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Friday, October 24, 2014

Superfund Gold Investment Recovery Options

For anyone who invested money in Superfund Gold, L.P., Stoltmann Law Offices may be able to help you recover your losses. The fund is designed to combine gold investments with managed futures strategy investments. Managed futures can take long or short positions in futures contracts and they rely heavily on equity indexes, interest rates and currency. The fees associated with investing in this managed fund can be very high and many investors are not aware of this fact. If the fund underperforms, the high fees could be particularly damaging. Brokers are responsible for making suitable investment recommendations to clients, based on investment experience, net worth, age and financial objectives. If unsuitable investment recommendations are made, the broker may be liable for losses. If you invested money with Superfund Gold, L.P. please call our Chicago-based securities law firm at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney about how we may be able to help you recover your losses.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Broker Banned from Industry by Regulators Continues to Pitch Investments

Former securities adviser Paul Larsen, despite being banned for life by securities regulators, continues to pitch investments to Christian investors. Larsen is promoting "impact investing" or socially responsible investing that advances the goals of the Christian faith. He also promoted investment opportunities in Africa, and with other impact investing firms. Larsen also promised at least one elderly investor that he would invest his money in securities that would keep his principal safe, while supplementing his social security. Instead, he put almost half a million dollars of the client's money into illiquid, high-risk real estate investment trusts (REITs), and in a risky entity established by Larsen himself. The client lost $325,000 because of the unsuitable investments. If you have lost money with Paul Larsen, please call our Chicago-based securities law firm at 312-332-4200 for a free consultation with an attorney to find out how you may be able to recover your losses.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Investment Loss Recovery Options for Former ProEquities, Inc. Broker Robert K. Smith

Did you lose money with Robert K. Smith of ProEquities, Inc.? If so, ProEquities can be sued to recover investment losses associated with Robert K. Smith. Smith previously worked for ProEquities, Inc. in Mobile, Alabama from May 2006 until June 2010. He has nine customer disputes on his record. He is not currently licensed as a registered representative. For clients of his who have lost money, those funds might be recoverable against his previous employer, ProEquities, Inc. The firm had a duty to reasonably supervise him during the time he was employed with them. Please call our Chicago-based securities fraud legal team at 312-332-4200 about suing ProEquities, Inc. to recover investment related losses.

Regulatory Related Costs Higher than Expected At LPL

LPL Financial, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer, announced Tuesday that it would be slashing its third quarter earnings by .11 cents a share because of regulatory costs and charges. This cutback will result in LPL Financial incurring $23 million in charges, up $5 million from the $18 million previously expected. LPL now reports its anticipated earnings per share to be in the range of .32 cents to .34 cents. These adjustments are related to regulatory matters concerning LPL Financial systems' policies and procedures. The broker dealer is no stranger to regulatory issues. In the past four months alone, LPL was hit by Massachusetts securities regulators with sanctions and fines totaling $541,000 for the sale and exchange of variable annuities. Massachusetts LPL clients were also returned $4.8 million after they were led to purchase nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITs) in 2013. In the same year, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), ordered the company to pay a $7.5 million fine after dozens of separate email system failures.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Two Rhode Island Brokers Barred by SEC for Targeting Terminally Ill

Edward L. Maggiacomo Jr. and Edward J. Hanrahan, two Rhode Island brokers who targeted the terminally ill in an investment scheme, were barred from working in the securities industry for five years according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Both men worked with Joseph A. Caramadre, owner of Estate Planning Resources, and his employee, Raymour Radhakrishnan, by offering and selling variable annuities to elderly clients, some of whom were on their deathbeds. Neither Caramadre nor Radhakrishnan were registered brokers. Both men were indicted on more than 60 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering. Caramadre was sentenced to six years in prison, while Radhakrishnan was sentenced to one. Edward Maggiacomo and Edward Hanrahan targeted and convinced dozens of terminally ill investors to sign documents they did not understand. They also gave them anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for signing documents, which is against SEC rules. They then forced the clients to sign more papers stating that they did not receive any compensation. In an order given by the SEC, Maggiacomo was forced to pay back almost $265,000 in restitution and interest, while Hanrahan was ordered to pay back almost $100,000 for the same. According to FINRA BrokerCheck, Mr. Maggiacomo was registered as a broker with Lifemark Securities Corporation in Cranston, Rhode Island from January 1999 until 2012. Hanrahan was registered as a broker with Lifemark Corporation in Rochester, New York from December 2000 until October 2006 and with The Leaders Group in Littleton, Colorado from October 2006 until November 2010. If you invested money with Edward Maggiacomo, Edward Hanrahan or any of their companies, please call our Chicago based securities law office to speak to an attorney at 312-332-4200. We may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Former JP Morgan Registered Representative Disciplined by FINRA

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) alleged in a formal complaint last month that Jonathan A. Francis, a former registered representative with JP Morgan Chase, issued fraudulent ATM cards in order to withdraw over $200,000 from investors. He defrauded seven customers with the scam, six of whom were dead. Francis' actions were investigated in late 2013 and he resigned from his branch in Brooklyn, New York shortly thereafter. He then failed to produce documents pertaining to his investigation and failed to attend a follow-up to his sworn testimony in 2014. A date for his hearing has not been specified.

