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Friday, August 29, 2014

Update for Victims of Blake Richards and How LPL Can Be Sued

Good news for victims of digraced former LPL financial stockbroker Blake Richards.  This week Richards was ordered to pay nearly $2 million in disgorgement and penalties after scamming investors out of $1.8 million.  The ruling Thursday came as part of a summary judgment by Judge Willis B. Hunt Jr. on Thursday.  Starting in 2008, Blake B. Richards instructed at least seven clients to write checks to entities he controlled, such as "Blake Richards Investments" or "BMO Investments," with the understanding that those funds would be invested in fixed-income investments, variable annuities or equities, according to a case filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia. Instead, those funds went to pay his personal expenses, the Securities and Exchange Commission said, and Mr. Richards would provide fictitious account statements.  For clients who were burned by Blake Richards, LPL can be sued for issues related to its supervision of him.  One way LPL can be held liable for these losses is if they failed to reasonably supervise him during the time he was affiliated with the firm.  To discover how LPL can be sued for these investment losses, please call our securities fraud law firm for a no cost evaluation.

Legal Options for Churning Victims of Douglas Leone, Andre LaBarbera, David Levy, Antonio Costanzo and Donald Barte

New York-based Newport Coast Securities Inc. and five brokers from the firm allegedly churned customer accounts, according to FINRA. From September 2008 to May 2013, brokers Douglas Leone, Andre LaBarbera, David Levy, Antonio Costanzo and Donald Barte churned accounts of 24 customers, using margin and risky securities to generate huge commissions, wiping out most of the customers' capital in the process. Losses amounted to more than $1 million. In addition, those brokers created new account forms for clients that misstated their net worth, investment experience and objectives. To lear how to sue these individuals for churning losses on a  contingency fee basis, please call our securities fraud legal team in Chicago and Barrington, Illinois.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Legal Options for Burned Clients of Disgraced Financial Adviser Matthew J. Davis

Many victims of disgraced Corona, California financial adviser Matthew J. Davis are trying to figure out how the converted funds can be recovered.  The good news is that clients may have valid claims against Beneficial Investment Services, Inc. and Oneamerica Securities, Inc. for failing to reasonably supervise him during the time he was affilaited with the firm. Recently, Matt Davis (CRD# 4412731) entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement to resolve allegations FINRA made against him regarding violations of securities industry rules. Davis agreed to a permanent bar from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.  FINRA alleged that Davis refused to appear to give testimony for a FINRA on-the-record interview regarding allegations that he engaged in misconduct in several customer accounts, including claims of conversion, misrepresentation of customer holdings and account values, forgery of account related documents, discretionary and/or unauthorized trading, efforts to settle a customer complaint away from his member firm, and unsuitable investment recommendations.  To learn about suing Beneficial Investment Services, Inc. and Oneamerica Securities, Inc for these actions, please call our securities fraud legal team for a no cost review for how these losses can be recovered on a contingency fee basis.

Burned in Geneva Exchange Fund tenant-in-common (TIC)?

Clients who got suckered into buying high commissioned tenant-in-common interests at the recommendation of their broker contoinue to sue the brokerage firms who peddled the products.  Many clients who bought Geneva Exchange Fund tenant-in-common have valid legal claims against the brokerage firms who peddled this product.  Many of the clients who bough the Geneva Exchange Fund tenant-in-common might have valid claims for the suitability of the transaction or for the broker not disclosing the main, material risks of the investment.  For these clients, the FINRA arbitration claims process can be used the recover these losses.  For a free legal analysis by a securities fraud lawyer, please call us.
Geneva Exchange Fund tenant-in-common (TIC)

Update For Victims of Disgraced Investment Advisor Lynn A Simon

For victims of disgraced Evansville investment adviser Lynn A. Simon a little good news recently appeared.  Simon appeared in Vanderburgh Circplead guilty to charges stemming from allegations last year that he swindled more than $1 million from area residents. Simon, 63, pleaded guilty to three counts of securities fraud, class B felonies, and a charge of unlawful sale of a security, a class C felony. Simon worked out a deal with an attorney for the Indiana Secretary of State's Office where he is likely to be sentenced to two years in prison and eight years of work release if Judge David Kiely accepts the agreement.

