According to records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Oppenheimer broker Leslie Flaum has allegedly violated securities laws. He was accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations, churning accounts, breaching fiduciary duty, failing in supervisory duties from December 2010 through December 2016 in connection to investments in listed equities and closed-end funds, and other violations. These are all against securities laws. Churning, also referred to as excessive trading, is a particularly egregious violation, because it typically results in unnecessary fees for the client. It also typically results in large commissions for the broker. Leslie Brian Flaum was previously registered with David Lerner, Christopher Weil & Company, Integrated Resources Equity Corp, HYM Financial, Reich & Company, and Oppenheimer & Co. in Melville, New York from August 1994 until August 2017. He has two customer disputes pending against him and is not currently registered as a broker within the industry, according to FINRA records.
According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Edward McFarlane, while registered with Oppenheimer & Co., allegedly recommended and effected approximately 169 unsuitable transactions involving inverse, leveraged and inverse-leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds (Non-Traditional ETFs) in the account of a customer. McFarlane’s recommendation was not suitable for the customer, as he had conservative investment objectives and minimal tolerance for risk. McFarlane held the non-traditional ETFs in the customer’s account for 470 days, despite the fact that they are not meant to be held for extended periods of time. As a result of this, the customer suffered $48,524.79 in losses. For his transgressions, Mr. McFarlane was suspended from the industry for two months and fined $5,000.
McFarlane was previously registered with SEI Investments Distribution, PBHG Fund Distributors, ICC Distributors, Deutsche Bank, Edward Jones, AG Edwards & Sons, Wachovia Securities and Oppenheimer & Co. in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania from September 2008 until February 2017. He is currently registered with International Assets Advisory in Orlando, Florida and has been since February 2017. He has one customer dispute against him. Please call our securities law firm today if you suffered losses with Mr. McFarlane. We may be able to help you bring a claim against Oppenheimer in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. Please call today. The call is free with no obligation.
Abraham Heimann, a former registered broker with Oppenheimer & Co. and Cetera Advisors. Heimann has been accused of trading a 93 year-old veteran’s account without authorization even when the client was hospitalized for a period of time due to complications with Parkinson’s disease. According to public records the client’s portfolio was concentrated in the energy sector, including Miller Energy, which, in 2015, filed for bankruptcy. Additionally, most of the client’s portfolio was concentrated in investments in Seadrill, FX Energy and other investments. A broker is required to take into account an investor’s age, net worth and investment objectives among other factors before recommending or selling a security. Call us today at 312-332-4200 for a no-obligation, free consultation to determine if you qualify to reclaim your investment losses in the FINRA arbitration forum.
According to his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck, Heimann was registered with Oppenheimer & Co. from April 1985 until November 1986, Oppenheimer in Atlanta, Georgia from January 2002 until July 2013 and Cetera Advisors in Alpharetta, Georgia from June 2013 until February 2016. He is currently not registered within the industry. He has one pending customer dispute against him, which alleges unsuitability, unauthorized trading, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and misrepresentation in connection with maintenance of an account at Oppenheimer.
Leveraged and inverse exchange traded funds (ETFs) are almost always unsuitable and inappropriate for investors when recommended by a financial adviser. Hundreds of clients have filed class action lawsuits or FINRA arbitration claims to recover the losses sustained with these investments.
A leveraged exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a fund that uses financial derivatives and debt to amplify the returns of an underlying index. Leveraged ETFs are available for most indexes, such as the Nasdaq 100 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. These funds aim to keep a constant amount of leverage during the investment time frame, such as a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. These tend to be extremely high risk investments that simply shouldnt be pitched to investors. Most brokerage firms have hightened suitablity standards for clients who are pitched these investments. Unfortunately, financial adviusors still tend to recommend these investments despite these heightned procedures.
The main regulator of brokerage firms, FINRA, has published extensive Notice To Members warning brokerage firms about sales of inversed and leveraged ETFs. For example, in a release entitlted Non-traditional ETFs FAQ, FINRA disclosed the following in response to the question Can leveraged and inverse ETFs be suitable for a retail investor? “While it is not FINRA’s position that all leveraged and inverse ETFs are unsuitable for all retail customers, firms that recommend them must carefully consider their suitability for each customer. Of particular concern, in light of their reset feature, is whether one is recommended as an intermediate or long-term investment rather than as part of a closely monitored trading or hedging strategy.”
