Articles Posted in Senior Investors

Rogue Broker Convicted & Faces Decades In Prison

A jury has convicted Anthony Diaz, a barred rogue stockbroker who was fired by several brokerage firms and has been the subject of more than four dozen customer complaints, of 11 counts of wire fraud and mail fraud. Each criminal court comes with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) have been speaking to former customers of Diaz who sustained investment losses while working with him. If you are one of these investors, contact our broker fraud attorneys today. You may have grounds for a civil claim against the brokerage firm where he was working at the time. 

Stockbroker Accused Of Improperly Borrowing From Older Customer 

If you suffered investment losses while First Western Securities broker, Kerry Dean Wills was your financial representative, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm). 

Kerry Dean Wills, who is also a registered investment advisor, was recently suspended for six months by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and ordered to pay a $10K fine over allegations of elder investment fraud. 

Suspended Broker Accused of Making Unsuitable Recommendations to Retiree

If you sustained investment losses while working with ex-Berthel Fisher broker Mason Gann, contact our stockbroker fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) today. Gann, who is not a registered broker at this time, is serving a three-month suspension imposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The self-regulatory organization (SRO) found that he made unsuitable recommendations in the account of an elderly retiree.

According to the self-regulatory organization (SRO), between 8/2015 and 1/2018, Gann recommended that this investor employ a high-risk options trading strategy. This retiree, who was in his 70’s at the time, not only had “modest retirement savings” and “limited income,” but he was also an inexperienced investor. FINRA contends that Gann did not have reasonable grounds for making such recommendations to this particular customer.

Edward Matthes, Ex-Stockbroker Accused of Elder Investor Fraud 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is accusing former broker, Edward Matthes of defrauding older investors of $2.4M. Matthes was a registered stockbroker and an investment advisor. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Securities Division have both permanently barred him. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a probe into his alleged actions last year. Matthes was a registered Mutual of Omaha broker from 2012 – 2019 which was when the firm fired him. He worked in the industry for 20 years. 

Another Kalos Capital Broker Sold GPB Investments To Investors

Once again, our GPB investment lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) have filed an investor fraud lawsuit against Kalos Capital and one of its brokers, Kristian Finfrock. 

In this latest broker fraud case, the Claimants are a retired couple who contend that Kalos Capital broker and investment advisor, Kristian Finfrock, pushed them into placing $750K of their life savings into alternative investments including non-traded real estate investment trusts (Non-traded REITs), annuity contracts, and GPB Capital private placements. 

SSEK Investigating The Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker, Ami Forte

Earlier this year, our investor lawyers reported that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) had filed a lawsuit against former Morgan Stanley broker, Ami Forte. She allegedly made unauthorized trades in the now-deceased Home Shopping Network co-founder, Roy Speer’s, account while he was afflicted with dementia. 

The self-regulatory authority has now announced that it is barring Forte. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) are currently investigating complaints and concerns by former customers of Ami Forte who are suspecting that their losses may be due to fraud. 

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority panel (FINRA) has awarded one of our clients, a 91-year-old widow, $550K in her Texas broker-dealer fraud case against UBS Financial Services (UBS). The claimant, who is from Texas, contends in her Houston senior investor fraud case that because her UBS broker made unsuitable investments on her behalf, she lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in her retirement accounts.

While the FINRA arbitration award doesn’t name the broker, Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas lawyer David Miller identified him as former UBS broker William Andrew Hightower. Attorney Miller said that Hightower, who headed up Hightower Capital Group, recommended that the claimant invest in leveraged and inverse exchange traded products and structured products,  as well as his own private investments. These investments were not suitable for her.

Hightower is now accused of operating a $10M Ponzi fraud. Among the unsuitable investments that he made on our client’s  behalf were those involving private placements Reproductive Research Technologies and Isospec Technologies, which were part of his alleged scam, and one fake private annuity.

Marcus Boggs, a former Merrill Lynch investment adviser, is now facing US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges accusing him of using $1.7M of client monies to pay his own credit card bills. According to the regulator, Boggs, who was a Chicago-based RIA, illegally transferred funds from the accounts of three retail advisory clients on more than 200 occasions.

The firm fired him after finding out about the alleged misconduct, which would have taken place between 2016 and December 2018. Boggs was a registered investment adviser (RIA) with Merrill for 12 years, which was the entire time that he worked in the securities industry.

His job was to offer investment advice to clients, and Boggs didn’t have the authority or permission to liquidate the assets or trade in his alleged victims’ accounts. However, he allegedly went on to sell securities in said accounts and directly take money out of them for his own use.

Dawn Bennett, an ex-financial advisor and broker, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for operating a $20M Ponzi scam that involved 46 investors. She also must pay $14.5M in restitution and forfeit another $14M.

Many of Bennett’s victims were retirees who heard about her because she hosted a radio show. In 2018, Bennett was convicted by a jury on federal charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements on a loan application.

According to evidence given at trial, Bennett solicited investors for her online clothing business DJB Holdings, LLC, also known as DJBennett.com, touting a 15% yearly interest rate through promissory and convertible notes.

State Street To Pay More Than $88M After Overcharging For Mutual Funds

State Street Bank and Trust Company will pay over $88M to resolve US Securities and Exchange Commission charges accusing it of overcharging investment advisory clients, including mutual funds, for expenses related to its custody of client assets. From 1998 to 2015, State Street allegedly collected $170M in overcharges involving out-of-pocket custodial costs that it paid on behalf of clients. While the clients had consented to pay for these costs, they did not agree to being overcharged for them.

Of the $170M in excessive charges, $110M was for a concealed markup added to the charge for transmitting financial messages via the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network. As part of the settlement, State Street will pay almost $49M of disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and a $40M penalty.

Contact Information