Category Archives: Cetera Financial Group

Robert Estevez, Former Investors Capital Corp Broker-Discloses Regulatory Matters

March 2017- New York

According to publicly available records Robert Estevez , (CRD# 3161419) ,  a  stockbroker who previously worked for Investors Capital Corp and who is currently employed by Joseph Gunnar & Co.  disclose a pending regulatory investigation, 2 prior finalized regulatory matters, 5 final customer disputes and 3 outstanding judgement/liens.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In the currently pending regulatory matter, Michigan securities regulators seek to deny Estevez’s registration in that state because, according to their allegations: “Estevez…is the subject of a Cease and Desist Order issued by the State of New Hampshire, and Applicant’s liabilities exceed his assets and the Administrator has made a finding of insolvency as to Applicant…”

In a prior regulatory matter while he was employed by Investors Capital Corp., the State of New Hampshire fined Estevez $50,000 and alleged that ” The State found that individuals in the branch where Mr. Estevez was located made telemarketing calls into the state of New Hampshire to persons on the National Do Not Call List. The State found that Mr. Estevez may have initiated some of these calls”. 9/2014- Com-2013-00002-00004. 

Public records disclose that Estevez has three outstanding IRS liens of $56,135 , $15,646 and $59,897.

Estevez has been registered with Joseph Gunnar & Co.  since 9/2016. He was registered with Investors Capital Corp. from 12/2008-9/2016.

Investors Capital Corp., a part of the Cetera Group, wound down operations during 2016. Many of the brokers were transferred to Summit Brokerage Services.

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by Robert Estevez, contact us to discuss your legal options.

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: 877-224-3199Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

VSR Financial-Overland Park, KS, Brokerage Firm- Shutting Down Operations

November 3, 2016-Overland Park, KS

The Kansas City Star reports that VSR Financial, which has been in business since 1984, it shutting down and moving its brokers and customers to other related firms in the Cetera Financial Group.

VSR Financial had about 215 brokers in 58 branches nationwide.

VSR has had several significant regulatory issues to deal with in the recent years:

Alternative Investment Issue

In May 2013, VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)  in connection with the sale of alternative investments similar to United Development Funding. In their findings, FINRA criticised VSR Financial for recommending high concentration levels of alternative investments in customer accounts and for its lack of supervision over the use of consolidated reports prepared by brokers and provided to customers.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. It may also include art, wine, antiques, coins or stamps. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

For more information related to VSR Financial’s alternative investment issues, follow this link. 

Variable Annuity Sales Issue

In October 2016, VSR Financial was censured and fined $400,000 for various supervisory issues related to the sale of variable annuities to customers. Related entities Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities and Summit Brokerage Services were also sanctioned by FINRA for supervisory failures related to the sales of variable annuities.

Follow this link to 10/2016 VSR Financial FINRA Sanction for Variable Annuity Sales Violations

If you have losses in an account in an account at  VSR Financial Services , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

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

Investors Capital Corp. Discloses 21 Regulatory Issues-Withdraws FINRA Registration

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2017-As of 11/18/2016 Investors Capital Corp is no longer registered with FINRA or a national securities exchange. In October 2016, Investors Capital was censured, fined $250,000 and required to pay restitution to customers in connection with the short term trading of unit investment trusts (UITS) and Steepener Notes.

ORIGINAL POST JUNE 2016According to FINRA records,  stock brokerage firm Investors Capital Corp.  discloses 19 regulatory events that are final and 14 final arbitrations. According to recent press, there are plans to shut down the company in the coming months.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

Investors Capital Corp. is an independent full-service broker-dealer and has been a FINRA member since 1992. They are headquartered in Lynnfield, Massachusetts and employ over 500 brokers in over 300 offices nationwide.

During 2013-2014, RCS Capital Corp. (RCAP) acquired Investors Capital Corp. along with a number of other independent broker-dealers, including Cetera Financial Group. In early 2016 RCAP filed for bankruptcy and in spring 2016, Cetera announced that as part of its restructuring they would be merging Investors Capital and VSR Financial Services, known for its sales of alternative investments, into its Summit Brokerage Services unit.

Investors Capital Corps.’s recent regulatory events include:

  • 8/2014-New Hampshire regulators assessed a fine of $125,000 and required rescission of unsuitable sales of non-traded REITs. Regulators alleged that Investors Capital made telemarketing calls to residents in violation of FINRA telemarketing rules and sold unsuitable non-traded REITs.
  • 3/2014-FINRA alleged that the firm failed to have a proper process in place to ensure that prospectuses were delivered to purchasers of exchange traded funds (ETFs) and that the firm did not engage in training brokers about the features and risks of ETFs. A fine of $100,000 was assessed.

If you have questions about an account at  Investors Capital Corp., call for a no charge consultation.