According to a recent Disciplinary Proceeding with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Johnny Burris, while registered with Chase Investment Services, failed to execute a trade for his customers, a married elderly couple. The failed trade resulted in their IRS tax payment to be rejected for insufficient funds. Burris then created and sent unapproved misleading correspondence to the customers and the IRS. This is against securities rules and regulations. Burris was registered with BA Investment Services in Oakland, California from April 1997 until July 1999, Banc of America Investment Services in Boston, Massachusetts from July 1999 until October 1999, Investors Capital Corp in Sun City West, Arizona from January 2000 until December 2005, Chase Investment Services Corp in Sun City West from July 2010 until October 2012, JP Morgan Securities in Sun City West from October 2012 until December 2012, Oppenheimer & Co. in Scottsdale, Arizona from February 2013 until March 2014 and Southeast Investmnets in Charlotte, North Carolina from March 2014 until June 2015. He has three customer disputes against him. Please call our securities law firm today to find out how you might be able to sue Chase Investment Services for financial losses. The call is free with no obligation.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Robert Edward Loftus, a former broker with Wells Fargo Advisors. According to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Disciplinary Proceeding, Loftus allegedly deposited checks that were drawn on his personal checking account into the brokerage account he held with his member firm employer, Wells Fargo. Loftus knew that he lacked sufficient funds to cover the checks at the time. He did so to benefit from the “float” on the checks. This is when an individual takes advantage of the time it takes to use non-existent funds in a bank account. It is against securities rules and regulations. Loftus did so to artificially inflate the balance in his Wells Fargo account and to prevent four checks he had written against it from bouncing. He was terminated from the firm on July 2nd, 2013.
Robert Edward Loftus was registered with E.F. Hutton & Company, Oppenheimer & Co., Morgan Stanley, Montgomery Securities, Banc of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo in New York, New York from March 2009 until July 2013. He is currently registered with Arcadia Securities in New York and has been since July 2013. He has four judgments/liens against him. If you invested money with Loftus and would like to speak to an attorney about your options of recovering your financial losses, please call our securities law firm to speak to an attorney about your options. The call to us is free and there is no obligation.
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.
Stoltmann Law Offices continues to investigate Royce O. Simpson, a former stockbroker with Oppenheimer & Co., who has two customer disputes against him. A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigation against him resulted in an eight-month suspension for Simpson and a fine of $15,000 to resolve allegations that he loaned money to a gold mining operation in Ghana, Africa. His firm, Oppenheimer, had denied him his request to participate in this outside business activity. The New Mexico Securities Division also instituted a case against him for alleged unsuitable recommendations in long-term U.S. agency bonds. The matter is still pending. A client brought a case against him while he was registered with UBS Financial Services, and alleged damages of $659,458 for overcharges on certain bond transactions.
Simpson was registered with Dover Group, First Ohio Securities, Shearson Lehman Hutton, Rotan Mosle Inc., Painewebber, HSBC Securities, Rodman & Renshaw, Everen Securities, JC Bradford & Co., UBS and Oppenheimer in Houston, Texas from November 2011 until February 2014. He has two customer disputes against him. If you would like to bring a claim against Royce O. Simpson, please call our securities law firm at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney. We take cases on a contingency fee basis.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Francisco Javier Sumavielle, who recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Sumavielle was accused of borrowing a total of $130,000 from two of his customers when he was registered with Murex Capital LLC. FINRA rules prohibits a registered representative from borrowing money from or lending money to any customer of that registered representative. For this, he was fined $12,500 and suspended from the industry for seven months.
According to his online BrokerCheck report, Sumavielle was registered with Oppenheimer & Co., Chase Manhattan Capital, Refco Securities, Pali Capital, Avila Capital Markets and Murex Capital in New York, New York from September 2012 until October 2014. He is not licensed within the industry. If you suffered losses with Sumavielle, please call our securities law offices in Chicago. We may be able to help you bring a claim against his former firm, Murex Capital for financial losses.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating customer complaints filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against former National Securities Corporation broker John Labarca. According to FINRA BrokerCheck records, Labarca was barred from the securities industry in February 2016. He was being investigated for breaching securities rules and regulations which include making unsuitable investment recommendations, making unauthorized trades and breaching fiduciary duty, among other claims. Labarca was registered with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, New York from October 1991 until July 1997, Gruntal & Co. in New York from July 1997 until May 2002, Ryan Beck & Co. in New York from April 2002 until June 2006, Wells Fargo Advisors in New York from June 2006 until February 2010 and National Securities Corp in Edison, New Jersey from February 2010 until February 2016. He has three customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. He has one criminal disposition against him. Call us today if you believe you have a claim against John Labarca. We may be able to help you sue his former firm, National Securities Corporation, for failing to reasonably supervise Labarca. The call to us is free.