Tag Archives: recover annuity losses

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

Kestra Investment Services Discloses Regulatory Fines/ Arbitration Awards-Austin, Texas

April 2017-Austin, Texas

According to publicly available records Kestra Investment Services (formerly NFP ) , (CRD# 42046) ,  a  FINRA registered broker dealer headquartered in Austin, Texas,  discloses  10 prior final regulatory events and 4 prior customer arbitrations. Kestra has about 1,800 registered representatives in 639 branch offices.

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.

Recent regulatory issues include:

  • In November 2016 Kestra Investment Services was censured and fined $475,000 and without admitting or denying FINRA’s allegations agreed to entry of findings that between October 2013 and June 2014 they failed to reasonably supervise brokers who recommended the purchase of multi-share class variable annuities. During the relevant time period Kestra sold 1,873 individual variable annuity contracts of $25,000 or greater, totalling over $280 million in principal investments.
  • In July 2016 Kestra was fined $100,000 by Massachusetts securities regulators for failure to register investment advisors who had a place of business in Massachusetts.
  • In July 2016, Kestra was censured and fined $500,000 by FINRA to resolve allegations that from December 2008-January 2014 they violated FINRA and SEC rules relating to the supervision of brokers dually registered with registered investment advisers, the preservation of emails and advertising and to timely update Form U-4.

Prior arbitration awards against Kestra Investment Services include:

  • In June 2014, an arbitration panel awarded $1.2 million to a customer who alleged breach of fiduciary duty, account activity, breach of contract and negligence in connection with the investment in annuities, municipal bonds, mutual funds and real estate investment trusts (REITs). FINRA arbitration 13-0430.

If you have losses in an account with  Kestra Investment Services , 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

Dion Padilla Investigation-NEXT Financial Group-San Antonio, TX

San Antonio, Texas

JUNE 2017 UPDATE-In May 2017 a customer of NEXT Financial Group alleged 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 $375,704.

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 no longer pending.

ORIGINAL POST-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 $342,000 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.

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. 

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

LPL Financial Ordered to Pay $3.7M Over Variable Annuity Sales-Polaris Platinum III

UPDATE Jan 2017LPL Financial  ordered to pay up to $3.7 million in restitution and fines as a result of an investigation into sales of unsuitable variable annuities by former top producer, Roger Zullo.

Original Post –December 2016- Boston, MA

LPL Financial LLC and one of its former brokers Roger S. Zullo were named in an administrative complaint filed by Massachusetts’s securities regulator William Galvin alleging that LPL Financial failed to supervise Zullo who allegedly commited fraud in selling unsuitable variable annuities to retirees.  Link to Massachusetts complaint. 

According to the Massachusetts complaint:

  • Zullo fabricated the financial suitability profiles of numerous LPL clients, selling them scores of large, illiquid, unsuitable, high commission variable annuities, thereby generating large profits for LPL and Zullo, to the detriment of retiree victims.
  • Over a three year period Zullo and LPL received over $1.8 million in commissions on the sale of variable annuities, nearly all of which was generated from one annuity product, the Polaris Platinum III (B shares)
  • “Zullo’ s greed for commissions at times led him to disregard the well being of his clients. Zullo knew one client personally for more than twenty years – a single, retired healthcare worker, with no financial sophistication, no assets at her disposal except those in Zullo’s hands,  and no nearby family to assist her financially. In 2008, Zullo sold the client a variable annuity, which thereafter generated income payments that the client relied on as her primary source of income. In 2015, with the client past the age of 80 and experiencing cognitive impairment, and with the client seeking out assisted living arrangements, Zullo had the client meet him at a subway station near his office to sign paperwork for a switch into a new variable annuity with a fresh, seven-year surrender schedule. The switch was unnecessary, unsuitable, and unwanted; cost the client $1,391.03 in surrender charges; and deprived the client of income she relied on to pay for the basic costs of living.”

Zullo was discharged by LPL Financial in 12/2016 following the filing of the Massachusetts complaint.

