Ex-Windsor, Georgia Investment Adviser Was Fired by Hamilton Investment Counsel and LPL

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed civil charges against Eric Shea Hollifield, a former LPL Financial broker and registered investment adviser with Hamilton Investment Counsel, LLC in Georgia. The regulator contends that he allegedly misappropriated at least $1.7M from one brokerage investor and two investment advisory clients. He then used their money to pay for his personal expenses, including a 37-acre property with a house.  

According to the SEC, Hollifield allegedly moved customers’ funds without permission to an outside business controlled by him. On top of that, he sent some of those funds to his account. Allegedly, Hollifield sold securities in the brokerage client’s account and suggested that the customer move $1.24M to a different financial institution to earn more interest. After gaining the client’s consent, he transferred the money to a real estate closing agent to buy his house. Due to this, the Commission is seeking permanent injunctions and monetary relief. 

Broker-Dealer Losses Yet Another Investor Claim Involving Its Yield Enhancement Strategy 

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has awarded investors $1.34M, including punitive damages,  for losses sustained in the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy. This is the latest award related to UBS Financial’s complex options trading strategy that has cost investors over $1B.

In June 2022, UBS agreed to pay $25M to settle Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fraud charges accusing the firm with failure to provide its brokers with proper training and oversight in the YES program even as they sold this strategy to hundreds of investors. This purportedly caused many of the firm’s financial advisors to not fully comprehend the risks involved and affected their ability to determine whether the Yield Enhancement Strategy was, in fact, in the best interests of these customers.  

Broker-Dealers Sold Private Placement Shares In Texas Luxury Student Housing To Retail Customers, Including Retirees 

Our Texas brokerage firm of investment lawyers and arbitration attorneys are looking into claims of losses involving Nelson Partners’ Skyloft Austin investors. Many of those who invested in this troubled luxury student housing building close to the University of Texas have sued Nelson Partners. Which is the property management firm that marketed this deal in 2019. They sued Axonic Capital, the hedge fund that provided $30M in additional financing to buy the 18-story property.  

Skyloft investors, each invested $100K to $500K, accuse Nelson Partners CEO Patrick Nelson of fraud and allegedly diverting some of their funds to pay for operations at his other properties. 

Firm Accused of Inadequate Training And Poor Supervision of Brokers That Sold YES   

UBS Financial Services has consented to pay about $25M to settle US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges related to the firm’s Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES). The regulator contends that the broker-dealer, which marketed and sold $2B of UBS YES to about 600 high-net-worth individual investors between February 2016 and February 2017, allegedly failed to adequately train its financial advisors in and supervise this complex iron condor strategy. 

This purportedly included the firm knowing about— documenting—the “possibility of significant risk” but not notifying many of its brokers and clients about this. 

Structured Products Are Not Suitable for Most Retail Investors 

Investment Lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) are looking into claims of losses involving JPMorgan Chase Auto Callable Contingent Interest Notes. Which is connected to the  S&P GSCI® Crude Oil Index Excess (SPGCCLP). This index tends to reflect the theoretical performance of a trader selling and buying crude oil futures. 

What Is An Auto Callable Contingent Interest Note?

Hiko, Nevada Financial Advisor, BL Whipple Wealth Management, LLC

Three investors have filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Newbridge Securities. The claimants seek up to $1M in damages over losses they sustained in GWG L Bonds.

These risky, illiquid junk bonds are from GWG Holdings, Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2022. Newbridge Securities is among the more than 140 regional brokerage firms that earned high commissions from selling L Bonds to customers. 

Claimants Allege Unsuitability, Concentration, and Misrepresentation

Investors from Utah and Arizona have filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim seeking up to $1M in damages related to their GWG Holdings L Bond losses. The respondents in the case are Centaurus Financial, Benchmark Investments, and financial advisor Gregory John Richards. 

Richards, who operates locally as Liberty Wealth Management in Scottsdale, AZ,  is also a Benchmark Investments broker. Previously, a Centaurus registered representative from the session of May 2011 until February 2020, GWG Holdings, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2022. By 2020, the alternative asset firm had more than $200M in outstanding debt. In addition to over $1.6B in outstanding L Bonds and other obligations. More than 140 broker-dealers and their brokers earned high commissions from selling these life settlement-backed bonds. 

Investors Accuse New York-Based Broker-Dealer of Reg BI Violations 

Securities lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law firm) are looking into claims of losses by investors who were sold GWG Holdings L Bonds by their Cabot Lodge Securities brokers. Cabot Lodge is one of the more than 140 regional brokerage firms that sold high-risk product failures and junk bonds to customers and naive investors. More than a dozen clients were accusing the NY-based brokerage firm of alleged Regulation Best Interest violations when it sold L Bonds to retirees. 

GWG Holdings Inc., sold $1.6B of L Bonds, defaulted on $13.6M of payments and interest it owed investors in February 2022. In April 2022, the alternative asset firm filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.

Leading Broker-Dealer Pitched Regional Broker-Dealers To Sell These Risky Junk Bonds 

Securities lawyers at SSEK are investigating Emerson Equity wholesalers that pitched risky junk bonds. According to InvestmentNews, a review of BrokerCheck data suggest several Emerson Equity wholesalers across the US have left the firm since the beginning of 2022. They are the same wholesalers responsible for pitching GWG L Bonds to regional broker-dealers. 

Emerson, the managing brokerage firm in selling these risky, life settlement-backed bonds for GWG Holdings, Inc., has partnered with over 140 regional brokerage firms to market and sell L Bonds to investors, including retail customers and retirees.  

Two FINRA Arbitration Panels Order Firm To Pay UBS YES Customers for Their Losses 

In separate UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (UBS YES) investor cases, two Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panels have awarded UBS Financial Services customers $1.18M and $1.4M, respectively. These are the latest awards against the broker-dealer, whose high-net-worth investors have lost significant sums of money in the firm’s proprietary, complex options trading strategy. 

Due to the most recent rulings, the broken dealer will have to pay UBS YES customers more than $7.6M in 2022. In May, two investors were awarded $3.9M. Various other UBS YES customers were awarded $1.2M in March, and In February 2022, a claimant and two of his family trusts were also awarded $1.875M. 

Contact Information