Oil or Gas Investment Losses

Oil Stock IIJeffrey Pederson, P.C. helps investors determine if they have a right to recover investment losses in oil, gas or other investments.  Please call 1-866-817-0201 toll-free for a free consultation.

Many investors simply ignore their losses without knowing that they may be entitled to a recovery.  Such individuals unnecessarily let their plans for retirement or other future plans go unfulfilled because of the financial loss they sustained.

Since late 2014, countless oil, gas and other energy companies have filed for bankruptcy.  Many investors in these companies were illegally sold these investments by brokerage firms motivated by commissions paid by the investments.  Such investments can take many forms including, but not limited to, Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), common stock, notes, bonds, mutual funds, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

We are currently investigating investments into the following energy companies:Oil Stock

American Eagle, BPZ, Climax Energy, Duer Wagner, Hart Resources, Hercules Offshore, Petrobras, Quicksilver Resources, Samson Resources, Southern Pacific, and WBH Energy.

Feel free to contact us if you are uncertain if you have an oil or gas investment that qualifies.

 

 

 

Kirsten Flynn Hawkins

 

Stock handcuffsIf you lost money with Kirsten Flynn Hawkins (Kirsten Hawkins”) please call toll-free 1-866-817-0201.  Ms. Hawkins of Suntrust Investments was barred from association with any FINRA member, which is any stockbrokerage firm, in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Ms. Hawkins consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she failed to provide FINRA-requested documents and information involving an investigation into allegations that she stole approximately $500,000 from a member firm’s customer.  Ms. Hawkins has pled guilty to three felony counts of wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in connection with the alleged theft.

 

Bridgeport Oaks and ARI Financial Services

If you lost funds with ARI Financial Services or investing in Bridgeport Oaks, please call toll-free 1-866-817-0201.  Deficiencies at ARI caused dissemination of misleading sales materials concerning Bridgeport Oaks by issuer-reps and failed to ensure that distributed material contained sufficient disclosures.  The firm also failed to prevent illegal general solicitation of unregistered securities.

Additionally, managers of ARI failed to conduct reasonable due diligence regarding investments sold.  One such investment was later revealed to be a Ponzi scheme.

We specialize in the pursuit and recovery of funds lost in investment fraud.

3. The Firm failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system reasonably

designed to ensure that delegated supervisory responsibilities were properly exercised by Private

Placement issuers’ employees. Candler was the registered principal responsible for establishing,

maintaining and enforcing the Firm’s written supervisory policies and procedures (WSPs) during

the Relevant Period.

4. As a result of the deficiencies in its supervisory system, ARI failed to identify and

prevent the dissemination of misleading and imbalanced advertising and sales materials by the

issuer-reps and failed to ensure that the offering materials prepared and distributed by the issuerreps

contained sufficient and accurate disclosures. The Firm also failed to prevent the general

solicitation of unregistered securities offered under the Regulation D Rule 506 exemption.

5. Additionally, Candler failed to conduct reasonable due diligence regarding a

Private Placement that ARI sold directly to retail investors. The offering was later discovered to

be a Ponzi scheme. At least seven Firm customers who purchased interests in the offering from

an issuer-rep lost their collective investment principal of approximately $560,000.

3. The Firm failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system reasonably

designed to ensure that delegated supervisory responsibilities were properly exercised by Private

Placement issuers’ employees. Candler was the registered principal responsible for establishing,

maintaining and enforcing the Firm’s written supervisory policies and procedures (WSPs) during

the Relevant Period.

4. As a result of the deficiencies in its supervisory system, ARI failed to identify and

prevent the dissemination of misleading and imbalanced advertising and sales materials by the

issuer-reps and failed to ensure that the offering materials prepared and distributed by the issuerreps

contained sufficient and accurate disclosures. The Firm also failed to prevent the general

solicitation of unregistered securities offered under the Regulation D Rule 506 exemption.

