News Report 12/19/17

  1. Jerry Guttman (d/b/a Guttman Financial Group), a financial consultant previously registered with United Planners Financial Services of America in Phoenix, Arizona, was barred by FINRA relative to allegations involving the possible sales of $7 million worth of membership interests in six different LLC’s that may have been sold to 38 customers. United Planners discharged Guttman in September 2017 alleging that he offered unapproved investments to customers. See FINRA brokercheck, which also reflects Guttman’s affiliation with outside business activities and other companies. If you are an investor who suffered losses with Guttman, or United Planners, related to the handling of your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  2. The SEC recently filed a civil action charging Matthew Griffin and William Griffin with fraudulently offering Texas oil and gas partnerships in Payson Petroleum 3 Well 2014, which was believed to have been offered in 2013-2014 and the sales may have involved $23 million of investments for approximately 150 investors for purpose of developing three oil and gas wells. It is alleged that the offering of the investments involved misrepresentations and omissions of material facts. If you are an investor who suffered losses with Griffin, or based on oil and gas investments in your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  3. William Heidin, a financial consultant previously registered with Morgan Stanley and now registered with Wedbush Securities, Inc. in Newport Beach, California, is believed to be the subject of one or more customer complaints alleging unsuitable investment recommendations, breach of fiduciary duty, and other claims relating to energy stocks, master limited partnerships (MLPs) or other oil and gas investments. See FINRA brokercheck. If you are an investor who suffered losses with Heidin, Morgan Stanley, or Wedbush Securities, related oil and gas investments, MLPs, unsuitable recommendations, or the handling of your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  4. Joseph Cotter, a financial consultant previously registered with Next Financial Group, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina, appears to be the subject of customer complaints and regulatory action. It appears Cotter was terminated in March 2016 after allegations relating to an internal review of trading activity that was believed to be excessive and a possible exercise of de facto control over one or more customer accounts. Cotter was later associated with Peterson Investments, Inc. See FINRA brokercheck. If you are an investor who suffered losses with Cotter, Next Financial, or Peterson Investments related to the handling of your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  5. The Wall Street Journal reported on 5/14/17 that mutual fund losses in Puerto Rico bonds could be approximately $5.4 billion, and these losses in many cases are tucked inside a wide range of mutual fund holdings including funds managed by Franklin, Oppenheimer, Goldman Sachs, Lord Abbett & Co., Alliance Bernstein and others. The Franklin and Oppenheimer mutual funds appear to have the most holdings with losses, which could be potentially as much as $2.1 billion and $1.6 billion respectively. If you are an investor who suffered losses with Franklin mutual funds, Oppenheimer Mutual funds, or Puerto Rico bonds or Puerto Rico bond funds in your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  6. The Wall Street Journal reported on 3/21/17 that public disclosures sometimes omit settlements that brokerage firms negotiate with clients. For example, the article noted that UBS has reported settlements of about $60 million, but a true estimated total (at that time) was believed to be much higher (as much as three times that figure). The FINRA brokercheck system often reports FINRA arbitration decisions and awards, but not necessarily legal settlements. The article explained that FINRA is a non-profit entity overseen by the SEC and it writes and enforces rules that govern 3,900 brokerage firms. The rules are approved by the SEC. FINRA also has the power to fine, suspend, or bar a broker or member firm from the securities industry. Many  mom and pop investors typically turn to FINRA’s arbitration system to resolve disputes relating to investments losses, the information that appears on the publicly available FINRA brokercheck system is taken from SEC forms that are filed by the brokerage firms with the SEC, and FINRA does not have control over changing the form that is filed with the SEC. If you are an investor who suffered losses related to the handling of your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  7. On 12/11/17, InvestmentNews.com reported that three separate units of Cetera (Investor’s Capital Corp., JP Turner & Co., and VSR Financial Services) were fined nearly $700,000 for pushing higher priced mutual fund share classes on customers. FINRA alleged that all three firms failed to establish and maintain proper written procedures and further failed to adequately notify and train their financial advisors. If you are an investor who suffered losses in your accounts with Cetera, Investor’s Capital, JP Turner, or VSR Financial related to mutual funds or if you have other issues or questions related to the handling of your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  8. On 12/15/17, Advisorhub.com reported that a former LPL Financial broker, Leslie Koonce, from Menlo Park, California (who was discharged by LPL Financial in 2015) allegedly engaged in private securities transactions without proper firm approval and Koonce is now barred by FINRA. The allegations (which were neither admitted nor denied) referenced 30 possible investors who may have invested in promissory notes between 2012-2015. Koonce previously denied the allegations, but may have falsely completed LPL Financial internal firm forms. Since being terminated by LPL Financial, Koonce has been registered with Cetera Advisor Networks and EK Riley Investments, but is no longer registered with any broker-dealer firm. Also see FINRA brokercheck. If you are an investor who suffered losses with Koonce, LPL Financial, Cetera Advisor Network, EK Riley Investments, or if you have other issues or questions related to the handling of your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  9. On 12/12/17, Advisorhub.com reported that FINRA barred two former Wells Fargo Advisors employees from Irvine, California who allegedly recommended unsuitable energy investment-related strategies that resulted in losses for customers. From 2012-2015, it is alleged that Charles Lynch and Charles Frieda of Wells Fargo Advisors recommended that more than 50 customers invest in strategies that were believed to include over-concentrated positions in speculative energy stocks (including, but not limited to Magnum Hunter Resources, and Halcon Resources Corp.). Some of the investors were alleged to be elderly and in some of the cases the energy investments may have represented 50% or more of the customer’s net worth. It is believed that Wells Fargo terminated Lynch in April 2016 and has paid out $8.5 million to settle as many as 51 customer complaints since 2012. Frieda left Wells Fargo Advisors in September 2017, and a review of his FINRA brokercheck public records reflects numerous customer complaints. If you are an investor who suffered losses in your Wells Fargo accounts, with Frieda or Lynch, or relating to energy securities, or from any other questionable activity related to the handling of your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.
  10. On 12/17/17, CNBC Investigation reported on  Broken Bonds: The Role all Street played in Wiping out Puerto Ricans  Savings . It was reported that top UBS executives knew brokers were selling mutual funds packed with risky Puerto Rico bonds even as the economy in Puerto Rico was crumbling. A local UBS broker recommended over-concentrated positions in the funds and investments for some clients, and in some cases the funds were highly leveraged. Even after red flags and warning signs, some brokers continued to recommend that customers continue to buy or hold (rather than sell or liquidate) these securities. UBS is believed to have paid over $300 million thus far, and there are approximately 1,600 cases filed with FINRA related to these types of issues. The SEC settled with UBS in 2012 and 2015 for total settlements of $61 million, however UBS did not admit or deny the allegations by the SEC. If you are an investor who suffered losses in your UBS accounts, related to Puerto Rico bonds or Puerto Rico bond funds, or from any other questionable activity related to the handling of your investment portfolio please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.

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