Articles Tagged with oil and gas

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Mark Wesley, a former registered broker with Ameriprise Financial Services. Ameriprise allowed Wesley to resign alleging that he was under suspicion for compliance policy violations related to unauthorized trading, use of discretion in a non-discretionary account, supervision of staff and responding to supervision. He also allegedly participated in direct participation products (DPPs), oil and gas private placements, variable annuities, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other alternative investments. He was also subject to five tax liens totaling millions of dollars.

According to his online Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, Wesley was registered with IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota from September 1994 until July 2006, and Ameriprise Financial Services in Independence, Ohio from September 1994 until June 2016. He has six customer disputes against him and is not licensed within the industry. Please call our securities law offices in Chicago if you lost money with Mark Wesley. We may be able to help you recover those losses in the FINAR arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis.

AdobeStock_1800313-1-300x204Were you sold Dakota Plains Holdings stock by Nicholas Shermeta or by another broker? If so, the attorneys at Stoltmann Law Offices are interested in speaking with you about those losses. Nicholas Shermeta, a former broker at Northland Securities, was recently barred by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and was charged with five counts of wire fraud. Nicholas Shermeta, along with Ryan Gilbertson, founder of Dakota Plains Inc. and Douglas Hoskins, were charged with wire fraud in regards to a complex stock manipulation scheme resulting in the company owing more than $30 million in fraudulent bonus payments. Dakota Plains Holdings is an integrated midstream energy company operating the Pioneer Terminal with services that include outbound crude oil storage, logistics, and rail transportation and inbound frac sand logistics. It operates out of New Town, North Dakota, for loading crude oil onto trains for transport to oil refineries.

Oil and gas and energy stocks such as Dakota Plains Holdings tend to be very high-risk and illiquid stocks and are not suitable for all investors, especially the elderly. If you were sold this stock by Mr. Shermeta, or another broker, your brokerage firm may be liable for losses. Every full-service brokerage firm has an ironclad obligation to reasonably supervise its employees, and, if it does not, can be held liable for losses. Please call us today if you believe you may have a claim against Northland Securities for Nicholas Shermeta losses. We take cases on a contingency fee basis only, so we only make money if you recover yours.

According to his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Nicholas Shermeta was registered with John G. Kinnard & Company, Equity Securities Trading Co., Paradise Valley Securities, Miller Johnson Steichen Kinnard, Feltl & Company and Northland Securities in Minneapolis, Minnesota from November 2011 until November 2016. He has one criminal pending charge against him and has been barred from the industry.

Jones Energy Inc (JONE) is an exploration and production company in the U.S. Mid-Continent.  Some brokers recommended this investment to their clients and didn’t disclose all the material risks of the investment including its almost exclusively concentration in oil and gas related investments.  This is a violation of the rules and regulations that govern financial advisors at brokerage firms in the US.  Please contact our investment fraud legal team to learn how these losses might be recoverable in the FINRA arbitration forum.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. is an independent producer of high-quality, specialty hydrocarbon products based in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The collapse of the share price has exposed fraudulent sales practices used by brokers across many brokerage firms to jam clients into grossly unsuitable concentrations.  Calumet was not the conservative income investment clients were represented.  In fact, it was a high risk, speculative oil and gas play.  For burned clients, the FINRA arbitration claims process can be used to potentially recoup these losses.  To learn how, please contact our securities law firm in Chicago at 312.332.4200

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 for more information.

