Articles Tagged with Oppenheimer

Stoltmann Law Offices, P.C. is a Chicago-based securities and investor rights law firm that offers representation on a contingency fee basis to victims of investment fraud nationwide. On August 20, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta) alleging that John Woods “has been running a massive Ponzi scheme for over a decade.” That is the first line of the complaint, which goes on to allege that more than 400 investors are owed over $110,000,000 on alleged investments in Horizon Private Equity Group, III, LLC.  The complaint also names Livingston Group Asset Management Company, d/b/a Southport Capital, which is a registered investment adviser firm owned and controlled by John Woods.

The sales pitch for these investments in Horizon promised returns of 6-7% interest guaranteed for 2 or 3 years.  These are not the sort of huge returns typically promised in a Ponzi scheme. In fact, these are pretty low returns when compared to the rate of return on the S&P 500 or even alternative investments like non-Traded REITs.  Ironically, now disgraced GPB Capital – which is also alleged by the SEC to be a massive Ponzi scheme, promised returns of 8%.  This sort of Ponzi scheme is more incendiary and falls into the Bernie Madoff category of promising lower, but consistent, rates of return. Investors who are victims of a Ponzi scheme promising 6-7% returns cannot say they should have known better because it was too good to be true.  Woods and his RIA represented that they would take investor funds and invest them in government bonds, stocks, and real estate projects. Investors were never told their money would be used to pay interest to earlier investors, which is what the SEC alleged they did on a massive scale. Horizon did not earn nearly enough returns through legitimate investments to pay investor interest payments and as such had to rely on new investor money to maintain those interest payments – a hallmark of a Ponzi scheme.

Victims need to look to potentially liable third parties for recovery while the SEC freezes Woods’ and Horizon’s assets and begins an accounting process that will likely take years.  The first target could be Oppenheimer.  According to the SEC complaint and FINRA, Woods was a registered representative for Oppenheimer until he was “asked to resign” in 2016 for failing to accurately disclose his involvement with Southport and Horizon. Many of his Oppenheimer clients invested in Southport and Horizon and unless Oppenheimer reached out to each of those clients and warned them that what Woods was doing was, at a minimum, not fully disclosed to Oppenheimer in violation of FINRA rules, then Oppenheimer could have liability to victims here.  Further, the SEC complaint states that Horizon primarily used two banks to move money, Bank of America and Iberiabank. They also used a custodial trust company.  These entities, depending on the details of their involvement, could also have liability to victims of this scam.

AdobeStock_82110313-1-300x125Did you or someone you know lose money with John Forsythe? If so, the attorneys at Stoltmann Law Offices are interested in speaking with you about those losses. Mr. Forsythe was previously registered with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, New York. He allegedly executed unsuitable, excessive and unauthorized trades, failed to follow instructions on an options transaction and permitted the execution of trades by an individual who was not a signatory on the accounts. These are against securities laws. Oppenheimer has a duty to reasonably supervise its registered brokers, and, if it does not, can be held liable for losses. Please call 312-332-4200 today if you suffered losses. We may be able to help you bring a claim against Oppenheimer on a contingency fee basis. The call to us is free with no obligation. Before Oppenheimer, Forsythe was registered with CIBC World Markets and First Jersey Securities.

AdobeStock_35532974-1-300x200According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Jason Likens allegedly borrowed money from two customers without the approval of his firm and made false attestations to his firm on two annual compliance questionnaires. These are against securities rule and regulations. For this he was fined $10,000 and suspended from the industry for 15 months. He was previously registered with Wachovia Securities in St. Louis, Missouri from January 2004 until January 2004, UBS in Asheville, North Carolina from March 2005 until November 2008, Stanford Group Company in Asheville from November 2008 until March 2009, Oppenheimer in Asheville from March 2009 until August 2016 and International Assets Advisory in Orlando, Florida from August 2016 until February 2017. He has three customer disputes against him, and he is currently not registered within the industry. Please call our securities law firm today to find out how you may be able to recover your losses by suing Oppenheimer on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if your recover your losses. Please call today, as there is a statute of limitations on most cases.

