Tag Archives: elder financial abuse

Trustmont Financial Group Ordered to Pay Customer $1M-Tampa, FL

August 2018-Tampa, Florida

A panel of FINRA arbitrators ordered Trustmont Financial Group to pay a former customer more than one million dollars for violations of Florida securities laws, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and other claims related to 1035 annuity exchanges and an investment in a private real estate investment trust (REIT). Grimes v Trustmont Financial Group, FINRA Case 17-0474. 

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.

Trustmont Financial Group has been a FINRA member since 1986. They are headquartered in Greensburg, Pennsylvania with about 65 branch offices and 120 registered representatives nationwide. While most branches are located in Pennsylvania, Trustmont has offices in numerous other states.  In Florida Trustmont has offices Marco Island and Bradenton. In South Carolina they have offices in Greenville.

In 2016 Trustmont was fined $100,000 for supervisory failures related to inspection of branch offices and supervision of the sale of unit investment trusts.

Brokers and financial advisors are required to make suitable recommendations to investors, taking into account their age, health, overall financial condition and their ability to accept risk.

If you have questions about losses in your brokerage account, 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

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

Gabriel Claudio Sentenced to 25 Years For Defrauding Victims From Alice, TX

August 2018-Corpus Christi, TX

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) announced that Gabriel Claudio, Jr. was sentenced in the 79th District Court of Jim Wells County to 25 years  to state prison and ordered to pay restitution of $2.7 million to investors.

Claudio had pleaded guilty to first-degree felony offenses of theft, money laundering, and misapplication of fiduciary property. His victims were from the South Texas counties of Jim Wells, Nueces, San Patricio, Cameron and Bexar.

As set forth in the Petition and Notice for Seizure, Claudio spent money of his victims on Las Vegas gambling ($300,000); child support payments ($193,000); private school tuition ($156,000); home expenses ($169,211); jewelry ($151,646) and cash withdrawals of $656,394. He also used victims’ funds to pay off the mortgage on a house in Portland, TX, and for the purchase of several Mercedes Benz automobiles.

His victims, who are from Alice, TX, believed the $2.7 million they entrusted to Claudio was being invested in annuities. In reality Claudio did  not make any payments to the insurance  company and presented them with phony spreadsheets purporting to reflect the purchase of the annuities.

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

How to Recover Losses on Future Income Payments Losses

July 2018 UPDATE

Investors in Future Income Payments LLC (FIP) who made their investment upon the recommendation of a registered stockbroker, a registered investment advisor, accountant  or a licensed insurance agent may be able to recover damages for their losses.

While FIP touted itself as “the industry leader and an innovator in buying and selling secondary market pension cash flows….’  numerous officials from various states have alleged that FIP is actually issuing loans which are disguised as sales and charging exorbitant and sometime usurious rates on interest on the loans.

Securities regulators in a number of states (including California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington) have issued cease and desist orders curtailing FIP’s practices in those states.

New York regulators shut FIP down in that state and required them to pay back any interest charged plus a $500,000 fine for operating illegally and charging interest at rates as high as 130%.

In May 2018 The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities announced reaching an agreement with FIP (formerly Pensions, Annuities and Settlements, LLC) and owner Scott A. Kohn to provide restitution and relief to over 300 Pennsylvania resident victims. Link to the agency press release. 

Regulatory investigations and actions are pending in another 15 states.

Veterans Targeted -$60K for a $20K Advance

According to recent press, Mr. Wright, a Vietnam Veteran found FIP’s website online and applied for an advance of $20,000 on his military pension. He signed the paper work from FIP, received the advance and months later did he realize that he had agreed to pay FIP $500 a month from his construction pension for ten years. He would be paying $60,000 back for the $20,000 advance.

“This company preys upon vulnerable people who are desperate for money”, according to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. “For a few thousand dollars in cash upfront, you’re forced to sign over tens of thousands of dollars from your future pension income. That’s what we call predatory lending. ” 

Regulators are also targeting an affiliate , Pensions  Annuities and Settlements, which is owned by Scott Kohn, the owner of FIP .

Investors in FIP have reported that monthly distributions have been reduced and in most cases, completely suspended.

If you have questions about an investment you made in Future Income Payments LLC, call for a no charge consultation with an experienced securities attorney to learn how you may be able to recover your losses.

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