Articles Tagged with Merrill Lynch

Two Merrill Lynch Brokers Stole More Than $6M from 13 Clients 

In December 2021, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined Merrill Lynch in two separate matters. 

One fine, of $950K,  is because the firm allegedly failed to detect that two of its financial advisors had stolen more than $6M from 13 customers in schemes that occurred over several years. This purportedly involved the transmission of funds through automated clearing house (ACH) transfers that were “externally initiated.” 

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. 

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. 

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