Articles Tagged with ameriprise

Stoltmann Law Offices, a boutique securities, investment, and consumer fraud law firm in Chicago, has represented victims of fraud and Ponzi schemes since 2005, recovering tens of millions of dollars for out clients and restoring their financial security and freedom.  On September 9, 2022, it was reported that an Ameriprise financial advisor, Dusty Lynn Sternadel, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA for failing to cooperate with FINRA’s requests for information in connection with an investigation launched by the regulator.  The investigation stemmed from a regulatory filing made by Ameriprise wherein it stated it had terminated Sternadel for cause “for violation of company policies for misappropriation of client funds.”

The FINRA investigation into Sternadel did not get very far because she refused to cooperate with the regulator.  When financial advisors fail to cooperate with a FINRA investigation, FINRA Rule 8210 provides FINRA with the authority to essentially end the advisor’s career. The penalty for not cooperating with the regulatory investigation is harsh and brokers like Sternadel know this, yet she chose to take the lifetime ban instead of cooperate.  The FINRA AWC states that FINRA sent Sternadel a request to testify and produce documents, and that on August 30, 2022, during a phone call, Sternadel stated she would not cooperate or appear and understood the penalty for her refusal.

The Ameriprise disclosure regarding her termination is very vague, yet combined with the FINREA action, is disconcerting. According to the Ameriprise filing, Sternadel was terminated for cause for misappropriating (converting) client funds. Neither the Ameriprise termination notice nor the FINRA AWC state how much money was allegedly misappropriated or from how many Ameriprise customers. There are no customer complaints disclosed yet on Sternadel’s FINRA  Broker/Check Report.

Chicago-based Stoltmann Law Offices is representing investors who’ve suffered losses because their financial advisor recommended “private securities” without the permission or knowledge of their firms. It’s not unusual for financial advisors to pitch certain stocks that don’t have to follow the strict disclosure rules laid down by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA, the regulator of the US securities industry. But these “private” securities still need to be fully reviewed by brokerage firms to protect investors from excessive risk that they don’t want to take. There are multiple industry rules that dictate that brokers know their clients’ risk profiles.

FINRA suspended and fined former Ameriprise broker Jonathan M. Turner for allegedly selling securities in an un-named private company that involved two customers and transactions totaling $200,000. “Turner allegedly directed the customers to Company X and recommend that they invest in its securities, for which he provided certain forms,” FINRA says. Turner allegedly didn’t earn any commissions from the transactions, according to financialadvisoriq.com, “but participated in them without notifying Ameriprise in writing, against FINRA rules.”  Whether the advisor was paid a commission on the transaction is totally irrelevant.

In January 2020, the FINRA complaint adds, “Turner allegedly incorrectly certified to Ameriprise that he had not engaged in any private securities transactions not authorized previously by the firm.” This is extremely common and does not take Ameriprise off the hook.  For a generation, the SEC has warned brokerage firms like Ameriprise that they cannot simply take the broker’s they supervise word for it, to satisfy the firm’s supervisory obligations.

AdobeStock_82110313-1-300x125According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), former Robert W. Baird broker Patrick Phillips has violated securities laws. Mr. Phillips allegedly accepted two loans from a firm customer totaling $70,000. He also used a personal email account for business purposes in contravention of policies. This prevented CGMI from discovering emails related to the customer loan. For this misconduct, he was fined $10,000 and suspended from the industry for five months.
Patrick Jermaine Phillips, according to online records, is not currently registered as a broker, and has been suspended from the securities industry. He has one customer dispute against him, alleging the taking of a loan from a firm customer, and one regulatory matter against him. He was previously registered with MSI Financial Services in Chicago, Illinois from October 2016 until December 2016, Citigroup Global Markets in Orland Park, Illinois from August 2013 until July 2016, Ameriprise Financial Services in Chicago from August 2010 until August 2013, and Robert W. Baird in Chicago from December 2006 until August 2010. Robert W. Baird may be liable for Phillips losses on a contingency fee basis in the arbitration forum. The firm had a duty to reasonably supervise its brokers.

