Articles Tagged with broker misconduct

Former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Has Been Named in Nine Customer Disputes

Peter Edward Eckerline, a longtime Merrill Lynch broker who spent his entire 37 years industry with the firm until August 2021, has been named in nine customer disputes by claimants. These claimants are seeking to recover damages for losses they sustained. 

Eckerline, who worked out of Wayzata, Minnesota for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, is no longer a registered broker or investment advisor. 

Former Wisconsin Financial Advisor is Accused of Defrauding at Least 100 Advisory Clients

Michael Francis Shillin, who was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Wisconsin’s Officer of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) in January 2021, is now facing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges. 

The regulator is accusing the previously registered broker and investment advisor of defrauding at least 100 investment advisory clients, including many elderly investors. The SEC brought its case in September 2021. 

Pending Customer Disputes Seek Nearly $2.6M in Broker Misconduct Damages

If you suffered losses while working with ex-Forta Financial Group stockbroker Gregory Jon Williams, you may want to consider filing a FINRA arbitration claim to pursue damages. 

Williams, who is named in several pending customer disputes, is no longer a registered representative. He appears to still be affiliated with Presidential Wealth Management in Colorado Springs.  

Former Melville, NJ Financial Advisor Has Been Named in Six Disputes

If you have suffered investment losses while working with ex-Aegis Capital stockbroker Scott Neil Hananel, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) so that we can help you explore your legal options. 

Hananel, who is no longer a registered financial advisor, has been named in six customer disputes over the years. A few of them are still pending. BrokerCheck notes the disputes on Hananel’s record: 

COVID Relief Loans Involved Undisclosed Business Outside Their Brokerage Firms 

According to InvestmentNews, ex-J.P. Morgan Securities broker Gloria Willis, former Merrill Lynch stockbroker Evelyn Batista, and ex-Wells Fargo financial advisor Kenric Sexton have either been barred or suspended from the securities industry.

These Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctions were imposed after the self-regulatory organization (SRO) found that all three of them either inappropriately or incorrectly applied for federal COVID-relief loan programs geared towards small businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ex-Middleboro, Massachusetts LPL Financial Advisor Could Be Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Paul Richard McGonigle, a former LPL Financial broker, has been arrested for allegedly stealing clients’ retirement assets, including older investors. He is charged with aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, and multiple counts of wire fraud. McGonigle could spend 20 years behind bars if convicted.

According to prosecutors, starting in July 2018, McGonigle caused unauthorized withdrawals from clients’ annuities and persuaded some of them to allow him to invest their funds. Instead, the broker allegedly used their money to pay for his expenses.  He is accused of posing as his victims during calls with annuity companies and signing as them on forms asking for the annuity withdrawals.

Michigan Stockbroker Was Fired By Securities America

Jaime Michael Westenbarger, a former Securities America registered representative in Michigan, is currently named in three pending customer complaints accusing him of negligence and stockbroker fraud. Westenbarger, who was fired by the broker-dealer last year, has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

He worked 16 years in the securities industry. Our securities fraud lawyers at SSEK Law Firm are offering free case consultations to former customers of Jaime Westenbarger who’ve suffered significant investment losses. You may have grounds for a FINRA arbitration claim to recover damages. 

Business Development Company May Have Been Unsuitable For Some Investors 

If you are an investor who suffered losses after your stockbroker recommended the Franklin Square KKR Capital II Fund (FSKR), also known as FS KKR Capital Corp II, you may have grounds for pursuing a broker fraud claim for damages. 

This business development company (BDC), which is a merger of four non-traded BDCs, reportedly was unsuitably recommended to a number of customers and/or the risks were never fully disclosed to them.

Unsuitability & Overconcentration May Lead to Unnecessary Investor Losses in Preferred Stocks

If you are an investor in preferred stocks or preferred stock funds, you may have suffered losses as the preferred-stock market had dropped almost 5% since its mid-Feb peak. 

These stocks do carry some risk with them and they are not suitable for every investor. If you are wondering whether your investments were inappropriately recommended to you or your broker overconcentrated your portfolio with too many of them, contact our investor attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) today. 

Many Older Investors Remain Vulnerable to Securities Fraud 

As a retiree or a senior investor living in the San Francisco Bay Area, there are red flags to look out for that may indicate that you’ve become the victim of senior investor fraud. 

Unfortunately, older investors remain a favorite target of fraudsters eager to take advantage of an elderly customer’s inexperience or health issues while availing themselves of the latter’s retirement funds and other savings. 

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