Articles Tagged with Merrill Lynch

Over 3,000 Customers May Have Been Charged More Than $8.4M in Excessive Sales Fees 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith will pay approximately $8.4M in restitution and an over $3.2M fine to settle charges alleging supervisory failures involving unit investment trust (UIT) rollovers. 

The self-regulatory organization (SRO) contends that over 3,000 customers may have been excessively charged over $8.4M in sales fees related to early rollovers. 

Former Chicago Stockbroker Defrauded Customers To Fund Luxury Lifestyle

Marcus E. Boggs, an ex-Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith registered representative, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in the federal criminal case accusing him of defrauding former customers of $3M. The ex-Chicago financial advisor admitted to using the money to fund his lavish lifestyle. He faces up to 20 years in prison and will be sentenced in June.

Boggs spent his entire 12 years in the industry working for Merrill Lynch. Also a former registered investment advisor, he has 13 disclosures on his BrokerCheck, including bars from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2019 and 2020, respectively. 

Former Kentucky-Based Merrill Lynch Broker Gets Eight Years in Prison

Christopher Lee Hibbard, a former stockbroker for Merrill Lynch and Pierce, Fenner & Smith is sentenced to eight years in prison. The ex-Kentucky stockbroker pleaded guilty to investment fraud and multiple counts of wire fraud earlier this year. 

Hibbard, who worked 18 years in the industry, has 14 disclosures on his BrokerCheck record, including several pending customer disputes. All of them, including the regulator and criminal cases, were filed over the last two years. 

Ex-New Hampshire Governor is Suing For Damages 

The New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation is looking into allegations brought by the state’s former governor, Craig Benson, who is accusing ex-Merrill Lynch brokers Dermod Cavanaugh and Charles Kenahan of churning his account and causing over $50M in damages that with market adjustments, he claims, is now over $100M. Benson filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against the broker-dealer and the two men.

Merrill Lynch is a Bank of America (BAC) subsidiary. Churning is when a broker makes excessive trades in a customer’s account in order to earn commissions.

Broker-Dealers Accused of Not Properly Supervising Custodial Accounts

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it has fined five major firms $1.4M in total for not reasonably supervising custodial accounts. The broker-dealers are:

  • Citigroup (C), which will pay $300K.

Fired Merrill Lynch Broker Barred By FINRA Indefinitely 

If you were an investor who sustained losses while working with Ma Rosa Linan Abrego, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) today. Our brokerage firm misconduct lawyers work with clients who have suffered financial losses due to the negligent, fraudulent or other wrongful actions of their financial representatives. 

Ma Rosa Linan Abrego, based out of McAllen, Texas, was terminated by Merrill Lynch and recently barred indefinitely by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) from working as a financial advisor/stockbroker. 

Merrill Lynch Fined For Involvement In Puerto Rico Bond Fraud Case

In a recent award, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel has decided that Merrill Lynch must pay a former professional baseball player and his wife $1.7 million in compensatory damages, plus $88,758 in costs, for losses they sustained from investing in Puerto Rico bonds and closed-end bond funds.

The retired MLB player is Angel Pagan and his wife is Windy Pagan, a former Ms. Puerto Rico. Angel was an outfielder for the NY Mets, the Chicago Cubs, and the San Francisco Giants before retiring to live on the island.

Collateral Yield Enhancement Strategy (CYES) Damages: SSEK Investigating Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor 

Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas (SSEK), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors is looking into allegations against Gordon Harper, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch out of Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Prior to that, he worked at Banc of America and Edward Jones. 

According to allegations in a recent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) claim, Gordon Harper recommended something called Harvest Volatility Management CYES (also known as collateral yield enhancement strategy). Harvest is a money manager which, as the name implies, attempts to manage volatility. 

Merrill Lynch Sold Strategic Return Notes To Retail Investors 

If you are an investor who lost money from Strategic Return Notes (SRNs) that were sold by Bank of America’s (BAC) Merrill Lynch, please contact our investment fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) today. 

The investment raised about $150M from their sales and caused substantial losses from many. SSEK Law Firm is committed to helping Strategic Return Notes investors to recoup their losses. 

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas (“SSEK”), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors, is looking into allegations by the SEC against former Merrill Lynch financial advisor, Marcus Boggs (“Boggs”).  Boggs reportedly joined Merrill Lynch in 2006, working in the company’s Chicago office.  The SEC has alleged that Boggs stole client funds in excess of $1.7 million.  The stolen assets were used to cover personal expenses, including credit card charges.  According to the SEC, Boggs sought to portray himself as a pillar of the Chicago community, involving himself with various charities and attending social events in an effort to ingratiate himself with the city elite. Also, according to the SEC, Boggs maintained he managed of $40 million in assets for his clients.

Merrill Lynch fired Boggs over the SEC charges in December of 2018.  Had Merrill been properly supervising Boggs, the company may have prevented some of the theft.  According to FINRA, Boggs has three complaints on his official record all involving unauthorized transfers from client accounts.  Merrill wisely sought resolution of these matters and it appears none have actually gone to hearing.

SSEK has experience in representing customers of financial advisors who either stole their money, or stole the money of other clients.  SSEK’s experience shows that before a financial advisor begins stealing money, he or she often does other things that are wrong for clients, such as unsuitable investing, churning, unauthorized trading or other misconduct.  Even after theft is uncovered, those other wrongs often go unnoticed and are never addressed without a customer hiring a law firm like SSEK.

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