Calton & Associates Financial Advisor Accused of Unsuitability and Misrepresentations 

Paul William Murphy, currently a Calton & Associates registered representative, is named in two pending customer disputes where the claimants are seeking over $589K. These latest allegations appear to stem from when Murphy was a Newport Coast Asset Management and a Newport Coast Securities broker. Newport Coast was expelled by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2018. 

Our Florida broker misconduct lawyers investigate claims of losses by investors who have worked with Paul Murphy as their financial advisor. In Florida, call Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) at (813) 560-2992. You can also reach us nationwide at (800) 259-9010 today.

Ex-Wells Fargo Broker Jeremy Fortner Allegedly Borrowed Money From Clients

Our broker misconduct lawyers investigate claims of losses involving former customers of ex-Wells Fargo Advisors registered representative Jeremy Fortner. The broker-dealer fired him in August 2021 in the wake of allegations that he inappropriately borrowed funds. 

In November 2021, with a starting date of March 3, 2022, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) permanently barred Fortner after he did not respond to requests for information into its investigation. Jeremy Fortner was a registered broker and investment adviser for 16 years. 

Despite Misgivings, Court Approves $10M Financing for Troubled GWG Holdings

One day after GWG Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Judge Marvin Isgur of the US Bankruptcy Court in Houston approved $10M in financing for the asset manager despite his concerns regarding the mechanics of the loan. The emergency loan will come from National Founders LP. 

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), in court papers, GWG said it needed the money to avoid “imminent liquidation.” The Texas-based alternative asset firm owes about $1.6B in L Bonds. Despite being illiquid and high-risk, these high-yield bonds were mainly marketed to individual investors by around 145 regional brokerage firms, including managing broker-dealer Emerson Equity. They earned high commissions of around 8% from the transactions. 

High-Yield GWG L Bonds May Now Be Worth 20 to 30 Cents on The Dollar

Our high-yield bond lawyers investigate brokerage firms that sold  GWG L Bonds to their customers. On April 20, 2022, GWG Holdings, Inc., the issuer of these junk bonds, announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 

The news comes in the wake of a slew of troubles involving the Texas-based alternative firm. GWG Holdings owes investors $13.6M in principal payments plus interest and is way behind in submitting yearly regulatory filings. It also has been under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since 2020. 

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Accused of Defrauding Investors, Including Retirees

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed civil charges against former Morgan Stanley financial advisor Shawn Edward Good accusing him of operating a years-long Ponzi scheme and misappropriating millions of dollars from customers. 

Shawn Good is accused of raising at least $4.8M from five clients at the firm, including retirees and a single mom with young children, to supposedly invest in low-risk, tax-free bonds and land development projects. 

Issuer of L Bonds Says SEC’s Probe Contributed to Its Demise

In the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on April 20, 2022, GWG Holdings, Inc. (GWGH) voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move was expected in the wake of the regulatory and financial woes plaguing the Dallas-based alternative firm. 

GWG Holdings’ bankruptcy is bad news for investors, many of whom are retail customers, including elderly investors and retirees. In February 2022, the company, which sold $1.6B in life-settlement backed bonds via independent brokerage firms, had defaulted on $13.6M in principal payments and interest it owed investors of its L Bond series. 

SEC Obtains Default Judgment Against Former Cincinnati, Ohio Registered Representative 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a default judgment against Scott Allen Fries. He was a Transamerica Financial Advisors registered representative from 2014 to 2019. 

The regulator’s amended complaint accuses the former broker and investment advisor of raising approximately $458K from at least ten investors, including customers from the brokerage firm, and using the funds to pay for his personal expenses. Fries is barred from further fraud violations and must pay disgorgement of $428,334.53, a civil penalty of $208,500, and a prejudgment interest of $110,548.02.

Brokers May Have Downplayed The Risks of Junk High-Yield Bond Funds

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) is offering free initial case consultations to investors of the following high-yield bond funds, also known as junk bond funds.

High-yield bond funds tend to have lower-quality bonds. Their portfolios usually include high-income debt securities in which at least 65% of bond assets are unrated or rated poorly at the BB level or lower. While junk-bond funds offer higher yields than other portfolios, they are also more vulnerable to the economy, credit risks, and other adverse events. 

Investors Involved in Biggest SPAC Merger File Class Action Securities Lawsuit

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) is looking into claims of losses by investors of Grab Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRAB). This firm became a public entity on December 1, 2021, via the largest Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger to date with Altimeter Growth Corp. The latter is a blank-check firm run by Altimeter Capital CEO and founder Brad Gerstner.  

Grab Holdings, the largest ride-hailing, and delivery company in Southeast Asia has experienced the opposite of growth. Its shares plunged over 20% from $13.06/share to $8.75 at the end of the first day of trading. On March 3, 2022, Grab announced that fourth-quarter revenues saw a 44% drop from the third quarter. That’s a $1.1B loss. 

Cetera and Other Broker-Dealers May Have Unsuitably Sold St. George’s Ltd Products to Customers

Our broker misconduct lawyers are looking into claims of losses by investors who were marketed and sold products from St. George’s, Ltd. The Bermuda-based life insurance company has been in liquidation proceedings since 2019. Its owner, Ramesh Dusoroth, is accused of defrauding investors of millions of dollars. 

The joint provisional liquidators in this endeavor involving St. George’s Ltd. are John Johnston and Rachel Frisby of Deloitte, Ltd. Both of them are also involved in the liquidation proceedings of Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda), another offshore company that has been the cause of investment losses for many foreign nationals. Northstar (Bermuda) owner Greg Lindberg is now in prison, and he also likely misappropriated investors’ money. 

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