VXX Investor Through UBS? KlaymanToskes Investigates Firm's VXX Sales Practices in Light of Recent SEC Settled Action

VXX Investor Through UBS? KlaymanToskes Investigates Firm's VXX Sales Practices in Light of Recent SEC Settled Action

Invest with UBS and VXX ETN? The Securities and Exchange Commission recently settled charges against UBS Financial Services Inc. for its failure to supervise relating to sales of iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (“VXX”) in UBS’s Portfolio Management Program (“PMP”). VXX is a volatility linked exchange-traded product. From January 2016 to January 2018, certain financial advisors in UBS’s discretionary Portfolio Management Program purchased and held VXX for their advisory clients for durations that were inconsistent with the purpose of the product, as described in its offering documents, and as described to UBS in a meeting with VXX representatives.…

Adam Belardino, Ex-MML Investors Services Rep., Named In FINRA Complaint

Adam Belardino, Ex-MML Investors Services Rep., Named In FINRA Complaint

FINRA recently named Adam Belardino of New Rochelle as a Respondent in a Complaint. FINRA alleges that Belardino failed to appear for on-the-record testimony. Belardino was employed at Barnum Financial Group in Elmsford, New York from 2007 to March 2019. During that time, Belardino was a registered representative for MML Investors Services, LLC, which is an affiliate of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. He was terminated in March 2019 relating to his firm’s investigation into a customer complaint against him. Adam Belardino & FINRA Complaint The Complaint alleges that FINRA began investigating Belardino’s termination from MML Investors Services in April…

FINRA Orders Sanctuary Securities, Inc. to Pay $530K for Non-Traditional ETF Supervisory Failures

FINRA Orders Sanctuary Securities, Inc. to Pay $530K for Non-Traditional ETF Supervisory Failures

FINRA recently disclosed that Sanctuary Securities, Inc. (formerly known as David A. Noyes & Company) agreed to submit a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) relating to its failure to supervise its solicited sales of inverse and leveraged exchange traded funds (Non-Traditional ETFs or NT-ETFs) in that the firm’s supervisory system was not sufficiently tailored to address the unique features and risks of these products. What is a Non-Traditional ETF? Non-traditional ETFs are designed to return a multiple of an underlying index or benchmark, the inverse of that benchmark, or both, over only the course of one trading session—…

FINRA Suspends Former Merrill Lynch Broker Scott Ryland Mathews for Early Rollovers of Unit Investment Trusts

FINRA Suspends Former Merrill Lynch Broker Scott Ryland Mathews for Early Rollovers of Unit Investment Trusts

FINRA recently disclosed that former Merrill Lynch broker Scott Ryland Mathews agreed to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC), Case # 2018060359901, relating to engaging in an unsuitable pattern of early rollovers of Unit Investment Trusts (“UITs”). Because of the long-term nature of UITs, their structure, and their costs, short-term trading of UITs may be unsuitable. As discussed on our recent blog post, FINRA also recently disclosed that Merrill Lynch agreed to an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC), Case #2017053437701, relating to its failure to establish and maintain a supervisory system that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance…

FINRA Suspends Merrill Lynch Broker Kelly Feehrer for Early Rollovers of Unit Investment Trusts

FINRA Suspends Merrill Lynch Broker Kelly Feehrer for Early Rollovers of Unit Investment Trusts

FINRA recently disclosed that Merrill Lynch broker Kelly Wayne Feehrer agreed to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC), Case # 2018060356501, relating to engaging in an unsuitable pattern of early rollovers of Unit Investment Trusts (“UITs”). Because of the long-term nature of UITs, their structure, and their costs, short-term trading of UITs may be unsuitable. As discussed on our recent blog post, FINRA also recently disclosed that Merrill Lynch agreed to an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC), Case #2017053437701, relating to its failure to establish and maintain a supervisory system that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance with…

NOTICE TO CLIENTS OF KEVIN MCCALLUM WITH LPL FINANCIAL: Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Commences Investigation of Former LPL Broker Kevin McCallum in Light of FINRA Suspension

NOTICE TO CLIENTS OF KEVIN MCCALLUM WITH LPL FINANCIAL: Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Commences Investigation of Former LPL Broker Kevin McCallum in Light of FINRA Suspension

