Articles Tagged with allianz

Chicago-based Stoltmann Law Offices is representing clients who’ve suffered losses in money-losing complex options trading strategies pitched to them by their financial or investment advisors. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Allianz Global Investors U.S. LLC (AGI US) and three former senior portfolio managers with a massive fraudulent scheme that concealed the immense downside risks of a complex options trading strategy they called “Structured Alpha.”

After the COVID-19 market crash of March 2020 exposed the fraudulent scheme, the SEC stated, “the strategy lost billions of dollars as a result of AGI US and the portfolio managers’ misconduct.  AGI US has agreed to pay billions of dollars as part of an integrated, global resolution, including more than $1 billion to settle SEC charges and together with its parent, Allianz SE, over $5 billion in restitution to victims.”

The SEC stated AGI US marketed and sold the strategy to approximately 114 institutional investors, including pension funds for teachers, clergy, bus drivers, engineers, and other individuals. “Allianz Global Investors admitted to defrauding investors over multiple years, concealing losses and downside risks of a complex strategy, and failing to implement key risk controls,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “The victims of this misconduct include teachers, clergy, bus drivers, and engineers, whose pensions are invested in institutional funds to support their retirement. This case once again demonstrates that even the most sophisticated institutional investors, like pension funds, can become victims of wrongdoing. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a recent string of cases in which derivatives and complex products have harmed investors across market sectors.”

AdobeStock_17493500-1-300x102According to a filing with the United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division, Mark Stafford was accused of devising a scheme to defraud the clients of his company, the Stafford Financial Firm, and to obtain money and property from those clients, through the use of material false representations, pretenses and promises relating to the nature of the investments. Between 2006 and 2015, Stafford was engaged as an insurance agent for Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, and at no time was he registered with the state of Missouri to sell securities. He allegedly told clients to which he illegally sold securities, that their funds would be placed with Quest Financial Holdings and Gain Capital Group, when, in reality, he never opened any account at either company. Instead, Stafford placed some of the funds into a personal checking and used them for his own personal use. In other instances, Stafford also told at least one client that his funds had been placed with Allianz for a life insurance annuity, when, in reality, a portion of those funds were used for his own benefit. He then also allegedly created false financial statements and other documents in order to create the impression that he had invested money with Allianz, Quest and Gain, when, in fact, he had not. He then showed those false documents to the clients. Please call our securities law firm today to find out how you may be able to bring a claim against Mr. Stafford and his former firm for these transgressions. The call is free with no obligation. We help investors recover their losses on a contingency fee basis. 312-332-4200.

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