We are investigating James J. Albright, Jr., and Sagepoint Financial, Inc. f/k/a AIG Financial Advisors, with an office in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and additional activities in Racine, Wisconsin for sales of non-traded REITs. The investigation is based off of Mr. Albright’s recommendation to purchase high risk and illiquid non-traded real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) for the accounts of clients. If you are a client of Mr. Albright or Sagepoint Financial, please contact us for a no obligation consultation on recovering losses in the non-traded REITs.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating brokerage firm Southeast Investments N.C. Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, alleging that the firm disregarded a retired client’s stated objective of income with moderate risk, recommending instead Cornerstone Total Return Fund (CRF). This was an aggressive total return fund, focused on capital appreciation concentrated in equities. The fund’s high distribution rate was not tied to the fund’s investment income, or capital gains, and did not represent yield or investment return. Southeast Investments omitted material facts regarding the fund, and did not understand, or worse, acted with intent to defraud by putting client’s investments into it. Please call our securities law firm based in Chicago to speak to an attorney for free about your options of suing Southeast Investments in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis to recover your losses. 312-332-4200.
According to a recent disciplinary proceeding with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Craig David Dima was accused of making fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions to his firm, K.C. Ward Financial. Mr. Dima made approximately 41 unauthorized sales of Colgate-Palmolive Company stock in the account of a customer, who was a senior. This occurred from June 2010 until August 2015. Dima falsely told the customer that the sales were the result of computer issues, human error or statements to that effect, rather than unauthorized trades. He also, on 11 separate occasions, sold all or almost all of the “blue chip” dividend-paying stock and then purchased the same stock in the customer’s account. Because of these trades, the senior client paid costs of approximately $376,000 and was deprived of approximately $127,000 in dividend payments. The client also suffered losses of approximately $72,000 from three of the unauthorized, sell/buy sequences of Colgate transactions.
According to his online, FINRA BrokerCheck report, Dima was registered with Lew Lieberbaum & Co., RM Stark & Co., Meyers Pollock Robbins, Inc., Andrew, Alexander, Wise & Company Inc., Foster Jeffries Co., Inc., La Jolla Capital Corp., IAR Securities Corp., Ash Financial Corp, Schneider Securities, Joseph Charles & Assoc., Sterling Financial Investment Group, First Montauk Securities, Harrison Securities, LH Ross & Company, Andrew Garrett Inc., and American Capital Partners. He is currently registered with KC Ward Financial in Ronkonkoma, New York and has been since September 2009. He has five customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending, and one criminal disposition. If you or someone you know lost money with Dima, please call our securities law offices in Chicago today. We may be able to bring a case against his firm, KC Ward Financial, in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis to help you recover your investment losses. The call to us is free with no obligation.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) upheld a decision by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to fine Edward Wedbush, the founder and president of Wedbush Securities, Inc., $50,000 and to suspend him from acting in any principal capacities for 31 days. Wedbush was accused of allegedly failing to supervise certain mandated regulatory filings. In most cases, these supervisors are obligated to take a special examination as part of their qualification if they are involved in the day-to-day management or operation of a firm. According to the SEC, from January 2005 until July 2010, Wedbush Securities filed 158 required reports with FINRA related to judgments and settlements, arbitrations, civil litigations or regulatory actions, employee terminations and statistical information on customer complaints late, with inaccurate information, or not at all, while Wedbush was acting as president. This is against securities rules and regulations. The company was put on notice that they were failing to effectively modify its procedures and that it needed to address it numerous regulatory reporting deficiencies. The company did not rectify these transgressions, even after being told of them.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined Prudential Annuities Distributors, Inc. $950,000 for failing to detect and prevent a scheme that resulted in the theft of $1.3 million from an 89-year-old customer’s variable annuity account. FINRA alleged that Prudential Annuities failed to safeguard customers from a former registered sales assistant at LPL Financial, Travis Wetzel. Mr. Wetzel transferred money from the customer’s account to a third-party bank account in his wife’s name. For this, Wetzel was barred from the industry and is a convicted felon. FINRA fined Prudential, stating that the firm should have been privy to “red flags” that should have appeared to the firm. Please call our law firm today to speak to an attorney for free at 312-332-4200.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Randall A. Heller, a stock broker who is currently employed by KCD Financial, Inc. Heller is accused of making an unsuitable investment recommendation in a real estate investment trust (REIT). REITs tend to be risky, illiquid investments that are not suitable for all investors. A broker must take into account an investor’s net worth, age, investment sophistication and portfolio objectives before recommending an investment. If he does not, his firm or former firm can be held liable for investment losses for not reasonably supervising its brokers. Please call our Chicago-based law offices today to speak to an attorney about your investment losses to find out how we may be able to help you bring a claim against KCD Financial for Heller losses. The call to us is free. 312-332-4200.
