CMD Investigating Claims Against Lawrence Roberson and Capital City Securities, LLC for Misrepresentations and Fraud

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against securities broker Lawrence Roberson and brokerage firm Capital City Securities, LLC for misrepresentations and omissions, fraud and failure to supervise.  According to Mr. Roberson’s FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of at least five (5) regulatory inquires.

In September 2016, Roberson consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he made material misrepresentations and omissions in the sale of a $40,000 bond debenture to a customer when the purported investment was not a genuine security.  Roberson did not invest the customer’s funds and instead converted the funds to pay for his personal expenses.  As a result of his conduct, Roberson willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5, and FINRA Rules 2010 and 2020.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Lawrence Roberson and/or Capital City Securities, LLC, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Against Elliot Harris and Triad Advisors, Inc. for Unauthorized Trading and Unsuitable Recommendations

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against securities broker Elliot Harris and brokerage firm Triad Advisors, Inc. for unsuitable recommendations, unauthorized trading and failure to supervise.  According to Mr. Harris’ FINRA BrokerCheck he has been the subject of at least five (5) customer complaints.

In September 2016, Elliot Harris was barred from association with any FINRA member.  FINRA has alleged that Mr. Harris recommended unsuitable trades and engaged in unauthorized trading.  Triad Advisors, Inc. as Mr. Harris’ broker-dealer, had an obligation to supervise Mr. Harris and the customer accounts he was servicing.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Elliot Harris and/or Triad Advisors, Inc., you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Against David Charles Cannata and Craig Scott Capital, LLC for Churning and Unsuitable Recommendations

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against securities broker David Charles Cannata and brokerage firm Craig Scott Capital, LLC for unsuitable recommendations, excessive trading (a/k/a churning) and failure to supervise.  According to Mr. Cannata’s FINRA BrokerCheck he has been the subject of at least eight (8) customer complaints.

In September 2016, David Charles Cannata was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and ordered to pay $1,566,298.14, plus interest, in restitution to customers.  The sanctions were based on findings that Cannata made unsuitable recommendation and excessively traded in customer accounts at his member firm.  The findings stated that Cannata had de facto control over the customer accounts and made all investment decisions.  Cannata’s trading strategy in each client’s account generated extraordinary levels of activity inconsistent with the clients’ objectives and financial circumstances.  The clients sustained losses ranging from $114,171 to $1,263,527 as a result of Cannata’s trading strategy.

The findings also stated that Cannata churned his customers’ accounts.  Cannata knowingly or recklessly disregarded his customers’ interests by seeking to maximize his own compensation. Both the high turnover rate and cost-to-equity ratio establish that Cannata recommended and executed trades in the customers’ accounts for his own benefit, without regard for his customers’ resources or best interests. As a result of his conduct, Cannata violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 and FINRA Rule 2020.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with David Charles Cannata and/or Craig Scott Capital, LLC, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Over AlphaSector Strategy ETFs

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (“CMD”) is investigating 13 management firms over investments of client money into AlphaSector Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”).   The AlphaSector strategy was developed by F-Squared Investments which has since admitted in an enforcement case brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that its purportedly “real” past performance record was inflated and back-dated.

On August 25, 2016, the SEC announced it has penalized 13 investment management firms for violating the securities laws.  The SEC claimed that the firms marketed and recommended the AlphaSector strategy to their clients based on false and misleading advertising about the past track record.   The SEC claimed that the firms accepted F-Squared’s false statements and failed to conduct their own investigation of the past performance of the strategy.

The investment management firms penalized by the SEC are:

AssetMark

BB&T Securities

Banyan Partners

Congress Wealth Management

Constellation Wealth Advisors

Executive Monetary Management

HT Partners

Hilliard Lyons

Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management

Prospera Financial Services

Risk Paradigm Group

Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors

Shamrock Asset Management

If you or someone you know lost money investing in AlphaSector Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”), you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through either litigation or arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD is Investigating Claims Against IMS Securities, Inc. and Jackie Wadsworth Over the Sale of Variable Annuities and Real Estate Securities

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against IMS Securities, Inc. and Jackie Wadsworth for unsuitable recommendations, over-concentration and failure to supervise.

