Securities Fraud and Mismanagement

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John Hoidas Losses

Call 1-844-253-5858 if you invested with John Hoidas. Initial contacts are free and confidential. Jeffrey Pederson has handled hundreds of similar cases over the past 20 years.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) in July 2023 suspended Hoidas from the securities industry for 18 months. The suspension stems from the fraudulent actions that Hoidas made in the accounts of his investors.

Between January 6, 2017, and February 8, 2018, Hoidas made unsuitable recommendations in speculative alternative investments to three of his investors. These recommendations were inconsistent with the customers’ investment profiles. This is in violation of FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010 which require investment recommendations to be consistent with the wants and needs of investors.

Unsuitable investments are often made because higher risk investments generally pay higher commissions.

Additionally, in July 2018, Hoidas borrowed $10,000 from one of his UPS customers without providing prior written notice or obtaining written approval from UPS in violation of FINRA Rules 3240 and 2010.

These are just some of the actions against Hoidas. The record of this Chicago-area financial advisor reveal that he or his employer has been sued ten times since 2019 over the inappropriate investment activity of Hoidas.

Brokerage firms are required to adequately supervise their financial advisors. When they fail to do so investors have grounds to seek recovery. So when an advisor like Hoidas mishandles the accounts of his investors the brokerage firm is required to compensate the investors of Hoidas.

The inappropriate actions of John Hoidas cost investors considerable losses.
John Hoidas is accused of fraudulently mishandling investor accounts.

Roshan Perera Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) filed a Complaint against Defendants Surage Kamal Roshan Perera (“Perera”) and Janues Capital Incorporated (“Janues”) (collectively, “Defendants”), and Relief Defendant Nishani Alahakoon (“Alahakoon”), alleges that Perera, a former broker, through his firm Janues, defrauded at least one investor out of millions of dollars. This is in addition to the individual suits filed by FINRA and individual investors against Perera and his associates.

Jeffrey Pederson has successfully represented hundreds of investors over the past 20 years in securities fraud cases. Please contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey Pederson for a free and confidential initial consultation if you believe you are a victim. Call toll-free at 1-844-253-5858.

Perera committed fraud by lying to investors about investment opportunities and strategies; stealing the investor’s money by, in part, not purchasing the securities she subscribed to through Janues and using a substantial portion of her money to engage in high volume, highly leveraged trading in other securities; lying to her about non-existent investment profits; and concealing large trading losses.

Perera falsely told at least one investor that his brokerage, Janues, had access to specific restricted securities at discounted prices though connections with large institutions. Perera also claimed to exercise an “options straddles” strategy that would not only prevent any trading losses but also guarantee returns on the investment of at least nine percent and up to as much as 50 percent.

Perera’s false representations convinced at least on investor to give him approximately $4.3 million. Perera did not use the investor’s funds to purchase the securities the investor had subscribed to, and Perera did not engage in the promised “options straddles” to prevent trading losses and generate the profits he had guaranteed. Instead, Perera transferred at least $3.5 million of the investor’s funds to a brokerage account in the name of Perera’s wife, Alahakoon, and Perera used those funds to engage in highly speculative, leveraged trading.

In total, Perera’s trading in securities transactions in his wife’s brokerage account resulted in over $3 million in trading losses. Perera concealed his misappropriation of the investor’s funds and his trading losses by providing the investor with phony trade confirmations and account statements that falsely showed the expected returns, and by using funds received from other sources to partially repay the investor victim.

Roshan Perera ruined the savings of many investors.
Victims of Roshan Perera have recourse.

Dennis Phillip Ayre

Regulators banned Dennis Ayre from the securities industry on June 12, 2023. He failed to cooperate with regulatory investigations into his actions and defend allegations concerning his sale of unsuitable investments to his investors.

We have prosecuted claims on behalf of hundreds of investors over the past 20 years to recover losses for similar actions. Please contact us.

Ayre spent his career with numerous securities brokerage firms. Most recently he was with Hilltop, but has previously been with Oppenheimer, Merrill Lynch, and Wells Fargo.

The record of Dennis Ayre reveal that his employers have been the subjection of 12 lawsuits concerning the action of Ayre.

