Category Archives: AIG Financial Advisors

Eduardo “Eddie” Diaz Indicted on Fraud Charges-Ocean Springs, Mississippi

November 2015

Former stockbroker Eduardo “Eddie” Guillermo Diaz, was indicted by a federal jury for wire fraud and other fraud charges for converting over $1 million of investor money to his own use.

Diaz opened investment retirement firm Thompson, Diaz, Baxter & Associates in 1993. In 2012 he opened Diaz Retirement Consultants in Ocean Springs, MS, and was known for his TV commercials, touting himself as the “most interested man on the Coast”.

According to the indictment the crimes allegedly occurred between February 2012 and October 2015 and may involve others.

January 2016

According to news reports Diaz is seeking a postponement of his trial while he attempts to negotiate a plea.

Diaz-Barred from Securities Industry by FINRA

According to FINRA records, Diaz was permanently barred from the securities industry in April 2014. He has several customer complaints, one of which was settled for $250,000 relating to the time he was registered with NEXT Financial Group.

See this for more details.

Lose Money While Diaz was Handling Your Account? 

If you lost money in an account handled by Diaz you may be entitled to recover damages from his former employer. Diaz was registered with the following broker dealers and they may be liable for the mishandling of your account:

Kovack Securities, Inc.
12/2012-1/2013

Next Financial  Group, Inc.
12/2008-11/2012

AIG Financial Advisors, Inc.
10//2005-12/2008

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

 

 

 

Examples of Annuity/Insurance Sales That Are Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

The following are narratives of past cases resolved by Florida and Federal  securities and insurance regulators that demonstrate a variety of ways in which unscrupulous insurance agents and stock brokers take advantage of the elderly in connection with the sale of annuities and insurance products.

Since these abuses tend to repeat themselves, if you are being urged to purchase an annuity or insurance product by an agent you may find this past history helpful. If you have any doubts, get a second opinion from a trusted professional.

  • In October 2004, an 84 year old retiree from Delray Beach, FL , attended a seminar in which Eric J. Brown was discussing investments. A couple of days after the seminar, he made arrangements to meet with Brown who criticized his current insurance agent, and he falsely advised him that the company from which he had earlier purchased and was holding annuity contracts with was having financial difficulties.Brown told him that if he transferred his old annuity policy to the new company, he would be provided with a “bonus.” When he  told Brown that he was concerned about suffering $33,000 in surrender penalties, Brown assured him that the return on the new policy would offset all but $3,000 of the penalties to be incurred within the first year.

    Brown advised him that another policy he had was not worth keeping as well and on the instruction of Brown he signed a number of blank forms to effectuate the transfer and purchase.

    Brown had intentionally misled this elderly victim and there was no bonus and he suffered large losses due to the surrender fees.

    Brown, who had worked for Prime Capital Services,  was sanctioned by the FLA Department of Financial Services and removed him from the insurance industry and he was assessed civil penalties in excess of $500,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • In 2005,  a man from Boynton Beach, FL,  was pursuing court proceedings to be appointed his father’s  , who was 90 years old, guardian. The father was living with  his companion of 15 years. Due to his advanced age and lack of short-term memory, he was unable to manage his own finances; instead he relied on his companion who had power of attorney.The companion insurance agent Joseph Ripa that she needed an investment through which she could safely keep some money for a very short period of time and explained to Ripa that she needed to have full access to the money whenever she needed it. Ripa falsely represented to the companion , who was 82 years of age, that an annuity investment was appropriate to meet these investment objectives and convinced her to purchase an annuity.

    Ripa misrepresented the terms and conditions of this investment by failing to disclose  that the investment he described was actually an equity-indexed deferred annuity, carrying ten years of surrender charges as high as twelve percent.

    In direct contradiction to her stated objective of having full access to her money whenever she needed it, and the victims’ full understanding of the terms and conditions of the investment, Ripa placed the funds in an annuity whereby access to her money would be limited for the following ten years, or until she was 92 years of age.