5. Additionally, Candler failed to conduct reasonable due diligence regarding a

Private Placement that ARI sold directly to retail investors. The offering was later discovered to

be a Ponzi scheme. At least seven Firm customers who purchased interests in the offering from

an issuer-rep lost their collective investment principal of approximately $560,000.

Merrill Brokers Yanofsky and Clements

investingstockphoto 1Bank of America, owner of MerrillLynch, fired the two experienced Merrill Lynch financial advisers this week.  Joseph Yanofsky, 57, and Brooke Clements, 42, who worked as the Yanofsky Group at Merrill Lynch’s office in Greenwood Village, Colorado, were terminated from their roles at Merrill Lynch.

The Yanofsky Group is an advisory team within Merrill Lynch. One adviser from the group, Rick Batenburg, remains at Merrill Lynch. Reached by telephone on Monday by Reuters at the Yanofsky Group’s office, Batenburg declined to comment.

Yanofsky and Clements’ termination was first reported by the industry website AdvisorHUB.com on Saturday.

Yanofsky had worked at Merrill Lynch since 1990, with previous stints at Hanifen Imhoff Securities and Paine Webber, according to his record on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) BrokerCheck website.

FINRA’s record showed four customer complaints were filed against Yanofsky during his career, the most recent two during his time at Merrill Lynch. Those complaints were closed in 2005 and 2006, respectively, without any action being taken. The complaints included allegations that Yanofsky misrepresented facts important to an investment and that risks were not properly disclosed.

Information for this article comes from Reuters.

Clements began working at Merrill Lynch in 2007, having previously worked at Partnervest Securities and RBC Centura Securities, according to FINRA.

Bank of America terminated another Merrill Lynch broker, Tom Buck, in March for failing to discuss pricing and service alternatives with a client, among other charges, according to filings with FINRA. Buck joined Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Wealth Management in April.

Losses at LPL Financial

LPLIf you have lost money with LPL you may be entitled to recovery of some or all of your losses.  Please call 1-866-817-0201 toll-free for more information.

On May 6, 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (“FINRA”), a regulator overseeing the practices of securities brokerages, ordered LPL Financial to pay $11.7 million in fines and restitution for what it deemed “widespread supervisory failures” related to sales of complex investment products.  Such products are suitable for only a limited portion of the investing public and FINRA prohibits the sale of such products to investors to whom such investments would not be suitable.

From 2007 to as recently as April 2015, LPL failed to properly supervise sales of certain complex investments, including certain exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), variable annuities and nontraded real estate investment trusts (“REITs”), and also failed to properly deliver more than 14 million trade confirmations to customers, according to the regulator.

LPL did not have a system in place to monitor the length of time customers held securities in their accounts or to enforce limits on concentrations of those complex products in customer accounts, FINRA said.  Such issues can lead to the sale of unsuitable investments and put such portfolios in a position of greater risk than the investor may have wanted or could afford to take.

The systems that LPL had in place to review trading activity in customer accounts were plagued by “multiple deficiencies,” Finra said. The firm failed to generate proper anti-money laundering alerts, for instance, and did not deliver trade confirmations in 67,000 customer accounts, according to the settlement letter.

The regulator also charged the firm for failing to supervise advertising and other communications, including brokers’ use of consolidated reports.

The penalty includes a $10 million fine and restitution of $1.7 million to customers who were sold certain exchange traded funds (“ETFs”). FINRA said the firm may pay additional compensation to ETF purchasers “pending a review of its ETF systems and procedures.”  As such, investors should speak to an attorney to maximize recovery of losses.

Content from this post from Investmentnews.com.

 

Avenir Financial Investment Losses

 

Oil Stock IIIf you have suffered losses with Avenir Financial Group, please call toll-free 1-866-817-0201.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, said Monday, April 27, 2015, it had issued a temporary cease and desist order against Avenir Financial Group to halt fraudulent investment sales of equity interests and promissory notes in the firm to elderly clients.

Avenir Financial; its CEO, Michael Clements; and registered rep Karim Ibrahim (aka Chris Allen) consented to an order halting further fraudulent sales of equity interests (stock) in the firm and promissory notes pending a FINRA hearing on fraud charges relating to the same offerings.

