A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered Securities America Inc. and broker Randall Ray Talbott to pay an investor nearly $1.2 million in damages over the sale of allegedly fraudulent Medical Capital notes. Claimant Josephine Wayman had charged the respondents with a number of actions, including securities fraud, deceit, breach of fiduciary duty, industry rules violation, financial elder abuse, and negligence. Ameriprise Financial Inc. owns Securities America.
The award includes $734,000 in compensatory damages, $250,000 in punitive damages, and $171,000 in expert witness and legal fees. Punitive damages are not common in FINRA arbitration awards.
Dozens of other claimants are pursuing securities claims against Securities America over the sale of private placements prior to the financial collapse in 2008. The securities divisions of Montana and Massachusetts are among those suing the broker-dealer. Meantime, Securities America has said that Medical Capital Holdings Inc., which issued the private placements, is the one that should be held liable for investors’ financial losses.
From 2003 to 2008, dozens of independent broker-dealers sold private Medical Capital notes, with Securities America considered the biggest seller at nearly $700 million. The private placements raised $2.2 billion. Unfortunately, many of the medical receivables that were supposed to be underlying the notes were in fact non-existent. Medical Capital has been accused of running a Ponzi-like scam and using newer investors’ funds to pay promised returns to older investors. Securities America has said that it did not act inappropriately when selling the MedCap notes.
Medical Capital is bankrupt and $1.1 billion of investors’ funds are gone. In 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Medical Capital with securities fraud.
Related Web Resources:
Securities America and Rep to Pay Over $1 Million in FINRA Fraud Case, AdvisorOne, January 5, 2011
Arbitrators hit Securities America, rep with $1.2 million in damages, legal fees over MedCap, Investment News, January 3, 2011
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority