Accelerated Capital Group entered into a Disciplinary Proceeding with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to the Proceeding, Accelerated allegedly failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures (WSPs), reasonably designed to achieve compliance with federal securities laws and FINRA rules. “The firm failed to reasonably supervise trading activity to ensure that all securities transactions were suitable, not excessive, and properly authorized by the firm’s customers; failed to monitor mutual fund switches, exchanges and sales for suitability; failed to ensure that its registered representatives informed customers of potential breakpoints when purchasing mutual fund products; and, failed to reasonably identify or respond to red flags of broker misconduct.” These are all against securities laws.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Wells Fargo broker Jeffrey Wilson, who was accused of unsuitable investment advice concerning various investment products including energy stocks that likely include master limited partnerships (MLPs). In August 2017, a customer alleged that Wilson recommended the purchase of unsuitable energy securities in or around August 2014. The claim is currently pending. In May 2016, another client alleged that Wilson, from June 2014 through November 2015, made unsuitable investments in oil and energy investments. This was settled for $250,000. Oil and gas investments can be risky and highly illiquid ones that are not suitable for every investor because of the decline in the price of oil. Many investors lost significant amounts of money because of these investments. A broker must take into account a client’s age, net worth, investment objectives and investment risk tolerance before recommending or selling any investment. If he does not, his brokerage firm may be liable for losses on a contingency fee basis in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
According to FINRA records, Mr. Wilson was previously registered with New York Life Securities Corp from October 1983 until August 1985, Merrill Lynch in Las Cruces, Mexico from September 1985 until October 2007, Morgan Stanley in Las Cruces from October 2007 until June 2009 and Morgan Stanley in Las Cruces from June 2009 until June 2014. He is currently registered with Wells Fargo in Las Cruces and has been since May 2014. He has four customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending.
According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Kevin Jedlicka allegedly violated securities laws. Mr. Jedlicka was previously registered through Chapin Davis. Allegedly, between January 30th, 2015 and January 22nd, 2016, he engaged in a pattern of unsuitable short-term trading of Class A mutual fund shares and Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) in customer accounts. This led to his suspension from the industry for six months. It was against securities laws and internal firm rules. UITs tend to be high-risk and illiquid investments that are not suitable for all investors, and a broker has a duty to only recommend and sell those securities that are suitable for the investor based on his age, net worth, investment objectives and investment sophistication. If he does not, his brokerage firm can be held liable for losses.
According to his online, FINRA BrokerCheck report, Mr. Jedlicka was previously registered with Alex Brown & Sons Inc., Global Financial Group, Dean Witter Reynolds, First Union Brokerage Services, Wells Fargo, Chapin, Davis in Baltimore, Maryland from October 2010 until July 2013, BB&T Securities, Chapin, Davis in Baltimore from January 2015 until February 2016 and Capital Portfolio Management. He is not currently registered as a broker.
Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking to those investors who have invested with Merrill Lynch broker Charles Friedlander. A recent lawsuit alleges that, clients of Friedlander’s, a retired couple were looking to generate a stable income stream to sustain them through retirement and relied upon Friedlander and the research of Merrill Lynch to select suitable investments that would preserve their capital while producing income. The lawsuit alleges that Friedlander was pushing oil and gas investments in master limited partnerships (MLPs) and allegedly represented them as safe and secure. By 2014, the concentration into energy in their accounts was over 70%. Even though the clients lost money in those investments, Friedlander continued to advise them to invest more money into the oil and gas sector, even though it was not suitable for them based on their age, net worth, risk tolerance and investment objectives. A broker must take these factors into account before recommending or selling any investments, and, if he does not, his brokerage firm may be liable for losses. Oil and gas and energy investments tend to be high-risk and illiquid ones, which, in this case, caused the retired couple to lose over $350,000 of their irreplaceable retirement savings. The lawsuit alleges negligence, negligent supervision, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.
Mr. Friedlander was previously registered with Lehman Brothers in New York, New York from November 1987 until July 1993, Citigroup in Garden City, New York from July 1993 until June 2009 and Morgan Stanley in Garden City from June 2009 until March 2013. He is currently registered with Merrill Lynch in Garden City and has been since February 2013. He has one customer dispute against him. This is according to his online BrokerCheck report with FINRA.
According to public, online records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), John Schneider was accused of making unsuitable recommendations, over-concentrating accounts and failing to supervise, among other things. In June 2017, a customer claimed that after receiving a 50% return of principal on a real estate private placement investment the investment became worthless. Another customer alleged unauthorized trading, inadequate supervision, and unsuitable investments that took place from June 2010 through May 2016 causing $100,000 in damages. This was in July 2016. These are all against securities laws and internal firm rules. A broker has a responsibility to treat investors fairly, which included obligations such as doing his due diligence on every security, and only making recommendations and sales that are suitable for the client. In order to make a suitable recommendation, a broker must meet certain requirements based on his assessment of the client’s age, net worth, investment objectives and investment risk tolerance. If he does not do so, his brokerage firm may be liable for losses on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum.
John Martin Schneider was previously registered with Walnut Street Securities in El Segundo, California from August 1993 until September 1997, Bill Few Securities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from September 1997 until February 2008 and PWA Securities in Pittsburgh from January 2008 until September 2017. He has five customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. He is not currently registered as a broker, according to his online, BrokerCheck report with FINRA.
