Articles Tagged with credit

We continue to investigate sales practices of brokerage firms who sold Puerto Rico Conservation Trust Fund Secured Notes 5.90% Due April 15, 2034. These notes were originally issued on March 31, 2004. The Puerto Rico Conservation Trust Fund Secured Notes 5.90% carry a B2 rating by Moody’s, which indicates that the notes are speculative in nature, subject to high credit risk and have poor credit quality. Unfortunately, we believe at the time these notes were sold, many clients were informed by their financial advisor that these were appropriate investments for conservative or retired clients who were not looking to speculate. We believe many clients were sold these investments in an unsuitable and inappropriate amounts.

The brokerage firms who we believe were major peddlers of the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust Fund Secured Notes 5.90% include UBS Financial Services, R-G Investments, Corp., Santander Securities Corp.; and Popular Securities. Claims for rescovery include suitability claims, misrepresentation and omissions claims as well as fraud based claims.

Burned investors might be able to recover some, or all, of their losses through the FINRA arbitration process. Either arbitration claims or lawsuits can be used to recoup these losses for clients who match a certain profile on a contingency fee basis. To learn more, please contact our law firm in Chicago, Illinois for a no obligation consultation.

Wells Fargo was just fined $35 million by the Office the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today for allegations that the bank made unsafe or unsound sales practices. The bank was also ordered to make restitution to customers who were harmed by the unsound practices. These included the unauthorized opening of deposit or credit card accounts and the transfer of funds from authorized, existing accounts to unauthorized accounts. The bank also failed to develop and implement an effective an enterprise risk management program to detect and prevent the unsafe or unsound sales practices. For those customers who were harmed by Wells Fargo, we encourage you to call our Chicago-based securities law firm to speak to an attorney about your options of suing the bank for the unsafe and unsound sales practices. We may be able to help you recover your investment losses with Wells Fargo.

William Wells, who pleaded guilty on securities wire fraud charges earlier this year, was sentenced Tuesday in Manhattan federal court to 46 months in prison. Wells, formerly of Manhattan and New Jersey, was ordered to pay restitution as well, in a yet-to-be-determined amount, forfeit the proceeds of his scheme and undergo three years of supervised release, according to a press release issued by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Wells used his company, investment firm Promitor Capital LLC, to defraud more than 30 investors out of $1.5 million. The investors included his family, friends and colleagues. He convinced them to invest with him by telling them he had consistently achieved positive returns in the stock market. He then used their money to pay for credit card bills, car payments and private school tuition. Wells was charged after an investigation led by the office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Did you lose money with Michael Oppenheim, formerly of JP Morgan Chase? Oppenheim was recently barred from the industry after admitting that he stole more than $20 million from clients for trading stocks online, paying personal bills and gambling on sporting events. Oppenheim settled fraud charges with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week. Earlier this year, he pled guilty to criminal embezzlement and securities fraud charges in US District Court for the Southern District of New York and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also agreed to pay $20,185,225 to settle the criminal charges and pay restitution to JP Morgan Chase. He allegedly took client funds to buy himself cashier’s checks, which were deposited into brokerage accounts he controlled. The money was then used to engage in options trading. In 2008, he persuaded at least two customers to withdraw more than $12 million from their accounts, and he told them the funds would be used to buy municipal bonds or municipal bond funds. Instead, he used the money to pay a home loan, gambling debts and credit card bills and to buy luxury clothing and travel. He also covered up the scam by falsifying client account statements to show bonds owned by other customers, and by moving cash from one customer account to another to inflate balances. The SEC barred him from the industry.

Oppenheim was registered with Merrill Lynch in New York, New York from April 1998 until May 1999, Prudential Securities in New York from May 1999 until July 2001, Chase Investment Services in Chicago, Illinois from February 2002 until February 2004, Wachovia Securities in St. Louis, Missouri from February 2004 until May 2004, Chase Investment Services Corp in New York from May 2004 until October 2012 and JP Morgan Securities in New York from October 2012 until April 2015. He has one customer dispute against him. He is not licensed within the industry and the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have permanently barred him.

The Olympics provide for more scam artists to operate and steal money. Many scam artists use the games to steal personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers and other identifying data. Fake lottery scams are popping back up because of the Olympics. Typically “winners” are notified that they have been selected for a lottery prize, as well as a trip to Brazil to see the Olympics. The victims are then asked to provide the details of their bank accounts in order to facilitate the transfer of funds. If a customer did not enter a lottery, they cannot win.