I Discuss With On Wall Street Magazine, Why No FINRA Arbitration...

Is nastier or more vicious than a broker raiding case.  The recent $15 million FINRA arbitration between Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab got extraordinarily nasty.  The entire article, and my analysis, can be seen at the link below.

What Can Be Done About Catalyst Energy Limited Partnership

Did you lose money in Catalyst Energy Limited Partnership?  If so, you might be able to recover those losses through the FINRA arbitration claims process.  Catalyst Energy specializes in the development of natural gas in the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately, limited partnerships often have sky high fees and commissions that act as a major incentive for brokers to recommended the investment to investors.  If you invested in Catalyst Energy Limited Partnership at the recommendation of a broker or financial advisor, please call us for a no cost review by an attorney as to whether those losses can be recovered on a contingency fee basis.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

State Regulators Seek To Limit Non-Traded REITs Concentrations

We've handled over 50 FINRA arbitration claims related to non-traded REITs in the last 6 years.  Most of these products have very large fees and expenses and represent a concentrated sector bet in one narrow area of the market.  Many of the purchasers of these products are elderly or retired.  While regulators like FINRA have hit hard certain peddlers of these products, like David Lerner, many other firms have got away with little in terms of fines or regulatory actions.  This week, NASAA, the group of state securities regulators, presented a list of 33 recommendations to the industry of non traded REITs sellers.  The most important ones relate to concentration limits for investors.  Many of our FINRA arbitration claims center around suitability claims related to the amount, or concentration, of client funds in these illiquid products. We consider these recommendations by NASAA to be a very good development.

Good News for Investors Who Are Suing Wedbush Securities

Good news for investors wishing to sue brokerage firm Wedbush Securities.  The firm this month got hammered by its main regulator, FINRA Enforcement, for issues related to supervisory and anti-money laundering violations.  According to FIRNA, from January 2008 through August 2013, Wedbush failed to dedicate sufficient resources to ensure appropriate risk management controls and supervisory systems and procedures. This enabled its market access customers to flood U.S. exchanges with thousands of potentially manipulative wash trades and other potentially manipulative trades, including manipulative layering and spoofing. Despite its obligations to monitor, review, and detect suspicious and potentially manipulative trades, Wedbush largely relied on its market access customers to self-monitor and self-report such trading without sufficient oversight and controls to detect red flags. While these claims arent related to issues that burned investors usually sue the firm for (unsuitable investment recommendations, fraud, churning and breach of fiduciary duty) virtually every FINRA arbitration has supervisory issues related to it.  With these charges being linked to supervisory lapses at the firm, burned clients who are suing Wedbush will clearly be able to use regulatory actions like this to argue the firm didnt have the proper supervisory infrastructure in place.  To learn how to sue Wedbush Securities in the FIRNA arbitration process, please call our securities law firm in Chicago, Illinois.

Citigroup Gets Caught With Hand in Cookie Jar

Yesterday FIRNA fined Citigroup Global Markets Inc. $1.85 million for failing to provide best execution in approximately 22,000 customer transactions involving non-convertible preferred securities, and for related supervisory deficiencies for more than three years.  According to the regulator, Citigroup's order execution system, BondsDirect, also failed to locate the best prices in more than 7,200 cases because it only checked the securities' primary listing exchange, according to Finra.  FINRA also found that Citigroup's supervisory system and written supervisory procedures for best execution in non-convertible preferred securities were deficient. Citigroup failed to perform any review of customer transactions in non-convertible preferred securities executed on BondsDirect or manually by the trading desk to ensure compliance with the firm's best execution obligations. The entire release, with all its gory details, can be found at the link below.