If you have questions about an annuity, including Polaris Platinum III,  you purchased from LPL Financial, call to learn about options for recovery of damages.

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

Houston Based Valic Financial Advisors Fined $1.75M by Securities Regulator

November 2016-Houston, Texas

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined Valic Financial Advisors  (VFA)$1.75 million for conflicts of interest related to the way it compensates brokers selling annuities.

FINRA found that Valic failed to have a reasonable system to address and review the conflict of interest created by its compensation policy.

According to FINRA,  “From October 2011 through October 2014, VFA created a conflict of interest by providing registered representatives a financial incentive to recommend that customers move their funds from Valic variable annuities to the firm’s fee-based platform or into a Valic fixed index annuity,”

“VFA further incentivized the conflict by prohibiting its registered representatives from receiving compensation when moving customer funds from a Valic VA to non-Valic VAs, mutual funds or other non-Valic products.”

Valic Financial Advisors is headquartered in Houston, TX, and has about 1,700 registered individuals located in 182 branch offices nationwide.  Valic is owned through subsidiaries of American International Group (AIG) , the giant insurer.

If you have questions about losses in an account at Valic Financial Advisors, contact us for a no charge consultation 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

Daniel Cabrera-BBVA Securities-Discloses Settlement Over Annuity Sales

September 2016-Helotes, Texas

The FINRA records of  Daniel A. Cabrera,  a  stockbroker who is currently employed by  BBVA Securities  disclose a prior customer dispute that was settled.

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.

Cabrera discloses that in February 2016, a customer dispute was settled for $44,676. The customer alleged that they were misled as to the type of investment purchased in connection with the purchase of 4 variable annuity contracts in July 2015.

Cabrera has been employed by BBVA Securities since 5/2013. Prior to that he was employed by Compass Bank.

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 R. Stevens-Former Wilbanks Securities Broker-Discloses Customer Disputes Alleging Damages in Excess of $2M

Grand Junction, CO

The FINRA records of John R. Stevens ,  a  stock broker who is currently not licensed and who was last employed by Wilbanks Securities  disclose   2 prior customer disputes, 3 pending customer disputes  and  termination 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 pending FINRA arbitration #16-0395, a customer of Wilbanks Securities alleges damages of $300,000 and that Stevens misrepresented features of variable annuity and purportedly suffered damages as a result of Steven’s misrepresentations.

In pending FINRA arbitration #16-0226, a customer of Wilbanks Securities alleges damages of $600,000 and that Stevens misconstrued the rate of return of a variable annuity sold on or about September 2008 and as a result of Steven’s purported misinformation alleges damages.

In another pending dispute,  customers of Wilbanks Securities allege damages of $1,465,000 and that Stevens misrepresented an oil and gas limited partnership investment made by customers and guaranteed them against loss without the proper licensing to sell the program.

In April 2014, Stevens was discharged by Wilbanks Securities who made the following allegation: “Representative put individuals into a non-approved secured notes investment program without notice to or approval from the firm. Representative also used non-approved email platform for securities business, with which he guaranteed client against loss”.

Stevens discloses that in 7/2013 he was charged with felony money laundering and bank fraud in Federal Court in Grand Junction, CO. The charges were dismissed. Stevens makes the following statment on his FINRA record: “I was a victim of an email scam which claimed that I had won $6,000,000 from the United International Monetary Fund. After submitting my colorado drivers license to them, my identity was stolen and used to perpetuate a bank fraud scheme. As indicated above, all charges were dismissed with prejudice because it was found I did not engage in any criminal behavior.” 

Stevens was employed by  Wilbanks Securities from 1/2006-4/2014.

Aaron Wilbanks, President and CEO of Wilbanks Securities, Randy Wilbanks, its Vice President and Steven Sharpe, Chief Compliance Officer, disclose FINRA #14-0335 on their respective FINRA records, indicating that the subject oil and gas investment is Aztec Oil & Gas. See this 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