Category Archives: Structured Products

Investors Capital Corp.-How to Recover Damages For Investment Losses

November 2016- Lynnfield, MA

Investors Capital Corp.  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 announced that  it will also close down VSR Financial Services , 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, a related entity which is headquartered in Boca Raton, FL.

Investor’s Capital Corp. Recent Regulatory Issues

October 2016-According to FINRA records, Investors Capital Corp agreed to pay $1.1 million in fines and restitution to resolve FINRA allegations that sales procedures for the sale of unit investment trusts (UITs) were inadequate. A UIT is a mix between an actively managed fund and a fixed portfolio of income producing securities.  UITs are generally intended as long term investments.

According to the FINRA sanction several Investors Capital brokers traded UITs on a short term basis causing losses to customers.

August 2016-Pennsylvania securities regulators fined Investors Capital Corp. $100,000 for failures in supervising its brokers.

Recovery of Investment Losses From Investors Capital Corp.

If you have suffered losses in an account at Investors Capital Corp. you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Time is of the essence, so if you have a claim, you would be wise to pursue it immediately. Call 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

Stuart Horowitz-Former Securities America Broker-Discloses 37 Customer Disputes

July 2016-Coral Springs, Florida

The FINRA records of Stuart Horowitz  , a former stock broker employed by  Securities America  disclose a prior final regulatory event, 33 prior customer disputes, 4 currently pending customer disputes and a separation 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 February 2016, without admitting or denying the findings, Horowitz entered into an agreement with FINRA to resolve allegations that he recommended and engaged in unsuitable trading in preferred notes of an unregistered limited partnership investment fund. Horowitz was fined $100,000 and suspended for a year. He is not currently registered with any FINRA broker dealer.

Horowitz’s FINRA disclosure indicates that 31 customer cases have been settled, including:

  • A tenant in common (TIC) investment in 2005 while Horowitz was employed by NFP Advisors resulted in a settlement of $100,000.
  • FINRA Case 15-0367, involving another TIC investment while Horowitz was employed by NFP Advisor Services resulted in a settlement of $50,000.
  • In FINRA Case 13-02685 a customer of NFP Securities alleged damages of $590,000 on alternative investments. That case resulted in a settlement of $184,000.

Horowitz was employed by Securities America from 2/2009 until 1/2016 when he was ‘permitted to resign’. Securities America made the following statement in connection with his termination: “After consultation with FINRA, Stuart Horowitz in and agreement with FINRA proposed to resign prior to FINRA’s planned suspension and subsequent fine. Mr. Horowitz will be permitted to resign on January 25, 2016”.

Investors who suffered losses in an account handled by Stuart Horowitz may be entitled 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

Recovery Options for Investors Who Purchased Oil & Gas Investments from Berthel Fisher

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently fined Berthel Fisher and their affiliate Securities Management & Research $775,000 for supervisory failures related to the sale of various alternative investments, including oil and gas programs.

FINRA found that from January 2008 to December 2012, Berthel Fisher had inadequate supervisory systems and written procedures for sales of alternative investments  like:

  • non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • leveraged and inverse exchange traded funds (ETFs)
  • managed futures
  • oil and gas programs
  • equipment leasing programs
  • business development companies

If you have losses in oil and gas investments purchased from Berthel Fisher, contact us to learn 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

Dennis Van Patter Investigation -First Financial Services Group-Plano,TX

November 20, 2015-Plano, Texas

Dennis Van Patter , a broker with VSR FInancial Services operates his financial service business through First Financial Services Group in Plano, Texas.

Van Patter recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he violated numerous NASD and FINRA rules by recommending investments that were not suitable for the customer.

According to the AWC,  while associated with VSR Financial Services from 2008-2010, he recommended that a  customer invest $1.6 million in alternative investments such as REITs, note programs, oil & gas drilling partnerships and private placements.

