Articles Tagged with woodbury

Chicago-based Stoltmann Law Offices represents investors who’ve suffered losses from alternative investments. Some brokers like to pitch investors on the idea of making a lot of money by investing in alternative investments, mostly because brokers get paid handsome commissions for selling them.  GPB Capital and more recently, GWG Holdings are examples of alternative investments that were pushed hard by brokerage firms, with terrible results. There is a sub-category of these investments called “liquid alternative”, which are complex and costly for clients.

FINRA, the U.S. securities industry regulator, recently issued a warning about liquid “alts,” which invest in assets “other than stocks and bonds — such as real estate, commodities and derivatives — to give retail investors exposure to alternative investments in a vehicle that can be traded daily. They are touted as a way to beat market returns but also can be risky and expensive.”

“While these funds may be appropriate for some investors,” the regulator’s warning stated, “FINRA has consistently emphasized the importance of member firms’ sales practice obligations for these and other products, especially when such products may carry additional risks for customers.” These products are inappropriate for investors unless their objective is speculation – plain and simple.

Joseph R. Butler, a former registered representative with Innovation Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina, was barred from the securities industry. He was also ordered to pay $170,408.18 plus interest, in restitution to his former customer. Allegedly, Butler converted an elderly customer’s funds and named himself the beneficiary of her annuity by submitting a falsified beneficiary change request form falsely representing that he was her son. The customer was allegedly suffering from declining mental health and relied on him to help manage her finances. Butler allegedly withdrew funds from the customer’s bank account by writing and cashing checks made payable to himself and to “cash,” made wire transfers from the account to his own, and used her accounts to pay his personal tax liabilities. Butler went so far as to take her to his attorney, where she was made to execute papers naming Butler as her personal representative and the primary beneficiary under her will, and giving him power of attorney. These are all against securities rules and regulations.

Mr. Butler was registered with Woodbury Financial Services in Clinton, Maryland from June 1997 until August 2012 and Innovation Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina from October 2012 until October 2015. He is not currently registered with any firm. He has two customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. He is not licensed and FINRA has permanently barred him. Please call our Chicago-based law firm today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys if you lost money with Mr. Butler. We may be able to help you bring a claim against his former firm, Innovation Partners in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. 312-332-4200.

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