Category Archives: FInancial Exploitation of the Elderly

Michael Ralby – Former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Broker- Barred From Securities Industry- Boca Raton – FL

October 2018- Boca Raton, FL

According to publicly available records  Michael B. Ralby (CRD#1301072), a stockbroker who formerly was registered with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, disclose a regulatory event, 2 pending customer disputes and six prior customer disputes.

The Financial 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 require to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In March of 2018  Ralby was permanently barred from the securities industry after  he refused to appear for a FINRA on-the-record testimony in connection with its investigation into whether Ralby had accepted loans from a customer in violation of FINRA rules.

In 9/2014, a customer of Above the Line Consulting, LLC alleged civil conspiracy and willful statutory violation of Florida statutes .    The case was filed in Miami Dade County, Florida in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit, and resulted in judgment to the customer of $2.2 million.

In July of 2018 a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney customer alleged unsuitability with respect to purchase of structured products.    The case was settled for $13,604.

In January of 2017 a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney customer alleged unauthorized trading and the case settled for $35,450.

In April of 2009,  a Stanford Group Company customer alleged being misled regarding the risk level of his purchase of the Stanford International Bank CD.    He submitted to complaints to FINRA – one alleging compensatory Damages of $587.698 and the other for $140,721.   This case is still pending.

Michael Ralby worked for  Oppenheimer & Co. from March 2009 until July 2013 when he went to work with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney from July 2013 until January 2018.

If you have questions about an investment account handled by Michael Ralby, contact us for a no charge consultation to learn about 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

Nicholas R. Radke-Lake Oswego Financial Advisor-Subject of $500K Elder Abuse/Fraud Suit-Klamath County, Oregon

August 2018-Klamath County, Oregon

According to the Herald & News a lawsuit has been filed by the estate of a former resident of Bly, Oregon,  against American Independent Securities Group financial advisor, Nicholas R. Radke, alleging that the decedent, Curtis Allen, was the victim of elder abuse and fraud.

It is alleged in the press report that  Radke and a company he represented, Escrow Leaders, defrauded Allen out of $500,000 just prior to his death.

 FINRA records indicate that Nicholas Radke, Jr. was a registered representative of American Independent Securities Group from 5//2011-5/2018 in Lake Oswego. In June 2018 , he took a position with MML Investors Services.

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.

If you have losses in an account handled  Nicholas R. Radke, call for a no charge consultation 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

Anthony Sica-Joseph Gunnar Broker-Sanctioned Over Sale of Speculative Securities to Elderly Client-New York

June 2018- New York

The FINRA records of Anthony Sica  , a stock broker who is employed by Joseph Gunnar & Co. , disclose  3 regulatory sanctions, a pending customer dispute and  8 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.

Maryland Sanction for Abusing Account of Elderly Lady

In December 2017, the Maryland Securities Commissioner alleged that Sica repeatedly recommended that an elderly customer, living on fixed income,  purchase high-risk, speculative securities that were inconsistent with her investment profile and which were unsuitable. Sica’s recommendations often resulted in an undue concentration of the her liquid assets in speculative securities resulting in losses of over $150,000. The regulator also found that Sica made unauthorized trades in the IRA account of a customer Sica knew was deceased causing losses. Sica was suspended for three months, fined $20,000 , ordered to pay restitution and to complete continuing education concerning how to deal with senior customers.

Prior customer disputes by customers of Sica include:

  • FINRA Case 14-1574- a customer of Joseph Gunnar alleged unsuitable recommendations, frequent trading, unauthorized trading and sought damages of $479,000. The case was settled for $302,500.
  • FINRA Case 10-969- a customer of Joseph Gunnar alleged that Sica mismanaged his account and made unsuitable recommendations and sought damages of $356,773. The case was settled for $157,500.

In currently pending FINRA Case 17-02160 a customer of Joseph Gunnar alleges unsuitable investments and breach of fiduciary duty from August 2011-March 2015, and is seeking damages of $49,181.

Anthony Sica has been employed by Joseph Gunnar since 10/2003.

Brokers have a duty to make recommendations that are suitable, taking into account the age, health, level of financial sophistication, risk tolerance and investment objectives of the customer.

If you have questions about  an account handled by Anthony Sica, call for a no charge consultation 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

AARP S. Dakota Elder Abuse Event-June 14, 2018

June 13-Sioux Falls, S.D.

Erik Nelson, director of advocacy for AARP South Dakota recently stated that many seniors who are taken advantage of react with hurt or disbelief and hesitate to tell someone. “There is definitely a sense of shame, if your will, if someone does succumb to a fraud or a scam” Nelson said in a recent article in the Public News Service.

AARP South Dakota Elder Abuse Event

June 14, 2018– AARP South Dakota is holding a telephone town hall event to discuss elder abuse and financial exploitation, ahead of Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is Friday June 15, 2018. Questions will be answered live by a panel which will include representatives from the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office and the South Dakota Departments of Health, Human Services, and Social Services.

To register for the free event go to the website, here. 

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 investment account has been handled, or if you think you are a victim of abuse by your financial advisor, 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

Brian Berger-Former Newbridge Securities Broker-Sentenced for Fraud-Boca Raton, FL

April 2018-Boca Raton, FL

The FINRA records of former stockbroker Brian M. Berger disclose a pending regulatory matter and two prior regulatory matters, a criminal conviction, 4 customer disputes and a termination from employment.

In 7/2015 Berger  entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he failed to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into allegations that he had misappropriated funds from elderly customers while registered with Wells Fargo Advisors and MetLife Securities.As a result, Berger   was  barred from the securities industry.

There is an SEC administrative proceeding pending in connection with the misappropriation of funds.

In 2/2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Berger pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to 18 months and ordered to pay restitution of $372,643.

Over $300,000 has been paid in settlements to former customers of Berger.

According to FINRA records, Berger was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in Boca Raton from 7.2010-7/2014 and with MetLife Securities from 7/2014-4/2015. After that he was briefly registered with Newbridge Securities from 4/2015-6/2015.

If you have questions about an account handled by Brian Berger, call 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