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

VSR Financial Services-How to Recover Damages On Investment Losses

FEBRUARY 2017 UPDATEVSR Financial has closed operations. Many of its brokers and clients have been transferred to Summit Brokerage Services, a related entity. See below for discussion of VSR’s regulatory issues related to the sale of real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil and gas partnerships and other alternative investments.

 

ORIGINAL POST June 2016—Overland, Kansas

VSR Financial Services will be closing down and transferring some of its brokers and current clients to another firm within the Cetera network of broker dealers, according to a spokesman for Cetera Financial Group.

RCS Capital, Cetera’s parent has been in bankruptcy and this consolidation is part of their restructuring. The company has indicated it will also close down Investors Capital Corp. , another small independent broker dealer as well. It is expected that most of the current brokers of VSR and Investors Capital will be asked to join Summit Brokerage Services, which is headquartered in Boca Raton, FL.

VSR’s  Alternative Investment Problem

VSR is well known for its sales of alternative investments such as non-traded REITs, equipment leasing programs, oil & gas drilling programs, promissory notes and commodity funds. In 2013, VSR and its president Donald Beary, were sanctioned by FINRA in connection with the sale of alternative investments. VSR paid a fine of $550,000.

Recovery of Investment Losses From VSR

Over the past several years we have represented a number of investors, mostly retirees, who were recommended alternative investments with the promise of steady, dependable income and minimal risk.

Follow this link for other postings related to VSR’s alternative investment issues. 

If you have suffered losses as a result of investing in alternative investments that were recommended to you by a VSR Financial Services broker (including, but not limited to John Towers, Dennis Van Patter, Mickey Long, Parks Brown, Jr. or Keith Bradley) , we may be able to help you recover damages.

Time is of the essence, so if you have a claim, you would be wise to pursue immediately.

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

Former NFP Securities Broker Sanctioned by Regulators-St. Petersburg, FL

January 21, 2016- St. Petersburg, FL

Michael William Hajek, III entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that while he was registered with Genworth Financial Securities , Cetera Financial Specialists  and NFP Securities,  he was involved in numerous outside business activities in violation of NASD and FINRA Rules.

In addition to the undisclosed outside business activities, FINRA also alleged that Hajek participated in at least 12 private securities transactions effected in customer’s self directed IRAs totaling more than $2.3 million.

AWC No.  2013037390801

Hajek was fined $35,000 and suspended for 18 months.

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

Losses on RCS Capital (RCAP) ? Recovery Options for Investors.

December 3, 2015

RCS Capital Corp. (RCAP) was trading at over $38 in April 2014. At the time of this writing it is trading for 43 cents. Investors who have suffered losses on RCAP may be able to recover damages from the brokerage firm that recommended the investment if it can be shown that the recommendation was not suitable.

How did the value of this once high flying company drop so dramatically?

Last month , RCS Capital, founded by real estate mogul Nicholas Schorsch, settled charges with Massachusetts securities regulators who had charged the company with fraudulently obtaining proxy votes to support real estate deals sponsored by AR Capital, a related company. RCAP agreed to pay $3 million to settle the charges.

This week RCS Capital announced that they would shut down its wholesale brokerage division Realty Capital Securities due to declining sales of nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITs). This move will result in the layoff of around 200 people, according to recent press.

RCS Capital was on an acquisition binge over the past couple of years acquiring a string of independent broker dealers. At the time Schorsch was criticized for overpaying for these small brokerage firms and after third quarter reporting results, it appears the criticism was warranted, based upon the massive write-offs taken:

  • Cetera Financial Holdings-purchased in 2014 for $1.15 billion, written down by $134 million.
  • Summit Financial Services Group= purchased in 2014 for $57.2 million, written down by nearly $10 million.
  • First Allied Holdings purchased in 2014 for $177 million, written down by nearly $45 million.
  • Investors Capital Holdings purchased in 2014 for $52.5 million, written down by $26.7 million.
  • VSR Group, purchased in 2015 for $66.7 million, written down by $28 million.
  • Girard Securities purchased in 2015 for $27.8 million, written down by $13.2 million.
  • J.P. Turner purchased in 2014 for $32.7 million was written down by over $13 million earlier this year.

RCAP took additional write-offs on other business units totaling tens of millions of dollars as well.

If you suffered losses on RCAP that you purchased based on the recommendation of your broker you may be able to recover damages from the broker dealer where the broker worked at the time. Call to discuss your legal options.

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

Lantana Florida Broker Sanctioned by Securities Regulator

July 13, 2015- Lantana, Florida

Ingrid M. Batchelor  entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that she  engaged in discretionary trading on four occasions to purchase mutual funds totaling $100,000 on behalf of a customer who was temporarily out of the country.

AWC NO. 2014043838001

Batchelor  was  fined $5,000 and suspended for 10 business days.

According to FINRA records, Batchelor joined Cetera Financial Specialists in June 2004 and resigned  in December 2014 after the firm alleged that she failed to disclose and obtain pre-approval form the firm to act as power of attorney on a client account. She is not currently registered.

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