Recently, George K. Baum & Company entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The company allegedly received certain reimbursements from municipal bond proceeds for expenses incurred during three municipal bond rating trips that were not reasonably related to the business purpose of the trips. It also failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system for ratings trip expenses that was reasonably designed to ensure compliance with FINRA rules. The firm allegedly did not fully review all of the relevant information regarding itineraries and agendas in connection with all of its expenses related to business trips. This occurred between February 2014 and December 2014. These are against securities rules and regulations. For this, GKB was censured and fined $35,000. You may be able to recover your investment losses with GKB on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum if you lost money with the firm.
Regulators have accused Yasuna Murakami and Avi Chiat, and their companies that the two managed, MC2 Capital Management and MC2 Canada Capital Management, of defrauding more than 50 investors by raising more than $15 million and then misappropriating funds in a ponzi-like fashion. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Murakami and Chiat allegedly defrauded more than 50 investors in three hedge funds run through their businesses. The hedge funds are MC2 Capital Partners LLC, MC2 Capital Value Partners and the MC2 Capital Canadian Opportunities Fund LLC. Allegedly, Murakami and Chiat lied to investors about the funds’ performance, falsified account statements, falsified tax documents, falsified performance letters and provided misleading communications to investors. They allegedly continually misled investors into believing they had invested in legitimate and profitable ventures, when, in reality, they engaged in unprofitable trading that lost more than 70% of the money raised for their first hedge fund in less than two years. The SEC further alleged that Murakami stole more than $8 million fro investors for almost a decade, and that he used $1.3 million of investor funds to make ponzi-like payments to earlier investors. He was arrested and accused of misappropriating millions of dollars from investors and engaging in a ponzi-like scheme by the Department of Justice. If you would like more information on how you can recover yours losses with Murakami and Chiat, and their companies, please call us today. We may be able to help you recover your losses on a contingency fee basis.
Former New York Times journalist Susan Antilla performs an in-depth, deep dive analysis on the fiduciary duty rule in the article below. She profiles a client of Stoltmann Law Offices, Stephen Wingate, a 69 year old retired, Vietnam veteran taken by traditional high commissioned, high fee, toxic investments that led to a 50% loss in his hard earned retirement account. The analysis of the ferocity with which the securities industry lobbied against this rule with outright lies and inaccurate and erroneous information might be the most revealing part of this wonderful article. Please see below for the entire article.
According 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).
The New York Times today has a wonderful article on brokerage firms failing to update stockbrokers regulatory records. The article’s title is “Wall Street Often Slow To Disclose Brokers’ Sins.” Unfortunately, for decades Wall Street brokerage firms have failed miserably in keeping the public aware of a broker’s customer complaints or even criminal actions. The mentality at many firms is to cover up bad actions and keep quite on as much h as possible. It is often the unsuspecting public who gets taken by a bad broker
Under NASD Notice to Members 88–67, brokerage firms must completely and accurately disclose information on Form U-5s. According to the NASD:
The NASD Board of Governors…has determined that it is appropriate to re-emphasize the NASD’s policy with respect to complete and accurate disclosure on Forms U-4 and U-5 and with respect to a member’s obligation to adequately research the background of its potential employees.
The massive drop in Memorial Production Partners LP (MEMP) has led to financial nightmares for clients at brokerage firms like Wells Fargo, Wunderlich Securities and Merrill Lynch. Memorial Production Partners LP is an upstream Master Limited Partnership (MLP) focused on the acquisition, production and development of oil and gas properties in the United States. Unfortunately, this investment was sold as conservative to many investors when in fact it was a high risk, concentrated sector play in the oil and gas field. To potentially sue to recover these losses on a contingent fee, please call us or visit www.oilandgasscams.com for more information.
