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Articles Posted in Financial Firms

Investors May Have Lost Up to $70M in Northstar Bermuda Products

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) is continuing to speak to investors who suffered losses in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) products that were sold to them by Bankoh Investment Services brokers. The broker-dealer is the securities arm of the Bank of Hawaii. 

Our investment fraud attorneys are also investigating claims of losses in Northstar Bermuda products from investors who worked with brokers from Truist Investment Services (SunTrust Investment Services), Ocean Financial Services, and any other firms. Unfortunately, investors may have collectively lost up to $70M.

Allegedly Unsuitable Recommendations Caused Senior Investor Loss of Savings

A Brunswick, Georgia retiree has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration case against broker-dealer MML Investors Services, LLC. The investor contends that a broker from the firm overconcentrated his IRA and a non-IRA account in CNL Lifestyle Properties, which is an illiquid, privately traded real estate investment trust (non-traded REIT). 

This caused him to lose a large portion of his savings. Now, the investor is alleging failure to supervise, unauthorized transactions, securities fraud, broker negligence, breach of duty, breach of contract, violation of state securities laws, and other claims.  He is seeking up to $100K plus interest and costs.  

Former Customer of Florida Broker is Seeking $245K In Damages

Maria Florencia Calcena, currently an Infinex Investments broker in Palm Beach, Florida, is named in a $245K investor claim in which the customer invested in a product from Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. 

The investor is alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and violation of Florida’s Investor Protection Act during Calcena’s time as an Ocean Financial Services registered representative. 

New York Investment Advisor Has Several Customer Disputes on His BrokerCheck Record 

Brian Wurdemann, an RBC Capital Markets registered representative, is named in a still-pending customer dispute in which the customer is seeking $1M in damages. The claimant contends that Wurdemann misrepresented three mutual funds, first while he was a UBS broker up through when he went to work at RBC Capital Markets.  

This is one of several customer disputes involving Wurdemann, including one from 2004 that appears to still be pending. 

Inversionista Latinoamericano alega Abuso y Fraude Financiero contra Ancianos 

En una reclamación de arbitraje ante la Autoridad Reguladora de la Industria Financiera (FINRA) contra Truist Investment Services, Inc. (t/c/c SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.), un jubilado de América Latina reclama hasta $500 mil en daños. La reclamante sostiene que su corredora le recomendó inadecuadamente invertir dicha cantidad de dinero en Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. La compañía solicitó protección por quiebra el año pasado.

Truist es la unidad de corredores/agentes de bolsa de SunTrust Bank. La compañía está registrada con FINRA. Los agentes de ambas entidades promovieron fuertemente los productos de inversión y anualidades de renta fija y variable de Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda), los cuales pagaban comisiones, bonos y otros incentivos que eran mayores que los ofrecidos por los productos más típicos de SunTrust Bank.

SSEK Law Firm Is Representing Arkansas Retiree In $500K Customer Dispute 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has barred ex-LPL Financial stockbroker, Rhett Douglas Bedwell after he refused to provide key documents into the self-regulatory organization’s probe into allegations that he invested funds from a client’s IRA in a Ponzi scheme. According to LinkedIn, Bedwell, who is based in Bentonville, Arkansas, is president and a financial advisor at Homestead Wealth Management.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) is representing this customer, an Arkansas retiree, in his $500K broker-dealer negligence case against the brokerage firm. If you are another investor who lost money while working with ex-LPL Financial broker Rhett Bedwell or another registered representative from that firm, contact us today to request your free, no-obligation case assessment. 

Latin American Investor Alleges Elder Financial Fraud And Abuse 

In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Truist Investment Services, Inc. (aka SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.), a retiree in Latin America is seeking up to $500K in damages. The claimant contends that her broker unsuitably recommended that she invest that amount in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. The company filed for bankruptcy protection last year. 

Truist is SunTrust Bank’s broker-dealer unit. The firm is registered with FINRA. Both entities’ agents heavily promoted Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda)’s fixed- and variable-rate annuity and investment products, which paid commissions, bonuses and other incentives that were greater than what the more typical SunTrust bank products offered. 

Former David Lerner Associate Broker May Have Sold Spirit of America Energy Fund Among Others to Customers  

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has suspended Florida-based broker, Charles Bonilla, for six months. The action comes over allegations that he unsuitably recommended two energy investments to customers while he was a David Lerner Associates stockbroker without having enough knowledge about them.  

Bonilla agreed to the FINRA suspension. He will pay both a $5K penalty and more than $22,400 in disgorgement plus interest. However, he is not denying or admitting to the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO’s) findings. 

Ex-New York Stockbroker Named In Multiple Customer Disputes 

Apostolos Nicolas Pitsironis, a former-Janney Montgomery Scott registered representative who was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2019 for allegedly defrauding investors, was arrested on February 10 in Dix Hills, New York in a parallel criminal fraud case. Prosecutors contend that he used ex-customers’ funds to pay his expenses, including gambling debts and credit card charges. 

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York,  Pitsironis stole $411K out of one couple’s account. If convicted of wire fraud, Pitsironis could spend up to 20 years behind bars.

FINRA Arbitration Claim Seeks $250K in Damages, Possibly Involving Energy 11 LP

An investor has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim naming David Lerner Associate, Glenn Howard Werner. Seeking $250K in damages, the claimant contends that misrepresentations and omissions, unsuitable investment recommendations, and a breach of fiduciary duty occurred. 

While not specified in Werner’s BrokerCheck, some sources report that mutual funds and energy investments, including Energy 11, LP may have been involved.

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