The first suit served in October 2019 sought $11 million in losses. The allegations were that Ayre sold unsuitable investments, took excessive risk and deviated from an agreed strategy. The resolution was a settlement of over $600,000.

Many similar allegations and settlements followed. In addition to suitability allegations, Ayer has also been accused of overconcentrating portfolios in Foresight Energy and Integrated Advisor Network.

Ultimately, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority entered an arbitration judgment against Ayers. The award was for $322,648. The suit alleged that Ayers concentrated an investor in Foresight Energy. The arbitrators issued the award in December 2020. When Ayer refused to pay, regulators investigated his actions and when he did not defend he was barred from the securities industry.

The story of Dennis Ayre is common. Even though brokers sometimes do not pay their employers are still responsible for their actions. We help investors obtain recovery from both brokers and their employers.

Ayre has a long history of investor complaints.
Ayre invested people in high risk investments that was not suitable for the investors. While all investments have some risk, brokers are required to only recommend a level of risk suitable for a particular investor.

Recover Blackstone Losses

We help investors recover Blackstone losses. Recent misrepresentations, mismanagement and lack of due diligence has caused investors to suffer unnecessary losses. Please contact us if you suffered losses in the Blackstone BREIT, Multi-Strategy Fund, or other Blackstone funds for these or other issues.

Advisors either knew or should have known of the problems with Blackstone for years but continued to sell to investors. These issues made the investment unsuitable for most, if not all, investors. Many turned a blind eye because of the heightened commissions paid for the sale of non-traded REITs like Blackstone – commissions substantially higher than paid for a portfolio of stocks and bonds.

This can be viewed either as a negligent omission or a failure of due diligence. Either way, advisors are responsible when losses occur in such investments.

A Blackstone marketing graphic contained an error concerning its REIT (“BREIT”). The graphic promises inflated after-tax yields and tax-equivalent yields. The SLCG Economic Consulting Group identified the error and published its findings in May 2023. Blackstone removed the representation shortly thereafter. The erroneous representation first appeared in October 2022. The graphic reported a 3.7% pre-tax, 3.6% after-tax and 5.7% tax equivalent yield.  BREIT claimed a 4.5% after-tax yield and a 7.1% tax-equivalent yield as of March 31, 2023.

The correct after-tax yield as of March 31, 2023 for the I shares was no more than 3.6%, not 4.5% as BREIT claimed and the tax-equivalent yield for the I shares was no more than 5.7%, not 7.1% as BREIT claimed.

BREIT claimed an after-tax yield that ignored the capital gains taxes which, at a minimum, would be due in the future on the distributions which were largely being treated as a return of capital. 

BREIT has had numerous issues in the past year. SLCG identified in December 2022 that the Blackstone BREIT was ether going to crash or collapse slowly. This was in response to Blackstone announcing that it would only honor redemption requests of 2% a month and 5% a quarter. Blackstone blocked or limited redemptions for the ninth consecutive time on August 1, 2023.

BREIT continued to experience issues through the end of 2023. Anticipating its demise in 2023, entities began shorting BREIT. This was due in part to BREIT’s continued efforts to limit liquidation. As of December, 2023, BREIT limited withdrawals for 13 straight months.

If you are in BREIT and have suffered losses or cannot liquidate your shares, please call for a consultation.

A Blackstone marketing graphic error misrepresented the BREIT.
Blackstone marketing graphic error is one of a number of issues of the Blackstone REIT.

Similarly concerning are the Losses in the Blackstone Multi-Strategy Fund. The assets of this fund dropped nearly 90% from 2019 through 2023. Blackstone is closing this fund.

Bill Conn Securities Losses

William “Bill” Conn, a former Raymond James broker and advisor, from San Francisco is alleged of numerous acts of mismanagement and fraud. Please contact us if you were one of Conn’s investors.

Six investors have already filed suit against Conn. All revolve around Conn’s recommendation of inappropriate, unsuitable securities. A suitability violation exists when a broker recommends an investment that is inconsistent with the needs of an investor or who puts the broker’s needs ahead of the investor’s.