Heller was registered with Waddell & Reed, Pruco Securities, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, MetLife Securities, The Prudential Insurance Company, Fortis Investors, and Waterstone Financial Group. He is currently registered with KCD Financial in Oak Lawn, Illinois and has been since March 2005. He has one customer dispute against him, which is currently pending.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined Prudential Annuities Distributors, Inc. $950,000 for failing to detect the theft of $1.3 million from an 89-year-old customer’s variable annuity account. Travis Wetzel, a registered sales assistant at LPL Financial, and convicted felon, allegedly transferred money from the customer’s Prudential variable annuity account to a third-party bank account in his wife’s maiden name. Wetzel was barred by FINRA in May 2013. Allegedly, from July 2010 until September 2012, Wetzel submitted to Prudential 114 forged annuity withdrawal requests, a total of nearly $50,000, requesting that Prudential Annuities wire funds from the elderly customer’s account to a third party account in the maiden name of Wetzel’s wife. Prudential subsequently followed his instructions, without realizing the red flags associated with the transactions. Prudential ignored the alerts that happened when the transactions occurred, and noticed that the funds were being sent to a third party, but concluded the actions appeared to be legitimate. Prudential did not properly investigate the transactions.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Glenn Robert King, who was accused of engaging in misconduct while associated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. According to a recent Disciplinary Proceeding by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), King fraudulently misrepresented and omitted material facts during securities sales to seven customers, engaged in unsuitable and excessive short-term trading of long-term investment products in the accounts of four customers and exercised discretion in the accounts of four customers without written consent and firm approval. For these transgressions, he was barred from the industry. Any customer who lost money with Glenn Robert King is urged to call our Chicago-based law offices to speak to an attorney about his options of suing King’s former firm, Royal Alliance. Royal Alliance had a duty to reasonably supervise him while he was employed there, and, because the firm did not, may be responsible for client losses. 312-332-4200. The call is free.
King was registered with Thomas James Associates, Dean Witter Reynolds, Citigroup Global Markets, Royal Alliance Associates in Lakewood, New Jersey from January 2005 until June 2011, Saxony Securities, Garden State Securities and Buckman, Buckman & Reid. He is not currently registered with any firm and has been permanently barred from the industry. He has 21 customer disputes against him, three of which are currently pending.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has fined Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. $2.5 million and ordered the firm to pay restitution of more than $716,000 to affected customers for selling leveraged, inverse and inverse-leveraged exchange-traded funds (non-traditional ETFs) to retail customers without reasonable supervision, and for recommending non-traditional ETFs that were not suitable. In August 2009, Oppenheimer instituted polices prohibiting its representatives from soliciting retail customers to purchase non-traditional ETFs, and also prohibited them from executing unsolicited non-traditional ETF purchases for retail customers, unless the customers met certain criteria, such as the customer had liquid assets in excess of $500,000. Oppenheimer, allegedly, failed to execute the stated criteria. During the time period of August 2009 until September 30, 2013, more than 760 Oppenheimer representatives executed more than 30,000 non-traditional ETF transactions totaling approximately $1.7 billion for customers.
FINRA found that Oppenheimer failed to conduct adequate due diligence regarding the risks and features of non-traditional ETFs, and, as a result, did not have a reasonable basis to recommend these ETFs to retail customers. Also, Oppenheimer’s representatives solicited and effected non-traditional ETF purchases that were unsuitable for specific customers. For example:
An 89-year conservative customer with annual income of $50,000 held 96 solicited non-traditional ETF positions for an average of 32 days (and for up to 470 days) resulting in a net loss of $51,847.
Customers of Raymond James can sue the firm for investment losses sustained through activities like unsuitable investment recommendations, fraud, churning, conversion or theft and other related actions. A common claim against Raymond James made in FINRA arbitration actions deals with the firms supervision, or lack thereof, of the financial advisor who engaged in the wrongful conduct. In these cases, what the firm did, or didnt do, is absolutely crucial.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced yesterday that it fined Raymond James & Associates and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. $17 million for widespread failures related to the firms’ anti-money laundering programs. Both firms were accused of failing to establish and implement adequate anti-money laundering procedures, which resulted in the firms’ failure to properly prevent or detect, investigate, and report suspicious activity for several years. Raymond James and Associates’ Compliance Officer, Linda L. Busby, was also fined $25,000 and suspended for three months.
Between 2006 and 2014, both companies’ growth was not matched by the growth in their compliance systems and processes. This was because they were forced to rely on written procedures and systems across different departments to detect suspicious activity. The end result was that certain “red flags” of potentially suspicious activity went undetected or inadequately investigated. Raymond James Financial Services Inc. was sanctioned in 2012 for inadequate anti-money laundering procedures, and as part of that program, had agreed to review its program and procedures, and certify that they were reasonably designed to achieve compliance.