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Articles Posted in Securities Fraud

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. 

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Involving Retirement Fund Alleged

Stephen Fergus Curry, a longtime Kestra Advisory Services registered representative, is named in a nearly $7.8M Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) complaint accusing him of breach of fiduciary duty over services performed related to a retirement fund. 

Curry has been with Kestra for 13 years. First, he was with Kestra Investment Services and now he’s with Kestra Advisory Services. He also is a registered investment adviser. Before he joined Kestra, Curry was a Waterstone Financial Group broker from 2006 to 2007. He also worked as an investment advisor with NFP Advisor Services from 2007 to 2016. 

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.

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.

Colorado Investment Firm Fined $200K For Investing Unqualified Buyers Into Unsuitable Investments 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered First Western Capital Management Co. to pay a $200K fine over allegations that, over a 7-year period, it invested over $666M of clients’ funds into securities that they didn’t qualify for. As a result, 81 clients were placed in securities that were reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs), which are investors that have at least $100M in assets.

The firm is a Denver-based investment adviser. Our Colorado investment fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas are offering free case consultations to customers that were harmed by these unsuitable investment recommendations and sales that the SEC says were initiated by at least nine of First Western’s investment adviser representatives. Contact us today at (720) 439-2827

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.

Another National Securities Broker Is Accused of Making Inappropriate Recommendations 

Frank Avallone, a National Securities broker since 2015,  is currently the subject of two pending customer complaints accusing him of making unsuitable investment recommendations that resulted in six-figure losses for each claimant. He is not the only registered representative from this firm accused of suitability issues.

Unsuitable investments are any recommendation that is inappropriate for the investor. Such a recommendation is contrary to a broker’s duty to only make investment recommendations that are appropriate for the customer as it pertains to their age, financial resources, investing experience, and risk tolerance level. 

Investor Sues Kalos Capital Over GPB Capital Losses

A widower retiree in his eighties is suing Kalos Capital for losses he suffered in GPB Capital Holdings’ private placements and other risky investments that were recommended to him by Kalos broker, Jason Mosher.  

The claimant contends that Mosher, who operates his business under the name Sheppard Mosher but is an employee of Kalos, overconcentrated his IRA in GPB investments and other risky securities including private Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and privately traded securities. Now, this elderly investor is seeking up to $500K in damages.

Claimants Lose Retirement Funds in Complex Options Trading Strategy

A retired couple is suing UBS Financial Services (UBS) after they sustained at least $800,000 in losses from investing in the firm’s Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES). 

The investors contend that their UBS broker made misrepresentations and omissions when recommending this unsuitable investment strategy to them and discouraged them from leaving the YES program even as their losses mounted. Now, the investors are seeking up to $1,000,000 in damages, losses, and other costs.

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