Tag Archives: exploitation of seniors

Wedbush Securities Ordered to Pay Customer $1.8M For Elder Abuse-Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA-July 2017

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel comprised of three public arbitrators ordered Wedbush Securities to pay two former customers (husband and wife) compensatory damages of $250,000. In addition the arbitration panel, who found that Wedbush subjected the couple to elder abuse,  awarded punitive damages of over $1 million and attorney fees of $277,000 pursuant to the California Elder Abuse and Adult Civil Protective Act, interest and costs.

The former customers alleged a number of causes of action, including unsuitable recommendations, failure to supervise the broker, misrepresentation and elder abuse in connection with investments in long term municipal bonds and structured certificates of deposit. Dancy, et al vs. Wedbush Securities, FINRA Case #16-0847.

FINRA ARBITRATION

Arbitration is similar to going to court, however it is generally less costly and a shorter process than court litigation. Most cases are resolved in about 12-14 months. If you have losses in your brokerage account which you believe are the result of negligent or fraudulent advice given to you by the broker, or if you believe your broker has made trades in your account without your permission (unauthorized trading) call 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

Additional Individuals Indicted In Chimera Energy Corp. Fraud-Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas – July 2017

According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, a second superseding indictment has been issued by a  federal grand jury naming additional individuals and companies related to the Chimera Energy Corp. pump and dump fraud. Losses due to the fraud may exceed $25 million.

The following individuals were  named in September 15, 2016 indictment for a securities fraud scheme involving the stock of Chimera Energy Corp:

  • Andrew Ian Farmer, 38 , Houston, TX
  • Thomas Galen Massey, 46, Houston, TX

In a superseding indictment April 26,2017, a federal grand jury charged five additional individuals for their roles in the Chimera Energy fraud:

  • Eddie Douglas Austin, Jr. , 66, Houston, TX
  • Carolyn Price Austin, 62, Houston, TX
  • Charles Earl Grob, Jr. 37, Houston, TX
  • John David Brotherton, 57, League City, TX
  • Scott Russell Sieck, 58, Winter Park, FL

On July 20, 2017, a grand jury returned a second superseding indictment against Farmer, Eddie and Carolyn Austin, Brotherton, Sieck and Grob for roles in a broader securities fraud conspiracy involving at least 12 other companies from 2011 to 2017.

The release indicates that Massey pleaded guilty to his role on April 18,2017, and is set for sentencing in June 2018.

Pump and Dump Scheme

In a pump and dump scheme, the fraudsters engage in fraudulent trading practices in a company’s stock by publishing false and misleading information about the company with the intention of inflating the price of the stock. Once the stock rises as a result of this fake information, the fraudsters dump their stock on the market to the investors who have been misled by the false information.

Victims who may have been advised by a registered stockbroker to invest in any of these companies may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Call to learn about 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

Stephen Hatch-Texas Real Estate Investor Sentenced to Five Years on Ponzi Scheme Targeting Christians

The Arizona Republic reports that Texan Stephen J. Hatch, 68, pleaded guilty to felony fraud and was sentenced to five years for operating a $70 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Christians who were promised double digit returns on real estate investments.

According to the press release, Hatch solicited investments in partnerships named after biblical verses and sent emails containing biblical quotes to his investor victims. Hatch told investors he was already a wealthy man and that he didn’t need the money but rather was trying to help them make money in the name of God.

Rather than use the victim’s money to invest in real estate as represented, Hatch used it for extravagant salaries for his children and friends, an investment in a restaurant, luxury items for himself, including a California ranch.

AFFINITY FRAUD

This type of fraud is known as ‘affinity fraud’Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups. See this for more information about affinity fraud. 

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

Elder Financial Exploitation Seminar-Williston, VT-May 18, 2017

May 16, 2017-Williston, VT

The New England Federal Credit Union is holding a seminar on Elder Financial Exploitation on Thursday, May 18th, at their main branch located at 141 Harvest Lane in Williston, from 5:30-7:00pm.

The seminar is free and open to the public.

If you are concerned about losses in your brokerage account or the investment accounts of your parents or loved ones, call for a no charge consultation to discuss your options. We have been helping investors recover damages for investment losses for over 25 years.

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

Todd F. Sherman-Fusion Analytics Securities Broker-Discloses Customer Dispute-Coral Springs, FL

April 2017-Coral Springs, FL

The FINRA records of  Todd F. Sherman ,  a  stockbroker who is currently registered with Fusion Analytics Securities 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 currently pending FINRA arbitration 15-01312 a customer of R.F. Lafferty & Co.  is seeking damages of $250,000 and alleges churning, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and Section 10b 5 violations.

Sherman has been employed by Fusion Analytics Securities since 3/2013. Prior to that he was employed by Tigress Financial Partners, Seton Securities Group and before that R.F. Lafferty & Co.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Todd F. Sherman , 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

Steven H. Murphy – Former VSR Financial Services Broker- Discloses Customer Disputes- Simi Valley, CA

April 2017- Simi Valley, CA

The FINRA records  of Steven H. Murphy,  a  stockbroker who is currently employed by  Summit Brokerage Services  and was previously employed by VSR Financial Services, disclose a pending  customer dispute and a prior 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 currently pending FINRA arbitration 16-01531 a customer of VSR Financial Services alleges damages in an unstated amount for  unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of California state  elder abuse from 8/2008 to 11/2014 in connection with the purchase of Direct Investments – limited partnerships, private placements , Equipment Leasing investments  and Real Estate Securities.

Murphy was employed by VSR Financial Services from 6/2005- 9/2016. He is currently employed by Summit Brokerage 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 . In their findings, FINRA criticized 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. 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.

 VSR wound down operations at the end of 2016 and transferred most of their brokers and customer accounts to Summit Brokerage ServicesSee this for more information regarding VSR Financial Services.

If you have questions about an account  handled by Steven Murphy or if you have losses in an account at VSR Financial Services, 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.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

SEC Warns Investors– Beware of Fake News

April 2017- Washington, DC

The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Investor Alert warning that articles on an investment research website appearing to be an unbiased source of information may be part of an undisclosed paid stock promotion designed to promote the sale of the stock.  Link to SEC Investor Alert. 

“Stock promotion schemes may be conducted through investment research websites,” said Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.  “Investors looking for objective investment information should be aware that fraudsters may use these websites to profit at investors’ expense.”

The SEC recently commenced enforcement actions against companies and individuals for generating deceptive articles on investment research websites. They have charged 27 parties (individuals, public companies, firms and writers) with fraud. See this for more 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