Category Archives: Unsuitable Investments

Recovery Options for Investors Who Purchased Oil & Gas Investments from Berthel Fisher

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently fined Berthel Fisher and their affiliate Securities Management & Research $775,000 for supervisory failures related to the sale of various alternative investments, including oil and gas programs.

FINRA found that from January 2008 to December 2012, Berthel Fisher had inadequate supervisory systems and written procedures for sales of alternative investments  like:

  • non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • leveraged and inverse exchange traded funds (ETFs)
  • managed futures
  • oil and gas programs
  • equipment leasing programs
  • business development companies

If you have losses in oil and gas investments purchased from Berthel Fisher, contact us 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

Securities America Broker Has Over 30 Customer Disputes On FINRA Record- Coral Springs, FL

February 23, 2016- Coral Springs, FL

Stuart Horowitz entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that  between February 2009 and July 2009, Horowitz recommended and engaged in unsuitable trading in Preferred Notes of CSMIF. an unregistered limited partnership investment. Specifically, his recommendations lacked a reasonable basis because he failed to adequately investigate red flags that it was not a viable investment.

AWC No.  2013036692001

Horowitz was suspended from association with any FINRA member for 1 year and was fined $100,000.

FINRA records indicate that Horowitz was registered with  Securities America from 2/2009-1/2016.  Prior to that he was registered with NFP Securities  from 7/2005-2/2009

Horowitz has been the subject of 32 customer disputes that have been resolved and 4 customer disputes are pending, according to FINRA records. In January 2016 he was permitted to resign from Securities America.

If you have losses in an account handled by Stuart Horowitz, contact us to find out 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

Winston Turner-Former MetLife Broker – Barred from Securities Industry-Sarasota, FL

UPDATE AUGUST 2016Winston Turner was permanently barred from the securities industry. According to FINRA records Turner refused to produce significant categories of information requested by FINRA and failed to appear for his scheduled on the record testimony in the Disciplinary Proceeding discussed below.

ORIGINAL POST-February 25, 2016-Sarasota, Florida

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed Disciplinary Proceeding 2013038398401 against former stockbroker Winston Wade Turner accusing him of deceptive sales practices related to the sale of annuities to elderly retired persons.

According to the FINRA complaint,

  • “From late 2012 through July 2015, while registered with MetLife Securities and Pruco Securities, Respondent Winston Wade Turner engaged in a course of deception and other misconduct in connection with sales and exchanges of variable annuities involving numerous customers. Among other things, Turner induced customers to exchange their existing variable annuities and other investments (sometimes incurring large surrender charges) while hiding from his firm the true source of the customers’ funds, thereby circumventing the additional supervisory scrutiny applicable to annuity exchanges. He did so in part by splitting the exchanges into separate sales and purchases and, in most instances, interposing the customer’s bank account. Turner misrepresented the source of the customer’s funds and falsely denied in transaction documentation that the customers had previously held variable annuities or other investments, even though he knew that they were in fact surrendering or liquidating such investments to fund the new variable annuities he was recommending and selling to them.”
  • Turner also used forged customer signatures on variable annuity application materials. lied to his firm’s principals, and put his own email addresses as the email addresses of certain customers on variable annuity documentation to ensure that account notifications would be sent to him instead of the customers.”
  • “In addition to deceiving his firms and circumventing their supervision and documentation requirements, Turner deceived at least three customers by telling them that their annuities would earn a “guaranteed” minimum annual interest when, in fact, the annuities guaranteed only minimum withdrawal or annuitization rates. In one case he paid the customer her expected returns out of his own pocket while disguising the payments to appear as if they were coming from the variable annuity issuer.”

According to FINRA records, Turner was registered with MetLife Securities from 12/2011-7/2013 and with Pruco Securities from 7/2013-2015.

He was discharged by Pruco Securities in 8/2015 with the following allegations reported to FINRA: “registered representative made an unsuitable variable annuity recommendation, provided inaccurate information to the company concerning the transaction, and made payments to a client who was dissatisfied with the performance of her annuity contract”

Turner has  4 currently pending customer disputes.

If you have losses in an account handled by Winston W. Turner, contact us to discuss 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

Stock Broker Sanctioned for Sale of GWG Debentures to Retirees

February 29, 2016- Phoenix, AZ

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred Phoenix based broker David Joseph Escarcega for making unsuitable recommendations involving debentures to customers, many of whom were elderly.  In addition he was fined over $52,000.  See Disciplinary Proceeding 2012034936005.

The debentures included GWG Debentures. The prospectus for the GWG Debentures contains 30 separate risks including the following:

  • GWG had a limited operating history and had never made a profit. In 2009 and 2010, it had combined losses exceeding $5 million. The May 2012 Prospectus disclosed that GWG had a net loss of over $2.8 million for the year ending December 31, 2011.
  • Because GWG relied primarily on debt to finance its operations, an inability to continue to borrow could affect its business .
  • The Debentures are illiquid so investors would be unable to quickly re-sell their Debentures in the event they needed access to principal.
  • Changes in actuarial assumptions concerning the life expectancy of insureds could affect GWG’s cash flow and its ability to service payments on the Debentures.
  • Holders of Debentures likely could not recover their principal in the event of a default because the Debentures are subordinate to all other senior debt GWG has incurred.

According to FINRA records, Escarcega was last registered with Center Street Securities since 3/2010.

If you have losses on GWG debentures contact us to discuss how you may be entitled to recover 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

Dallas Broker Wade Lawrence Named in New SEC Complaint

February 16, 2016- Dallas Texas

Wade J. Lawrence, formerly a broker with Southwest Securities and prior to that with Oppenheimer & Co. , was charged by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) with executing unauthorized trades in client accounts and defrauding other customers.

Lawrence is also named in five customer suits/arbitrations seeking millions in damages by former customers at Southwest Securities and Oppenheimer & Co. See this for more.

The SEC complaint alleges:

  • Lawrence executed unauthorized trades in speculative and hight risk securities in customer accounts
  • Lawrence’s clients lost over $2 million due to his unauthorized trading
  • Lawrence fraudulently obtained $480,000 from clients claiming he could trade securities at an advantageous price
  • Lawrence used most of the money obtained for personal expenses

Lawrence has previously been permanently barred from the securities industry and ordered to pay millions in restitution. He has agreed to settle the current action by consenting to an order enjoining him from further securities violations.

If you have losses in an account handled by Wade J. Lawrence you may be able to recover damages from his former 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