CMD Investigating Claims Against Kelly Althar and Financial West Group for Unsuitable Recommendations and Engaging in Excessive Trading

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against Kelly Althar and Financial West Group for unsuitable recommendations, engaging in excessive trading (churning) and failure to supervise, particularly related to elderly customers.

According to FINRA, Kelly Althar made unsuitable recommendations and engaged in excessive trading in an elderly customer’s accounts. FINRA alleges that Althar engaged in high-volume trading to generate commissions and over-concentrated the customer’s accounts in risky securities, despite the fact that the customer was close to retirement and wanted only low-risk investments. Althar’s trading decimated the customer’s accounts, which constituted the bulk of her net worth and retirement savings. Althar exercised control over the customer’s account at his member firm. Althar rarely consulted the customer about the transactions in her accounts and made the investment decisions for her, including what to buy and sell, the quantities, and when each transaction would occur.  Althar used this control to excessively trade the accounts in a manner that was inconsistent with the customer’s investment objectives, financial situations and needs.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Kelly Althar and Financial West Group 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 Christopher B. Ariola, Bay Mutual Financial, LLC and Financial Telesis Inc. for Unsuitable Recommendations in High-Risk Gold and Energy Stocks

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against Christopher B. Ariola, Bay Mutual Financial, LLC and Financial Telesis Inc. for unsuitable recommendations and failure to supervise related to high-risk gold and energy stocks.

As reported by FINRA, Christopher B. Ariola or Chirs Ariola, made unsuitable recommendations to elderly retirees to invest a substantial portion of their limited retirement assets in certain high-risk gold and energy stocks. The findings stated that these recommendations were unsuitable given these customers’ financial circumstances, investment objectives and low risk tolerances, and because the recommendations resulted in the customers’ accounts being unduly concentrated in gold and energy stocks. Ariola made similar unsuitable recommendations with respect to a former customer’s retirement account that he controlled on the former customer’s behalf. As a result of his unsuitable recommendations, these customers suffered combined realized losses of $137,993.13.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Christopher Ariola, Bay Mutual Financial, LLC and Financial Telesis 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 CUSO Financial Services, L.P. for Recommending Unsuitable Unit Investment Trusts (UITs)

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against CUSO Financial Services, L.P. for recommending unsuitable Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) and for failure to supervise.

As reported by FINRA, CUSO Financial Services, L.P. through a registered representative unsuitably solicited and sold to customers certain unit investment trusts (UITs) that invested in closed-end mutual funds that employed leverage. The findings stated that CUSO Financial Services, L.P., through the registered representative and the two principals who supervised him and approved his UIT transactions, failed to have a reasonable basis to recommend and approve UIT transactions sold to customers. Neither the registered representative nor the principals who approved the UIT transactions understood the potential risks of the UITs and, in particular, neither understood that the UITs might employ leverage. CUSO Financial Services, L.P., through the registered representative and principals, sold these UITs to customers, including some seniors, in transactions totaling $4,636,146. The customers lost approximately $443,000 on the UITs that the registered representative sold without a reasonable basis. Some of these customers indicated that they had low risk tolerances, which should have raised questions about the suitability of the UITs for them. The firm voluntarily provided restitution totaling approximately $325,000 to many of the customers who indicated that they had low or medium risk tolerances.

The findings also stated that these unsuitable UIT recommendations occurred, in part, because of the firm’s lack of reasonable supervision.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with CUSO Financial Services, L.P. 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 Dennis Albert Mehringer Jr. and Western International Securities Inc. for Churning, Unsuitable Recommendations and Failure to Supervise

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against Dennis Albert Mehringer Jr. and Western International Securities Inc. for churning (excessive trading), unsuitable recommendations and failure to supervise.

