Articles Tagged with investment

Did your Credit Suisse broker recommend to you The VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term (XIV) exchange-traded note (ETN) to you? If so, you may be able to recover your losses with this security on a contingency fee basis in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum. XIV supposedly gives the opposite return of the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), which is the market’s turbulence gauge, and is supposed to bet on calm markets. It and its sister fund, ZIV, are designed to go up when the volatility of the S&P 500 goes down. XIV was issued by Credit Suisse, slumped almost 4 percent on Tuesday morning, and closed down 93 percent on the same day, losing nearly 100 percent of its value. Many exchange-traded securities that are also supposed to be bets on calm markets were halted Tuesday, after losing the majority of their value overnight.

According to the XIV fund’s prospectus: “The ETNs, and in particular the 2x Long ETNs, are intended to be trading tools for sophisticated investors to manage daily trading risks…The ETNs are riskier than securities that have intermediate or long-term investment objectives, and may not be suitable for investors who plan to hold them for longer than one day.”

XIV is down more than 80 percent in extended trading as of yesterday, because of its popularity with hedge funds betting on an ever-calm market. Because of the market decline, fear has sparked among some traders that violent declines in ETNs like XIV would cause market volatility measures to spike further. It also raised fears of even bigger losses from hedge funds and other investors holding this security, as they may not be able to sell.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating the Woodbridge Group of Companies, a southern California real estate and investment company, which has allegedly raised over $1 billion from investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating it to determine whether the company has been operating as a fraud. The company’s president, Robert Shapiro, is also being investigated. The SEC is “investigating the offer and sale of unregistered securities, the sale of securities by unregistered brokers and the commission of fraud in connection with the offer, purchase and sale of securities.” According to Woodbridge’s website, the group, Woodbridge Wealth, sells three types of investment: first position commercial mortgages with an annual yield of 5%, secondary market annuities with above average, risk adjusted yields, and a commercial bridge loan fund that potentially returns 6%.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) website, BrokerCheck, there is no broker-dealer named Woodbridge Wealth. If your broker recommended or sold to you Woodbridge Wealth, please call our securities law firm today at 312-332-4200 in order to speak to an attorney about your losses. We are based in Chicago, Illinois and we help investors recover their investment losses on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you recover your losses. The call is free with no obligation. We sue firms in the FINRA arbitration forum. Your brokerage firm may be liable for investment losses, as the firm has a reasonably duty to oversee its brokers while they are employed there.

This blog posting is not affiliated with, maintained, authorized, endorsed or sponsored by the Woodbridge International, Inc. (“Woodbridge”), or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial website. All information contained on this site is Unofficial.

According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Larry Boggs allegedly engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading in the accounts of five customer households. He also allegedly changed the investment objectives and risk tolerance for several customers in order that they would conform to his high-frequency trading strategy, even though the customers’ investment objectives and risk tolerance had not changed. These are against securities laws. Excessive trading, also referred to as “churning,” is when a broker trades in and out of a security in order to generate large commissions for himself. This typically leads to the customer having to pay unnecessary fees. It is a particularly egregious violation of securities laws and internal firm rules. At the time of the misconduct, which was between January 2014 and May 2015, Boggs was registered with Ameriprise. He was permanently barred from the industry.

Brokerage firms such as Ameriprise have an obligation to reasonably supervise their employees to make sure they do not violate securities laws and internal firm rules. If the firm does not do so, it can be held liable for losses on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum. Mr. Boggs, according to FINRA, was previously registered with Merrill Lynch, Prudential Securities, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise Advisor Services in Richardson, Texas from July 2009 until October 2009, Ameriprise Financial Services in Dallas, Texas from October 2009 until May 2015 and Wedbush Securities in Dallas from May 2015 until July 2016. He is not currently registered as a broker within the industry.

According to records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Raymond James broker Clifford Vatter allegedly made unsuitable investment recommendations, misrepresented and omitted material facts, breached fiduciary duty, made unauthorized withdrawals, and other things. These are all against securities laws and internal firm rules. A broker such as Mr. Vatter must take into account a client’s age, net worth, investment objectives and investment sophistication before recommending or selling an investment. If he does not, his brokerage firm may be liable for investment losses on a contingency fee basis, which means we only make money if you recover yours. Raymond James has claims brought against it in the FINRA arbitration forum for allowing its brokers to violate securities laws.

According to online reports with FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Clifford Vatter was registered with J.C. Bradford & Co. in New York, New York from June 1983 until August 2000, UBS in Weehawken, New Jersey from August 2000 until May 2002, Morgan Keegan in Louisville, Kentucky from June 2002 until February 2013 and Raymond James in Louisville, from February 2013 until August 2017. He has six customer disputes against him, and is not currently registered as a broker.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Larson Financial Securities broker Anthony Ferrara has been subject to four customer complaints. He allegedly made unsuitable recommendations and material omissions in the sale of a variable universal life (VUL) policy that was purchased in 2013. The complaint is currently pending. Another complaint alleged that he recommended an unsuitable product, misrepresented a product, breached fiduciary duty, had deceptive business practices, participated in general fraud and negligence. A broker must fully understand the risks of complex products like VULs and must pass this information along to the client. He must also make sure that the VUL and all other products are suitable for the client by taking into account his or her net worth, investment objectives, age and investment sophistication. If he does not, his brokerage firm may be held liable for losses on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum.