According to FINRA, Ms. Wadsworth faces allegations of negligence, over-concentration, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations and failure to supervise.  The product types in the complaint are variable annuities and real estate securities, such as REITs.

IMS Securities, Inc. is a small Houston, Texas based firm that posted $11.5 million in revenue last year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its balance sheet is tilted heavily in the direction of high-commission products like variable annuities and non-traded REITs; close to 86% of its revenue in 2015 came from commissions, according to the SEC filing.

IMS Securities was one of the four leading sellers of real estate investment trusts sponsored by United Development Funding (UDF).  The bottom fell out of those REITs last December, after an investor website posted a report that alleged that UDF IV, which was a non-traded REIT that later listed as a publicly traded REIT, operated for years like a Ponzi scheme.  Management at UDF has denied those allegations.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with IMS Securities, Inc. and/or Jackie Wadsworth, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD is Investigating Claims Against Richard Martin and G.F. Investment Services, LLC for Recommending Unsuitable ETFs and Failure to Supervise

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against Richard Martin and G.F. Investment Services, LLC for unsuitable recommendations and failure to supervise.

In August 2016, FINRA filed a complaint against Richard Martin alleging that he solicited, purchased and recommended that his customers hold non-traditional Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in their accounts for lengthy periods of time, despite the enormous risks associated with holding non-traditional ETFs for more than one trading session. The FINRA complaint alleges that as a result, Richard Martin did not have a reasonable basis to believe that the non-traditional ETF products he recommended were suitable for any customer. As part of his investment strategy, Richard Martin focused on one potential risk— namely, his prediction of the impending collapse of the monetary and financial system. In failing to account for any other risks, including the risk that his predictions regarding the collapse of the economy may not come to pass, Richard Martin recommended to virtually all of his customers non-traditional ETFs.  As a consequence of Richard Martin’s unsuitable investment strategy, Richard Martin’s customers sustained significant losses in the approximate amount of $8 million, and he benefited from commissions received in the approximate amount of $55,912. The complaint also alleges that Richard Martin distributed communications to the public about the non-traditional ETFs that failed to provide a sound basis for evaluating the facts, were misleading, and contained exaggerated and unwarranted language, promissory statements and projections of future provisions.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Richard Martin and/or G.F. Investment Services, LLC, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

 

 

CMD is Investigating Claims Against Glenn King and Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. for Excessive Trading and Failure to Supervise

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against securities broker Glenn King and brokerage firm Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. for unsuitable recommendations, excessive trading (a/k/a churning) and failure to supervise.

In August 2016, Glenn King was barred from association with any FINRA member.   The sanction was based on findings that Glenn Robert King fraudulently misrepresented and omitted material facts to customers, recommended and executed unsuitable transactions in customer accounts, and exercised discretion in customer accounts without authority and his member firm’s approval.  The findings stated that Glenn Robert King used telephone and email to knowingly and willfully make numerous false statements to customers, and omitted material information in connection with his sales of Unit Investment Trust (UITs) to the customers. Glenn Robert King sold UITs to elderly and retired customers of the firm by misrepresenting to them that he was offering safe, high-yield, tax-free bonds and CDs, and omitting material information about the products that he actually sold to the customers.

Glenn King also omitted many of the features and risks of UITs from his sales pitches to firm customers. Additionally, Glenn King failed to disclose to firm customers the sales charges and costs associated with the UITs that they purchased or affirmatively misrepresented to them that he would not charge commission. Glenn King recommended bonds to his customers, but instead purchased UITs that possessed features that he failed to disclose.  Glenn King received $38,000 in commission from these sales.

As a result of this conduct, Glenn King violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5, FINRA Rule 2020 and NASD Rule 2120. The findings also stated that Glenn Robert King engaged in excessive and unsuitable short-term trading of long-term investments, such as UITs and closed-end funds (CEFs), in the accounts of firm customers. Glenn Robert King’s trading was quantitatively and qualitatively unsuitable. Glenn Robert King’s frenetic trading was inconsistent with their objectives and financial circumstances, and resulted in customer losses of approximately $163,000.  Glenn Robert King’s misconduct was intentional and resulted in his monetary gain of approximately $210,000 in commissions. Glenn Robert King did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the number of CEF and UIT transactions that he executed in the customers’ accounts were not excessive. The findings also included that Glenn King exercised discretion in customer accounts by effecting trades in their accounts, including transactions involving UITs and CEFs, without obtaining prior written authorization from those customers. Glenn King also failed to obtain the firm’s written acceptance of the accounts as discretionary. In fact, Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. prohibited the use of discretion by its representatives.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Glenn King and/or Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc., you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD is Investigating Claims Against Arthur Espinoza and Freedom Investors Corp. for Fraud

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against Arthur Espinoza and Freedom Investors Corp. for fraud and failure to supervise.

