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Texas-Based Brokerage Firm Accused of Overconcentration & Supervisory Failures

NEXT Financial Group has arrived at a $750K settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve claims that the Texas-based broker-dealer overconcentrated customer accounts in Puerto Rico municipal bonds and did not have the kind of supervisory system that could have identified unsuitable trades. 

The self-regulatory organization (SRO) also contends that from January 2012 to February 2019 NEXT Financial Group did not set up, maintain, or enforce supervisory systems and written procedures that could have identified and stopped the short-term trading of Puerto Rico bonds and mutual funds when they were unsuitable for customers. 

Former Tucson, Arizona Financial Advisor Has Two Pending Complaints on Record

If you suffered losses while working with ex-Morgan Stanley registered representative Francisco Javier Valenzuela, you may have grounds for a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim to recover your losses. Valenzuela, who is also a former registered investment advisor, has seven disclosures on his BrokerCheck record, including two pending disputes. 

Our broker negligence attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) are looking into customer claims of investment losses they experienced while working with Francisco Valenzuela or any other Morgan Stanley registered representative. If you are one of these investors, call (800) 259-9010 today.

Ex-Middleboro, Massachusetts LPL Financial Advisor Could Be Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Paul Richard McGonigle, a former LPL Financial broker, has been arrested for allegedly stealing clients’ retirement assets, including older investors. He is charged with aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, and multiple counts of wire fraud. McGonigle could spend 20 years behind bars if convicted.

According to prosecutors, starting in July 2018, McGonigle caused unauthorized withdrawals from clients’ annuities and persuaded some of them to allow him to invest their funds. Instead, the broker allegedly used their money to pay for his expenses.  He is accused of posing as his victims during calls with annuity companies and signing as them on forms asking for the annuity withdrawals.

Investors’ Best Recourse For Financial Recovery is to Work With Experienced FINRA Attorneys 

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) continues to zealously go after the brokerage firms whose registered representatives unsuitably recommended and sold Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) products to their customers. 

Already, we’ve filed several Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims against broker-dealers on behalf of investors. 

Charles Schwab Should Have Known RIAs Were Promoting the Fund 

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) is looking into losses suffered by Vida Longevity Fund, LP investors. Many investors were recommended this open-ended hedge fund by Creative Planning, Pine Oak Investment Advisors, or other registered investment advisors (RIAs) that Charles Schwab Corporation referred them to. 

While it is not uncommon for Schwab to recommend RIAs to clients, the broker-dealer either knew or should have known that these firms were marketing the Fund to customers.

SEC Said Firm Didn’t Implement Proper Safeguards To Prevent Misappropriation

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined Securities America Advisors $1.75M for allegedly not doing enough to protect customers from having their money stolen by a former registered representative who misappropriated $8M from at least 15 client accounts. Hector May has pleaded guilty to investment advisor fraud.

Securities America Advisors is the RIA arm of Securities America, Inc.,  which is owned by Advisor Group Holdings Inc.’s Securities America Financial Corporation. Securities America has been the introducing broker for Securities America Advisors customers.

Old Mutual Investor Seeks Up To $500K in Damages

An investor from Mexico has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration case against J.P. Morgan Securities over the losses she suffered in Old Mutual (Bermuda). The off-shore entity is owned by Greg Lindberg’s Global Bankers, which also owns Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda). 

The latter is already the subject of many FINRA arbitration claims against the broker-dealers and their registered representatives that unsuitably recommended products from that off-shore entity to its customers.

Family of Senior Investor Pursues Up to $500K in Damages on His Behalf

The family of a Connecticut widower has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against David Lerner Associates after the older investor suffered a six-figure loss in Energy 11 and Energy Resources 12, which are sold exclusively by the brokerage firm to its customers. 

The claimant, who suffers from diminished capacity and is not fluent in English, is an unsophisticated investor who should never have been invested in these oil and gas-related investments. Yet for whatever reason, a David Lerner Associates broker unsuitably recommended both of these financial products. 

Northstar (Bermuda) Investor is Seeking Up to $500K in Damages

An investor in Nagoya, Japan has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration case against Bancwest Investment Services after she suffered six-figure losses in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda)

The claimant, who is an inexperienced investor, was referred to her Bancwest Investment Services broker by Bank of the West, which was her bank at the time. Now, she is requesting up to $500K in damages. 

SRO Was Investigating Trading Activity in Customers’ Accounts

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has barred Salvatore Pizzimenti from the industry. The ex-Worden Capital Management broker was under investigation for trades made in customers’ accounts. The industry bar came after Pizzimenti refused to give testimony in the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO’s) probe into the allegations.

Salvatore Pizzimenti, a former New York broker, has six disclosures on his BrokerCheck record. Aside from the bar, the other five are customer disputes.

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