Investors of George Merhoff, a broker and advisor with Cetera Advisors, can call 1-866-817-0201 for a free initial consultation with an attorney concerning loss recovery. All consultations are confidential and representations done on a contingent basis, where attorney fees paid from the ultimate settlement or judgment.
Merhoff, a securities broker located in Oregon, has been the subject of approximately 16 lawsuits in the past two years. These lawsuits concern the recommendation of unsuitable securities. Merhoff sold a significant amount of oil and gas investments to his investors over the last six years. Oil and gas investments are inherently speculative.
The sale of unsuitable securities is not only a negligent action, but also a form of fraud. The payout to the broker/advisor from these investments are generally higher. This gives the broker or advisor an incentive to omit from the investor the high level of risk that these investments pose.
Suitability violations exist anytime a recommended investment is inconsistent with the wants and needs of an investor. FINRA, the regulator overseeing financial advisors and securities brokers, prohibits the recommendation of unsuitable securities. These rules also require that the advisor or broker to “know the customer.” This means that the advisor or broker must know the wants and needs of his investors, along with that investor’s tolerance for risk and objectives for the account.
Since the oil and gas investments are speculative investments that are inherently volatile, they would not be suitable investors indicating that they can afford to take significant risk with the funds. The investments would not be suitable for investors looking to receive regular income from their investments or take only moderate risk.
Oil and gas investments of particular interest include Linn Energy (“LINE” or “LNCO”), PennGrowth and Teekay Partners. Also of interest are investors investing in REITs or utilizing margin loans on the recommendation of Merhoff.
Investors suffering losses with James Davis Trent may be entitled to recovery from his brokerage employers, AXA, Proequities and Allstate. Please call 1-866-817-0201 for a free consultation with a private attorney.
Trent entered into a regulatory settlement with FINRA in which Trent was suspended from
association with any FINRA member in all capacities for six months. In light of Trent’s
financial status, no monetary sanction has been imposed. Without admitting or denying
the allegations, Trent consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he
engaged in a pattern of recommending unsuitable short-term trading of Class A mutual
fund shares to customers, resulting in the customers (all of whom were retired) incurring
approximately $6,362.50 in unnecessary sales charges, while Trent received approximately
$2,910 as his commission from the sales loads.
Short-term trading of mutual funds is a form of churning, an action where there is very little benefit to the investor but significant commissions to the broker. Such actions are in violation of FINRA rules and the anti-fraud provisions of state and federal securities laws.
The regulatory findings stated that Trent recommended all of the transactions that were executed in the customers’ accounts at the firm, including short-term trading involving Class A front-end-loaded mutual funds. In the transactions at issue, Trent recommended the purchase of Class A mutual fund shares and, within less than a year, recommended the sale of the positions, resulting in an average holding period for the customers’ accounts of six months. Given the long-term nature of investments in Class A mutual fund shares and the customers’ investment profiles, Trent lacked a reasonable basis to believe that the recommended securities transactions were suitable for the customers.
Jeffrey Pederson PC assists investors in recovering losses such as those incurred as the result of the misdeeds of brokers, such as the alleged misdeeds of Larry Charles Wolfe. Currently with Stoever, Glass & Co., Wolfe was previously with Aegis Capital Corp., and Herbert J. Sims & Co. Those suffering losses with this broker are likely entitled to recovery from either Wolfe or his employer. Call 1-866-817-0201 for a free and confidential consultation.
FINRA has announced that it has entered into a settlement with Larry Charles Wolfe for making unauthorized transactions in his clients’ accounts. The allegations are that between November 10, 2015 and November 16,2015, Wolfe inappropriately exercised discretion in the accounts of 39 investors without obtaining prior written authorization from the customers or written approval of the accounts as discretionary from his employing member firm, in violation of numerous state and federal securities laws.
A securities broker must obtain authorization from an investor prior to making a securities transaction in the investor’s account unless that broker has written authorization to make such a trade.
Additionally, MSRB Rule G-17 and FINRA rules require that each broker or dealer in municipal securities to deal fairly with customers and prohibits registered representatives from engaging “in any deceptive, dishonest, or unfair practice.”
The trades are believed to involve municipal bonds and other securities.
In addition to this regulatory action, Wolfe has been sued by investors at least ten (10) times, primarily for allegations of unauthorized, excessive, or unsuitable trades. Additionally, at least two (2) other investors have threatened suit. Despite Mr. Wolfe being accused of wide-scale fraud he has not yet lost his license and is still working in the securities industry.