New Jersey Broker Fined $2 Million after Defrauding Investors out of $100,000

Evan Kochav, New Jersey stockbroker and founder of White Cedar Group of Red Bank consulting firm, defrauded investors out of $100,000. For eight months from June 2013 until February 2014, Kochav solicited investors to invest in his company, and even persuaded them to liquidate prior investments. He then falsified account statements and trade confirmations to show to the investors. Kochav withdrew money and spent it on poker websites, football tickets, and in casinos in New Jersey, Costa Rica, Florida and Pennsylvania. The New Jersey Bureau of Securities revoked his state registration and fined him $2 million. If you invested money with Evan Kochav or with his company, White Cedar Group of Red Bank, please call our Chicago-based securities law firm at 312-332-4200 to speak with an attorney about possibly recovering your losses.

Monday, October 20, 2014

SEC Charges Former Stratton Oakmont Broker with Fraud

Anthony Coronati, a former broker with Stratton Oakmont, (the Long Island chop shop famously depicted in the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street,") was charged with fraud on Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He was ordered to pay back $400,000 in restitution to investors and was barred permanently from the securities industry. Mr. Coronati defrauded investors by persuading them to invest money in equity securities through a ficticious hedge fund. He and his investment company, Bidtoask, also sold membership interests in technology companies that had not yet held Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Investors were told that their investments in companies such as Facebook, would not result in them having to pay any fee charges, markups or commissions, when in reality, they did call for hefty fees. Coronati also lied about what shares Bidtoask owned in other technology companies, many of which were not even in the process of holding IPOs. Mr. Coronati issued ponzi-like payments to his Bidtoask investors. He also created and sent fake account statements to investors, falsely stating that their positions in the hedge fund were worth over $120,000. He then set up a brokerage account in his own name and used it to deposit investor money. He subsequently stole some of those funds and used them for personal expenditures such as plastic surgery and a Caribbean vacation.

Friday, October 17, 2014

LPL Financial Ordered to Pay $541,000 to Investors Involved in Variable Annuities Switches

Massachusetts securities regulators ordered LPL Financial to pay back $541,000 to senior citizens who were forced to pay surrender charges. The charges have to do with fees the elderly investors paid when switching variable annuities. Certain annuity switch transactions were made where the surrender charges associated with them were not disclosed adequately to the clients. There were 157 transactions made, and all of the clients were 65 years of age or older. LPL must reimburse the victims within 15 days.

This is the third time in eight months that the firm has gotten into trouble with regulators, and the second time in four months that they were forced to shell out money for their variable annuities practices. In June, LPL was fined $2 million and ordered to pay $820,000 in restitution by the Illinois Securities Department.

The firm was accused of not documenting their variable annuity exchanges adequately. In March, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined LPL Financial $950,000 for supervisory deficiencies in the sale of various alternative investment products such as nontraded REITs, hedge funds and managed futures. If you wish to sue LPL Financial for variable annuity investment losses through the FINRA arbitration claims process, please call our law firm at 312-332-4200 for a free review.

Number of Enforcement Actions Filed with SEC at an All-Time High

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a record number of enforcement actions for the fiscal year that ended on September 30th. 755 actions were filed, which resulted in $4.16 billion in penalties and disgorgements. This is up from the year before, when 686 actions were filed and $3.4 billion in penalties and disgorgements were ordered. SEC Chairwoman, Mary Jo White attributes the all-time high numbers to an increase in the reliance on technology.

The technological advances have proved to be quicker, more effective ways to weed out the bad guys. In a statement, White was quoted as saying: "The innovative use of technology-enhanced use of data and quantitative analysis-was instrumental in detecting misconduct and contributed to the Enforcement Division's success in bringing quality actions that resulted in stiff monetary sanctions." The increase in enforcement actions and money is good news for investors. The spike in numbers sends the message that no securities fraud related offense is too small. Hopefully this trend will continue throughout 2014.