According to FINRA, Mr. Mehringer made unsuitable recommendations that caused a customer to engage in excessively expensive short-term trading and intra-day switching of mutual fund Class A shares. The FINRA complaint alleges that Mehringer recommended the short-term mutual fund trading and the intra-day mutual fund switching without reasonable grounds to believe that the recommendations were suitable for the customer in light of the frequency and nature of the transactions, including the associated sales loads, based on the customer’s investment objectives. Given the long-term nature of Class A mutual fund share investments, along with the sales loads incurred in connection with frequent trading and switching between the relevant mutual funds and mutual fund families, Mehringer’s short-term trading and switching was also unsuitable for any customer. Mehringer received $169,735 in commissions from these transactions.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Dennis Albert Mehringer Jr. or Western International Securities 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 Foothill Securities, Inc. for Unsuitable, Over-Concentration of Customer Accounts in REITs

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against Foothill Securities, Inc. for failure to supervise and for  over-concentrating and recommending unsuitable REITs in customer accounts.

FINRA’s findings stated that Foothill Securities, Inc. maintained written guidelines for limiting customers’ investments in non-exchange-traded REITs and other non-liquid investments that stated that no single order in one non-liquid product should equal more than 10 percent of a customer’s investable net worth as of the time the order is placed, and that no order should cause a customer to have more than 20 percent of his or her investable net worth in non-liquid investments.  FINRA found that Foothill Securities, Inc.’s registered representatives recommended these illiquid, non-traded REITs to its customers that exceeded these concentration guidelines.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Foothill Securities, 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 VFG Securities and Jason Bryce Vanclef for Over-Concentration in Illiquid Alternative Investments

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against VFG Securities and securities broker Jason Bryce Vanclef for over-concentration and failure to supervise in in connection with the recommendation and sale of illiquid alternative investments, such as non-traded direct participation programs (DPPs) and non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).  According to Mr. Vanclef’s FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of at least six (6) customer complaints.

VFG Securities and Jason Bryce Vanclef allegedly falsely claimed that non-traded direct participation programs (DPPs) and non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) provided both solid returns and capital preservation, according to the regulator. Vanclef allegedly promoted these illiquid alternative investments through a book he had written and peddled at company events. In the book, Vanclef allegedly claimed that investors could “reasonably achieve 8-12% results” with non-traded DPPs and non-traded REITs.

VFG also allegedly lacked any supervisory system from November 2009 to June 2013 to ensure that clients weren’t overly concentrated in such alternative investments, with at least two customers holding 90% of their net worth in just five non-traded DPP and non-traded REIT investments.  From November 2010 to June 2012, VFG allegedly received around 95% of its revenue from the sales of the two instruments. The regulator fined VFG $50,000 and suspended Vanclef from the industry for 10 days.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with VFG Securities and/or Jason Vanclef , 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 Bahram Mirhashemi and Accelerated Capital Group for Churning, Unauthorized Trading and Unsuitable Recommendations

Burning Money

Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating potential claims against securities broker Bahram Mirhashemi and Accelerated Capital Group for churning (excessive trading), unauthorized trading and unsuitable recommendations.

Recently, Mr. Mirhashemi submitted an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Mirhashemi consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he churned customer accounts, engaged in excessive and unauthorized trading and made unsuitable recommendations to customers. Mirhashemi consistently spread mutual fund purchases across multiple fund families, and in so doing, failed to obtain break point discounts for customers. These short-term mutual fund trades were both excessive and unsuitable, and cost the customers more than $150,000 in overall commissions. Mirhashemi also churned customers’ accounts by conducting short-term equity trades in customer accounts. Such trading was unsuitable and cost the customers more than $665,000 in overall commissions. As a result of his conduct, Mirhashemi willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and FINRA Rules 2020, 2111 and 2010. The findings also included that Mirhashemi distributed materially false and misleading communications to customers..

According to Mr. Mirhashemi’s FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of five (5) customer complaints and three (3) regulatory events.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Bahram Mirhashemi and Accelerated Capital Group, 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 for a free and confidential case evaluation.