Articles Posted in Broker Fraud

When Your Financial Advisor Fails To Act In Your Best Interests

Your registered broker-dealer owes you a fiduciary obligation to act in your best interests. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Instead, your financial advisor might have unsuitably recommended an investment or trading strategy that was too risky for your risk tolerance level or engaged in unauthorized trading in your brokerage account without your permission. You also may have been the victim of outright broker fraud in which misappropriation or theft was involved. This is where our securities attorneys step in and help you.

Bottom line, financial advisors and their brokerage firms who breach their fiduciary duty to customers are placing them at risk of suffering significant investment losses. This is why breach of fiduciary is often what our securities lawyers hear as one of the most common claims made by investors seeking to pursue damages against a broker-dealer.

You May Be The Victim of a $58M Ponzi Scam

More than one year after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil lawsuit against deeproot Funds and its owner Robert J. Mueller accusing them of running an alleged $58M Ponzi Scam that defrauded nearly 300 investors, these same alleged victims are still struggling to recover their losses without a securities attorney. Unfortunately, waiting for the SEC’s case to conclude very likely won’t help deeproot investors get most, or maybe even any, of their money back. The Commission’s main priorities in these types of complaints are to hold parties that violate securities laws responsible and issue sanctions and penalties against them.

This is why if you are a deeproot investor, it is important that you explore your legal options with the help of a skilled Texas securities lawyer. You will want to go after your broker-dealer or financial advisor that recommended this speculative, unregistered, risky private investment vehicle while very likely failing to conduct the proper due diligence to ensure that the deeproot Funds were legitimate investment ventures.

SEC Obtains Default Judgment Against Former Cincinnati, Ohio Registered Representative 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a default judgment against Scott Allen Fries. He was a Transamerica Financial Advisors registered representative from 2014 to 2019. 

The regulator’s amended complaint accuses the former broker and investment advisor of raising approximately $458K from at least ten investors, including customers from the brokerage firm, and using the funds to pay for his personal expenses. Fries is barred from further fraud violations and must pay disgorgement of $428,334.53, a civil penalty of $208,500, and a prejudgment interest of $110,548.02.

Ohio Financial Advisor Andrew Elsoffer Named in Multiple Customer Disputes

Andrew Bruce Elsoffer, who Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. fired in 2018, is suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for two years, beginning March 7, 2022. The suspension comes in the wake of customer allegations that he exercised discretion in their accounts without their written authorization. 

He also allegedly lent money to one client, his personal friend, for home renovations without the firm’s approval. The friend later repaid him. 

Ex-UBS Financial Services Advisor Faces SEC and Criminal Charges

German Nino, a former UBS Financial Services (UBS) broker and investment advisor, is accused of stealing $5.8M from a customer. Nino, who left the broker-dealer in 2020, is now facing related civil charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and parallel criminal charges.

Our Florida broker misconduct lawyers are looking into claims of significant investment losses by other ex-customers of the financial advisor, German Nino. Contact us at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas today so that we can help you determine whether you have grounds for a FINRA arbitration claim to file for damages.  

FINRA Claims Former Financial Advisor Also Cost Investors Over Variable Annuities 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed a complaint accusing ex-Western International Securities registered representative Megurditch Mike Patatian of unsuitably recommending to 59 customers that they purchase non-traded real estate investment trusts (non-traded REITs). According to the self-regulatory organization (SRO), Patatian lacked reasonable grounds to make 81 recommendations to these customers.  Not only that, but for four of the non-traded REIT sales at issue, the ex-financial advisor recommended that they surrender their variable annuities (VAs), which caused them to have to pay surrender fees and incur taxes. 

These purportedly unsuitable recommendations which caused investors to lose money, occurred while Patatian was with Western International Securities in Westlake Village, CA. (After leaving that brokerage firm in 2020, he became a Supreme Alliance broker for less than a year in Charlotte, North Carolina.) 

Ex-New York Financial Advisor Has 15 Customer Disputes on BrokerCheck  

If you suffered investment losses while working with ex-Worden Capital Management stockbroker Allan Perry Montalbano, contact our New York financial advisor misconduct attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at Montalbano, who is no longer a registered broker or investment advisor, has 16 disclosures on BrokerCheck. Out of these, 15 are customer disputes. 

Call our New York broker misconduct attorneys at  (716) 261-3529. Throughout the US call SSEK Law Firm at (800) 259-2010. 

Denver, Colorado Financial Advisor Has 21 Disclosures on BrokerCheck 

If you suffered losses while working with Western International Securities registered investment advisor Peter Benedict Steege, our Denver, Colorado broker misconduct lawyers want to speak with you. Steege, who has been with this firm for 19 years, has 21 disclosures listed on BrokerCheck. Most of them are customer disputes. However, Steege was also named in a former criminal case  (now dismissed) that alleged petty theft and a few regulatory disputes. 

Our Denver broker negligence lawyers represent investors throughout the state and the rest of the US in their Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims over losses they sustained due to the wrongful or careless actions of their financial advisors. In Colorado, call SSEK Law Firm at (720) 439-2827.  You can also reach us nationwide at (800) 259-9010.

Determinación Similar Hecha en Procedimientos de Liquidación de Old Mutual (Islas Bermudas)

 El juez presidente de Islas Bermudas, Narinder Hargun y los Liquidadores Provisionales Conjuntos (LPCs) están de acuerdo en que sean nombrados representantes para toda clase de acreedores en los procedimientos de liquidación tanto para Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. como para Omnia, Ltd. La Corte Suprema de Islas Bermudas también proveyó dirección a los LPCs, luego que estos últimos determinaran que asuntos relacionados con la evaluación de la segregación de activos entre diferentes tipos de inversionistas podían impactar cuánto podrían recuperar todos ellos. Los inversionistas han estado esperando por esta notificación de septiembre para obtener respuestas en cuanto a qué, si algo, pudiera recuperarse. Claramente, no hay respuestas, y la próxima vista no puede celebrase hasta después del 21 de octubre, pero con toda probabilidad no se celebrará hasta el año próximo.

Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) y Old Mutual (Bermuda) fueron adquiridas por Global Bankers Insurance Group, la cual es propiedad de Greg Lindberg. Este billonario americano está cumpliendo más de siete años en prisión por conspiración para cometer fraude electrónico en servicios honestos y soborno. Mientras tanto, los inversionistas de ambas entidades de las Islas Bermudas están actualmente luchando para recuperar sus pérdidas.

Ex-Wisconsin Financial Advisor Bilked 27 Victims of $2.6M, Many of Them Older Investors 

Edward Earl Matthes, an ex-Mutual of Omaha Investor Services broker, is sentenced to 63 months behind bars for defrauding over two dozen investors, most of them older customers, in a $2.6M investment scam. He had pleaded guilty to multiple counts of wire fraud. 

Matthews was also the subject of a parallel Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit last year that ordered him to pay those he harmed $2.4M in restitution. The regulator permanently barred him from the industry. 

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