Articles Tagged with Financial Advisor

Chicago-based Stoltmann Law Offices has represented investors who’ve suffered investment losses at the hands of financial and investment advisers who churned and burned their accounts. One of the most prevalent abuses in the securities industry is excessive trading, or “churning” client accounts. This practice, which is forbidden by industry regulators like FINRA and the SEC, is done to generate commissions, almost always at the expense of the client. As the stock market swings wildly during the Covid-19 pandemic, brokers take advantage by trading their clients’ accounts to generate commissions.

Brokers can open the door to churning by asking customers if they want an “active” trading strategy, which gives brokers discretionary ability to trade at will. Unless clients give specific directions on how and when to trade, brokers may take the opportunity to trade excessively and charge needlessly high commissions.

Churning has been the subject of numerous regulatory actions over several decades. Broker Frank Venturelli, a representative for First Standard in Red Bank, New Jersey, was cited by FINRA for excessive trading between 2016 and 2018. According to FINRA settlement, clients lost more than $373,000 during that period. Venturelli was suspended from the industry for 11 months and ordered to pay partial restitution of $30,000 to his clients.

AdobeStock_69736117-2-300x200According to a recent Financial Advisor article, a new scam has surfaced where scammers conducting fake online job interviews attempt to steal victims’ money. They may ask to provide personal or financial information, which, in that case, individuals are encouraged to terminate the call immediately. The scammers may also ask you to pay a fee. The scammers also have been requesting documents or files to be downloaded in order for them to capture keystrokes or mouse movements or even for them to take control of your webcam. Other signs may be if the scammer tells you the job is “guaranteed,” or “waiting for you,” and they may pressure you to commit to the job quickly and add poorly written text on the online video platform, or other communications. The scammers pretend to be involved with a range of legitimate organizations, including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Troy Stratos, financial advisor to celebrities and self-described and promoted entertainment entrepreneur. His company, Next Level Media, never made any money, although Stratos reported that it did over a 15 year period. Nicole Murphy, ex-wife of comedian Eddie Murphy, sued him for fraud in federal court, claiming he bilked her out of $11 million after she hired him as her financial advisor. He faces another civil judgment for $2.1 million, after a real estate broker and his friends invested $1.9 million to produce a CD. Stratos used his company to run a ponzi scheme, bilking investors out of millions of dollars, telling investors that he knew Middle Eastern princes who were interested in producing movies with him. He also claimed he knew Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men, and that he was buying stock in Facebook for him. Because of this, he told investors the stock could be sold at favorable prices. He sent three wire transfers for $11.25 million to buy the shares.

If you lost money with Troy Stratos, you may be able to recover it by calling Stoltmann Law Offices at 312-332-4200 and speaking to an attorney. We represent investors nationwide in securities matters. The call is free wit no obligation.

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