Category Archives: Energy Securities

Paul V Blum-Former RBC Capital Broker- Sued by Clients for Unsuitable Trading-W. Palm Beach, FL

October 2017-West Palm Beach, FL

The FINRA records of  Paul Vincent Blum ,  a  stockbroker who was previously employed by RBC Capital Markets disclose a prior regulatory event, 9 pending customer disputes and 14 prior customer disputes.

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 August 2017, Blum was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA for failing to appear for on the record testimony during the course of an investigation in connection with customer complaints alleging unsuitable trading.

In the pending arbitrations customers make various allegations of wrongdoing, mostly related to unsuitable investments in energy related investments,  including the following:

  • Blum recommended unsuitable and over-concentrated investments in the energy sector. Damages alleged, $886,070.
  • Three former customers allege that Blum was involved as an intermediary in making  unsuitable recommendations of energy sector corporate bond investments. Damages are alleged to be $525,000, $6,000,000  and $2,250,000.

Total dollar amount of the settlements already paid on  the prior customer disputes  is over $1.7 million.

If you have losses in an account handled by Paul Blum, call to discuss how you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

OCTOBER  2017VSR Financial Services closed down its operations in the Fall of 2016. Many of its brokers and clients have been transferred to Summit Brokerage Services, a related entity which is part of the Cetera Financial Group.

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 and how you may be able to recover damages for losses on those investments.

 

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 On Limited Partnerships and Other Alternative Investments Purchased From VSR Financial

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 the recovery of losses on investments purchased from VSR Financial Services.

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.  , and 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

Andrew “Todd” Yocum Investigation Continues-The VIllages, FL

The Villages Florida

UPDATE OCTOBER 2017FINRA records disclose that Andrew “Todd” Yocum has two prior final regulatory matters resulting in his bar from the industry. There are 10 currently pending customer disputes and 23 prior customer disputes that are final.

In the bulk of the customer disputes, the customers allege an overconcentration of oil and gas related securities.

Here is a sampling of some of the 23 prior cases that have been settled:

  • In 2/2017 a customer of Morgan Stanley was paid $67,500 to resolve allegations that Yocum made unsuitable recommendations in the energy sector 2014-1015.
  • In 8/2017 a Morgan Stanley customer was paid $75,000 to resolve allegations that Yocum over-concentrated their portfolio with unsuitable investments. FINRA Case 17-0049.
  • IN 8/2016 a customer of Morgan Stanley was paid $35,975 to resolve allegations that from March 2012-September 2015 Yocum made unsuitable recommendations.

FINRA Alleges Yocum Recommended Unsuitable Energy Investments to Seniors

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. Customers of broker dealers who have a dispute, such as a claim for account losses , are entitled to file an arbitration proceeding against the firm and/or the broker to recover damages. FINRA entered a permanent bar against Yocum in May 2016 after he refused to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony in connection with an investigation into whether he effected unauthorized transactions, exercised discretion without written authorization, and recommended unsuitable concentrated purchases of energy sector securities to senior investors.

Florida Securities Regulators Find That Yocum Executed Unauthorized Trades

In 3/2017 the Florida Office of Financial Regulation filed an Administrative Complaint alleging violations of standards of commercial honor and principles of trade; suitability; and placing trades in client accounts without authorization. Yocum was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in May 2017.

The Florida regulators found that Yocum executed trades that were not authorized, made trade recommendations that were not suitable, and failed to execute trades by the end of the day on the date the client requested. Yocum was ordered to cease and desist and be permanently barred from submitting an application for license or registration under Florida Chapter 517.

 

Andrew Yocum was employed by Morgan Stanley and worked in their office located at 832 Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, Florida, until he was discharged in October 2015 for “Allegations concerning acting on verbal discretion” according to FINRA records.

We continue to evaluate potential cases for former clients of Todd Yocum. Call to discuss your options for recovery. Cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

SEC Files Action vs. FL and TN Oil and Gas Deal Scammers

August 2017-Ft. Lauderdale, FL/ Gallatin, TN

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two men from Tennessee and a man from Florida with allegedly defrauding investors by false promises of high returns from an oil drilling investment.

The SEC Complaint, filed in Savannah, GA, alleges that David R. Greenlee and David A. Stewart, Jr. orchestrated a $15 million scheme through a network of salesmen who raised money from investors who were promised profits of 15-55% per year for decades on wells that would use enhanced recovery techniques to boost production.

