Articles Tagged with suitability investment attorney

shutterstock_154554782-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that Advisor Michael Lackwood (Lackwood), currently employed by Spring Delta Asset Management, LLC (Spring Delta) has been subject to at least one customer complaint and one employment termination for cause during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Lackwood’s customer complaint alleges that Lackwood recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations involving risky and speculative securities, among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In May 2019, a customer complained that Lackwood violated the securities laws by alleging that Lackwood did not follow the customer’s instructions to sell. The complaint further alleged that Lackwood engaged in unsuitable investment advice, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud. Lastly, the complaint alleged that Lackwood engaged in misrepresentations related to risky and speculative securities. The claim settled in the amount of $115,000.

Brokers are required under the securities laws to treat their clients fairly.  This obligation includes the duties to disclose material risks of the investments they recommend and to present products, particularly complex or confusing products, in a fair and balanced manner that allows the client to evaluate the recommendation.  Another important obligation advisors have is 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.  Advisors should not present these investment options to clients.  There are two screens that advisors 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 advisor 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_177577832-300x300The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP is reporting on public disclosures on advisor David Crane (Crane), currently registered with Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus Financial) out of Dacula, Georgia.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Crane has been subject to at least one customer dispute.  In addition, Crane disclosed five tax liens during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Crane’s customer complaint concerns over variable annuity sales practices.

In March 2018 Crane disclosed a $131,644 tax lien against him.  Prior to that, in November 2010 Crane disclosed a $34,101 tax lien against him.  Large tax liens 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.  FINRA discloses information concerning a broker’s financial condition because a broker’s inability to handle their own personal finances has also been found to be material information in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.

In July 2004 a customer alleged that Crane provided negligent investment advice and breached his fiduciary duty concerning the purchase of a variable annuity.  The amount of damages was not specified.  The claim was settled for $225,000.

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shutterstock_88744093-297x300The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating customer complaints against broker John Boatright (Boatright), formerly associated with Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge Securities) out of Duluth, Georgia.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Boatright has been subject to at least three customer disputes and one large tax lien during his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Boatright’s recent customer complaints concern allegations of unsuitable investment recommendations.

In May 2018 a customer alleged that Boatright made unsuitable recommendations and provided negligent investment advice.  The customer requested $46,000 in damages.  This dispute is still pending.

In May 2018 Boatright disclosed a $22,813 tax lien against him.  Large tax liens 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.  FINRA discloses information concerning a broker’s financial condition because a broker’s inability to handle their own personal finances has also been found to be material information in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.

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shutterstock_25054879-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims against broker Nick Son (Son), currently associated with Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis) out of New York, New York.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Son has been subject to at least seven customer disputes during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Son’s customer complaints concern allegations of unauthorized trading, unsuitable investments, and misrepresentations among other claims.

In February 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Son violated the securities laws by making unauthorized trading and unsuitable investment recommendations.  The customer requested $224,968 in damages.  The dispute is currently pending.

In April 2016 a customer alleged that in March 2016, Son engaged in high pressure sales tactics and misrepresentations causing $65,984 in damages.  The claim was denied.

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_154554782-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are reporting on advisor Thomas Gerard Murray (Murray) currently employed by FSC Securities Corporation (FSC Securities) out of Hartsdale, New York.  According to a BrokerCheck report, Murray has been subject to at least one customer dispute and one bankruptcy cause during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Murray’s customer complaint concerns allegations of unsuitable investments.

In February 2018 a customer alleged that Murray engaged in unsuitable investments of oil & gas programs causing $210,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $48,000.

In March 2012 Murray declared bankruptcy.  Information on financial matters such as bankruptcies and tax liens 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_836360-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Scott Mass (Mass), currently employed by David Lerner Associates, Inc. (David Lerner) has been subject to five customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Mass’ customer complaints allege that Mass made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of investments including REITs, Puerto Rico bonds, and mutual funds.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud and breach of contract in connection with the sale of Puerto Rico Bonds.  The customer alleges $500,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In December 2016 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments from June 2007 through July 2015 causing $90,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $15,000.

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