Category Archives: Variable Annuities

Dion R. Padilla Investigation Update-Former NEXT Financial Group Broker-San Antonio, TX

OCTOBER 2017 -San Antonio, Texas

We continue our investigation of former NEXT Financial Group broker Dion Padilla who discloses that several of his customers have brought claims against his former employer for misrepresentations and losses related to the purchase of annuities. In early 2017 Padilla was sanctioned and suspended by securities regulators to resolve allegations that he made an unauthorized purchase of an annuity and hid that fact from the customer. Details below.

JUNE 2017 UPDATE-In May 2017 a customer of NEXT Financial Group filed FINRA Case #17-2402 alleging that in 2007 he purchased a variable annuity and relied on Padilla’s representations that he had a product that guaranteed a monthly distribution for the remainder of his life, however no guaranteed income rider was included with the annuity purchase. The customer seeks damages of $465,500.

MAY 2017 UPDATE– A customer of NEXT Financial Group made a claim seeking damages of $970,578 , alleging that Dion Padilla misrepresented the monthly distributions, benefits and dividends to be received on a variable annuity. In May 2017 2017, NEXT Financial disclosed that the claim was denied and that it is not currently pending.

FEBRUARY 2017

We are investigating Dion R. Padilla, a stockbroker who was formerly employed by  NEXT Financial Group in San Antonio, Texas, on behalf of a former employee of AT&T who alleges that her AT&T retirement account was mishandled.

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.

Padilla discloses two prior customer disputes that were resolved with cash settlements:

  • In FINRA arbitration 16-2163, a customer of NEXT Financial Group alleged damages of $347,000 in connection with an investment in a variable annuity. That case was settled for $175,000.
  • In February 2014, a customer of NEXT FInancial Group alleged damages of $62,617 for the unauthorized purchase of a variable annuity. That case was settled for $69,400 of which Padilla contributed $54,400 to the settlement.

Recently, in February 2017, Padilla entered into an Order Accepting Offer of Settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and was fined $10,000 and suspended for 15 months from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Disciplinary Proceeding 2014040362001. 

REGULATORY ACTION FOR SALE OF ANNUITY TO AT&T EMPLOYEE

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Padilla agreed to the entry of certain findings and violations and to the entry of the sanctions described above. The findings and conclusions made by FINRA include:

  • Prior to transferring their accounts to NEXT Financial, a customer (who had worked for AT&T for 39 years) and his wife met with Padilla and stressed  that they did not want any of their funds invested in a variable annuity due to the high fees and because of their desire for liquidity.
  • Notwithstanding those desires, Padilla made unauthorized purchases of a variable annuity for the customer, investing over $789,000, the customer’s entire 401K rollover, in a variable annuity. Thereafter, when the customer inquired, Padilla misrepresented to the customer that the investment was not a variable annuity.

If you have information which you believe is helpful to our investigation, please contact us. If you have losses in an account handled by Dion Padilla , call to discuss how you may be able to recover damages from his prior employer.

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

Mark & Herminia Sitter Investigation-Capital Financial Services Brokers-The Woodlands, TX

August 2017- The Woodlands, Texas

We are investigating  Capital Financial Services stockbroker Mark Raymond Sitter of the Woodlands, TXand  his wife Herminia C. Sitter, who until June 2017, was also a  broker with Capital Financial Services TX.

Our investigation is on behalf of an elderly Texas retiree who alleges that they recommended she invest most of her retirement funds into unsuitable real estate investments, including American Realty Hospitality Trust and Cole Office and Industrial REIT.

The FINRA records of Mark Sitter disclose an outstanding lien to the Internal Revenue Service of $83,527. Mark Sitter has been registered with Capital Financial Services since 1/2006. Mark Sitter discloses a business affiliation with Chasewood Wealth Management of the Woodlands, TX.

The FINRA records of Herminia Sitter disclose an outstanding lien to the Internal Revenue Service of $83,527. Herminia Sitter was registered with Capital Financial Services from 9/2005-6/2017.

Capital Financial Services has been a FINRA member since 1981 and is headquartered in Minot, North Dakota.

If you have information you believe may be helpful to this investigation please contact our office.

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 D. Sinkula Investigation-Janney Montgomery Scott Broker-Stuart, FL

June 2017-Stuart, Florida

We are investigating Stuart-based Janney Montgomery Scott stockbroker Christopher D. Sinkula. FINRA records indicate that Sinkula has been employed by Janney Montgomery Scott since 8/2008.