AdobeStock_123495998-1-300x197Beth DuToit has received two regulatory sanctions and was terminated from her most recent employer. She allegedly “had customers sign a blank form to facilitate the transfer of multiple accounts to the firm rather than have the customers sign transfer request forms for each of the accounts transferred.” Dutoit then submitted the forms with photocopied signatures to the firm as authentic. This was against securities laws. The Oklahoma Department of Securities sanctioned her in 2015 after allegations surfaced that she duplicated customer signatures on documents and placed a client’s initials on a firm document without the individual’s consent. This is also against securities laws. For this, she was issued a six month suspension and placed on heightened supervision for two years. More recently, she was issued a three month suspension and fined $5,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

She was previously registered with Aetna Investment Services, Nationwide Investment Services, GE Investment Distributors, CIM Securities, OppenheimerFunds Distributor Inc., Edward Jones and United Planners’ Financial Services of America A Limited Partner in Norman, Oklahoma from May 2015 until September 2015. She is not currently registered and is suspended from the industry. 312-332-4200.

AdobeStock_17493500-1-300x102According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Barbara Dalton Russell was accused of being involved in an outside business activity without providing full and complete written notice to her member firm, Divine Capital. This is against securities rules and regulations. The misconduct occurred between August 2013 and December 2013. For this, she was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member firm in any and all capacities for a period of two months.

According to her online, FINRA BrokerCheck report, Ms. Russell was registered with CIBC Oppenheimer Corp, Solid ISG Capital Markets, The Bank Street Group, Viant Capital LLC, National Securities Corp, Divine Capital in New York, New York from August 2013 until December 2013 and Race Rock Capital. She is currently employed at Detwiler Fenton & Co. in Boston, Massachusetts and has been since October 2015. Please call today if you lost money with Barbara Russell. We may be able to help you recover your losses on a contingency fee basis by bringing legal action against Divine Capital. The call is free with no obligation.

AdobeStock_33766885-1-300x200Stoltmann Law Offices has learned that Bambi Holzer, a former representative with Newport Coast Securities has been permanently barred from the industry. Allegedly, Ms. Holzer made unsuitable recommendations, misrepresented material facts, breached fiduciary duty, made unsuitable transactions and made unsuitable recommendations involving private placement securities, among other transgressions. She was registered with Wedbush Securities at the time of the allegations. She has been permanently barred from the industry.

According to her online Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, Ms. Holzer has 74 disclosures against her, with two customer disputes currently pending. She was registered with E.F. Hutton & Co., Shearson Lehman Hutton, Oppenheimer & Co., Bear, Stearns & Co., UBS Painewebber, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Brookstreet Securities Corp, Sequoia Equities Securities Corp, Wedbush Securities in Beverly Hills, California from June 2007 until April 2011 and Newport Coast Securities in Beverly Hills from March 2011 until August 2013. She is no longer registered within the industry and has been permanently barred.

Please call our securities law firm in Chicago if you suffered losses with Ms. Holzer. We may be able to help you recover your investment losses by suing her former firm, Wedbush Securities, on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum. Please call today as the call is free with no obligation. 312-332-4200.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Jeremy Hare. Allegedly, Hare negligently misrepresented material facts, breached fiduciary duty, breached contract, committed fraud, churned accounts, breached fiduciary duty, executed unauthorized trades, made unsuitable recommendations and charged “exorbitant” commissions, among other things. All of these are against securities rules and regulations. Churning, otherwise known as excessive trading, is a particularly egregious transgression, as it charges the client unnecessary fees and garners large commissions for the broker. Jeremy Hare’s former firm, Gilford Securities, can be held liable for investment losses suffered by investing with him. We may be able to help you bring a claim against the firm in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. Please call today for your free consultation with one of our Chicago-based attorneys.

