Category Archives: UIT (Unit Investment Trust)

Anthony J. Verzi-Former Morgan Stanley Broker-Discloses Customer Dispute/Regulatory Sanction Over UIT Sales-Melbourne, FL

The FINRA records of Anthony J. Verzi ,  a  stockbroker who formerly was employed by Morgan Stanley disclose a final regulatory event and a pending customer dispute, both of which relate to the sale of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs).

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 a Morgan Stanley customer filed a complaint seeking unspecified damages alleging that their investments in unit investment trusts (UITs) were recommended to them in order to generate commissions.

In October 2016 FINRA commenced an investigation into Verzi’s potential unsuitable trading of UITs in customer accounts. Verzi refused to appear for on the record testimony in that investigation and in June 2017 consented to a bar from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Verzi was employed by Morgan Stanley from 1983 until 8/2016.

If you have losses in an account  handled by Anthony J. Verzi  call for a no charge consultation to learn 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

Christopher R. Hickman-Former Cetera Advisors Broker-Discloses Settlement of Customer Disputes-Delray Beach, FL

June 2017-Delray Beach, FL

The FINRA records of  Christopher R. Hickman ,  a  former stockbroker who was last employed as a broker by Cetera Advisors and who is not currently registered, disclose a final regulatory matter, a pending customer dispute and  6 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 June 2017 FINRA suspended Hickman for five months , ordered restitution of over $115,000 and assessed a $5,000 fine to resolve allegations that he engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs) in six customer accounts. The findings state that Hickman repeatedly recommended the purchase of UITs and then the sale of them within a year of purchase, notwithstanding the fact that the UITs had 24 month maturity dates and sales charges of 3.95%. In addition, on several occasions, Hickman recommended that his customers use proceeds from the sale of the UITs to purchase another nearly identical UIT.

In currently pending FINRA arbitration 17-01056, a customer of Cetera Advisors seeks damages of $265,000 and alleges breach of fiduciary duty, violation of FINRA rules and elder abuse.

The prior customer disputes include:

  • FINRA Case 9-05733-A customer of Banc of America Investment Services alleged damages of $334,942 for unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading. That case was settled for $75,000.
  • FINRA Case 9-5493-A customer of Banc of America Investment Services alleged damages of $1.5 million for unsuitable investments and misrepresentations. That case was settled for $650,000.

Hickman  was employed by Cetera Advisors from 9/2009-7/2015. Prior to that he was employed by Banc of America Investment Services from 3/2006-8/2009. Hickman also discloses a business affiliation with Premier Client Investments.

In 2015, Cetera Advisors was censured, fined $250,000 and ordered to pay restitution of over $450,000 for charging excessive sales fees to customers who purchased unit investment trusts (UITs).

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Christopher R. Hickman , 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

Berthel Fisher & Broker Jeffrey Dragon Named in FINRA Complaint for Overcharging Commissons

April 2017-Burlington, MA

Berthel Fisher & Company and one of their brokers Jeffrey P. Dragon were named in a FINRA complaint alleging that Dragon generated more than $421,000 in concessions for himself and the firm, at the expense of customers, by recommending and effecting a pattern of unsuitable short-term trading of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs).

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.

The FINRA complaint further alleges that by failing to apply sales charge discounts from 2010-2014, more than 2700 customers did not receive applicable sales charge discounts resulting in excessive charges of about $667,000.

Berthel Fisher, which has about 350 brokers in 230 branch offices, was fined over $700,000 by FINRA 3 years ago for various failures in supervision related to sales of real estate investment trusts and leveraged exchange-traded funds from 2008-2012. Follow this link to review their FINRA record. 

Jeffrey Dragon was discharged by Berthel Fisher in 9/2016. The company made the following allegation in connection with his termination: “The firm believes that the representative did not adhere to a term of his heightened supervisions agreement, which required him to run all business, including fixed indexed annuities, through the firm’s commission grid.” Link to Dragon’s FINRA record. 

Investors who suffered losses on purchases of UITs, REITs or other investments in an account at Berthel Fisher 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

Brett S. Murphy-Former Oppenheimer Broker-Discloses $2M Pending Customer Dispute-Boca Raton, FL

February 2017-Boca Raton, FL

According to publicly available records Brett S. Murphy , (CRD# 2434384) ,  a  stockbroker who is currently registered with Revere Securities, LLC  disclose a pending customer dispute. 

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 FINRA Case 16-2362, a customer of Oppenheimer & Co. alleges damages of $2,000,000 and further alleges that his account was excessively traded in UITs which were unsuitable and that Mr. Murphy was not properly supervised from 7/2011 to the present.

Murphy has been employed by Revere Securities since 3/2015. Prior to that he was employed by Oppenheimer & Co. from 7/2011-3/2015. Prior to that he was employed by Raymond James Financial Services.

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by Brett Murphy, 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

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

Anthony Mazzo-Former UBS Financial Broker-Discloses Customer Dispute

November 2016-Palm Beach, Florida

The FINRA records of  Anthony J. Mazzo,  a  stockbroker who is currently  employed by  BB&T Securities disclose 4 prior customer disputes that have been resolved, a currently pending customer dispute and a separation from employment after allegations.

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 matter, FINRA case#16-0458, a customer of Mazzo’s former employer, UBS Financial Services, alleges damages of $50,000 for an unsuitable investment recommendation and misrepresentation in connection with the purchase of shares in a unit investment trust.

Mazzo has been registered with BB&T Securities since 4/2016. Prior employment includes UBS Financial and Oppenheimer & Co.

 

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Anthony Mazzo  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 Corporation Fined $250,000 by Securities Regulators

October 2014

The FINRA records of  Investors Capital Corp.,  a  broker dealer headquartered in Lynnfield, MA,  that employs about 640 people in 313 branch offices nationwide, disclose a recent regulatory matter.

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 October 2016, Investors Capital Corp. (ICC) entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with FINRA to resolve allegations that certain of its brokers recommended unsuitable short term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs) and Steepener Notes in the accounts of 74 customers. In addition FINRA alleged that ICC failed to apply sales charge discounts on certain purchases.

One example cited by FINRA is a 68 year old customer with an investment objective of income was sold 59 UITs with two year maturities. The average holding period was three months resulting in losses of over $32,000.

Steepeners are complex, structured products that allow investors to bet on the shape of the yield curve. The return is linked to the spread between the longer and shorter-term interest rates, ie; the steepness curve. Steepeners have long maturities generally, from 20-30 years, and the secondary market for these investments may be limited or nonexistent, making them unsuitable generally for retirees.

ICC consented to a censure, a fine of $250,000 and to pay restitution of $841,000 to the affected customers.

Investors Capital Corp. Is Winding Down

 In June 2016, ICC notified FINRA of its intent to wind down its business and to withdraw its broker dealer registration. If you have questions about how your account was handled at Investors Capital Corp, call to discuss your legal options.

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. 

 

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