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Articles Tagged with Securities Fraud

Barred Stockbroker Faces Criminal and SEC Charges for Senior Investor Fraud 

Frederick Stow (CRD#: 864436), a former Raymond James broker based out of Tennessee, is now the subject of criminal charges accusing him of securities fraud, identity theft, and wire fraud for allegedly stealing $943,500 from the IRAs and other accounts of two senior investors between 2015 and 2019. 

The broker-dealer fired him last year and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred him in January. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently filed a parallel civil lawsuit against Stow.

Illinois-Based StockBroker Faces Four Pending Customer Disputes

Carlos Legaspy, a longtime broker and the owner of InSight Securities, is the subject of four pending customer disputes. All disputes are accusing him of fraud and/or negligence, including one claim seeking up to $6M in damages. 

If you are or were a customer of Legaspy’s or InSight Securities and you suffered substantial losses, contact our stockbroker fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) right away so that we can help you explore your legal options. We work with investors throughout the US.

Throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, investors are finding themselves hit with huge investment losses, especially over the last few months as COVID-19 has shut down the economy, rattled the markets, and caused an oil price war. 

While the Coronavirus has negatively impacted many investments, you should know that some of these losses also may be due to broker fraud or negligence. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) can help you determine whether this is the case and if it means that you have grounds for an investor claim to recover your losses. Contact us today to request your free, no-obligation consultation. 

Investment Losses Reasons That May Be Grounds for a San Francisco Broker Fraud Claim

Our San Francisco structured product fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) work with investors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in helping them to recoup their losses. 

Structured products are not for everyone, although investors find them very attractive because they can provide the opportunity to earn the high yield not likely to happen with more traditional types of investments. 

Unfortunately, even though these market-linked investments should only be marketed to sophisticated investors that can handle a certain level of risk, brokers lured by the healthy commissions have been recommending them to retail investors, including senior investors and retirees, for years.

Becoming the victim of securities fraud in San Francisco can lead to devastating financial losses and there are steps that you can take to prevent that from happening. Even if your broker is registered with a known brokerage firm, there are questions you should ask and due diligence you can do to protect yourself and your investments.

How To Protect Yourself Against Securities Fraud

Below, we discuss the steps you need to put in place to ensure that you are fully protected when dealing with a broker or brokerage firm based in San Francisco. 

Citigroup Global Markets Broker Under Investigation 

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas, a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors, is looking into securities fraud allegations against Timothy Kenska, a broker employed by Citigroup Global Markets out of Encinitas, California. Prior to that, he worked at Citicorp.  

According to his official record on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (“FINRA”) website, Kenska has seven “disclosures.”  FINRA is the regulatory body overseeing brokerage firms and registered representatives employed by them. A disclosure is an official complaint made or a claim filed against a broker/financial advisor.

Texas Stockbroker Purportedly Earned High Commissions From Illiquid Alternative Investments

If you are an investor who was sold alternative investments by First Allied Securities broker William Fox, you may have grounds for an investor claim. Fox, an Austin, TX-based registered representative, has been accused by at least one customer, who already filed a Financial Industry Reguinveslatory Authority (FINRA) claim, of not performing the proper due diligence before recommending that the claimant invest over $2M in retirement funds in illiquid, poor quality alternative investments. 

This included nontraded real estate investment trusts (nontraded REITs), annuities, private placements, equipment leasing, and oil and gas investments. The sale of these investments to the claimant resulted in Fox earning $140K in commissions and an investment advisory fee. 

Broker Fraud Along With The Coronavirus May Be Causing Investment Losses 

Becoming the victim of securities fraud is a serious matter. With stocks plummeting and the markets fluctuating all over the place in the wake of COVID-19, investors may not realize that it’s not just the economic reverberations of the coronavirus that’s plaguing their portfolio. 

They also may be losing money because their stockbrokers or investment advisor were fraudulent or negligent when handling their investments and placed them in an even more precarious financial situation with more losses than they would now be sustaining otherwise. 

Non-Traditional Exchange-Traded Funds Are Not Suitable For Every Investor

Our securities fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) are looking into complaints by investors whose brokers may have inappropriately recommended that they invest in non-traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

These types of ETFs are leveraged, inverse and inverse-leveraged exchange-traded funds and they are not for every investor. This is definitely the type of investment that a financial representative and its broker-dealer should assess for suitability on a customer-by-customer basis. 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is accusing Equitybuild Inc., a real estate investment firm that is based in Florida, and its owners of operating a $135M Ponzi scam that defrauded approximately 900 investors. The regulator contends that the company, its President/CEO Jerome Cohen, and Vice President Shaun Cohen, who are father and son, promised investors double-digit returns of 12-20%, even as their business was incurring massive losses. Meantime, investors were paid returns using earlier investors’ money in Ponzi-like fashion.

Equitybuild investors were mostly unsophisticated, non-accredited investors without much experience in investing in real estate. The Cohens allegedly touted a purportedly original strategy for identifying an undervalued property in Chicago, Illinois’ South Side that they claimed would render huge returns. Investors were promised promissory notes that named a specific property. Third parties were supposed to buy the properties with mortgages that the investors had funded and this would generate returns.

Unfortunately, there don’t appear to have been many third-party buyers. Equitybuild was the one that owned most of the properties and the real estate investment company purportedly stopped searching for third-party buyers a few years ago.

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