Neither Greenlee nor Stewart was registered to sell investments and they routinely used fake names , like “Dave Johnson”, when speaking with investors in order to hide their past criminal records. According to the SEC, only a small fraction of the money raised was actually used as intended.

The SEC alleges that Richard “Ric” Underwood helped draft brochures and oversaw a boiler room sales team of telemarketers in Florida who solicited victims nationwide.

The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Georgia has instituted criminal charges in a parallel action.

Companies listed by the SEC as being used in the scam include:

  • Tennstar Energy
  • Black Gold Resources (BRG)
  • Southern Energy Group

Other individuals involved, but not named defendants, per the SEC complaint are Robert Dorrance, 60, of Gallatin, TN, and Jared G. Forrester, 33, of Glasgow, KY.

If you invested in this scheme at the suggestion of a licensed stock broker , you may be able to recover damages from the broker’s employer. Call for details.

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.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Couple Awarded $550,000 For Losses on Breitburn Energy Investments-St. Louis

September 2017-St. Louis, MO

A FINRA arbitration panel ordered J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons to pay a couple $450,000 in compensatory damages, $100,000 in punitive damages and costs of over $18,000. The couple alleged that the firm and broker sold all of their blue chip stocks and invested all of the funds in a highly speculative oil and gas company, Breitburn Energy Partners Limited.

The couple contended that the lack of diversification exposed them to massive risk which was contrary to their conservative investment objectives and risk tolerance. Benitone, et al vs. J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC, FINRA Case 16-01819. 

Stockbrokers have a duty to make recommendations that are suitable in light of your age, health and level of financial sophistication. Brokers are required to make recommendations that comply with your stated investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Many investors have suffered significant losses in oil and gas and other energy related investments over recent years. If you have questions about losses on energy investments, 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.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Employer of Stuart, FLA, Broker Christopher D. Sinkula Named in FINRA Arbitration

September 2017-Stuart, Florida

We have filed a FINRA arbitration claim against Janney Montgomery Scott (JMS) on behalf of a single lady who seeks damages alleging that  recommendations made to her by JMS broker Christopher D. Sinkula were unsuitable.

Our client alleges that Sinkula recommended that she invest a high percentage of her IRA account in energy stocks which has resulted in significant losses to her account.

According to FINRA records, Sinkula has been registered with JMS since 2008. In 2013, a customer of his former employer Citigroup Global Markets was paid $200,000 to resolve claims that Sinkula misrepresented and failed to adequately understand the risks and features associated with a variable annuity product.

FINRA arbitration is a process that is generally much more expedient and far less costly than court litigation. If you have questions about losses in an account handled by Christopher Sinkula, contact us to discuss your 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

John S. Simpson – Former RBC Capital Markets Broker-Discloses $11M Customer Suit- Hunt Valley, MD

June 2017- Hunt Valley, MD

According to publicly available records John Scott Simpson  (CRD#719367) ,  a  former stockbroker who was last employed by  RBC Capital Markets,   discloses one regulatory event, a currently pending customer dispute, five prior customer disputes and two terminations from employment.

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 12/2016 to resolve allegations that Simpson refused to appear for on the record testimony in connection with FINRA’s investigation of the conduct giving rise to his discharge from RBC Capital Markets, Simpson was permanently barred from the securities industry.

In   2016 four customers of  RBC Capital Markets settled customer complaints against Simpson citing allegations of unsuitability, unauthorized trading, not monitoring accounts, over concentration in the oil sector,  and ignoring requests to reduce exposure to the oil and gas sector in portfolio. Those cases were settled for various cash amounts.

In currently pending FINRA case 16-02205 a customer of RBC Capital Markets alleges that his portfolio was concentrated in the energy and metals sectors and was unsuitable for people of that age and risk tolerance.   The alleged damages are $11,000,000.

In 1/2016, Simpson  was discharged from RBC Capital Markets who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “violation of firm policy regarding use of discretion in clients accounts“.

In 2003 Simpson, employed by UBS PaineWebber,  was discharged after allegations of “unauthorized trading, violation of the firm’s solicitation policy and management’s loss of confidence“.

John Scott Simpson was employed by RBC Capital Markets from 3/2009 to2/2016, with Ferris, Baker, Watts 5/2003 – 3/2009 and PaineWebber 11/1980 until 5/2003.

If you have losses  in an account handled by John Simpson 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