FINRA states that Avenir Financial, a full-service broker-dealer, and its branch offices raised more than $730,000 in 16 issuances of equity or promissory notes. Most of those sales, which occurred from October 2013 to present, were to the firm’s elderly customers.

The fact that the fraud preyed on the elderly makes the fraud more egregious.  Not only are the elderly more reliant upon their brokers, but such speculative investments are rarely suitable for elderly investors reliant upon their savings to provide stable income.

FINRA obtained the order based on its concern regarding “ongoing customer harm and depletion of investor assets prior to the completion of a formal disciplinary proceeding against the firm and these individuals.”

FINRA also permanently barred broker Cesar Rodriguez from the securities industry for fraud and for improperly using $77,000 of investor funds for personal expenses in a related offering.

In its related underlying complaint, FINRA charges that Avenir Financial, Clements and Ibrahim committed fraud in the sale of equity or promissory notes of the firm, and that Clements aided and abetted the fraud.

Content for this post from Thinkadvisor.com.

 

Tags:  Avenir Financial Group, Aviner Financial, Aviner Financial Group, Michael Clements, Michael Clemmons, Karim Ibrahim, Kareem Abraham, Cesar Rodriguez, Caesar Rodriguez.

Houston American Energy Corp Investment Losses

Houston American Energy Corp. and its former CEO have settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in cease-and-desist proceedings over allegations the oil explorer and producer overstated the value of a Colombian oil field by billions of dollars.

The Texas-based oil and gas company and former Houston American CEO John F. Terwilliger will respectively pay a $400,000 and $150,000 penalty, according to their settlement order Thursday, under which Terwilliger will step down from his position at Houston American and be barred from helming any public company for five years.

If you have lost money in Houston American Energy, contact 1-866-817-0201 toll-free.

Reverse Convertible Investment Losses at RBC

If you have suffered losses at RBC in reverse convertible investments please call toll-free 1-866-817-0201.  The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today announced on April 23, 2015 that it has ordered RBC Capital Markets to pay a $1 million fine and approximately $434,000 in restitution to customers for supervisory failures resulting in sales of unsuitable reverse convertibles.  While this fine may seem significant, investors should consult with a private attorney if they wish to maximize their recovery.

In the FINRA release, Brad Bennett, FINRA Chief of Enforcement, said, “Securities firms must ensure that their brokers understand the inherent risks associated with the complex products they are selling, and be able to determine if they are suitable for investors before recommending them to retail customers. When the firm establishes suitability guidelines, it must police the transactions to ensure they appropriately meet their own criteria.”

Reverse convertibles are extremely complex investments that are only suitable for a small section of the investing public, and, thus, could only legally be sold to certain sophisticated investors.  They are interest-bearing notes in which repayment of principal is tied to the performance of an underlying asset, such as a stock or basket of stocks. Depending on the specific terms of the reverse convertible, an investor risks sustaining a loss if the value of the underlying asset falls below a certain level at maturity or during the term of the reverse convertible. In February 2010, FINRA issued a regulatory notice emphasizing the need for firms to perform a suitability analysis in connection with sales of this complex product.

FINRA found that RBC failed to have supervisory systems reasonably designed to identify transactions for supervisory review when reverse convertibles were sold to customers, in violation of FINRA’s rules as well as the firm’s own suitability guidelines. The sale of unsuitable securities is generally seen as a form of fraud since more complex or risky investments generally provide for a higher commission to the broker and brokers are limited to selling only suitable securities – securities that an investor understands and that are consistent with an investor’s tolerance for risk.

RBC established suitability guidelines for the sale of reverse convertibles setting specific criteria for customer investment objectives, annual income, net worth, liquid net worth and investment experience. Consequently, the firm failed to detect the sale by 99 of its registered representatives of 364 reverse convertible transactions in 218 accounts that were unsuitable for those customers. The customers incurred losses totaling at least $1.1 million. RBC made payments to numerous customers pursuant to the settlement of a class action lawsuit; FINRA ordered restitution to the remainder of affected customers.

