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Guggenheim Defined Portfolio Trust is Too Risky for Many Retail Investors 

If you suffered losses after investing in the Guggenheim Defined Portfolio’s BDC Scorecard Portfolio Series 18 (CBDRX), our broker negligence and investment fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas would like to talk to you. 

Unfortunately, this investment may have been recommended and/or sold to customers even when it was unsuitable for their portfolios. If this is the case, you may be able to recover your losses by filing a FINRA arbitration claim. 

Joseph Michaletz Named in Multiple Customer Disputes Since December 2019

Joseph Gerard Michaletz, a Dai Securities broker, is the subject of seven customer complaints that were filed over the last eight months. The allegations against him claim that he sold GPB private placements to customers for whom they were unsuitable. This happened while he was a registered representative for Concorde Investment Services and before that with Triad Advisors.  

GPB Capital Holdings LLC  is accused of operating a $1.8B Ponzi scam. Many brokers and their firms did not perform the proper due diligence to make sure that the GPB Funds were legitimate investments that were safe and suitable for customers. 

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Admits To Criminal Investment Fraud, Faces SEC Charges

Michael Barry Carter, a former Morgan Stanley (MS) broker, has pleaded guilty to federal investment fraud and wire fraud charges involving a scam in which he defrauded five customers. This included at least one elderly client, of more than $6M. The scheme took place over 12 years. After his acts of broker fraud were uncovered, Carter took money from other investors to pay back his other victims.

Morgan Stanley fired Carter last year. He also is now facing parallel Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) civil charges.

FINRA Bars Former Registered Representative Following Probe Into Accusations

Bryant Edwin Caveness, an ex-Ameriprise Financial Services stockbroker, has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after he stopped cooperating in the self-regulatory organization (SRO)’s probe into his firing by the firm. 

According to his Form U5 termination letter, the broker-dealer let him go last month because he violated company policies involving “personal trade, ethics, and solicitation of exchange-traded products” resulting in stockbroker fraud and misconduct. 

Former National Securities Stockbroker Named in Over 12 Customer Disputes

Thomas Edison Kelly, Jr., an Aegis Capital broker, has been the subject of a number of customer complaints between 2013 and 2020, three of which are still pending. 

Prior to working for Aegis Capital in 2018, Kelly was a National Securities broker for 10 years. Before that, he was with First Republic Group from 1998 to 2008. First Republic was expelled by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2019. According to a 2017 Reuters report analyzing FINRA data, National Securities is one of 48 firms that hire brokers with red flags on their record.

Delayed Filing with the SEC Shows 45.2% Drop in AUM Over 18 Months 

Last month, GPB Capital Holdings finally filed its Form ADV with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) after requesting an extension from the regulator in 2019.  

In the form, the alternative asset firm, which is already under siege in the wake of numerous federal and state regulator investigations, an FBI probe, and lawsuits accusing it of operating a massive Ponzi scam, reported a $196.3M decline in assets under management (AUM) over 18 months from the end of 2017 to the end of June 2019. That’s a 45.2% drop from $434.3M in AUM to $238.6M. 

Colorado Investment Firm Fined $200K For Investing Unqualified Buyers Into Unsuitable Investments 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered First Western Capital Management Co. to pay a $200K fine over allegations that, over a 7-year period, it invested over $666M of clients’ funds into securities that they didn’t qualify for. As a result, 81 clients were placed in securities that were reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs), which are investors that have at least $100M in assets.

The firm is a Denver-based investment adviser. Our Colorado investment fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas are offering free case consultations to customers that were harmed by these unsuitable investment recommendations and sales that the SEC says were initiated by at least nine of First Western’s investment adviser representatives. Contact us today at (720) 439-2827

Galvin’s Office Files Civil Lawsuit Alleging Overconcentration, Unsuitable Investments 

William Galvin, the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has filed civil charges against former NEXT Financial Group broker, Charles Chester Kulch. 

The state is accusing him of selling real estate investment trusts (REITs) and variable annuities (VA) to customers for whom they were unsuitable and overconcentrating their portfolios in these high risk, illiquid investments.

Former Financial Representative Is Facing Criminal Trial for Annuity Fraud 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined Northwestern Mutual Investment Services $350K for failing to properly supervise former stockbroker, Sampson Pearson, which enabled him to defraud customers of $570K. Northwestern Mutual Investment Services is the brokerage arm of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Pearson, who was barred by the self-regulatory organization (SRO) in 2017, is charged in federal court with aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, and filing false tax returns. According to his BrokerCheck record, he is named in 13 disclosures, including 11 customer disputes. 

Ex-New Hampshire Governor is Suing For Damages 

The New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation is looking into allegations brought by the state’s former governor, Craig Benson, who is accusing ex-Merrill Lynch brokers Dermod Cavanaugh and Charles Kenahan of churning his account and causing over $50M in damages that with market adjustments, he claims, is now over $100M. Benson filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against the broker-dealer and the two men.

Merrill Lynch is a Bank of America (BAC) subsidiary. Churning is when a broker makes excessive trades in a customer’s account in order to earn commissions.

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