Per FINRA, the investments recommended by Van Patter were all described in the offering documents as being “speculative,” “highly speculative,” “highly risky,” and/or involving a “high degree of risk.” This was contrary to the customer’s expressed desires.  The customer had ranked his top four objectives and risk tolerance on the VSR new account forms as: 1-Moderate Income, 2- Moderate Growth and Income, 3- Moderate Growth, and 4-Conservative Growth.

In addition to making recommendations that were far riskier that the customer’s expressed wishes, FINRA noted that as a result of Van Patter’s recommendations the customer had approximately 52% of his liquid net worth concentrated in high risk alternative investments.

AWC No.  2013036647401

Van Patter was suspended from association with any FINRA member for 45 days and fined $10,000.

FINRA records reveal that Van Patter has been named in 7 customer disputes that have been finalized. In May 2015 a customer filed an arbitration seeking damages of $495,000 alleging misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. The products involved were:

  • Annuity-variable
  • Direct Investments-DPP & LP Interests
  • Equipment leasing
  • Equity Listed
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate security
  • Other: Gold

That matter, FINRA Case #14-01249, was settled for $215,000.

According to FINRA records, Van Patter has been registered with VSR Financial Services since 1997.

VSR FINANCIAL’S PRIOR FINRA SANCTION FOR SALE OF ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS

In May 2013 VSR Financial was sanctioned and assessed a fine of $550,000 by FINRA in connection with the sale of alternative investments, non-conventional investments and private placements. See our prior posting on that matter. 

If you have losses in an account handled by Van Patter, you may be able to recover damages. Call to discuss your 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

Wells Fargo Advisors Fined $500,000 for Sale of Structured Products

August 9, 2015

Wells Fargo Advisors  entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that from August 2005-July 2012, the company sold $12 million worth of Structured Repackaged Asset-Backed Trust Securities (STRATS) a complex structured product through brokers that had not been properly educated regarding the risks associated with the STRATs.

FINRA found that the firm’s internal use only brochure for the STRATs were not fair and balanced and failed to provide a sound basis for evaluating the risks of investing in the STRATs.

AWC NO. 2012033568901

Wells Fargo was censured and assessed a fine of $500,000. In addition they agreed to pay restitution of over $240,000.

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 Cushing Royalty & Income Fund ??

June 15,2015,

Cushing & Royalty Income Fund (SRF) which traded at $25 in February 2012 currently trades at less than $5. It is a leveraged fund which invests in oil and gas royalty trusts that was sold in some cases to elderly and conservative retirees who did not understand the risky nature of this investment.

Cushing & Royalty Income Fund was underwritten by these broker-dealers:

  • Stifel, Nicolaus & Company
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Oppenheimer & Co.
  • Robert W. Baird & Co.
  • BB&T Capital Markets, a division of Scott & Stringfellow
  • Ladenburg Thalmann & Co.
  • Wunderlich Securities
  • Maxim Group

Aside from the risky nature of this investment, the fees and commissions associated with its sale exceeded 6% in some instances.

If you were sold the Cushing Royalty and Income Fund by your stockbroker, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney and learn 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

iPath Dow Jones-UBS Energy Sub ETN Losses May Be Recoverable Through FINRA Arbitration

With interest rates at an historic low during recent years, many brokerage firms and financial advisors, seeking yield for retirees, recommended investments in oil & gas investments, which include not only stocks, but master limited partnerships (MLPs) and more exotic investments that track various indexes related to oil and gas .

Since these  are dependent upon the price of oil or gas, commodities that fluctuate widely, and are often times leveraged, they are generally not considered to be suitable for the average retiree who has a moderate or conservative investment objective.

iPath DJ-UBS Energy Sub TR ETN (JJE) is designed to provide exposure to the Dow Jones-UBS Energy Subindex Total Return, reflecting the returns that are potentially available through and unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on energy commodities.  JJE traded at over $20 in June 2014. As of early February 2015, it is trading at just under $10.

If you were sold this investment with the belief that it was a low risk investment that was suitable for your portfolio, you may be able to recover damages for any losses you have suffered. Call to speak 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