James VanBlaricum, a Texas-based proprietor of Signal Oil and Gas Co., an oil and gas exploration company, was arrested by federal authorities on charges of mail fraud. He is accused of convincing investors to put $2.6 million into an oil and gas investment program that was actually a ponzi scheme. VanBlaricum allegedly offered an investment program called the Land Lease Program for purchase to investors, not issuing investment payouts and then using that investment money for other purposes. 53 investors mailed personal or cashier’s checks to Signal, or wired checks to the company, making a total of $2.63 million from January 2006 through January 2009, according to the criminal complaint. VanBlaricum lured investors by promising an “assured” rate of return on the initial investment, ranging from nine to 15 percent of the amount invested, and the investors were told they would receive a full refund of their upfront investment after three to five years. Instead of doing so, VanBlaricum took $2 million of investor funds and dumped that into bank accounts to be used in other ways, such as day trading and employee payroll payouts. In 2008, he and other co-conspirators used Texas Energy Management and Texas Energy Mutual, two other companies, to continue the fraudulent scheme.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Paul Blum, a former registered broker with RBC in West Palm Beach, Florida. Blum was accused of selling junk bonds which were unsuitable for clients. Many of the bonds were related to the oil and gas and energy sector and the investments he recommended lost clients hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is against securities rules and regulations for a broker to recommend investments that are unsuitable for clients. He or she must take into account the client’s net worth, age, investment objectives and investment sophistication before recommending securities. Securities in the energy and oil and gas sector tend to be especially risky securities, and illiquid. If a broker recommends a security that is not suitable for a client and the client loses money, the broker’s investment firm or former investment firm, can be sued for those losses.

According to Blum’s online Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, he was registered with JB Hanauer & Co. in Parsippany, New Jersey from July 1981 until September 1990, Prudential-Bache Securities in New York, New York from September 1990 until February 1991, JB Hanauer in West Palm Beach, Florida from February 1991 until October 2009 and RBC Capital Markets in West Palm Beach from October 2009 until November 2015. He has 22 customer disputes against him, 12 of which are currently pending. This amount of customer disputes is a high number for a registered broker. He is not licensed within the industry. Please call our law firm today if you invested and lost money with Paul V. Blum. We may be able to help you recover your financial losses on a contingency fee basis.

This week, the North American Securities Administrators Association released its enforcement statistics on state regulators. The state regulators last year brought more cases against registered financial advisers than against unregistered entities. From 2015, the report stated that 812 registered advisers were named as respondents in cases, while only 791 unregistered individuals and firms were named as respondents. The states ordered $538 million in restitution to investors and levied $230 million in penalties and fines. They made respondents pay $18 million in court costs and contribute $11 million to investor education initiatives. Enforcement actions resulted collectively in 1,200 years of incarceration, probation and deferred adjudication. 250 adviser licenses were revoked and 475 were denied, while 2,990 registrations were withdrawn.

At the center of most of these investigations were real estate products and oil and gas investment programs. Others included variable and fixed-indexed annuities, hedge funds, life settlements/viaticals and structured products. The most popular victims were the elderly, with one-third of state investigations involving that group. Vulnerable adults were disproportionately targeted by fraudsters.

Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking to those individuals who may have invested money with Steven Orr, a registered broker with H. Beck Inc. in Houston, Texas. Orr was accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresenting products, including direct participation products (DPPs) and private placements including oil and gas partnerships, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other alternative investments. Products such as these (oil and gas partnerships, REITs, and other alternative investments) are only appropriate for a select few investors under certain market conditions, due to the risk, high fees and illiquidity associated with these products. A broker must take into account the aforementioned market conditions, and the client’s age, net worth, investment objectives and investment sophistication before recommending and/or selling these products. If the broker does not do so, his brokerage firm can be liable for investment losses, because the firm has a duty to supervise each broker. Please call our Chicago-based securities law firm today at 312-332-4200 to speak to one of our attorneys about your options of suing H. Beck if you have suffered losses with Steven Orr. We may be able to help you bring a claim against H. Beck in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum to recover your financial losses on a contingency fee basis.

According to his online FINRA BrokerCheck report, Orr was registered with AAL Capital Management Corp in Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 1987 until November 1994, H. Beck in Victoria, Texas from December 1994 until April 2009 and DeWaay Financial Network in Victoria from April 2009 until May 2011. He is currently registered with H. Beck in Victoria and has been since April 2011. He has five customer disputes against him, two of which are currently pending and two criminal matters against him.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Mark Heiden, a Wedbush Securities broker. Heiden is accused of using sales practices that were related to the overconcentration of energy related stocks investments in customer accounts. These investments included

Energy XXI Bermuda Ltd.(EXXI):

Energy XXI was an independent oil and natural gas development and production company whose growth strategy emphasized acquisitions and organic drilling programs. The company’s properties are located in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico waters and the Gulf Coast onshore.  Unfortunately, the security lost over 95% of its value in an approximate six month period and is now valued at less than 10 cents a share.

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