Tag Archives: cyber security

When Stockbroker Emails are Hacked

Stockbrokers and brokerage firms have responsibilities to safeguard client information and their funds.  So when information is hacked, information in the possession of the broker or elsewhere, or an identity stolen, there are responsibilities they have to compensate their injured investors.  If you have suffered damages as the result of a hacking please call 1-866-817-0201.

An example of this is the regulatory action against securities broker Lori Thompson.  On December 14, 2018, Thompson received an email from an imposter purporting to be a customer “ML”.   This email was in response to an earlier email chain between Thompson and ML, requesting that UBS, Thompson’s employer, send $68,740.55 from ML’s brokerage account to a third party (“Third Party A”).

That same day, Thompson completed a client contact attestation form that falsely attested that she spoken with ML to confirm the disbursement request, when, in fact, she had not spoken with ML. Thompson received two additional emails from an impostor purporting to be ML on December 28, 2018 and January 10, 2019, requesting that two checks be sent to Third Party A and two checks be sent to another third party (Third Party B”) for a total of $298,646.92.

On each occasion, Thompson issued the checks and completed client contact attestation forms, falsely attesting that she had spoken to ML to confirm the disbursement requests when she had not.

The third parties did not have authorization to make the withdrawals and these funds were lost.  Had appropriate procedures been followed these losses would have never occurred.

Brokers have safeguards that they must take.  There are verifications that must be made, in addition to the attestation described above, and systems that must be put in place to protect against cyber criminals.  Failure to do so is negligence.  If your identity was stolen or your information hacked and lost funds as a result, please call to speak to a licensed attorney.

 

Recovery of Losses with NPB Financial

Jeffrey Pederson, PC represents those suffering losses with NPB Financial Group.  Please contact us if you suffered losses with an NPB broker from investments made during the time period of 2012 through 2014.  Regulators have recently alleged supervisory lapses at NPB.  Call 1-866-817-0201 to speak to a private attorney about potential rights of recovery.

Regulators with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FINRA, the regulator that acts under the oversight of the SEC and has primary authority in overseeing securities brokerages, have recently brought a regulatory action against NPB for significant supervisory lapses.  NPB settle these charges without admitting or denying fault.

The allegations by FINRA are that from June 2012 through May 2014, NPB failed to: (i) establish, maintain, and enforce adequate procedures for the review of email, (ii) NPB failed to review the email of the firm’s president, chief executive officer, and chief compliance officer, and (iii) it failed to adequately enforce its own procedures regarding the use of non-firm email addresses, such as G-mail or AOL, by its brokers in violation, a regulatory rule violation designed to prevent fraud.

The shortcomings are all violations of rules designed to prevent fraud by its brokers.  Brokerage firms are required to review the written communications of its brokers to make sure that all recommended investments, even those an NPB broker recommends away from NPB, are appropriate.  The requirement that brokers utilize e-mail that passes through the brokerage is also important for cyber security to prevent accounts from being accessed by hackers.

Supervisory lapses likely contributed to the recently discovered misdeeds of John Oldham, an NPB broker from Wisconsin, who consented to allegations that he had engaged in improper fee sharing and allocation of responsibilities in the sale of REITs and other alternative investment products.  These lapses likely also led to the misdeeds of Stephen Kipp.

Jeffrey Pederson PC specializes in the handling of individual or group actions against securities brokerage firms.  Call to explore your rights.