Anthony Joseph Ferrara was previously registered with Northwestern Mutual Investment Services in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from January 2002 until March 2002, Pruco Securities in Newark, New Jersey from March 2002 until March 2010 and Financial Network Investment Corp in Minneapolis, Minnesota from March 2010 until August 2010. He is currently registered with Larson Financial Securities in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and has been since July 2010. He has four customer disputes against him, two of which are currently pending. This is according to his BrokerCheck online, public report with FINRA.


Merrill Lynch broker Jacquin Fink, has customer complaints against her. According to the complaints filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), she has been accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations, misrepresentations, excessive trading, and unauthorized trading, among others. In April 2016, a customer alleged that unsuitable investment recommendations were made by Fink and that she participated in excessive trading. This occurred from October 2013 until January 2016 and caused $581,144 in damages. In a separate complaint, another customer alleged that unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentation occurred in August 2015.

Brokers such as Fink have a responsibility to treat investors fairly, which includes obligations such as making only suitable investment recommendations for the client. In order to make suitable recommendations, a broker must meet certain requirements. There must be reasonable basis for the recommendation, based on certain factors, such as a client’s age, net worth, investment objectives and sophistication. Other factors include the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. If the broker does not take these factors into account, his brokerage firm can be liable for investment losses, as the firm is required to reasonably supervise the broker and his activities.

According to her FINRA online BrokerCheck report, Jacquin Fink has six customer disputes against her, two of which are pending. She has been registered with Merrill Lynch in New York, New York since September 1978. Please call our Chicago-based law offices to speak to an attorney for free about your options of suing Merrill Lynch in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis.

We are investigating the brokerage firms who sold and recommended SCI Real Estate Investment Tenants in Common (TICs). Brokerage-firms and financial advisors recommended SCI Real Estate Investment TICs we believe because of the massive fees and commissions involved in the products. Some brokerage firms and brokers, like Investors Capital and Don Ingram, sold the funds to multiple clients. Now, clients are stuck with an illiquid investment despite the fact that many may need income from the investment.

Lawsuits and FINRA arbitration claims can be used to recover investment losses/unfreeze funds. To learn more about the this process and claims related to suitability of the investment and failures on the part of brokerage firms to do due diligence on TICs, please contact us in Chicago, Illinois for a no cost evaluation.

We are currently investigating New York based Newport Coast Securities brokers Douglas Leone, Marc Arena, Tyler Luckey, Andre LaBarbera, David Levy, Antonio Costanzo and Donald Bartelt. From approximately 2008 to 2013 these brokers allegedly committed churning fraud. They provided unsuitable investment recommendations involving inverse and/or leveraged ETFs , ETNs and Exchange Traded Products (ETPs). Many of their clients were elderly and/or retired, and had limited investment experience, risk tolerance, income, and net worth. The most common definition of churning, or a churned account, is when a financial advisor overtrades the securities in his customer’s account for the purpose of generating commissions.

Churning is a synonym for over-trading where a stockbroker advances his or her interests over the interests of the client. According to FINRA these particular brokers conducted extraordinary amounts of in-and-out trading and their customer accounts were highly margined and often concentrated in one security. In addition, these particular broker’s direct supervisors witnessed these events and did nothing to intervene. It was upper management who directly profited from excessive fees generated by churned client accounts. According to FINRA, after notices were issued to Levy and Costanzo, they attempted to dissuade clients from cooperating with FINRA’s investigation. Costanzo offered to compensate a customer for his losses but conditioned his offer on the client’s signing a letter stating that he would not testify at a hearing.

To learn about legal choices for recovering securities fraud losses with Newport Coast Securities through FINRA arbitration on a contingency fee basis, please call our law firm for a free evaluation at 312–332–4200.

Two South Carolina men entered guilty pleas in connection to an investment fraud case, one of which was a Myrtle Beach lawyer.

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Two South Carolina men entered guilty pleas in connection to an investment fraud case, one of which was a Myrtle Beach lawyer.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, “United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Michael Mark McAdams, 43, of Myrtle Beach, and Robert Dane Freeman, 69, of Greenville have entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. Facts during the plea hearing revealed that using a series of overseas banking transactions, McAdams and Freeman took millions of dollars from investors as a part of a fraud that claimed the victims’ money, and used the funds for personal expenses.

Yesterday, Mark Sellers allegedly committed suicide. We have written on the Selden Company’s investment scam in the past. This alleged suicide will have a very important impact on clients who are contemplating filing a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim or investment fraud lawsuit to recover Selden Company losses. We believe this suicide is further indicia of the fraudulent nature of the Selden Company’s investment that has taken dozens of Kansas City investors. We are currently representing investors who have sustained massive losses in Selden Company. Please call our investment fraud law firm at 312–332–4200 to learn how Selden Company investment losses as recommended by John S. Elliott can be recovered.

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