FINRA’s investigation was conducted by the Enforcement Department. FINRA appreciates the assistance of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations in this matter.

 

Michael Oppenheim of JPMorgan Fraud

Stock handcuffsIf you are a fraud or theft victm of Michael Oppenheim of JPMorgan please call 1-866-817-0201.  Oppenheim, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. broker, faces federal charges he stole $20 million from customers over four years to make investments and pay personal bills that included a home loan.

Oppenheim induced investors to withdraw millions of dollars from their accounts by promising he’d invest the money in low-risk municipal bonds to be held at the bank, FBI Special Agent Matthew Taylor said in a criminal complaint in Manhattan federal court. Instead, he pocketed the funds.

“In other instances, Oppenheim simply withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients’ accounts without their knowledge,” Mr. Taylor said.

Oppenheim at one point had about 500 clients and almost $90 million under his management, according to the complaint. He was arrested Thursday on fraud and embezzlement charges at his home in Livingston, N.J.

“We are angry that this person violated the trust our customers place in us and are working with the affected customers,” Michael Fusco, a spokesman for the New York-based bank, said in an e-mailed statement.

The alleged theft started in March 2011 and ended in March 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

Content for this article came from Investmentnews.com.

 

Commonwealth Capital Losses

As reported in Investmentnews.com on April 14, 2015, Finra has barred Kimberly Springsteen-Abbott, owner of a broker-dealer that packages and distributes illiquid equipment-leasing funds, from the securities industry for misusing investor funds by improperly allocating expenses to the funds that were not related to the funds’ business.

Ms. Springsteen-Abbott is the CEO, chief compliance officer and chairman of Commonwealth Capital Corp., parent of the wholesaling broker-dealer, Commonwealth Capital Securities Corp.

“The practice of charging personal expenses to the funds was a way of life for [Ms.] Springsteen-Abbott and her husband, Hank Abbott,” according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. panel’s decision.

Mr. Abbott is a director at the broker-dealer, Commonwealth Capital Securities Corp., and president of the parent company, Commonwealth Capital Corp.

The two “regularly charged thousands of dollars of personal expenses on the same American Express credit card they used for business expenses, and then, when she received the monthly American Express bills, [Ms.] Springsteen-Abbott allocated to the funds many of those personal expenses,” according to the Finra panel’s decision.

The personal expenses charged to the funds included those related to a birthday cruise in Alaska; Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and post-Christmas holiday family meals; and a Disney family vacation, according to the decision.

She also improperly allocated to the funds expenses for holiday decorations for her home, car rentals her husband used for personal purposes, clothes, accessories, and pharmacy and grocery expenses.

“In the hope of concealing her misconduct and avoiding regulatory action, [Ms. Springsteen-Abbott] then lied to Finra staff investigating the matter and later lied to the hearing panel regarding the purposes for which she spent the money,” according to the panel’s decision.

Ms. Springsteen-Abbott’s conduct was in violation of Finra rule 2010, which requires a Finra broker-dealer and rep to “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principals of trade” when conducting business, according to the Finra panel’s order, which was released on March 30.

She “abused her authority by improperly allocating to the funds two types of expenses that were not related to the funds’ business: personal expenses and broker-dealer expenses,” according to the Finra panel’s decision. “It was a misuse of money belonging to investors in the funds,” according to the panel’s decision.

Finra’s investigation covered three years, from early 2009 to early 2012. Finra enforcement filed its original complaint in May 2013 and later filed an amended complaint.

Finra’s department of enforcement “alleged — and proved — that [Ms.] Springsteen-Abbott purposefully used investor monies as though they were her own, to her personal benefit and to the investors’ detriment, and in violation of limitations imposed by the offering documents for the investments,” according to the Finra panel’s decision. She also was ordered to pay $209,000 in disgorgement, plus interest, and was fined $100,000.