Tag Archives: uit

Kurt Gunter-Former Stifel Nicolaus Broker-Sanctioned Over UIT Sales-Austin, TX

November 2020- Austin, TX 

According to his FINRA record  Kurt Jason Gunter a financial advisor currently employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services has recently been sanctioned by FINRA for unsuitable sales of unit investment trusts (UITs).

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 November 2020 Gunter, without admitting or denying the findings, agreed to a three month suspension and a fine of $10,000 to resolve FINRA’s allegations that from July 2013-December 2016 he engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading of UITs in customer accounts at Stifel Nicolaus.

In addition, FINRA found that Gunter signed switch letters that were sent to customers that contained inaccurate or missing information about the costs they were incurring as a result of early rollovers of UITs.

Unit Investment Trusts are designed to be long term investments and short term trading is generally improper. According to FINRA findings, Gunter recommended that his customers roll over UITs more than 100 days prior to maturity on more than 270 occasions. As a result customers incurred unnecessary sales charges and the recommendation was unsuitable in view of the frequency and cost of the transaction.

On average, according to FINRA, the switch letters that contained inaccurate information understated the sales charges incurred by customers by about $2,500.

Kurt Gunter was employed by Stifel Nicolaus from 6/2013-8/2017. Since 8/2017 he has been employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services in Bee Cave, TX.

If you had an account with Kurt Gunter that suffered losses, or if you were a victim of his short term UIT switching  scheme,  you may be entitled to collect damages from his prior employer.

Call for a no charge consultation with an experienced securities attorney.

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

Christopher R. Hickman-Former Cetera Advisors Broker-Discloses Settlement of Customer Disputes-Delray Beach, FL

June 2017-Delray Beach, FL

The FINRA records of  Christopher R. Hickman ,  a  former stockbroker who was last employed as a broker by Cetera Advisors and who is not currently registered, disclose a final regulatory matter, a pending customer dispute and  6 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.

In June 2017 FINRA suspended Hickman for five months , ordered restitution of over $115,000 and assessed a $5,000 fine to resolve allegations that he engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs) in six customer accounts. The findings state that Hickman repeatedly recommended the purchase of UITs and then the sale of them within a year of purchase, notwithstanding the fact that the UITs had 24 month maturity dates and sales charges of 3.95%. In addition, on several occasions, Hickman recommended that his customers use proceeds from the sale of the UITs to purchase another nearly identical UIT.

In currently pending FINRA arbitration 17-01056, a customer of Cetera Advisors seeks damages of $265,000 and alleges breach of fiduciary duty, violation of FINRA rules and elder abuse.

The prior customer disputes include:

  • FINRA Case 9-05733-A customer of Banc of America Investment Services alleged damages of $334,942 for unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading. That case was settled for $75,000.
  • FINRA Case 9-5493-A customer of Banc of America Investment Services alleged damages of $1.5 million for unsuitable investments and misrepresentations. That case was settled for $650,000.

Hickman  was employed by Cetera Advisors from 9/2009-7/2015. Prior to that he was employed by Banc of America Investment Services from 3/2006-8/2009. Hickman also discloses a business affiliation with Premier Client Investments.

In 2015, Cetera Advisors was censured, fined $250,000 and ordered to pay restitution of over $450,000 for charging excessive sales fees to customers who purchased unit investment trusts (UITs).

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Christopher R. Hickman , 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

Investors Capital Corp.-How to Recover Damages For Investment Losses

November 2016- Lynnfield, MA

Investors Capital Corp.  will be closing down and transferring some of its brokers and current clients to another firm within the Cetera network of broker dealers, according to a spokesman for Cetera Financial Group.

RCS Capital, Cetera’s parent has been in bankruptcy and this consolidation is part of their restructuring. The company has announced that  it will also close down VSR Financial Services , another small independent broker dealer as well. It is expected that most of the current brokers of VSR and Investors Capital will be asked to join Summit Brokerage Services, a related entity which is headquartered in Boca Raton, FL.

Investor’s Capital Corp. Recent Regulatory Issues

October 2016-According to FINRA records, Investors Capital Corp agreed to pay $1.1 million in fines and restitution to resolve FINRA allegations that sales procedures for the sale of unit investment trusts (UITs) were inadequate. A UIT is a mix between an actively managed fund and a fixed portfolio of income producing securities.  UITs are generally intended as long term investments.

According to the FINRA sanction several Investors Capital brokers traded UITs on a short term basis causing losses to customers.

August 2016-Pennsylvania securities regulators fined Investors Capital Corp. $100,000 for failures in supervising its brokers.

Recovery of Investment Losses From Investors Capital Corp.

If you have suffered losses in an account at Investors Capital Corp. you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Time is of the essence, so if you have a claim, you would be wise to pursue it immediately. Call 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

Investors Capital Corporation Fined $250,000 by Securities Regulators

October 2014

The FINRA records of  Investors Capital Corp.,  a  broker dealer headquartered in Lynnfield, MA,  that employs about 640 people in 313 branch offices nationwide, disclose a recent regulatory matter.

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 October 2016, Investors Capital Corp. (ICC) entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with FINRA to resolve allegations that certain of its brokers recommended unsuitable short term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs) and Steepener Notes in the accounts of 74 customers. In addition FINRA alleged that ICC failed to apply sales charge discounts on certain purchases.

One example cited by FINRA is a 68 year old customer with an investment objective of income was sold 59 UITs with two year maturities. The average holding period was three months resulting in losses of over $32,000.

Steepeners are complex, structured products that allow investors to bet on the shape of the yield curve. The return is linked to the spread between the longer and shorter-term interest rates, ie; the steepness curve. Steepeners have long maturities generally, from 20-30 years, and the secondary market for these investments may be limited or nonexistent, making them unsuitable generally for retirees.

ICC consented to a censure, a fine of $250,000 and to pay restitution of $841,000 to the affected customers.

Investors Capital Corp. Is Winding Down

 In June 2016, ICC notified FINRA of its intent to wind down its business and to withdraw its broker dealer registration. If you have questions about how your account was handled at Investors Capital Corp, call to discuss your legal options.

INVESTORS CAPITAL CORP. SUBJECT OF 21 REGULATORY MATTERS–CEASES OPERATIONS FALL 2016

Investors Capital Corp. withdrew its registration with FINRA in fall 2016. Investors Capital has been named in 21 regulatory matters and a number of customer arbitrations. For more information on Investors Capital Corp, follow this link. 

 

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