He is also accused of making trades without a client’s authorization. This often results in an action referred to as “churning”. Churning is an action where a broker makes numerous, unauthorized trades to make money for himself.

Conn previously worked at Deutsche Bank from 2005-2012 and for JP Morgan from 2012-2018. He has served as a Raymond James broker from 2018 through August 2022. At that time, Raymond James terminated his employment. Regulatory documents file by Raymond James states, “Individual failed to follow firm policies with respect to exercise of discretion, and with respect to payments to a client, and for a potential unreported OBA.”

We have handled numerous case like this over the last 20 years and can help recover losses.

Edward Turley of J.P. Morgan

J.P. Morgan employed Edward Turley as its representative between 2009 and 2021. Approximately a dozen cases have been filed against Turley and J.P. Morgan for Turley’s inappropriate sales practices in the sale of securities. These allegations led J.P. Morgan and Turley to separate after the allegations.

The allegations of investors, and ultimately those of regulators, involved the sale of unsuitable securities. FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, have rules preventing such sales. Unsuitable securities sales include churning, unauthorized sales, sale of securities that put the brokers interests ahead of the investor, and securities inconsistent with an investor’s risk tolerance.

The allegations against Turley are primarily from the 2016-2021 time period. The investments included but were not limited to the use of foreign currency, margin investing, and the purchasing and selling of high-yield bonds and preferred stock. Claims against J.P. Morgan for the actions of Turley currently exceed $70 million.

Ultimately, Turley was barred from the securities industry for not cooperating with regulators investigating the claims against him.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey Pederson has successfully handled hundreds of suitability cases over the last 20 years. Call for a free and confidential consultation if Turley was your financial advisor.

Edward Turley is alleged to have mistreated investors.
Securities broker Edward Turley of J.P. Morgan is alleged to have mistreated investors on a large scale.

Ponzi at Southport Capital

John Woods, James Woods, Michael Mooney and Iris Israel conducted a Ponzi at Southport Capital and Horizon Private Equity. The scheme started on or about 2007 and continued through 2021. Call for a free and confidential consultation if you believe you were a victim. The Law Offices of Jeffrey Pederson has been recovering funds for investors for over 20 years.

Livingston Group Asset Management Company d/b/a Southport Capital (“Southport”), and Horizon Private Equity, III, LLC (“Horizon”), employed these advisors. Private and regulatory actions allege that John Woods ran a massive Ponzi scheme for over a decade.

Investors in the Ponzi scheme are owed over $110,000,000 in principal. There are more than 400 investors, residing in at least 20 different states, who currently hold investments in the Ponzi at Southport, which goes by the name “Horizon.” Many of the victims are elderly retirees who Woods and his advisors preyed upon. Southport, a registered investment adviser firm, is owned and controlled by John Woods.

The Scheme lasted until the SEC filed suit. The SEC’s 2021 complaint alleged that the Ponzi scheme was ongoing and continues to raise money from new investors each month. John Woods and other investment adviser representatives at Southport told clients that they would receive returns of 6-7% interest, guaranteed for two to three years, for non-specific investments in a fund called “Horizon Private Equity.”

John Woods and his cohorts at Southport generally told investors that Horizon would earn a return by investing their money in, for example, government bonds, stocks, or small real estate projects; investors were not told that their money would or could be used to pay returns to earlier investors. But that is exactly what the Defendants did, they were only able to pay the guaranteed returns to existing investors by raising and using new investor money.

Horizon has not earned any significant profits from legitimate investments; instead a very large percentage of purported “returns” to earlier investors were simply paid out of new investor money.

Investors allege a Ponzi at Southpark Capital.

Ron Filoramo

Ron Filoramo is a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley. Filoramo is alleged to have converted the funds of his investors. Please contact us if you are an investor of Mr. Filoramo. Investment firms are required to have supervisory systems. Adequate supervision would have prevented the actions of Filoramo.

Four investor arbitrations all allege that Ron Filoramo advised his clients to invest in certain private investments outside of Morgan Stanley. This itself is fraud. The investors further allege that Filoramo took the funds from their accounts for the investment, but then never made the investment. Current claims seek losses in excess of $800,000. All four suits seek recovery from Morgan Stanley.