    The Department of Financial Services permanently revoked the insurance licenses of Joseph Ripa and fined him $40,000. Then Florida Chief Financial Officer made the following statement in connection with the revocation of Ripa’s license: “It is sad and deplorable that anyone would take advantage of senior citizens looking for help in supplementing their income,” said CFO Sink.  “This man knowingly locked his customers’ money away in annuities that could be accessed only by paying steep penalties or after a dozen years or more, and that certainly was not to the benefit of the customers he targeted.”

  • A 94 year old  resident of New Port Richey, FL,  and her husband had purchased annuities since 1994 and had nine of them with American Investors Life.In 1996, they heard an agent, Bijan Razdar, discussing annuities on the radio which created enough interest that they decided to attend one of his seminars. After attending the seminar, they decided not to do business with him at that time but approximately one year later, Razdar called them and arranged an appointment and decided to do business with him and purchased two deferred annuities for approximately $65,000.

    Following her husband’s death, Razdar began moving the annuities from one company to another or “twisting” policies in order to generate commissions.

     

    She told the agent that she did not want any investment that restricted her access to funds from the annuity for more than 5 years nor did she want to pay any surrender charges. Notwithstanding , the agent gave her blank forms to sign that she didn’t understand. She “trusted” the agent was working on her behalf.

    Over a period of six years, Razdar sold the couple approximately 30 annuities by convincing them to surrender old ones to buy new ones and suffered significant monetary penalties as a result.

    The victims paid over $20,000 in surrender charges, lost ownership of nearly $293,000 through multiple “twisting” of annuity policies, and were left with policies that had a surrender period of 14 years.

    Razdar’s license was permanently revoked by the Department of Financial Services.

  • An 89 year old lady from Clearwater, FL, also fell victim to Radzar’s radio advertisement and believed him when he told her she would not make any money by keeping the annuities she already owned. She followed his advice and liquidated the existing policies and purchased ten new ones, costing about $1.5 million. Radzar earned over $200,000 in commissions and she lost nearly $100,000 on surrender charges.  Unfortunately she was victimized again when John Morehart portrayed himself as a white knight who could undo Radzar’s misdeeds. He convinced her to liquidate the new annuities and buy a single premium life policy and place $200,000 in a fraudulent investment which turned out to be the bank account of his wife Debra. The Morehart’s licenses were revoked and they were barred from the industry.

 

  • An 81 year  from Tallahassee, FL, and his wife, suffering from dementia in a nursing home, were targeted by Georgia insurance agent Shannon Vick who convinced the couple to cash out existing annuity policies and other savings which he had them use to purchase life insurance and annuity policies. Vick also convinced the couple to take out a reverse mortgage on their home. The $60,000 proceeds from the mortgage was use by Vick to purchase another life insurance policy.  Vick, who had worked for ING/Old World Finance was arrested and charged in Georgia with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and exploitation of an elderly person. 

    Rex Securities Law provides nationwide representation to investors seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.  Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Rex Securities Law

561 391 1900

Several Recent FINRA Arbitration Awards in Favor of Individuals Seeking Damages for Investment Losses

Investors who have lost money as a result of the negligence of a stockbroker or a stock brokerage firm generally seek recovery of damages by filing an arbitration with FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA arbitrations are designed to permit much quicker resolution of the dispute, generally about a year, and at much less cost than litigation pursued in court.  In many instances securities lawyers will pursue cases on a contingent fee basis.

The following is a summary of several recent arbitration awards in favor of investors:

Frey, Rambling River Ranches vs. AIG Financial Advisors, Sagepoint Financial, et al, Case #13-1039, Las Vegas, NV–Investors brought FINRA arbitration against AIG and Sagepoint in connection with Braintree Park Mortgage and Guaranty Agreements. AIG  and Sagepoint FInancial were found jointly and severally liable for compensatory damages of $731,000, plus attorney fees.

Malone vs. Securities America, Case #13-3696– An investor brought arbitration vs. Securities America for unsuitability and violations of Minnesota Securities Act in connection with the purchase of Behringer Harvard REIT I, a non publicly traded real estate investment trust and was awarded damages of over $11,000.

