The Expert’s Examiner
Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. v. Stern, No. 1:20-cv-00005 (D. Md. Mar. 31, 2020).
Miller Stern Lawyers – 410-Law-Firm is currently investigating clients of Wells Fargo Advisors who are victims of, and suffered damages and losses, due to the failure to supervise Charles Frieda and Charles Lynch. It has been reported that Wells Fargo Advisors has agreed to pay more than $550,000 in fines and restitution for failing to follow up on warnings it received about two now-barred California brokers who piled their customers into speculative energy stocks, according to FINRA. Miller Stern Lawyers recently won a $1.5 Million award against Stifel for similar actions of piling their customers into biotechnology and health care stocks.
According to FINRA, the firm failed to investigate trading across customer accounts managed by the brokers. Red flags were raised about overconcentration in the accounts of four customers in a single, low-priced energy stock (ranging from 35.2% to 87.0%), according to a consent letter signed on Thursday by Wells Fargo Advisors CEO Jim Hays.
FINRA has fined and suspended a former Edward Jones & Co. broker in Kansas who attempted to settle a customer complaint on his own, according to a settlement letter and Advisor Hub.
“Topeka-based broker Michael A. Erwin allegedly wrote a $2,500 check out of pocket to resolve a complaint from a customer who claimed she lost money after he failed to close an account in time as the market was tanking in March. The customer had instructed Erwin to close her account by March 10, but he did not close the account until March 17, according to the settlement.”
According to Advisor Hub, “Joseph Woitkoski, who was terminated by Raymond James Associates in 2018 after 20 years as a registered rep, was suspended for 30 days and fined $7,500 for allegedly making discretionary trades for 12 customers without their written authorizations, according to an acceptance, waiver and consent letter that Finra accepted on August 20.” Miller Stern Lawyers, LLC – 410-Law-Firm is currently investigating claims and allegations of brokers making discretionary non-authorized trades in clients accounts at brokerages such as Stifel, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and others. If you or someone you know are victims of losses in your accounts because of unauthorized discretionary trades, please call for a free evaluation.
Finra has imposed the sanctions even though “over the course of longstanding relationships, the customers gave authorization to Woitkoski to exercise discretion in their accounts,” according to the letter that the Massachusetts-based former broker signed without admitting or denying the findings. This often occurs in elderly clients, with issues such as elder abuse. Eight of the 12 customers were “seniors,” according to Finra.
“In addition to failing to get permission from customers in writing, Woitkoski never requested or obtained approval from Raymond James. The firm maintained inaccurate books and records because the broker attested in a 2017 compliance questionnaire that he did not exercise discretion in non-fee based accounts, according to the consent letter.” according to Advisor Hub
The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, LLC – 410-Law-Firm is currently investigating allegations of fraud against Stephen Douglas Pizzuti in connection with an SEC settlement.
According to the settlement posted on www.sec.gov
Miller Law Group – The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, LLC is currently investigating allegations against John Hoff Russell CRD#: 728702 and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated pertaining to a multitude of allegations including broker fraud, subterfuge negligence and intentional actions in customer accounts without authority, breach of fiduciary duty, and other securities violations. Please call 410 Law Firm for more information.
A FINRA arbitration panel has ordered Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. and one of their financial advisors to pay a client $800,000.oo for her claim of “being hoodwinked about allowing money to be withdrawn from accounts she held with her estranged husband.” The claims involve such complaints as broker fraud and negligence, typical complaints by clients in these matters. John Hoff Russell, the broker with Stifel, was alleged to have worked with the now-deceased husband of the client and “intentionally used subterfuge” to obtain her consent to transfer assets from joint-tenancy accounts, according to a summary of the complaint that was published on March 22.
“[A]s a result of Russell’s actions, alone and in concert with the decedent, and because of Russell’s failure to provide claimant or her attorney-in-fact with material information, Claimant and her children were left substantially disinherited from the majority of the Decedent’s financial assets that had been provided for them under his and Claimant’s estate plans,” the summary of the complaint said.
The Law Offices of Daniel J Miller 410- Law Firm is currently investigating claims against Financial Advisor Philip Rousseaux and Everest Wealth Management allegations of violations of various securities laws. According to the Daily Record, Investment adviser Philip Rousseaux is in another legal battle with his own lawyers this time, facing a lawsuit seeking to recover more than $470,000 in unpaid fees.
“Rousseaux was the owner of Everest Wealth Management, a Towson-based firm known for its popular “Money Guys” infomercial.” The firm was previously barred from doing business in Maryland due to allegations of fraud and securities law violations. Rousseaux’s investment adviser registration was also revoked.”
Potomac-based law firm of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker P.A. allegedly began representing Rousseaux in 2014and according to their lawsuit, has an outstanding balance of $471,197 that he has refused to pay.
According to Advisor Hub customer complaints and litigation against brokerages will be heating up with the market turmoil. Most of the industry will likely conclude that coronavirus pandemic fears and oil wars between Russia and Saudi Arabia are the cause of the market drop and are totally out of anyone one person or companies control, however there can be broker misconduct involved in the level of losses because of things such as over-concentration and other individual account irregularities.
“The extent of losses may not be apparent to investors for three to six months, they said, and plaintiffs’ lawyers will then have to analyze portfolios and underlying claims of unsuitability to triage the ones most appropriate for litigation.”
The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite are in bear market territory down 20% from their February highs.
Miller Law Group – The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, LLC is currently investigating allegations against Kenneth Blumberg and Stifel and has successfully litigated against Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated and current financial advisor Kenneth Blumberg (CRD# 1585520) pertaining to a multitude of allegations including taking discretion in customer accounts without authority, over-concentration in sectors and individual securities, breach of fiduciary duty, unsuitable investments and other securities violations. Blumberg was registered with Stifel during the time of the events, located in the downtown Baltimore office of Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated. Please call 410 Law Firm for more information.
A FINRA arbitration panel has ordered Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated to pay more than $1.5 million to four customers who claimed that their Financial Advisor, Kenneth Blumberg (CRD# 1585520) unsuitably concentrated their portfolios in biotechnology and healthcare stocks at levels exceeding 80%. It was further alleged that while the customers’ portfolios were profitable, Mr. Blumberg failed to protect gains in the account, which was a violation of his duties as a fiduciary, after which time the value in the accounts deteriorated by approximately $1 Million. The case against Stifel asserted that it failed to properly supervise Blumberg. In the Arbitration, the customers recovered 100% of their losses plus approximately $500,000 in consequential damages reflecting what the accounts would have gained from the time they withdrew from Stifel as customers through the date of the Arbitration had the gains been protected and suitably reinvested.
The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, L.L.C. is currently investigating allegations against Hebert Hafen CRD#867068 for financial losses for any of the reasons stated bellow as well as others for individuals doing business with Mr. Hafen at any of the institutions e worked for or with. If you or anyone you know lost money because of the actions of matter at issue in this order, please contact 410 Law Firm for more information and a free consultation.
A Securities and Exchange Commission ORDER INSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION 15(b) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 AND SECTION 203(f) OF THE INVESTMENT ADVISERS ACT OF 1940, MAKING FINDINGS, AND IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS against Herbert Hafen was published on March 4, 2020.
Excerpts from the oder are as following