National investor fraud law firm, KlaymanToskes (“KT”), has commenced an investigation in light of the recent Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2019062569501) submitted by Kevin McCallum (“McCallum”) to FINRA, who worked at LPL Financial (“LPL”) from May 2012 to July 2019. McCallum was also with Cadence Bank during the same time period in Birmingham, Alabama. According to FINRA, from May 2017 through June 2017, McCallum made unsuitable recommendations to 12 customers, resulting in their overconcentration in a high-risk, publicly traded business development company. During the same time period, McCallum sent emails to certain customers about the business development…

FINRA Fines Independent Financial Group $200,000 for Failure to Supervise Alternative Investment Recommendations

FINRA Fines Independent Financial Group $200,000 for Failure to Supervise Alternative Investment Recommendations

Recently, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctioned and fined Brokerage Firm, Independent Financial Group (IFG), for the failure to supervise recommended Alternative Investments in Non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Structured Notes.  According to FINRA, the Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) agreed to by IFG resulted in a censure, $200,000 fine and required to implement supervisory systems reasonably designed to comply with sales practice rules and regulations related to suitability requirements for alternative investment recommendations. Regulatory Findings According to FINRA investigations, “the representative solicited dozens of customers who were retiring or had retired to liquidate their 401(k) and…

Unit Investment Trust Early Rollovers at Merrill Lynch Prompt Millions in FINRA Fines

Unit Investment Trust Early Rollovers at Merrill Lynch Prompt Millions in FINRA Fines

FINRA recently disclosed that Merrill Lynch agreed to an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC), Case #2017053437701, relating to its failure to establish and maintain a supervisory system that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance with FINRA’s suitability rule as it pertains to early rollovers of Unit Investment Trusts (“UITs”). Because of the long-term nature of UITs, their structure, and their costs, short-term trading of UITs may be unsuitable. What is a Unit Investment Trust? A Unit Investment Trust is a SEC-registered investment company that offers investors shares or “units” in a fixed portfolio of securities in a one-time public offering.…

NOTICE TO CLIENTS OF JEFFREY DIXSON WITH GPB CAPITAL: Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Investigates Former Madison Avenue Securities Broker Jeffrey Dixson Regarding Unsuitable GPB Capital Recommendations

NOTICE TO CLIENTS OF JEFFREY DIXSON WITH GPB CAPITAL: Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Investigates Former Madison Avenue Securities Broker Jeffrey Dixson Regarding Unsuitable GPB Capital Recommendations

National investor law firm KlaymanToskes (“KT”) continues to investigate and pursue FINRA arbitration claims on behalf of investors who were solicited to purchase millions of dollars of private placement securities in GPB Capital Holdings (“GPB”) in the form of notes. Under FINRA Rules, brokerage firms have an obligation to make suitable recommendations to their customers, as well as not provide misrepresentations or omission of material facts concerning investment recommendations. They must also conduct adequate due diligence of facts concerning the risks associated with the investments. What is GPB Capital? More than 60 brokerage firms sold $1.5 billion of high-risk private…

HOSPITALITY INVESTORS TRUST INVESTOR ALERT: KlaymanToskes Investigates Investor Losses in Light of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing

HOSPITALITY INVESTORS TRUST INVESTOR ALERT: KlaymanToskes Investigates Investor Losses in Light of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing

National investor fraud law firm, KlaymanToskes (“KT”), announces an investigation on behalf of investors in Hospitality Investors Trust (“HIT REIT”), formerly known as American Realty Trust, following the filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Case No. 21-10831).  Hospitality Investors Trust is classified as a Non-Traded Real Estate Investment Trust (“REIT”) that was touted as offering current income to investors with a conservative to moderate risk tolerance. Non-Traded REITs tend to have high expenses and fees, along with limited liquidity which make this type of investment unsuitable for most investors.…

ATTENTION SPAC INVESTORS: KlaymanToskes Investigates Losses in Excess of $250,000 from Investments in Electric Vehicle Industry Stocks Recommended by Full-Service Brokerage Firms

ATTENTION SPAC INVESTORS: KlaymanToskes Investigates Losses in Excess of $250,000 from Investments in Electric Vehicle Industry Stocks Recommended by Full-Service Brokerage Firms

KlaymanToskes (“KT”) announces an investigation on behalf of investors who sustained losses in excess of $250,000 in Electric Vehicle Industry Stock investments funded through Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).  According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a blank check or Special Purchase Acquisition Company (SPAC) is a “development stage company that has no specific business plan or purpose or has indicated its business plan is to engage in a merger or acquisition with an unidentified company or companies, other entity, or person. These companies typically involve speculative investments and often fall within the SEC’s definition…

