Articles Posted in Broker Fraud

Pending Customer Disputes Involving David Lerner Associates Broker Rafael Klein Seek $300K in Damages

Rafael Scott Klein, a David Lerner Associates broker and Spirit of America Management Corp. investment advisor, may have unsuitably sold investments in Energy 11, LP to customers. Energy 11 is a non-traded limited partnership set up to acquire and develop natural gas and oil properties in the United States. It was marketed and sold through David Lerner Associates but is no longer available to new investors. 

According to BrokerCheck, Rafael Klein, who has been a David Lerner Associates registered representative for 15 years, is currently the subject of two pending customer disputes. 

Worden Capital Management’s Settlement Includes $1.2M in Customer Restitution

In December 2020, Worden Capital Management, a New York-based broker-dealer, arrived at an over $1.5M settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) over excessive trades made by the firm’s registered representatives. 

The self-regulatory organization (SRO) contends that from January 2015 to October 2019, the New York brokerage firm did not have the kind of supervisory system in place that would have allowed it to “achieve compliance” with rules having to do with churning and excessive trading.

Customers Claim That Northstar Financial Services Products Were Touted As Low Risk & Safe 

If you are an investor who suffered losses while investing in Northstar Financial Services products that were recommended to you by a SunTrust Investment Services stockbroker, please contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm investorlawyers.com) today so that we can help you explore your legal options. 

Unfortunately, there are financial advisors who may have marketed Northstar Financial Services’ investments as stable, safe, low risk, and liquid – like a CD or a money market account – even when that has proven to be far from the case.  Now, Northstar Financial Services is in bankruptcy and undergoing liquidation proceedings. It is very likely that investors have lost most of, if not their entire, investment.  

Triad Advisors and its Ex-Florida-Based Broker Placed Claimants Funds In Too Risky GPB Capital & REIT Investments  

Two Utah retirees have filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Triad Advisors, Inc. over losses they suffered from investing in GPB private placements and privately traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), including American Realty Capital Trust. Now they are seeking up to $500K in damages. 

The couple worked with former Triad Advisors broker Michael Payne, who is now a broker with Proequities, Inc. in Longwood, Florida. He also is a financial representative with Payne Financial Group in Winter Springs, Florida. 

Former Kentucky-Based Merrill Lynch Broker Gets Eight Years in Prison

Christopher Lee Hibbard, a former stockbroker for Merrill Lynch and Pierce, Fenner & Smith is sentenced to eight years in prison. The ex-Kentucky stockbroker pleaded guilty to investment fraud and multiple counts of wire fraud earlier this year. 

Hibbard, who worked 18 years in the industry, has 14 disclosures on his BrokerCheck record, including several pending customer disputes. All of them, including the regulator and criminal cases, were filed over the last two years. 

Seeking Greater Yield and Safety, Muni Bond Customers Encounter Defaults 

Despite the fact that the coronavirus has taken a toll on city and state finances, this isn’t stopping investors from buying municipal debt in a bid for greater yield and more safety than the markets can provide at this time. Unfortunately, because many municipalities don’t have the money to pay interest on the bonds, these muni bonds are defaulting. This is bad news for investors. 

If you suffered losses from the municipal bonds that your broker recommended to you, you may have grounds for an investor claim to recover your losses. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) represents municipal bond fraud investors nationwide. We can help you explore your legal options. 

FINRA Suspended New York Broker After Senior Investor Lost More Than $69K

Mack Leon Miller, a Spartan Capital Securities broker in New York, was suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) earlier this year. The self-regulatory organization (SRO) found that Miller excessively traded in an older investor’s account while he was with Spartan and before that while registered as a broker with Dawson James Securities. 

Miller consented to the sanctions but without admitting to or denying the findings. In addition to the suspension, which lasted from May 4 to October 3, 2020, Miller was ordered to pay $2500 in restitution. According to his BrokerCheck record, now that his suspension is over, Mack Miller remains a registered Spartan Capital Securities stockbroker. 

Florida-Based Financial Management Company Employee Allegedly Stole Money 

Albertín Aroldis Chapman de la Cruz, the star relief pitcher for the New York Yankees, has filed an investment fraud lawsuit against Pro Management Resources and several individuals. The financial management and tax planning company reportedly has also been serving as Chapman’s business manager for almost a decade. Now, the MLB pitcher is accusing the company of stealing $3M.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) represent investors in Florida that have suffered investment losses due to broker and financial fraud or negligence. Contact us at (813) 560-2992 or by using our online contact form so that we can help you explore your legal options.

Investors Who Were Sold Telecommunication Company’s Bonds Grapple with Losses 

In its second sale in two months, Frontier Communications Corp. wants to sell $2.8B in junk bonds to help pay for its exit from bankruptcy. 

According to sources that spoke with Bloomberg, this includes new $1.8B first-lien bonds at an about 5.25% yield and another $1B of second-lien notes at a 7 – 7.25% yield. The new bonds, along with an increase to an existing term loan, are meant to allow Frontier to pay back debt it owes that will mature in 2024 and 2026.

Retail Investors Were Allegedly Told To Hold Exchange-Traded Products for Too Long 

In separate settlements reached with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Royal Alliance Associates, Securities America Advisors, Summit Financial Group, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., and American Portfolio Financial Services / American Portfolio Advisers will pay over $3M in penalties and restitution for their allegedly unsuitable sales of exchange-traded products (ETPs) to customers between January 2016 and April 2020. The firms did not deny or admit to the findings. 

All of the respondents recommended and sold iPath S&P 500 VIX Short–Term Futures ETNs (VXX), which utilize short-terms futures contracts to try tracking the S&P 500 Index’s implied volatility. It also is considered one of the largest and most volatile ETPs and among the worst-performing from last year.

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