In August 2016, Arhtur Espinoza was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.  The findings stated that Arthur Espinoza incorporated a company that he operated and obtained investors who collectively invested more than $325,000 with the company.  In return for the investments, which were undocumented, Arthur Espinoza orally agreed to pay the investors an annual or semi-annual payment equaling 5.25 percent of their invested principal. Arthur Espinoza is unable to account for substantial amounts of the funds he raised from the investors, is not currently able to pay the principal back, and does not have any credible plans to do so.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Arthur Espinoza and/or Freedom Investors Corp., you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD is Investigating Claims Against Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. for Unsuitable Closed-End Funds (CEFs)

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against brokerage firm Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. for recommending unsuitable closed-end funds (CEFs) and for failure to supervise.

In August 2016, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. entered into an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with FINRA.  According to FINRA, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. failed to establish and maintain a system and procedures that were reasonably designed to supervise its registered representatives’ sales of closed-end funds (CEFs) to their customers. The findings stated that despite being aware that CEFs purchased at an initial public offering (IPO) were most suitable for long-term investments, and that the sales charges applied to purchases at the IPO made short-term trading of these CEFs generally unsuitable, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. did not have a system and procedures reasonably designed to detect and prevent potentially harmful short-term trading of CEFs.

As a result, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. failed to detect and prevent at least one registered representative from engaging in a pattern of unsuitable short-term trading of CEFs purchased at the IPO. The findings also stated that a former registered representative engaged in a pattern of recommending short-term trading of CEFs at the IPO in connection with customer accounts.  On two occasions, the registered representative’s activity was flagged by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.’s centralized supervision unit (CSU), which was a group of registered principals responsible for reviewing trading and determining discipline.  However, on each occasion, no demonstrable action was taken, as the CSU registered principals’ attempts at escalation were not properly acted upon, indicating that the firm was not adequately supervising this type of transaction. The findings also included that a CSU registered principal again flagged the registered representative’s activity, and an investigation of the registered representative’s CEF recommendations was undertaken, which ultimately led to the registered representative’s termination.

FINRA  found that Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. did not utilize any surveillance reports designed to highlight or detect patterns of short-term trading or switching of CEFs. While CSU registered principals generally reviewed CEF IPO transactions, and had the ability to establish filters in their supervisory review tool for purposes of detecting potentially unsuitable patterns, the use of these filters was not required.  As a result, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures reasonably designed to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations relating to the suitability of short-term trading of CEFs at the IPO.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD is Investigating Claims Against Ari Financial Services, Inc. and broker William Candler for Suitability

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (“CMD”) is investigating claims against brokerage firm Ari Financial Services, Inc. and broker William Candler for suitability and failure to supervise.

In August 2016, Ari Financial Services, Inc. and broker William Candler entered into an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) with FINRA.  Ari Financial Services, Inc. and broker William Candler consented to FINRA sanctions and to the entry of findings that William Candler failed to conduct reasonable due diligence regarding a private placement that the firm sold directly to retail investors.  The findings stated that as a result, Ari Financial Services, Inc. lacked a reasonable basis to believe that the private placement was suitable for any investor.  The offering was later discovered to be a Ponzi scheme, and customers who purchased interests lost their collective investment principal of approximately $560,000.  The findings also stated that as a result of deficiencies in its supervisory system, the Ari Financial Services, Inc. failed to identify and prevent the dissemination of misleading and imbalanced advertising and sales materials by registered brokers, and failed to ensure that the offering materials prepared and distributed contained sufficient and accurate disclosures. The findings also included that Ari Financial Services, Inc. failed to document the written approval of the advertising and sales material it used, and the first and last dates of use.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Ari Financial Services, Inc. and/or William Candler , you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.