AdobeStock_200379710-300x200According to publicly available records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Fortune Financial Services broker Bruce Musselman has been subject to nine customer complaints and one criminal regulatory action. In February 2013, Musselman allegedly recommended unsuitable investments, misrepresented securities, over-concentrated customer funds into aggressive investments and excessively used margin. From 2007 until 2009, a customer alleged that Mr. Musselman recommended highly risky investments that were unsuitable and inappropriate to the customer’s needs. These are all against securities laws and internal firm rules. A broker has a duty to do his due diligence on every security he recommends or sells by taking into account the customer’s age, net worth, investment objectives and investment sophistication, among other things. He also has a duty to disclose all the risks associated with every investment. If he does not do so, his brokerage firm may be liable for investment losses, because the firm had a duty to reasonably supervise him while he was registered with that firm. The firm may be liable on a contingency fee basis if you suffered money losses because of Bruce Musselman’s investment recommendations.
According to online records with FINRA, Bruce Mussel man is not currently registered within the securities industry. Previously, he was registered with Ameriprise in Cocoa, Florida from October 1996 until 2009, Newbridge Securities Corp in Heathrow, Florida from November 2010 until February 2013, IFS Securities in Cocoa from February 2013 until March 2015 and Fortune Financial Services in Cocoa from July 2015 until December 2017. He has nine customer disputes against him and one criminal matter.

AdobeStock_66548440-1-300x169Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Jack W. Griffith Jr., a registered broker with Janney Montgomery Scott. Griffith has a pending lawsuit against him, alleging that he recommended high-risk energy investments causing damages in excess of $4 million. Griffith allegedly sold clients Linn Energy and Peabody Energy investments, even though both companies are now bankrupt. Energy, oil and gas investments are typically high-risk and illiquid investments that are not suitable for all investors. A broker has a duty to do his due diligence on every security he recommends or sells, and must take into account the client’s age, net worth, investment objectives and investment sophistication before doing so. If he does not, his brokerage firm may be liable for losses on a contingency fee basis, as it had a duty to reasonably supervise him while he was registered there.
Jack W. Griffith Jr., according to his online BrokerCheck report with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), was previously registered with Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from January 1986 until November 1995, Prudential Securities in New York from November 1995 until July 1998, Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore, Maryland from July 1998 until May 2004, A.G. Edwards & Sons in Sumter, South Carolina from May 2004 until May 2007, Ameriprise in Columbia, South Carolina from May 2007 until October 2009 and Ameriprise in Columbia from October 2009 until January 2014. He is currently registered with Janney Montgomery Scott in Columbia, and has been since January 2014. He has three customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. The disputes allege recommendation of unsuitable securities that caused the client’s accounts to be overconcentrated in energy investments, recommendations that were misrepresented, and unsuitable recommendations in companies that declared bankruptcy.

AdobeStock_123495998-1-300x197Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Stuart Pearl, a former registered representative with Ameriprise. According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mr. Pearl allegedly effected securities transactions in a customer’s account on several occasions on a discretionary basis without prior written authority and approval to use discretion. He also allegedly made unsuitable recommendations in a second customer’s account when he recommended the customer use margin to effect several trades. This is in violation of securities rules and regulations. In June 2010, two customers of Pearl’s who were retired and in their 70s, opened a joint brokerage account with him at Ameriprise. Their risk was “conservative” and their objective was “growth and income.” Between September 2011 and March 2012, Pearl recommended that the customers purchase four securities valued at $122,000 on margin. As a result of these purchases, the customers experienced a significant increase in their margin debt balances in relation to their available funds and their account was subject to margin calls during this period.
A broker’s duty is to only recommend and sell those securities that are suitable for every customer based on his net worth, investment objective, risk tolerance and age, among other factors. If he does not recommend and sell suitable investments, his brokerage firms may be liable for losses. Stuart L. Pearl was previously registered with Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from May 1986 until April 2001, Citigroup in Deerfield, Illinois from April 2001 until June 2009, Morgan Stanley in Deerfield from June 2009 until June 2010 and Ameriprise Financial in Deerfield from June 2010 until July 2015. He is currently registered with David A. Noyes in Chicago, Illinois, and has been since July 2015. He has three customer disputes against him, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of contract, unauthorized trading and use of margin borrowing, among other things.

