Articles Tagged with Cetera Financial Group

Chicago-based Stoltmann Law Offices has represented investors who’ve suffered losses from dealing with broker-advisors affiliated with the Cetera financial group.  The securities regulator FINRA recently fined three Cetera Financial Group broker-dealers $1 million, claiming that Cetera’s “supervisory systems and procedures were deficient when handling securities transactions.”

Like many advisory firms, Cetera employs representatives who are “dually registered,” meaning they are broker-dealers and registered investment advisers. In the Cetera case, their representatives managed more than $80 billion in assets across 47,000 accounts. According to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exams conducted in 2013, 2015 and 2017, Cetera was “aware of the supervisory deficiencies.”

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Cetera recently signed a FINRA letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent and agreed to FINRA’s sanctions, which included a censure and an agreement that they would review and revise, as necessary, systems, policies and procedures related to the supervision of dually-registered reps’ securities transactions, according to ThinkAdvisor.com.

AdobeStock_33766885-1-300x200Are you concerned about losses you may have sustained because of George Merhoff, and Cetera Financial Group? If so, the securities attorneys at Stoltmann Law Offices may be able to help you recover those investment losses by bringing legal action against Cetera. We sue brokerage firms like Cetera in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. The firm may be responsible for losses because it has a duty to supervise its representatives, such as Merhoff, and, if it does not, can be held liable for money losses. The call to us is free with no obligation, so please call 312-332-4200 for a consultation with an attorney.

George Merhoff allegedly over-concentrated client portfolios in unsuitable, high-risk, alternative energy investments, such as Linn Energy. Investments like Linn Energy in the oil and gas and energy sector tend to be extremely illiquid investments. Merhoff also was alleged to have recommended unsuitable investments, been negligent, breached fiduciary duty and breached contract since December 2015. All of these are against industry rules.

Merhoff was registered with AAG Securities in Cincinnati, Ohio from September 1997 until March 1998 and Pacific West Securities in Klamath Falls, Oregon from June 1998 until February 2012. He is currently registered with Cetera Advisors in Klamath Falls and has been since February 2012. He has 10 customer disputes against him, all of them pending and two criminal final dispositions.

Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking to customers of Cetera Financial Group who may have been affected by its computer outage on Sunday night, which lasted for two business days. The company experienced a technology crash of its systems, which left brokers with limited access to serving client accounts and managing client money. The brokers were allegedly unable to manage portfolios, block trades or gain access to client accounts. A hardware system glitch caused the system to shut down. Morgan Stanley and LPL have experienced similar crashes in the past. If you were unable to access your Cetera investment account because of the crash, please call our Chicago-based law offices today to speak to an attorney about bringing a claim against Cetera Financial Group. The call is free with no obligation. 312-332-4200.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctioned J.P. Turner & Co. after they found that the firm violated a rule requiring brokers to ensure that all municipal securities transactions between the firm’s account and a customer’s account be done at a “fair and reasonable price,” according to a cnbc.com article on Tuesday. FINRA also stated that the firm’s supervisory system failed to “provide for supervision reasonably designed to achieve compliance with securities regulations related to fair pricing of municipals.” Because of this, Turner was fined $140,000 and ordered to pay $76,743.68 plus interest in restitution to customers.

In a separate case involving the brokerage firm, FINRA said that it failed to prevent registered representatives from making multiple phone solicitations to numbers that were on both the national do-not-call list and the firm’s own list. The regulatory body found that Turner “failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system that would prevent those phone calls from being made.” Allegedly J.P. Turner stopped using a third-party telemarketer, except for in one of its offices. FINRA censured the firm and fined it $75,000. Turner has more than 30 regulatory events listed on its BrokerCheck file. The firm is now part of Cetera Financial Group and has been since 2014. According to published reports, about half of Turner’s reps were offered positions with Summit Brokerage Services, a firm that is absorbing J.P. Turner.

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