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 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 John E. Burns for Unsuitable Recommendation and Unauthorized Trading

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against stock broker John E. Burns for unsuitable recommendation and unauthorized trading.   According to Mr. Burns’ FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of at least six (6) customer complaints.

According to FINRA, John Burns, while registered with SagePoint Financial and Ameriprise Financial, engaged in a pattern of unauthorized trading in customer accounts and made unsuitable, risky investments for seniors.  The findings stated that John Burns did not have written discretionary authority to place trades in any of these customer accounts. In some of the customer accounts, John Burns executed the trades without any authorization, while in other customer accounts, John Burns had some verbal authorization to exercise discretion generally, but exceeded that verbal authorization by executing trades in excess of the available funds in the account.  The findings also stated that John Burns made unsuitable and unauthorized investments over a two-year period in the account of a senior retired couple, both of whom were over 65 years old.  These transactions involved repeated high-risk investments in small drug company stocks which were unsuitable for the customers’ moderate risk tolerance and investment profile.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with John Burns, 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.