Bull Bear Miller Stern Lawyers – 410-Law-Firm is currently investigating clients of Merrill Lynch and Charles Kenahan and Dermond Cavanaugh who are may be victims of, and suffered damages and losses, due to abuses such as churning, beach of fiduciary duty, overcharging , and unauthorized trading.

According to CNBC and other new outlets, the State of New Hampshire “is ordering Merrill Lynch to pay $26.25 million in fines and restitution to the state and to an investor, the former Governor of New Hampshire, who claimed he suffered losses at the hands of a former Boston-based broker, to settle allegations including unauthorized and excessive trading”, or what is commonly known as Churning.

This is the largest monetary sanction in New Hampshire history and proportedly the second largest FINRA settlement in at least a decade.

cropped-High-Res-TA-2018-2019-284x300Morgan Stanley terminated around ten brokers following a nationwide probe of alleged abuses in its inherited account program, according to lawyers, firm sources and former managers per advisor Hub.  Miller Stern Lawyers – 410-Law-Firm is currently investigating clients of Morgan Stanley who are victims of, and suffered damages and losses, due to these abuses.

The investigation was prompted by complaints about underpayments from at least one retired broker who entered the Former Advisor Program (FAP), a so-called sunsetting plan that Morgan Stanley and other large firms have promoted heavily in an attempt to keep older brokers from joining other firms and taking clients with them.

according the the article, the programs allow older brokers to receive a split of fees and commissions paid by former clients for several years if the brokers let their practices lapse after they leave.

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NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – Miller Stern Lawyers – 410-Law-Firm is currently investigating clients of Citigroup who are victims of, and suffered damages and losses in their pension funds, due to regulatory fines and penalties. A securities class action against Citigroup has been filed in New York federal court.  Their plaintiff is the City of Sunrise Firefighters’ Pension Fund, which claims in the Oct. 30 lawsuit that Citi’s risk management evaluation exposed the company to more than $1 billion in regulatory penalties. A month ago, Citigroup was fined $400 million. In September, when it became evident penalties were coming, the company’s stock dropped from $51 per share to $43.68 by October.  The company had mistakenly sent Revlon creditors $900 million of its own funds. Citi said it would boost investment in internal procedures by $1 billion. “In total, because of Citi’s deception relating to its internal controls and compliance systems, $17.43 billion of shareholder value has evaporated and class members were the ones who suffered from the defendants’ actions”, it states

Miller Stern Lawyers, LLC, a Baltimore Securities Law firm, currently represents investors for claims of investment losses from unauthorized trading, over concentration, irregular options trading, margin and unsuitability claims, broker fraud, securities fraud, securities litigation and other broker and broker/dealers for investment losses and fraud.  If you or anyone you know have experienced investment losses from the actions above or other situations, please call 410-LAW-FIRM ( 410-529-3476 ) or fill out the contact us form for a no cost consultation and evaluation of your claim

 

 

Securities Experts Roundtable

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.  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.”

cropped-High-Res-TA-2018-2019-284x300According 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

“Pizzuti (CRD 1461660), age 58, is a resident of DeBary, Florida. At the time of the misconduct that led to his conviction, Pizzuti was associated with a firm that was a Commission-registered broker-dealer and a state-registered investment adviser. Between January 1986 and May 2015, Pizzuti was associated with other broker-dealers registered with the Commission, some of which were also registered as investment advisers. He held Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses. In August 2013 and May 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) sanctioned Pizzuti by fining him and suspending him from association with FINRA members. See FINRA Disciplinary Proceeding Nos. 2009017195204, 2011027666902. Merrimac Corporate Securities, Inc. (“Merrimac”), a broker-dealer Pizzuti controlled, was also a respondent in these proceedings. In March 2016, in No. 2009017195204, FINRA expelled Merrimac from membership. On July 17, 2019, the Commission denied Merrimac’s application for review of FINRA’s decision imposing sanctions in No. 2011027666902. See Securities Act Rel. No. 10662.”

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.

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