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Articles Posted in Inadequate Supervision

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. 

FINRA Settlement Includes Restitution to More than 2,400 Customers

In an agreement reached with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Transamerica Financial Advisors consented to pay $8.8M over the unsuitable sales of mutual funds, variable annuities (VAs) and 529 savings plans to customers. 

$4.4M of this is a fine and $4.4M is restitution to about 2,400 customers who were financially harmed. The firm settled with FINRA but without denying or admitting to its findings. 

Coastal Equities Has Been The Subject of $3M in Investor Arbitration Claims

Coastal Equities, a mid-sized broker-dealer, recently arrived at a settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which it agreed to give $280K in restitution to several customers. The firm is accused of failing to reasonably supervise one of its registered representatives, who recommended trades that were allegedly excessive and unsuitable. Those who were harmed were retirees and senior investors.

It was just last year that Coastal Equities said in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that investors had submitted $3M in arbitration claims against the firm. 

Customer Seeks $1M Over Harvest Volatility Management, Put Writing Strategy 

Matthew Donald Babrick and James W. Wilcox, both First Republic Securities stockbrokers, have been named in a $1M Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against the firm over alleged losses from the Harvest Volatility Management Put Writing Strategy (Harvest PWS). 

Wilcox, who is based out of Jackson, Wyoming, and Babrick, who is in Los Angeles, California, are also registered investment advisors with First Republic Investment Management, Inc. 

FINRA Suspends Nebraska Stockbroker Who Marketed An Alleged $300M Ponzi Scam to Customers 

Troy Robert Baily, a former SagePoint Financial broker, has been suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for six months. Baily, who is also a previously registered investment advisor, is based in Nebraska. 

The suspension comes in the wake of allegations that Baily took part in unapproved and undisclosed private transactions and persuaded customers to invest in Future Income Payments (FIP), which federal prosecutors now say was a $300M Ponzi scam.

Michigan Stockbroker Was Fired By Securities America

Jaime Michael Westenbarger, a former Securities America registered representative in Michigan, is currently named in three pending customer complaints accusing him of negligence and stockbroker fraud. Westenbarger, who was fired by the broker-dealer last year, has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

He worked 16 years in the securities industry. Our securities fraud lawyers at SSEK Law Firm are offering free case consultations to former customers of Jaime Westenbarger who’ve suffered significant investment losses. You may have grounds for a FINRA arbitration claim to recover damages. 

Family Trust to Receive Compensatory Damages From Broker-Dealer 

In its Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Raymond James & Associates and former broker Paul Anthony Steffany, the Angelina J. Cuccaro Family Trusted was awarded $320K in compensatory damages. 

The claimant contends that it was the victim of broker negligence and the firm’s failure to supervise.  The former Connecticut broker was barred by the self-regulatory organization (SRO) in 2015.  

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. 

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. 

FINRA Bars Ex-Registered Rep, Who Wouldn’t Cooperate In Investigation 

Christopher Duke Bennett, an ex-Hilliard Lyons broker, is barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Bennett has been the subject of 15 numerous securities fraud customer disputes over the years. 

The bar comes after he refused to cooperate in the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO’s) probe that was opened in the wake of several people accusing him of unauthorized trading and making unsuitable investment recommendations. Bennett also is no longer a registered investment adviser.

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