Hare was registered with American Eagle Investments in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from June 1995 until May 1997, First Union Capital Markets in Charlotte, North Carolina from April 1997 until October 1999, Wachovia Securities in Philadelphia from October 1999 until April 2008, Oppenheimer in Philadelphia from April 2008 until August 2011 and Gilford Securities in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania from August 2011 until August 2012. He has 19 customer disputes against him, two of which are currently pending. He has one criminal disposition against him and has been permanently barred from the industry.

Did you lose money with Oppenheimer & Co.? If so, the attorneys at Stoltmann Law Offices may be able to help you recover those losses in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum. Oppenheimer has been under scrutiny lately, after being fined $1.575 million and ordered to pay $1.85 million to customers by FINRA for violating FINRA rules, including failing to report more than 350 required filings. Among these required filings are disciplinary actions against its employees and settlements of securities-related arbitration and litigation claims. Additionally, FINRA found that the firm failed to produce relevant documents during discovery to seven arbitration claimants. Subsequently, FINRA ordered Oppenheimer to provide the relevant documents to those claimants and fined the firm $700,000. Oppenheimer allegedly also failed to reasonably supervise the sales charge waivers in eligible mutual fund sales. Because of this, FINRA ordered Oppenheimer to pay eligible customers $1.14 million in remediation. If you suffered losses with Oppenheimer, please call our Chicago-based securities law firm today to speak to one of our attorneys about your options of suing Oppenheimer on a contingency fee basis.

Stoltmann Law Offices continues to investigate Stephen Eubanks, a former broker at Bright Trading LLC in Massachusetts. Eubanks was arrested yesterday on charges of wire fraud. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Securities Division alleged that Eubanks ran a ponzi scheme in which he took money from investors, many of them neighbors and friends. The state alleged that Eubanks ran a purported hedge fund, Eubiquity Capital LLC, of which Eubanks was the alleged hedge fund manager. In reality, Eubanks spent most of the investor money on vacations, boat payments, restaurants, and payment of a federal tax lien. If you fell victim to Stephen Eubanks, you may be able to recover your losses in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. Please call our law offices based in Chicago, Illinois today at 312-332-4200 to speak to one of our attorneys about your options. The call is free with no obligation.

According to his online FINRA BrokerCheck report, Eubanks was registered with IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota from October 1992 until May 1994, American Express Financial Advisors in Minneapolis from October 1992 until May 1994, Smith Barney in New York, New York from June 1994 until September 1997, UBS in Weehawken, New Jersey from September 1997 until May 2004, Bear, Stearns in New York from April 2004 until April 2005, Oppenheimer & Co. in Boston, Massachusetts from April 2005 until May 2006 and Bright Trading in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 2010 until August 2016. He has three customer disputes against him. He is no longer licensed within the industry.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it fined Oppenheimer & Co. $1.575 million and ordered it to pay $1.85 million to customers for failing to report required information to the regulatory body, failing to produce documents in discovery to customers who filed arbitrations and for not applying applicable sales charge waivers to customers. Allegedly, over several years, Oppenheimer failed to report to FINRA more than 350 required filings, including securities-related arbitration and litigation claims. The firm made the filings more than four years late, on many occasions. Oppenheimer also did not disclose, in a timely manner, the fact that its Anti-Money-Laundering Compliance Officer and another employee received Wells notices from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Additionally, between 2010 and 2013, Oppenheimer failed to produce relevant documents that stated that Mark Hotton, a former broker with the firm, had excessively traded multiple customer accounts. Previously, Oppenheimer paid more than $6 million to resolve customer arbitration claims related to the supervision of Hotton. FINRA also ordered Oppenheimer to pay $1.25 million in restitution to 22 additional customers who suffered losses but had not filed arbitration claims.

FINRA found that Oppenheimer failed to reasonably supervise the applications of sales charge waivers to eligible mutual fund sales. To date, the firm has paid those customers $1.14 million in remediation because of their qualification to receive the applicable mutual fund sales charge waivers, but did not.

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