According to a recent InvestmentNews article entitled “Raymond James, Baird to pay $850,000 for SEC wrap-fee violations,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined Raymond James and Robert W. Baird $850,000. The SEC accused both firms of failing to establish procedures needed to determine what their clients were being charged in commissions beyond their wrap-fee programs. The firms were not able to determine the fees charged to their clients when advisers “traded away” with a broker-dealer outside their wrap-fee program, making it impossible to determine a correct number. Raymond James will pay $600,000 and Baird, $250,000. A wrap fee is a comprehensive charge levied by an investment adviser to a client for providing a bundle of services, such as investment advice, research or brokerage services. They allow the advisor to simplify the exchange by charging one fee up front. Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s enforcement division stated: “Baird and Raymond James lacked policies and procedures to consider an entire category of cost information and didn’t fully evaluate whether these wrap fee programs were a good fit.” Please call our Chicago-based law offices at 312-332-4200 for a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your options of suing Raymond James or Robert W. Baird for investment losses. We take cases on a contingency fee basis only.
Did you lose money with Kevin Dunnigan of Investment Centers of America in Loveland, Colorado? If so, the attorneys of Stoltmann Law Offices would like to speak with you about your investment losses. Dunnigan’s firm, Investment Centers of America, may be responsible for financial losses because of the firm’s inability to supervise him. We may be able to help you bring an arbitration claim against Investment Centers of America in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. Dunnigan was accused of providing false and misleading information, making unsuitable investment recommendations and failing to conduct due diligence. He was also accused of misrepresenting material facts related to a mutual fund investment and failed to disclose risks and commissions. All of these are against securities rules and regulations. Dunnigan was registered with Integrated Resources Equity Corp from May 1984 until November 1989 and Royal Alliance Associates in New York, New York from November 1989 until December 1990. He is currently registered with Investment Centers of America in Loveland, Colorado and has been since December 1986. He has six customer disputes against him.
According to publicly available records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Evan Fishman has received one regulatory sanction and two customer complaints. In 2013, a customer alleged that Fishman, while employed at Merrill Lynch, misrepresented material facts. In 2004, the Chicago Board Options Exchange sanctioned Fishman following allegations, among other, that he completed a customer’s order form after the customer had already signed it, and it included inaccurate information. He was censured and issued a fine of $7,500. In 2001, while Fishman was employed at Merrill Lynch, a customer alleged that he made an unsuitable recommendation and exercised unauthorized discretion. These are all against securities rules and regulations. Fishman was registered with Merrill Lynch in Alpharetta, Georgia from November 1992 until June 2006 and is currently registered with UBS in Atlanta, Georgia and has been since June 2006. He has two customer disputes against him. Please call our securities law firm located in Chicago, Illinois if you believe you have a case against UBS. The firm could be responsible for investment losses because they failed to properly supervise Evan Fishman and allowed him to violated securities laws. We sue firms such as UBS in the FINRA arbitration forum for investors on a contingency fee basis which means we do not make money unless your recover yours. 312-332-4200.
According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) records, Dennis Merritt, a former JW Cole Financial broker in Clearwater, Florida, was suspended from the industry for four months. The disciplinary action stated that Merritt recommended unsuitable investments to clients, into which the clients put $115,000. Allegedly, when Merritt recommended the investments, he had not conducted adequate due diligence into whether the company was suitable for any client and he had no reasonable basis to recommend that investment to any client. He never reviewed the company’s financial projections, did not conduct research on its product, did not obtain information on its executives and did not request, obtain or review documents that had to do with the company. Merritt also falsely affirmed that he was complying with the firm’s private securities transactions policy. A broker must do his due diligence on any security that he recommends to his clients. If he does not, his firm may be responsible for investment losses.
Merritt was registered with EF Hutton & Company, Shearson Lehman Hutton, Empire National Securities Inc., Citicorp Financial Services, Citicorp Investment Services, Kemper Financial Services, Nationssecurities, Amsouth Investment Services, Morgan Keegan & Company, Wells Fargo Advisors, Cetera Investment Services and JW Cole Financial Inc. in Clearwater, Florida from March 2014 until June 2016. He is not licensed within the industry. Please call our securities law offices in Chicago today to speak to an attorney about your options of suing JW Cole, Merritt’s former firm, for investment losses. We take cases on a contingency fee basis. The call to us is free so please call today.