BDC INVESTOR ALERT: KlaymanToskes Investigates Investor Losses in Response to Medley Capital  Bankruptcy Filing Attributed to Portfolio Loan Losses Related to the COVID Pandemic

BDC INVESTOR ALERT: KlaymanToskes Investigates Investor Losses in Response to Medley Capital Bankruptcy Filing Attributed to Portfolio Loan Losses Related to the COVID Pandemic

KlaymanToskes (“KT”), announces their investigation on behalf of investors into Business Development Companies (“BDCs”), Medley Capital and Sierra Income Corp.  On March 7, 2021, Medley Capital Corp. (NYSE: MCC), a direct subsidiary of Medley Management Inc. (NYSE: MDLY), filed for Bankruptcy Protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Case: 21-10526-KBO).  Medley Management Inc., is an “alternative asset management firm offering yield solutions to retail and institutional investors” that manages Medley Capital and Sierra Income Corp., a non-traded BDC. Business Development Companies invest in loans made to non-public companies that do not have access to the traditional…

BDC INVESTOR ALERT: Medley Capital Corp Files for Bankruptcy Protection in the Wake of Portfolio Loan Losses Attributed to the COVID Pandemic

BDC INVESTOR ALERT: Medley Capital Corp Files for Bankruptcy Protection in the Wake of Portfolio Loan Losses Attributed to the COVID Pandemic

On March 7, 2021, Medley Capital Corp. (NYSE: MCC), a direct subsidiary of Medley Management Inc. (NYSE: MDLY), filed for Bankruptcy Protection from creditors – mostly investors.  Medley Management Inc., is an “alternative asset management firm offering yield solutions to retail and institutional investors” through two Business Development Companies (“BDCs”), Medley Capital and Sierra Income Corp., a non-traded BDC. Medley Capital Corp and Sierra Income Corp, invested in non-public companies, under the direction and advice of Medley Management’s affiliate SIC Advisors, LLC.  The two BDCs made loans to non-public companies that did not have access to the traditional publicly traded…

FINRA Fines VALIC Financial Advisors $350,000 for Failure to Supervise Variable Annuity Sales Practices

FINRA Fines VALIC Financial Advisors $350,000 for Failure to Supervise Variable Annuity Sales Practices

On January 8, 2021, VALIC Financial Advisors agreed to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) (Case No. 2018060548501)  which included a Fine of $350,000 by the Financial Industry Financial Authority (FINRA), the securities industry regulator established to protect investors.  According to the agreement with FINRA, VALIC Financial Advisors “consented to the sanctions and to findings that it failed to establish a reasonably designed system and written procedures for the surveillance of rates of variable annuity replacements and for corrective action in the case of inappropriate replacements”.  FINRA also determined. “The procedures also failed to provide guidance as to…

FINRA Suspends Madison Avenue Securities Broker for Mutual Fund Sales Practice Violations

FINRA Suspends Madison Avenue Securities Broker for Mutual Fund Sales Practice Violations

In November 2020, the securities industry watchdog, the Financial Regulatory Industry Authority (“FINRA”) suspended, Vincent Anthony Virga, after an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) Order was accepted, (FINRA Case #2019061187801).  According to FINRA, an AWC was issued in which Virga was fined $5,000, suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for one month, and ordered to pay $19,687, plus interest, in restitution to a customer.  The suspension is in effect from December 21, 2020, through January 20, 2021. According to the AWC, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Virga consented to the sanctions and to the entry…

KlaymanToskes Investigates David Lerner Associates Recommended Investments in Proprietary Non-Traded Investments Concentrated in Energy Sector

KlaymanToskes Investigates David Lerner Associates Recommended Investments in Proprietary Non-Traded Investments Concentrated in Energy Sector

National securities fraud law firm, KlaymanToskes (“KT”), announces  its investigation into David Lerner Associates for the unsuitable concentration in proprietary products invested non-traded Oil & Gas Investments offered exclusively to its clients.  The concentrated investments include the Energy 11 LP, Energy Resource 12 LP and Spirit of America Fund (SOAEX).  In addition to the precipitous loss in value, the majority of the interest payments received by investors are now considered, return of capital. According to securities attorney, Lawrence L. Klayman, “David Lerner Associates recommended proprietary products that were unsuitable for most conservative or retired investors”.  According to the Energy 11…

