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Articles Posted in Financial Firms

Following Bankruptcy Proceedings, Bondholders Turn to FINRA Arbitration 

Now that Frontier Communications Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection, investors who bought the company’s bonds may be grappling with how to recover their losses. 

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm), our bond fraud lawyers are here to tell you that you may have grounds for a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against the broker that sold you these investments. 

Senior Investor’s Loses Retirement Funds Because of Unsuitable Investment

An Arkansas retiree has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority  (FINRA) arbitration claim against LPL Financial for losses he suffered because of the unsuitable recommendation of Rhett Douglas Bedwell, one of the broker-dealer’s former registered representatives. Bedwell, who is no longer a  stockbroker or investment advisor, is accused of defrauding a number of customers. 

Now, this retiree is seeking up to $500K in investment loss damages after Bedwell invested a significant portion of his retirement funds in what appears to have been a Ponzi scam involving Small World Capital and the now defunct, Graysail Capital. 

The Latest Customer Claim Accuses Investment Advisor of Excessive Trading 

Once again, an investor is blaming former Morgan Stanley stockbroker, Michael Frank Paesano, for their investment losses. These latest allegations involve excessive trading. 

Although Paesano is no longer a registered broker, he is still a registered investment advisor and he may be affiliated with Axiom Investment Management. During Paesano’s 26 years in the industry, there have been more than twenty customer complaints brought against him. While four of these cases were denied, all of the other resolved claims have led to significant settlements, including one for $1.2M.

Morgan Stanley Settlement Includes FINRA Fine and Investor Restitution 

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has consented to pay a $175K fine and more than $774K in restitution for allegedly failing to supervise its former broker Kevin Gunnip. 

The Texas-based financial representative is accused of excessively trading in preferred securities and corporate bonds over five years, causing 10 customers to lose more than $900K. 

Customers of Leach Claim They Suffered Six and Seven-Figure Losses 

Jeffrey Harold Leach, a Morgan Stanley broker and also of The Leach Group, which is based in Florida, has been accused by at least three investors of making unsuitable investment recommendations that cost them a significant amount of money. 

While one claim has already been settled by Morgan Stanley, two of the customer disputes, including one seeking $3M in damages, are still pending.

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.

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.

Dually Registered Rep. Faces Multiple FINRA Arbitration Claims by Investors 

Kerri Suzanne Jamison, a Newbridge Securities Corp. and Newbridge Financial Services Group stockbroker, is currently the subject of pending complaints by customers who claim they lost money because of investment recommendations she made. 

Jamison, who has worked under the names Kerri Lasegue and Kerri Romero, is one of several of the firm’s registered representatives to become the subject of stockbroker fraud claims in recent years. According to her BrokerCheck record, Jamison has been named in four customer disputes. One was settled, and three, which were filed this year, are still pending:

FINRA Says SagePoint Financial Brokers Unsuitably Recommended Early UIT Rollovers 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is ordering SagePoint Financial to pay over $1.6M in fines and restitution after it executed over $895 million in unit investment trust (UIT) transactions that resulted in more than $17.2 million in sales charges. 

Of these UIT transactions, over $203.7 million of the proceeds were from sales that occurred over 100 days before a UIT’s maturity date. FINRA found that these unsuitable early rollovers caused customers to pay over $1.3 million in sales charges that they wouldn’t have otherwise if only they’d held onto their UITs until they matured.

Diamond and Other Kalos Capital Brokers Are Accused of Broker Fraud 

Arni Diamond, who is now a registered representative with Dempsey Lord Smith,  is currently the subject of a pending $200K broker fraud claim accusing him of making unsuitable alternative investment recommendations reportedly while he was a Kalos Capital broker. 

Diamond is one of a number of financial representatives currently or formerly associated with Kalos who has been accused of marketing securities products to investors even when they were inappropriate for them.

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