Recently, Edward McFarlane was suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and fined $5,000 for allegedly recommending and effecting unsuitable transactions involving inverse, leveraged and inverse-leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in client accounts. FINRA stated that the ETFs that Mr. McFarlane recommended did not suit the client’s financial situation, conservative investment objectives and minimal risk tolerance. ETFs are highly risky and illiquid investments that are not suitable for all investors, and a broker must do his due diligence to determine whether or not the security is suitable based on a client’s age, investment objectives and risk tolerance, among other facts. ETFs are also only meant to be held for a short amount of time, but McFarlane held the non-traditional ETFs in the accounts for as long as 470 days with an average holding period of 40 days. Because of this, the client suffered total losses of approximately $48,524.79. He was suspended from the industry for almost two months.
McFarlane was previously registered with SEI Investments Distribution Co., 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 is suspended from the industry.
If you would like more information about how you may be able to bring a claim against International Assets Advisory for Edward McFarlane investment losses, please call us today, as your no-cost consultation has no obligation. Attorneys are standing by. We sue firms like IAA in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis in order to recover funds for customers.
Investors who were recommended the Direxion Energy Bull 3X ETF (ERX) by their financial advisor may have an actionable claim to recover those investment losses. Financial advisers under FINRA Conduct Rules have an obligation to recommend suitable, appropriate investments. The suitability of the transaction is governed by factors like the clients, age, net worth, actual investment objectives, future earnings potential and other related topics. Brokers are also obligated to perform due diligence on various investments before recommending them. Unfortunately, many of the financial advisers who recommended the Direxion Energy Bull 3X ETF (ERX) made a grossly unsuitable and inappropriate recommendation. The investment sought results of 300% of the performance of the Energy Select Sector Index. The fund creates long positions by investing at least 80% of its assets in the securities that comprise the Energy Select Sector Index and/or financial instruments that provide leveraged and unleveraged exposure to the index. It is therefore non-diversified. These financial instruments include: futures contracts; options on securities, indices and futures contracts; equity caps, floors and collars; swap agreements; forward contracts; short positions; reverse repurchase agreements; exchange-traded funds; and other financial instruments. This was therefore a highly volatile security that simply wasn’t appropriate or suitable for most investors. If you’d like a free review by an attorney as to whether ERX losses can be recovered through a contingency fee FINRA arbitration action or lawsuit, please call us in Chicago at 312.332.4200.
Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Mark Trewitt, a registered broker with VFG Securities in Plano, Texas. Trewitt has been accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentations, many of them involving direct participation products (DPPs) and private placements including non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other alternative investments. Many of these investments are risky and illiquid and come with high costs and have historically underperformed safe benchmarks, such as US treasury bonds. Many of these investments are not suitable for all customers. A broker must take into account a customer’s age, net worth, investment sophistication and investment objectives. If a broker recommends a security that is not suitable for the customer, his brokerage firm can be sued for financial losses. Please call our Chicago law firm at 312–332–4200 today to speak to an attorney about your options of suing VFG Securities for losses sustained with Mark Trewitt.
Trewitt was registered with Sun Investment Services, AIG Equity Sales, Cadaret, Grant & Co., Ogilvie Security Advisors Corp, Walnut Street Securities, Kalos Capital and Madison Avenue Securities. He is currently registered with VFG Securities in Plano and has been since November 2010. He has four customer disputes against him, three of which are currently pending.
Seadrill Partners LLC is a limited liability company formed by Seadrill Limited (NYSE: SDRL) to own, operate and acquire offshore drilling rigs and operates as an offshore drilling contractor. The investment currently trades on the NYSE for less than $5 a share. Brokers at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and UBS sold this investment to retail investors. If the firm didn’t disclose the full risks or failed to make a suitable, appropriate investment the losses can be recovered through the FIRNA arbitration process or class action lawsuits. Please call our legal team in Chicago to hear about all legal options or visit www.InvestmentfraudTimes.com
According to a recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Richard Graham was accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations regarding the sale of unit investment trusts (UITs) while employed at Huntingont Investment Company. A UIT is a type of investment that represents undivided interests in a relatively fixed portfolio of securities. Many times these consist of common stock of closed-end investment companies (known as closed-end funds). UITs typically are risky and illiquid investments, not suitable for all investors. Many times they are junk bonds and these are subject to very high risk. A broker must take into account a customer’s net worth, investment objectives and age before recommending investments. If he does not, his investment firm can be liable for financial losses because of failure to supervise him.
In Graham’s case, according to his AWC, allegedly, he recommended to a customer couple who did not speak English, that they make two purchases of the Van Kampen Unit Investment Trust Closed End Strategy Master Municipal Income Portfolio Series 30 in November of 2012. The couple invested $149,994.48, and, a month later, $199,993.99. Graham was aware that the couple’s risk tolerance was “conservative” and that they had a “short” investment time horizon. They also had limited investment knowledge and sophistication. In all, the customers lost $79,297.70. On a separate occasion, Graham recommended that a 98-year-old customer invest approximately 42% of her net worth in UITs. This was highly unsuitable for a customer of her age, and she lost money in the transactions. For these transgressions, Graham was fined $10,000 and suspended from the industry for two months.
Richard Graham was registered with Woodbury Financial Services in Oakdale, Minnesota from July 2001 until October 2003, Natcity Investments in Cleveland, Ohio from October 2003 until June 2005, The Huntington Investment Company in Lafayette, Indiana from July 2005 until July 2013 and JP Morgan Securities in Indianapolis, Indiana from July 2013 until August 2016. He has seven customer disputes against him and he is not licensed within the industry, according to his online FINRA BrokerCheck report. Please call 312-332-4200 to speak to one of our attorneys today if you lost money with Richard Graham. We may be able to help you sue Huntington in the FINRA arbitration process on a contingency fee basis to recover your losses. The call is free.