Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking to those investors who have invested with Merrill Lynch broker Charles Friedlander. A recent lawsuit alleges that, clients of Friedlander’s, a retired couple were looking to generate a stable income stream to sustain them through retirement and relied upon Friedlander and the research of Merrill Lynch to select suitable investments that would preserve their capital while producing income. The lawsuit alleges that Friedlander was pushing oil and gas investments in master limited partnerships (MLPs) and allegedly represented them as safe and secure. By 2014, the concentration into energy in their accounts was over 70%. Even though the clients lost money in those investments, Friedlander continued to advise them to invest more money into the oil and gas sector, even though it was not suitable for them based on their age, net worth, risk tolerance and investment objectives. A broker must take these factors into account before recommending or selling any investments, and, if he does not, his brokerage firm may be liable for losses. Oil and gas and energy investments tend to be high-risk and illiquid ones, which, in this case, caused the retired couple to lose over $350,000 of their irreplaceable retirement savings. The lawsuit alleges negligence, negligent supervision, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.
Mr. Friedlander was previously registered with Lehman Brothers in New York, New York from November 1987 until July 1993, Citigroup in Garden City, New York from July 1993 until June 2009 and Morgan Stanley in Garden City from June 2009 until March 2013. He is currently registered with Merrill Lynch in Garden City and has been since February 2013. He has one customer dispute against him. This is according to his online BrokerCheck report with FINRA.