AdobeStock_66548440-1-300x169In July of 2017, Ameriprise got drilled in Portland, Oregon for a rare explained FINRA award for a burned investor. The Claimant investor asserted a suitability claim against the brokerage firm for recommendations made by the advisor. The Claimants asserted that Andrew Hall, a broker with Ameriprise mishandled accounts, acted negligently, breached fiduciary duty, violated Oregon securities laws and applicable regulation laws and made unsuitable recommendations. The causes of action relate to Claimants’ investments in First Trust Unit Investment Trust (UITs). The Panel found that Hall’s overall strategy was unsuitable. Hall took Claimants’ asset allocation to 100% equities, from 70%. Accounting for expected margin leverage, this amounted to 133% equity exposure. Hall compounded leverage by investing in UITs comprised of closed-end funds (“CEF”), many of which used leverage as a component

of their strategy. This further increased Claimants’ equity exposure. UITs are less liquid due to high costs, and CEFs were more volatile than comparable investments in similar asset classes. Hall compounded the unsuitable nature of the investments in February 2015, by selling the original UITs and placing fully 50% of Claimants’ portfolio in a single sector, which was tightly linked to oil prices—UITs of CEFs of master limited partnerships. The balance of the portfolio was invested in an unsuitable UIT, which was not diversified because it held only 12 – 13 individual stocks. The strategy was unsuitable for asset preservation and liquidity needs. The panel awarded the Claimants $191,772.00 in compensatory damages and Hall’s request for expungement was denied.

According to his online FINRA BrokerCheck report, Andrew Joseph Hall was previously registered with US Bancorp Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis, Minnesota from October 1995 until April 2001, Wachovia Securities in Portland, Oregon from April 2001 until March 2009 and Securities America in Portland from May 2009 until November 2010. He is currently registered with Ameriprise in Portland and has been since March 2009. He has two customer disputes against him.

AdobeStock_66548440-1-300x169If so, the attorneys at Stoltmann Law Offices are interested in speaking to you about your investment losses. We are Chicago-based securities attorneys who bring claims against firms like Ameriprise Financial and WFG Investments for not reasonably supervising their brokers. Joe Cotten Jr., a broker with Ameriprise in Plano, Texas and James Neil Turner, aka Neil Turner, a broker with WFG Investments in Plano as well, may have allegedly solicited clients to invest in securities such as California Proton, which is a proton therapy cancer treatment center in San Diego, California. Earlier in the year, the center disclosed that it was having trouble meeting its obligations with a number of lenders, and that there were several defaults on these loans. Cal Proton investors are likely to face substantial losses with this investment, as it is highly risky and illiquid. To find out how to sue Ameriprise and WFG on a contingency fee basis in the arbitration forum, please call our law offices today. Attorneys are standing by.

AdobeStock_9577728-1-300x200If so, the attorneys at Stoltmann Law Offices are interested in speaking with you about your losses. Stanley Cohen, a broker with Ameriprise Financial Services in Calabasas, California, has been accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations and recommending and failing to adequately explain unsuitable investments. These are against securities rules and clients may have lost money because of these violations. To find out how you may be able to recover your money losses sustained with Stanley Cohen and Ameriprise, please call our Chicago-based law offices today. The call is free with no obligation. We may be able to help you bring a claim against Ameriprise in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on a contingency fee basis. Please call today as there is a statute of limitations on most cases.
According to his FINRA public records, Mr. Cohen was registered previously with Direct Capital Corp from June 1986 until April 1989 and IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota from August 1988 until July 2006. He is currently registered with Ameriprise in Calabasas and has been since August 1988. He has five customer disputes against him.

AdobeStock_17493500-1-300x102Former Ameriprise Financial Advisor Stephen Mosley was terminated from the firm’s Lake Havasu City’s Arizona office. The firm stated that he was “terminated for compliance policy violations related to complying with disciplinary action and heightened supervision, soliciting a prohibited security and suitability of a transaction.” This is sometimes referred to as “selling away,” and is when a broker recommends or sells a security that is not held or offered by his member firm. It is against securities laws. Mosley’s former firm, Ameriprise, can be held liable for investment losses in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis.
Mr. Mosley was registered with NYLife Securities in Southfield, Michigan from January 2007 until March 2010, NYLife Securities in Okemos, Michigan from May 2010 until June 2010, Hartford Equity Sales Company in Henderson, Nevada from January 2011 until June 2011, Edward Jones in Lake Havasu City, Arizona from June 2011 until September 2013 and Ameriprise Financial Services in Lake Havasu City from October 2013 until December 2016. He has two customer disputes against him and is currently not registered within the industry.
If you or someone you know lost money with Mr. Mosley, you may be able to recover your losses with him by suing Ameriprise in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. Please call our Chicago-based securities law firm today at 312-332-4200 to find out how. The call is free with no obligation.

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