Category Archives: Workman Securities

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

Former NelsonReid Broker Edward Scro Barred by FINRA

In November 2013, FINRA announced that Edward Francis Scro (CRD #2321985) of Naples, FL, was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. This sanction was based on findings that Scro made unsuitable recommendations to elderly customers who needed stable monthly income and who were unsophisticated investors. The customers were sold risky, illiquid investments, mostly private placements offerings and were told by Scro that the principal would be protected while earning high interest with little risk.

The customers relied on Scro who also recommended unsuitable levels of investments in real estate related products and falsely represented having an MBA degree to customers. Scro faild to provide a requested on-the-record interview with FINRA.
According to FINRA records, Scro was registered with the following broker dealers:
  • NelsonReid Inc. 8/2010-5/2011
  • United Equity Securities 3/2010-8/2010
  • Workman Securities  6/2008-3/2010
If you had an account with Scro that suffered losses due to unsuitable recommendations, you may be able to recover those losses through FINRA arbitration. Call to discuss your legal rights.

Rex Securities Law , located in Boca Raton, FL, 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.

Rex Securities Law

561 391 1900

Tenant in Common Claim vs Workman SecuritiesResults in $300k Award

A married couple recently received a favorable arbitration award from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority  (FINRA) arbitration panel. FINRA Case#12-259.

Workman Securities was sued by the couple for bad advice given by Workman’s broker that the couple sell some of their real estate and use the proceeds to invest in a Tenant in Common (TIC) investment called Hawaii Self Storage 1, LLC.

Claimants contended that they wanted their money invested in a safe, secure property and to minimize their tax impact. Their claim further stated that the broker failed to disclose the adverse tax ramifications and the complexity of the TIC, thereby making the investment unsuitable for them.

The arbitration panel found Workman Securities Corporation liable and ordered them to pay the couple $300,000.

If you have losses in your brokerage account, you may be able to recover all or a part through FINRA arbitration.

Nationwide representation.

Free Consultation.

Rex Securities Law

561 391 1900

Ellen Erenstein -Former Workman Securities Broker-Discloses Numerous Customer Disputes-Boynton Beach, FL

May 2017-Boynton Beach, FL

According to FINRA records, on August 17, 2012, Ellen J. Erenstein submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she was barred permanently from association with any FINRA member. According to the letter, Erenstein failed to appear at FINRA offices to provide information in connection with a FINRA investigation of customer complaints filed against her by prior securities customers.

Erenstein discloses 3 pending and 9 prior final customer disputes, including:

FINRA Case 14-0321 in which a customer of Investors Capital Corp. alleged damages of $99,999 for unsuitable investments during 2006-2008 in direct investments, limited partnerships and real estate securities. That case was settled for $25,000.

FINRA Case 13-0635 in which a customer of Investors Capital Corp. alleged damages of $150,000 for unsuitable investments. That case was settled for $58,500.

FINRA Case 12 -03367 in which a customer of Investors Capital Corp alleged damages of $506,000 for an unsuitable investment in a tenant in common (TIC) investment. That case was settled for $340,000.

The pending cases against Erenstein include:

FINRA Case 13-01178 in which a customer of Investors Capital Corp. alleges damages of $1 million for unsuitable investments in limited partnerships and direct investments.

FINRA Case 11-0022 in which a customer of Workman Securities alleges damages of $810,000 for unsuitable investments in high risk, illiquid real estate investments made in 2008.

FINRA Case 9-5348  in which a customer of Workman Securities alleges damages of $2.4  million  for unsuitable investments in three 1031 TIC exchanges.

Erenstein worked for Investors Capital Corp from 8/2003-10/2006, then joined Workman Securities Corporation where she worked until July 2010.

INVESTORS CAPITAL CORP. SUBJECT OF 21 REGULATORY MATTERS–CEASES OPERATIONS FALL 2016

Investors Capital Corp. withdrew its registration with FINRA in fall 2016. Investors Capital has been named in 21 regulatory matters and a number of customer arbitrations. For more information on Investors Capital Corp, follow this link. 

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by Ellen Erenstein 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: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

FINRA Announces November 2012 Disciplinary Actions

 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issues a report on disciplinary and other actions involving registered brokers, investment advisers and brokerage firms every month.

Here are significant Florida related actions for November 2012. Follow this link to the FINRA website for the entire report for actions nationwide for the month of November 2012 as well as to access  earlier time periods.

Raymond James & Associates (St. Petersburg, Florida)-censured and fined $250,000 for failure to safeguard against the unauthorized disclosure or personally identifiable information about firm customers after a customer complained that her firm account number and other personal information was available on the internet.

Charles Eugene Bishop, Jr.-Pompano Beach, Florida- was fined $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two years. Bishop consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of
findings that he attempted to misappropriate approximately $3 million from an elderly customer of his member firm. Bishop created paperwork by which the deceased customer’s assets would be transferred to a purported entity that was never formed, but whose name was virtually identical to a company the customer owned, with a tax identification number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to another entity that was never formed, but whose sole member, according to IRS records, was Bishop.

After the customer passed away, Bishop, through his attorney, filed a notice with a Probate Division with his state’s Circuit Court representing that he had an interest in the customer’s estate as a claimant and beneficiary of the deceased customer’s estate.