Our client is a single lady approaching retirement who alleges damages for  unsuitable investments which she alleges were purchased for her account by Sinkula.

Sinkula’s official broker records disclose that two of his customers brought actions that resulted in cash settlements:

  • In FINRA Case 12-01357 a customer of CItigroup Global Markets, his prior employer, sought damages of $879,680 alleging that Sinkula misrepresented the features of variable annuities that he recommended. That case was settled for $200,000.
  • In NASD Case 97-0761 a customer of A.G. Edwards, his prior employer, sought damages of $67,540 and alleged breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, account related negligence and failure to execute. That case was settled for $46,000.

If you have information you feel could be helpful to this investigation, please contact Nan Thompson at 561 391 1900.

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

Willbanks Securities Ordered to Pay Customer Over $1M on Annuity Purchase

April 2017-Salt Lake City, UT

An all public, three member FINRA arbitration panel ordered Wilbanks Securities to pay  a former customer compensatory damages of $536,720 together with a like amount of punitive damages, for a total award of nearly $1.1 million dollars.

The customer brought an action for common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, violation of the Colorado Securities Act and other claims related to the purchase of an ING Variable Annuity.  FINRA Case 16-0226, Huitt v Wilbanks Securities, Inc.

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 who have suffered losses due to the negligence and/or fraud of a stockbroker may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration, a process that is much more expedient than court based litigation. 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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Daniel C. Stewart-Former VSR Financial Services Broker-Discloses Customer Dispute-Shawnee, KS

April 2017-Shawnee, KS

The FINRA records of  Daniel C. Stewart ,  a  stockbroker who was formerly  employed by  VSR Financial Services  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.

Stewart , who operates Professional Financial Concepts  in Shawnee, KS discloses that  a complaint filed by a VSR Financial Services customer in 10/2016 alleges damages of $40,000. The customer alleges that Stewart was instructed to move the account to cash in 11/2015 but failed to do so until 1/2016 causing the loss.

Stewart was registered with VSR Financial Services from 12/2006-11/2016 and is currently registered with Summit Brokerage Services, a related entity .

See this for more information regarding VSR Financial Services.

VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in May 2013 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.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Daniel C. Stewart or another broker who was employed by 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

Christopher D. Gammon-IMS Securities Broker-Discloses Customer Arbitrations Over REIT Investments-Houston, TX

April 2017-Houston, Texas

According to publicly available records Christopher D. Gammon , (CRD# 2344523) ,  a  stockbroker who is currently registered with IMS Securities  discloses two pending and two prior final 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 FINRA Case 16-02356, a customer of IMS Securities alleges damages of $1,667,000 for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise and misrepresentation  in connection with investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs).

In FINRA Case 16-01800, a customer of IMS Securities alleges damages of $3,000,000 for negligence, over concentration, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise and misrepresentation  in connection with investments in variable annuities and REITs.

Gammon has been employed by IMS Securities since 2000. He discloses other business affiliations with DG Capital Funding, Katy, Texas and Exclusive Personal Services, Katy, Texas.

IMS Securities has been a FINRA member since 1994 and is headquartered in Houston, TX. They have about 105 associated persons and 57 branch offices.

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by Christopher D. Gammon, contact us to discuss your legal options.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , equipment leasing and oil and gas limited partnerships. 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.

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

Jackie D. Wadsworth-IMS Securities Broker-Discloses Customer Disputes Over REIT Investments-Houston, TX

April 2017-Houston, Texas

According to publicly available records Jackie D. Wadsworth , (CRD# 2342163) ,  a  stockbroker who is currently registered with IMS Securities  discloses three pending and four prior final 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 FINRA Case 16-3128, a customer of IMS Securities alleges damages of $300,000 for negligence, failure to perform adequate due diligence and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs).

In FINRA Case 16-02356, a customer of IMS Securities alleges damages of $1,667,000 for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise and misrepresentation  in connection with investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs).

In FINRA Case 16-01800, a customer of IMS Securities alleges damages of $3,000,000 for negligence, over concentration, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise and misrepresentation  in connection with investments in variable annuities and REITs.

Wadsworth has been employed by IMS Securities since 1994.

IMS Securities has been a FINRA member since 1994 and is headquartered in Houston, TX. They have about 105 associated persons and 57 branch offices.

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by Jackie D. Wadsworth, contact us to discuss your legal options.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , equipment leasing and oil and gas limited partnerships. 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.

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