Articles Tagged with Suntrust Investment Services

shutterstock_186180719-300x216The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the allegations made by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against barred broker Clay Hoffman. In June 2016, Hoffman was suspended by FINRA for his alleged failure to respond to FINRA’s request for information. Hoffman was later barred in November 2016 for his alleged failure to respond to multiple requests for documents and information related to an investigation.

Prior to the most recent suspension, Hoffman’s license as a broker was revoked and suspended, according to BrokerCheck. During May 2016, Hoffman alleged failed to pay a $5,000 fine for a previous case, which resulted in the revocation of his license. Additionally, Hoffman’s broker license was suspended during February 2016 due to the findings that allege that Hoffman engaged unauthorized business practices. Allegedly, Hoffman executed discretionary transactions in a customer’s account without any written authorization from the customer or firm.

In April 2015, a customer complaint was filed against Hoffman for alleged misrepresentation, unsuitability, and unauthorized trading. During his employment at SunTrust Investment and Summit Brokerage Services, Hoffman allegedly caused a loss for his client due to the misrepresentation of Mutual Funds. The alleged damages were $234,697.00 and the case settled at $90,000.

shutterstock_172034843-300x200Broker Clay Hoffman (Hoffman) was recently sanctioned by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in an enforcement action that led to a permanent bar against the broker.  According to BrokerCheck, FINRA found that Hoffman consented to sanctions that he executed discretionary transactions in a customer’s account without prior written authorization from the customer to exercise discretionary trading or approval by his brokerage firm.

The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are also investigating customer complaints against Hoffman.  There have been at least 14 customer complaints against Hoffman, four regulatory actions, and one employment termination for cause in Hoffman’s 14 year career.  The customer complaints against Hoffman allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unauthorized trading, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.

The most recent customer complaint was filed in April 2015 and alleges unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and misrepresentations causing $234,697 in damages.  The claim was settled.

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shutterstock_29356093The attorneys at Gana LLP are interested in speaking with investors of broker Mark Hughes (Hughes) According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Hughes has been the subject of at least 7 customer complaints, and 1 regulatory action over the course of his career. The customer complaints against Hughes allege securities law violations that claim excessive trading, unsuitable investments, and unauthorized trading among other claims. The most recent complaint was filed in November 2011, and alleged $500,000 in losses due to unsuitable variable annuities.

The most recent regulatory action was taken by the state of Virginia in 2010, when the state alleged that Hughes violated the states laws by offering and selling leveraged exchanged traded funds (Non-Traditional ETFs) to two Virginia residents when the investment was not suitable for them given their investment objectives, financial situation, risk tolerance, experience, and investment needs. The allegations were settled with the state and resulted in sanctions of $620,000 and the imposition of heightened supervision.

Hughes entered the securities industry in 1993. From June 2004, until November 2007, Hughes was associated with Suntrust Investment Services Inc. From October 2007, until November 2014, Hughes was associated with UBS Financial Services Inc. Presently, Hughes is associated with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. out of the firm’s Washington, DC branch office location.

As a background, Non-Traditional ETFs behave drastically different and have different risk qualities from traditional ETFs. While traditional ETFs seek to mirror an index or benchmark, Non-Traditional ETFs use a combination of derivatives instruments and debt to multiply returns on underlining assets, often attempting to generate 2 to 3 times the return of the underlining asset class. Non-Traditional ETFs are also used to earn the inverse result of the return of the benchmark.

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