ATTENTION CUSTOMERS WITH ACCOUNTS SERVICED BY FINANCIAL ADVISOR JOSEPH IJONG CHU – KlaymanToskes Files FINRA Arbitration Claim against Merrill Lynch and RBC Seeking $1,000,000 on Behalf of Investors

ATTENTION CUSTOMERS WITH ACCOUNTS SERVICED BY FINANCIAL ADVISOR JOSEPH IJONG CHU – KlaymanToskes Files FINRA Arbitration Claim against Merrill Lynch and RBC Seeking $1,000,000 on Behalf of Investors

KlaymanToskes (“KT”) announces that it recently filed a claim for breach of fiduciary duty seeking $1,000,000 against Merrill Lynch (NYSE: BAC) and RBC Capital Markets (“RBC”) on behalf of investors who had discretionary accounts mishandled by Joseph Ijong Chu (“Chu”).  A discretionary account is one that allows an authorized broker, in this case Chu, to buy and sell securities without client consent on each trade and is based on a client consent granting this authorization in writing.  This type of relationship is especially one of trust. According to the claim, the investors gave Chu discretion to invest their hard-earned savings…

ATTENTION UPS EMPLOYEES WITH MERRILL LYNCH ACCOUNTS: KlaymanToskes Continues to Investigate Claims for UPS Employees with Losses from Unsuitable Covered Call Writing Strategies

KlaymanToskes (“KT”) continues to investigate and pursue FINRA arbitration claims against Merrill Lynch on behalf of UPS (NYSE: UPS) current and former employees for losses sustained from an unsuitable recommendation to employ a covered call writing strategy. Many UPS employees were solicited to invest with Merrill Lynch after UPS stock went public in 1999.  Merrill Lynch and its financial advisors recommended to many UPS employees a covered call options writing strategy, sometimes recommending the Rampart Options Management Services Program (“Rampart”) to facilitate the strategy that would generate income to help cover the cost of the UPS employees’ hypo loans.  The…

FSKR INVESTOR ALERT: KlaymanToskes Continues Investigation into Full-Service Brokerage Firms for Recommended Investments in Excess of $250,000 in Franklin Square KKR Capital II Fund Predecessors Prior to the IPO

FSKR INVESTOR ALERT: KlaymanToskes Continues Investigation into Full-Service Brokerage Firms for Recommended Investments in Excess of $250,000 in Franklin Square KKR Capital II Fund Predecessors Prior to the IPO

New York–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National investment fraud law firm, KlaymanToskes (“KT”), continues its investigation into full-service brokerage firms for the unsuitable recommendations to purchase non-traded Business Development Companies (“BDCs”) including:  FS Investment Corp II (“FSIC II”), FS Investment Corp III (“FSIC III”), FS Investment Corp IV (“FSIC IV”), and Corporate Capital Trust (“CCTII”).  These four BDCs merged into the Franklin Square KKR Capital II Fund (NYSE:FSKR) on December 18, 2019.   On June 17, 2020, FSKR announced the listing on the NYSE.  These investments, and other non-traded BDCs, may have been marketed and sold to investors who were risk averse, such as retirees…

ATTENTION EXERCISE AND HOLD STRATEGY INVESTORS WITH EMPLOYER COMPANY STOCK:  KlaymanToskes Commences Investigation into Full-service Brokerage Firms for Mismanagement of Concentrated, Leveraged Positions in Employer Company Stock

ATTENTION EXERCISE AND HOLD STRATEGY INVESTORS WITH EMPLOYER COMPANY STOCK: KlaymanToskes Commences Investigation into Full-service Brokerage Firms for Mismanagement of Concentrated, Leveraged Positions in Employer Company Stock

National investment fraud law firm, KlaymanToskes (“KT”), commences an investigation into full-service brokerage firms for the mismanagement of concentrated, company stock positions accumulated through employer sponsored plans.  The investigation focuses on whether full-service brokerage firm recommendations for an “exercise and hold” strategy represents unsuitable investment advice and a failure to supervise the management of concentrated, leveraged positions in employer company stock. Investment portfolios holding large concentrated stock positions carry significant downside risks, especially when leveraged by a margin loan.  Full-service brokerage firms whose customers hold large concentrated stock positions have a duty to ensure that their customers understand the risks…