Category Archives: Massachusetts Securities Division

LPL Financial to Pay $26M to Resolve Regulatory Investigation

May 2018

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced that a settlement has been reached between state securities regulators and LPL Finanical requiring LPL Finanical to repurchase from investors certain securities sold since October 2006 and to pay civil penalties that could total $26 million or more.

The settlement was led by regulators from Alabama and Massachusetts and relates to unregistered, non exempt securities sold by LPL.

Regulatory sanctions are nothing new for LPL Financial. Their FINRA record discloses 111 prior regulatory events.

If you have questions about how your account has been handled by your advisor contact us for a no charge consultation 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

San Antonio Based Investment Professionals Inc. Sanctioned for Unsuitable Advice

October 2017-San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas, based stock brokerage firm Investment Professionals, Inc.  (IPI)  recently was ordered by William F. Galvin of the Massachusetts Securities Division to pay a $100,000 fine and offer restitution to four senior clients who were allegedly sold unsuitable investment products from offices on the premises of local financial institutions.

In addition the settlement order requires IPI to retain an independent compliance consultant to review the firm’s policies governing supervision of their Massachusetts-registered financial consultants and the sales of securities to persons over 65.

In November 2016, Massachusetts regulators charged IPI with using high pressure sales contests and selling unsuitable investment products to senior citizens who were depositors at community banks.

“This case highlights the dangers of aggressive sales culture that leaves older customers exposed to pressure to buy unsuitable investments,” Secretary Galvin said. “This is especially true when the broker dealer is operating out of a community bank.”

Link to the Massachusetts Securities Division/ Investment Professionals Consent Order. 

In February 2017, without admitting or denying, Investment Professionals agreed to pay FINRA $125,000 and to the entry of findings that from 10/2011-10/2013 it executed 167 non-bona fide municipal transactions without a change of beneficial ownership and that the execution of seven of the transactions were pre -arranged. FINRA also found that IPI did not have written supervisory procedures applicable to trading in limited partnership accounts. FINRA Case 20120313632.

Investment Professionals, Inc., has been a FINRA member since 1992 and operates over 300 branch offices and over 360 employees nationwide.

FINRA records disclose that Investment Professionals, Inc. has 15 prior final regulatory events.

If you have questions about an account handled by Investment Professionals, Inc. call to learn 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

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

San Antonio Based Investment Professionals, Inc. Sanctioned Over Sales to Senior Citizens

March 2017-San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas, based stock brokerage firm Investment Professionals, Inc.  (IPI)  was ordered by William F. Galvin of the Massachusetts Securities Division to pay a $100,000 fine and offer restitution to four senior clients who were allegedly sold unsuitable investment products from offices on the premises of local financial institutions.

In addition the settlement order requires IPI to retain an independent compliance consultant to review the firm’s policies governing supervision of their Massachusetts-registered financial consultants and the sales of securities to persons over 65.

In November 2016, Massachusetts regulators charged IPI with using high pressure sales contests and selling unsuitable investment products to senior citizens who were depositors at community banks.

“This case highlights the dangers of aggressive sales culture that leaves older customers exposed to pressure to buy unsuitable investments,” Secretary Galvin said. “This is especially true when the broker dealer is operating out of a community bank.”

Link to the Massachusetts Securities Division/ Investment Professionals Consent Order. 

Investment Professionals, Inc., has been a FINRA member since 1992 and operates over 300 branch offices and over 360 employees nationwide.

FINRA records disclose that Investment Professionals, Inc. has 15 prior final regulatory events.

If you have losses in an account with Investment Professionals, Inc. 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

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