omissions relating to unauthorized trades, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise, negligence, gross negligence, negligent retention, negligent misrepresentation, concentration, and respondeat superior liability occurring from 3/25/15 to 9/13/18.  The customer claimed $2,000,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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shutterstock_12144202-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Herbert Voss (Voss), formerly associated with Stockcross Financial Services, Inc. (Stockcross Financial), has been subject to eight customer complaints, one FINRA action, and one employment termination.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Voss was barred from the financial industry in May 2018 when Voss consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for FINRA testimony concerning a customer complaint alleging that Voss had engaged in unauthorized trading in the customer’s account.  The refusal to cooperate draws an automatic bar from the industry.

In December 2017, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Voss’ investments caused poor performance and $550,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.  Prior to that, in February 2017 a client accused Voss of causing $900,000 in damages due to unsuitable investments.

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.  Often times, brokers engage in unauthorized trading as part of an attempt to churn or excessively trade a client’s account.

shutterstock_191231699-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Jack Griffith (Griffith), currently employed by Janney Montgomery Scott LLC (Janney Scott) has been subject to five customer complaints and one lien.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of a Griffith’s customer complaints allege that Griffith made unsuitable recommendations in equity securities.

In January 2018 a customer made allegations unsuitable recommendations for the client’s account, overconcentration, and breached his fiduciary duty. The claim alleged $200,000 in damages and is currently pending.

Also in January 2018 another customer made allegations of unsuitable recommendations for the client’s account.  The claim alleged $150,000 in damages and is currently pending.

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