Scott Mass of David Lerner Associates has been subject to five customer complaints

According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Scott Mass (Mass), currently employed by David Lerner Associates, Inc. (David Lerner) has been subject to five customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Mass’ customer complaints allege that Mass made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of investments including REITs, Puerto Rico bonds, and mutual funds.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud and breach of contract in connection with the sale of Puerto Rico Bonds.  The customer alleges $500,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In December 2016 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments from June 2007 through July 2015 causing $90,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $15,000.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Scott Mass and/or David Lerner Associates 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 Brent Porges and Zachary Bader for Churning, Unsuitability, Unauthorized Trading and Fraud

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against brokers Brent Porges and Zachary Bader for churning (excessive trading), making unsuitable recommendations, unauthorized trading and fraud, particularly related to ETFs (exchange traded funds) and ETNs (exchange traded notes).

According to Brent Porges’ FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of at least five (5) customer complaints, which include allegations of churning, fraud, unauthorized trading, and unsuitability.

Similarly, according to Zachary Bader’s FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of at least eight (8) customer complaints, which include allegations of churning, fraud, unauthorized trading, and unsuitability.

These acts may have occurred while Mr. Porges and Mr. Bader were registered with the following broker-dealers: Craig Scott Capital, LLC, National Securities Corporation, Newbridge Securities Corporation and Meyers Associates, L.P.  These broker-dealers have an independent duty to supervise Mr. Porges and Mr. Bader, as well as the customer accounts they service.  If the broker-dealers did not properly supervise Brent Porges and/or Zachary Bader, they can be held liable for their acts.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Brent Porges and/or Zachary Bader 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 Stuart Graham Dickinson and WFG Investments, Inc. for Fraud, Failure to Supervise and Unsuitable Investments into Limited Partnerships

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against Stuart Graham Dickinson and WFG Investments, Inc. for fraud, failure to supervise and unsuitable investments into limited partnerships.  According to Mr. Dickinson’s FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of at least two (2) customer complaints and two (2) regulatory investigations.

According to FINRA, Stuart Dickinson sold securities without reasonable grounds for believing that the investment was suitable for any investor. The findings stated that Mr. Dickinson sold more than $1 million of limited partnership interests in a company whose purported business was to acquire and operate automated teller machines (ATMs) to seven customers while he was associated with WFG Investments, Inc.  The company did not own any ATMs.  WFG Investments, Inc.’s permitted Mr. Dickinson to sell interests in the company as private securities transactions. Mr. Dickinson recommended the securities without first conducting adequate and reasonable due diligence on the company.  Mr. Dickinson failed to verify or confirm information he obtained from interested parties, and failed to detect multiple red-flag warnings that the company was a fraudulent Ponzi scheme.  As a result, the customers lost their entire investments. If Mr. Dickinson had conducted a reasonable investigation, he would have recognized red flags indicating that the offering was fraudulent and thus unsuitable for any investors regardless of their wealth, risk tolerance, age or other individual characteristics.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Stuart Dickinson and/or WFG Investments, 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 First American Securities, Inc. for Unsuitable Recommendations of Private Placements

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against First American Securities, Inc. for recommending unsuitable private placements, failure to supervise, inadequate due diligence, and investor offering documents (PPM) that contained misleading and unwarranted statements, omissions of material information and material misrepresentations.

According to FINRA, First American Securities, Inc. was censured, fined $150,000, and ordered to disgorge commissions of $190,000, plus interest in connection with private placements.  In addition, according to FINRA, First American Securities, Inc. failed to follow its written supervisory procedures (WSPs) relating to due diligence requirements for private placements.  As well as supervisory deficiencies and inadequate due diligence which caused the firm to lack a reasonable basis to recommend one of the offerings to customers. First American Securities, Inc. distributed offering documents to investors which negligently made untrue statements of material facts or omitted to state material facts necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, and made statements which were not fair and balanced, and were misleading, exaggerated and unwarranted.

In order to invest in a private placement, the investor must be an accredited investor.  For a person to to be an accredited investor, the investor must be any natural person who had an individual income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with that person’s spouse in excess of $300,000 in each of those years and has a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year; or any natural person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with that person’s spouse, exceeds $1,000,000.

If you or someone you know lost money investing in private placements with First American Securities, Inc. or was not an accredited investor at the time of the private placement, 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 On Behalf of Investors Who Purchased Shares of United Development Funding IV (Symbol: UDF)

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims on behalf of investors who own or purchased shares of United Development Funding IV (Nasdaq: UDF).

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a Wells notice against UDF, an indication that SEC staff has made a preliminary determination to possibly recommend an enforcement action against the company.  Further, the Nasdaq stock market has delisted UDF IV shares.

The UDF family of REITs have been in turmoil for almost a year.  A hedge fund with a short position in UDF IV shares last December said the company had been operating for years like a Ponzi scheme.  Then, the FBI in February raided the REIT’s offices in suburban Dallas.  At the time, Nasdaq halted trading of UDF IV shares at $3.20, down 81% over the prior 12 months.

UDF IV, with $684 million in assets according to SEC filings, is a mortgage and development REIT.  UDF branded REITs and private deals were high yield offerings, promising investors returns of 8% to 10%.  Various UDF REITs, including UDF IV, have halted paying investors distributions over the past year.  UDF IV was a nontraded REIT that listed on Nasdaq in June 2014.  It was sold to investors from 2009 to 2013 at $20 per share.

During the last few months, UDF IV has publicly claimed that it was working to file its 2015 annual reports and its last three quarterly reports with the SEC in order to begin trading again. However, this never happened.

If you or someone you know lost money investing in shares of United Development Fund IV , UDF IV or any of the UDF REITs , 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 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 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 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.