Alberts Trust of 1997 vs. Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Case #13-138, Milwaukee, WI–Investor filed a FINRA arbitration against Wells Fargo alleging fraud, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty alleging that Wells Fargo placed the entire portfolio in volatile risky in-house bonds that had sub-prime exposure. The arbitration panel awarded $195,000 to the investor.

PR Liquidating Trust vs. Workman Securities, Case #13-3108,Dallas TX-Investor brought action for negligence and violation of securities laws in connection with the purchase of a private placement, Reg D offering in an oil and gas investment managed by Provident Royalties, LLC.  Claimant’s motion for default was granted and damages of $11.5 million were awarded.  According to FINRA records Workman has not been registered with FINRA for a number of years, so this victory may prove hollow, since there may be no source of payment for the winning party.

If you have suffered losses in your brokerage account, call to discuss your legal options with an experienced securities attorney.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Eduardo G Diaz Sued by FINRA & Settles Customer Dispute for $250,000

November 2015 UPDATE-Eduardo Diaz Indicted on fraud charges. See this for more

September 2013-Gulfport, Mississippi

 

Eduardo Guillermo Diaz-Update 1/2014: A customer complaint filed in Jackson County Mississippi court against Diaz while he was employed by NEXT FInancial alleging damages of $677,000 was settled for $250,000. The customer alleged that Diaz misrepresented an investment, failed to disclose the risks and failed to provided the correct status of the investment. In addition the customer alleged that Diaz put fraudulent information on her application. Circuit Courty Jackson County, Mississippi, Docket Case # 2012-00 182 1 .

FINRA records indicate that Diaz has not been registered since 1/2013.

AUGUST 2013

Eduardo Guillermo Diaz (CRD #1621873, Registered Principal, Ocean Springs, Mississippi) was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that in connection with the sale of a security, during telephone conversations and email communications, he intentionally or recklessly made untrue statements of material fact to a customer in willful violation of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 regarding properties of a limited liability company he controlled and intentionally or recklessly omitted to state other relevant and related material facts to the customer.

The complaint alleges that the customer’s investments in the company and the loan to it, which totaled at least $365,000, were not paid directly from her account at Diaz’s member firm. Rather, amounts withdrawn from her account were transferred to her checking account at a bank. At Diaz’s request, she then wired the funds, comprising the investments and loan to the company, to a bank account, which was a personal bank account Diaz controlled. In reliance upon representations Diaz made, the funds the customer provided to Diaz were intended for use by the company for its general business operations. Diaz’s bank account was comprised almost entirely of funds from the customer for her investments and the loan. Diaz improperly converted at least $126,000 of these funds in his bank account to his personal use for expenditures that did not benefit the company or the customer.

The complaint also alleges that Diaz executed transactions in the customer’s account, without her prior knowledge, authorization or consent. The unauthorized transactions in the customer’s brokerage account at Diaz’s firm resulted in more than $195,000 in cash that he sent to the customer, which she believed were distributions from the company. The complaint further alleges that Diaz, acting
outside of his employment with his firm, participated in private securities transactions for compensation with the customer without providing prior written or oral notice to the firm of his proposed role in, or the selling compensation that he might receive from the transactions. The firm did not approve Diaz’s private securities transactions with the customer. In addition, the complaint alleges that Diaz engaged in business activities with his company outside the scope of his relationship with the firm, without providing prior written notice to the firm or receiving its written approval. Diaz’s participation in the company was not passive.

Diaz was a member and manager of the company and received approximately $126,000 in compensation as a result of his business activity with it. Moreover, the complaint alleges that Diaz solicited loans from the customer in the total amount of $87,000. The loans were directed to Diaz and his company and deposited into his personal bank account. Diaz failed to notify his firm of the loans the customer made to him contrary to firm policy that prohibited Diaz from borrowing from customers in all circumstances.

(FINRA Case #2012034594402)

According to FINRA BrokerCheck Records Diaz is not currently registered. He was previously  registered at the following brokerage firms:

Kovack Securities, Inc.
12/2012-1/2013

Next Financial  Group, Inc.
12/2008-11/2012

AIG Financial Advisors, Inc.
10//2005-12/2008

If you have questions about investment losses or the way your brokerage account has been handled, please contact us to discuss your legal rights.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870