Another common scam is the Coke scam, wherein victims will get an email claiming they have won a cash prize of $1 million from the Coca-Cola foundation in partnership with the Olympic committee. To claim the prize, the victim must fill out personal information such as whether they prefer a bank transfer or to pick up their check in person in Nigeria.

Many fraudsters also peddle fraudulent merchandise with the Olympics logo on it. Tips are to only make purchases on the Olympics website and to always use a credit card. Beware of any solicitations that are emailed and be vigilant.

Did you or someone you know lose money with Nickolas V. Waggoner, a former broker with AXA Advisors? If so, you may be able to recover those losses by calling our securities law firm in Chicago at 312-332-4200. Attorneys are standing by to take your call, which is free. There is no obligation. We may be able to bring a claim against AXA Advisors on your behalf to recover your losses on a contingency fee basis. AXA Advisors may be responsible for Waggoner’s misconduct.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Nickolas Vernon Waggoner was terminated from AXA on June 17, 2015. Allegedly, between March 2015 and April 2015, he intentionally provided American Express with false information in order to obtain 25 American Express credit cards for a friend. He gave the credit card company fictitious business names, revenues, profits and number of employees in order to obtain the credit cards, which he then sent to his friend to use in a ticket resale business. The friend allegedly purchased and resold concert and sporting event tickets to use them to bypass event ticket purchase limits in order to re sell them. This is against securities rules and regulations. For his transgressions, Waggoner was suspended from the industry for 18 months and fined $10,000. Waggoner was registered with AXA Advisors in Los Angeles, California from August 2013 until June 2015. He is not currently registered with any firm and is not licensed within the industry.

On Tuesday, the House passed a bill for legislation that aims to help financial professionals reduce elder fraud by providing them safe harbor if the fraud is reported to state or Federal regulatory and law enforcement entities. The House passed the vote by voice on Tuesday. The bill specifically provides that banks, credit unions, investment advisers, broker-dealers and insurance companies and certain supervisory, compliance and legal employees would be protected from civil or administrative liability as long as these employees received training in how to spot and report predatory activity and disclose any possible exploitation of senior citizens to state or Federal regulatory law enforcement. The bill was introduced last year by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri). They are the chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. It is based on legislation enacted in Maine. The bill has the support of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers (NAIFA), the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), SIFMA and the North American Securities Administrator Association (NASAA). A 2011 study by MetLife found that seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion each year to financial fraud.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Patrick Mackaronis, against whom the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in the District Court of New Jersey, alleging that Mackaronis recommended investments in a technology start-up company that was part of a fraudulent scheme. Allegedly he sold investments in the company while ignoring the risks of potential fraud. The SEC alleged that he blindly touted the investments. Mackaronis actually used investor money to pay for their mortgage, credit card bills, car leases, college tuition, landscaping and at casinos. Mackaronis was forced to pay $85,000 to disgorge the commissions he earned, $8,000 in interest, a $50,000 penalty and agreed to a three-year bar from the securities industry.

According to his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) online BrokerCheck report, Mackaronis was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in Wayne, New Jersey from May 2008 until August 2012. He has three customer disputes against him and he is not licensed within the industry. Please call us today to discuss how you may be able to sue Wells Fargo in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis for investment losses.

London-based research firm Fideres Partners LLP suggests that the process of pricing and selling new corporate bonds may be inaccurate. Corporate bonds’ price in the days after their issuance may hint to a systemic underpricing by major dealers, according to the Fideres report, published last week. The firm estimates that the underpricing of new debt may have cost U.S. companies as much as $18 billion in extra interest in bonds issued between 2010 and 2015 by pulling up their borrowing costs at a time when benchmark interest rates were at low levels. Companies have been racing to sell new bonds to take advantage of low interest rates. The banks who sell these bonds may underprice new bonds in order to make sure they end up in the portfolios of large buy and hold investors who are seen as more reliable. The concessions on new issues may also arise as investors and bankers need to be compensated for the extra risk of holding corporate credit as opposed to safer securities, such as government debt.

Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking to those individuals who may have invested money with Raul Enrique Jacobs who entered into an Order of Prohibition with the State of Illinois Secretary of State Securities Department. Jacobs is accused of using $15,000 of client money to purchase a vacation home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, payments for a mortgage, credit card and subscriptions to dating websites. A broker such as Mr. Jacobs has a fiduciary duty to legally act in another party’s interests, such as on behalf of his clients. His alleged use of $15,000 of client money is against securities rules and regulations. Jacobs is not currently registered with any member firm. Please call us today if you would like to discuss bringing a claim against him and his former firm for securities transgressions.

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