Filoramo is a broker and a financial advisor located in Florida. He has worked for Morgan Stanley since 2011. He began his career in 2002.

The aggrieved investors indicate that the actions began in 2016 and continued through 2022. It is possible that Filoramo’s actions extended for a longer period of time.

He identifies himself as a vice president with Morgan Stanley. His office is in Fort Lauderdale.

Jeffrey Pederson has recovered lost and stolen investments for investors for over 20 years. Understanding and proving the supervisory lapses that allows investment theft, such as alleged against Filoramo, takes skill and experience.

Ron Filoramo is alleged to have abused the trust of his investors.
Ron Filoramo is alleged to have abused the trust of his investors.

Paul Koch of RBC

Paul Koch is currently barred from the securities industry. He previously served as a financial adviser (broker) for RBC and UBS. His office and many of his victims were in the Twin Cities area.

In an action filed by a former investor of Koch’s, the investor alleges that this financial advisor misappropriated approximately $2 million from the investor’s portfolio. This misappropriation took place in the time period between October 2018 and February 2022. The investor filed the suit in March 2023.

A similar suit previously resulted in a $3.75 million settlement with an investor. UBS paid this settlement in response to a suit alleging that Koch and his wife diverted funds from businesses where Koch was partial owner. He recommended these companies to his investors. These include a janitorial business, a second-hand store, venture capital enterprises, and housing developments.

Koch received a regulatory bar for his actions. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the regulator overseeing the actions for securities brokerages, barred him from the industry in March 2022. FINRA alleged that this financial advisor sold unsuitable investments in outside business ventures. He was partial owner of these businesses and diverted funds to his personal accounts, per FINRA. FINRA barred Paul Koch when he stopped cooperating with the investigation.

Paul Koch previously faced even further issues. This includes an investigation by the United States Secret Service. Though the Secrete Service did not elaborate on the basis of the charges, the nature of the other charges create a strong likelihood that they stem from money laundering.

Koch’s actions are what the securities industry refers to as “selling away.” This is when a financial advisor sells an investment to investors outside the oversight of the advisor’s employer. Securities firms are required to diligently audit and have supervisory systems to protect against such sales. We handle and have successfully handled a significant number of these suits for investors over the last 20 years.

Paul Koch used his other businesses to defraud his investors.
Many allege that Paul Koch inappropriately recommended and diverted investor funds to his companies.

Stifel Nicolaus Fined

We are currently investigating claims of seniors concerning the investment recommendations of Stifel Nicolaus. Please contact us if you have questions concerning your losses.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. was ordered Monday, May 1, 2023, to pay $2.5 million by Massachusetts’ top securities regulator, William Galvin, for ignoring a former Stifel broker-dealer agent’s questionable trades that resulted in many of his clients — including older adults, nonprofits and a church — to be charged excessive and unauthorized fees.

Regulators also ordered the investment firm to pay more than $700,000 in restitution to affected customers, as part of a consent order the broker-dealer has entered with Galvin’s Securities Division.

Former Stifel broker-dealer agent Joseph Crespi “subjected many of his clients to predatory sales practices over several years, leading to higher commission sales for himself and his employer,” Galvin said Monday in a statement.

The regulator’s investigation further found “wide-ranging harm” to investors resulting from “multiple instances of Stifel employees using personal cell phones to conduct business and distributing retail communications in violation of firm and regulatory requirements.”

From 2018 to 2022, Crespi was “Stifel’s sixth highest revenue-producing employee in New England as of June 30, 2019 (as considered year-to-date) and continued to be a top producing agent […] thereafter,” according to the regulator consent order.

“Despite repeated warnings by Crespi’s own branch manager,” Galvin’s office said, “Stifel failed for years to discipline Crespi or take any meaningful actions to correct his behavior.” The firm chose to ignore the harm Crespi was doing and could be argued that the ignorance was willful because of Crespi’s production for the firm.

We have helped investors recover losses caused by bad financial advisors for over 20 years. Please contact us for a consultation.

Joseph Crespin of Stifel is alleged to have not disclosed material information in the sale of private placements.
A Stifel financial advisor is alleged to have violated securities laws in the sale of investments to seniors and a church.