The suspension will be in effect from December 3, 2012, through December 2, 2014. According to FINRA records, Bishop is not currently registered. His last industry position was with Merrill Lynch. Prior to that he worked for Morgan Stanley.

Robert Joseph Eanell-St. Petersburg, Florida-was fined $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 business days. Eanell consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he misrepresented his educational background to prospective securities customers, including on his business cards. The findings stated that on annual forms, Eanell’s member firm asked him to identify all of the degrees, titles and designations that he used on letterhead, business cards or in communications with clients. Nevertheless, Eanell failed to disclose the fact that he held himself out as the holder of a doctoral degree.

The suspension was in effect from October 1, 2012, through November 9, 2012. According to FINRA records Eanell is no longer registered. He last worked for Sterling Enterprises Group. Prior to that he was with GunnAllen and AXA Advisors.

Evan Coley Eggers-Jacksonville, Florida-was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months. Eggers consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he made premium payments for his customers’ life insurance policies, using his personal funds to make the payments. The findings stated that each payment was submitted to his member firm via a money order, a practice forbidden by company policy. On each money order, Eggers falsified the customer’s signature. On a couple of occasions, Eggers falsified the customer’s signature to reduce the value of a life insurance policy. The findings also stated that all insurance policies at issue were less than one year old. By continuing payment of the premiums, all policies remained active through a period of 13 months, thus qualifying Eggers for potential remuneration.

The suspension is in effect from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013.

FINRA records indicate that Eggers is no longer registered. He last worked for Northwestern Mutual Investment Services.

Ellen Joyce Erenstein – Boynton Beach, Florida- was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.  Erenstein consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that she failed to respond to FINRA requests to provide testimony concerning customer complaints prior securities customers and their heirs had filed against her.

FINRA records indicate that Erenstein is no longer registered having last worked for Workman Securities.

Brennan R. Lollar -St. Petersburg, Florida-was
barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. The sanction was based on findings that Lollar misappropriated funds from a bank where he worked as a branch manager. The findings stated that without the bank’s permission or authority, Lollar transferred funds into customers’ accounts and labeled the transfers as refunds of bank fees. No bank fees had ever been assessed to the customers, and Lollar knew the customers were not entitled to any refunds. Through a series of several small transactions, Lollar misappropriated a total of $3,242.90 into customers’ accounts. The findings also stated that Lollar admitted to the bank that he issued the false refunds and claimed that he did
so to assist, or to curry favor with, certain customers. The bank obtained reimbursement through the liquidation of Lollar’s retirement fund. The findings also included that other
than Lollar providing FINRA with a photocopy of a written statement previously provided to the bank admitting to certain aspects of his misconduct, he did not respond to FINRA requests for information and failed to appear for a FINRA on-the-record interview.

Brennan last worked for SunTrust Investment Services and is no longer registered per FINRA records.

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

 

Rex Investigates Tenant in Common, TIC, 1031 Exchange Real Estate Investment Losses

Have you or your loved ones suffered losses as a result of purchasing Tenant in Common Real Estate Investments? We are investigating schemes involving the sale of private investments in real estate (office buildings, shopping centers, etc) in investments knows as TIC’s, 1031 exchanges or Tenant in Common real estate investment schemes.

Brokerage firms nationwide sold these investments to unsuspecting
investors, many who are retirees on fixed income who can ill afford to lose capital. Oftentimes the selling firm did little or no due
dilligence to determine the safety of the investment or the suitablity
of the investment for the particular investor involved.

The brokers generally highlighted selling points like the guaranteed
annual income distributions (often 7% or more), but failed to discuss
the risks associated with this type of investment. Since TIC investments are private investments, not traded on any securities market, they can not be readily sold, making them virtually illiquid. This can be  critical for those needing liquidity for living and health expenses.

In February 2012 LPL Financial was hit with a $1.4 million arbitration award for an elderly couple who was sold tenant in common real estate investments. DBSI Inc., one of the largest sellers of TICs declared bankruptcy in 2008, however the broker dealers that sold those deals remain liable for selling these products.

Brokerage firms that sold TIC investments include the following:

Alternative Wealth Strategies
American Wealth Management
Berthel Fisher & Co

Cambridge Investment Research
CapWest Securities Inc.
DBSI Securities
DeWaay Financial Network, Inc.
Equity Services Inc.
FINTEGRA LLC
F.A. Repple & Co.

Grubb & Ellis
INVEST Financial Corp.
Investment Security Corporation
Investors Capital
J.P. Turner Co. LLC
LaSalle St. Securities

KMS Financial Services, Inc.
LPL Financial
MCL Financial Group Inc.
Meridian Capital Partners
Next Financial Group
NPV/Direct Invest
Omni Brokerage Inc.
Orchid Securities
Pacific West Securities

QA3 Financial Corp.
Quest Securities
Questar Capital Corp.
Regent Financial Group
Sanders Morris Harris
Sagepoint Financial

Securities Network LLC
Sigma Financial
U. S. Advisors LLC
U. S. Commercial
WFP Securities
Workman Securities

Rex Securities Law , located in Boca Raton, FL, 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.

Rex Securities Law

561 391 1900