South Florida financial advisor Ariel Hernandez, was reportedly arrested and accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from customers. Hernandez allegedly transferred funds out of customer accounts and into accounts in his name, in the process allegedly forging a customer’s signature. Authorities in the South Florida community of Pembroke Pines have charged Hernandez with two counts of theft.

15.2.24 embezzlement image

FINRA BrokerCheck, an online resource for researching the background of stockbrokers and financial advisors, indicated that Hernandez has worked in Florida since 2007 and has been associated with various brokerage firms, including MetLife Securities (2007), Wachovia Securities (2007-08), J.B. Hanauer & Co. (2008), Summit Brokerage Services (2009 -10) and Liberty Partners Financial Services (2010-13).

Brokerage firms have an obligation to supervise all associated persons to prevent actions such as misappropriation and forgery. If you suffered significant losses are a result of misappropriation, forgery, or other misconduct by a stockbroker or financial advisor, you may be able to recover your losses in FINRA arbitration. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a securities arbitration lawyer at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or newcases@investorlawyers.net for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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Oil prices have rapidly tumbled to under $50 a barrel, from well over $100 a barrel, leaving prices at their lowest level since 2009. As a result of the plummet in oil prices, some investors whose portfolios were concentrated in investments whose value is linked to the price of oil or other energy products have lost significant sums. Such investments may include private placements, stocks, and ETFs. On the private placement side alone the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), has stated that since 2008, approximately 4,000 oil and gas private placements have attempted to raise nearly $122 billion in investor capital. However, research has shown that some of these oil and gas private placements pose enormous risks and, a significant majority of the oil and gas funds offered by some sponsors have lost money (even before the recent drop in oil prices).

15.2.24 oil rigs at sunset

Leveraged ETFs

In addition to the inherent risks of such investments, some investors’ portfolios may be over-concentrated in oil and gas stocks or ETFs. Some of these ETFs may be leveraged or non-traditional ETFs. These types of funds will tend to rise or fall in value even more rapidly than the price of oil and gas, due to internal leverage, or the borrowing of money by the funds to increase their exposure energy prices.

Some “leveraged ETF” funds of this nature are listed below:

AXEN – iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Energy Sector Index ETF

CHIE – Global X China Energy ETF

DBE – PowerShares DB Energy ETF

EMLP – First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure ETF

ENFR – Alerian Energy Infrastructure ETF

ENY – Claymore/SWM Canadian Energy Income ETF

ERX – Direxion Daily Energy Bull 3X Shares ETF

ERY – Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X Shares ETF

FILL – iShares MSCI Global Energy Producers Fund

FXN – First Trust Energy AlphaDEX ETF

ICLN – iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index ETF

IPW – SPDR S&P International Energy Sector ETF

IXC – iShares S&P Global Energy Sector ETF

IYE – iShares Dow Jones US Energy Sector ETF

JJE – iPath DJ-UBS Energy Total Return Sub-Index ETN

OGEM – EGShares Energy GEMS ETF

ONG – iPath Pure Beta Energy ETN

PSCE – PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio

PUW – PowerShares WilderHill Progressive Energy ETF

PXE – PowerShares Dynamic Energy Exploration & Prod ETF

PXI – PowerShares Dynamic Energy ETF

RGRE – RBS Rogers Enhanced Energy ETN

RJN – ELEMENTS Rogers International Commodity Energy ETN

RYE – Rydex S&P Equal Weight Energy ETF

UBN – UBS E-TRACS CMCI Energy Total Return ETN

VDE – Vanguard Energy ETF

XLE – Energy Select Sector SPDR

Natural Gas ETFs

Even funds that are not internally leveraged may have suffered significant losses due to their concentrated exposure to the price of natural gas. Some funds concentrated in investments linked to the value of natural gas are listed below:

DCNG – iPath Seasonal Natural Gas ETN

DDG – The Short Oil and Gas ProShares ETF

FCG – First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas ETF

BOIL – ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Natural Gas ETF

KOLD – UltraShort DJ-UBS Natural Gas ETF

FRAK – Market Vectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF

GASL – Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bull 3X Shares ETF

GASX – Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bear 3X Shares ETF

GASZ – ETRACS Natural Gas Futures Contango ETN

GAZ – iPath DJ AIG Natural Gas TR Sub-Index ETN

IGAS – Global Natural Gas Small Cap Equity ETF

MLPG – UBS E-TRACS Alerian Natural Gas MLP Index ETN

NAGS – Teucrium Natural Gas Fund

UNG – United States Natural Gas ETF

Crude Oil ETF’s

Funds that are not internally leveraged may also have suffered significant losses due to their concentrated exposure to the price of crude oil. Some funds concentrated in investments linked to the value of crude oil are listed below:

BARL – Morgan Stanley S&P 500 Crude Oil Linked ETN

BNO – United States Brent Oil Fund

DBO – PowerShares DB Oil ETF

DNO – United States Short Oil Fund ETF

DTO – PowerShares DB Crude Oil Double Short ETN

DUG – UltraShort Oil & Gas ProShares ETF

IOIL – Global Crude Oil Small Cap Equity ETF

FRAK – Market Vectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF

OIH – Market Vectors Oil Services ETF

OIL – Goldman Sachs Crude Oil Total Return ETN

OILZ – ETRACS Oil Futures Contango ETN

OLEM – iPath Pure Beta Crude Oil ETN

OLO – PowerShares DB Crude Oil Long ETN

SCO – ProShares UltraShort DJ-AIG Crude Oil ETF

SZO – PowerShares DB Crude Oil Short ETN

USO – United States Oil Fund ETF

USL – United States 12 Month Oil Fund ETF

UHN – United States Heating Oil Fund ETF

UCO – ProShares Ultra DJ-AIG Crude Oil ETF

DDG – The Short Oil and Gas ProShares ETF

CRUD – Teucrium WTI Crude Oil Fund

WCAT – Jefferies TR/J CRB Wildcatters Expl& Prod Equity ETF

FOL – FactorShares 2X Oil Bull/S&P500 Bear ETF

SNDS – Sustainable North American Oil Sands ETF

Brokers who sell oil and gas investments have an obligation to make sure that the investment is suitable for the investor and to disclose all the risks associated with the product. If you suffered significant losses are a result of possible unsuitable recommendations, you may be able to recover your losses in FINRA arbitration. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a securities arbitration lawyer at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or newcases@investorlawyers.net for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

 

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FINRA Sanctions Popular Securities Over PR Municipal Bond Fund Sales

February 17, 2015

Popular Securities, Inc. (Popular Securities) was recently sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for violations in their dealings related to Puerto Rico municipal bond funds. Managers touted the Puerto Rico bond funds as providing tax benefits to investors, such as exemption from United States estate and gift taxes, as well as triple tax […]

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Former Metlife Broker Derek Weaver Barred For Failure To Cooperate With FINRA Investigation

February 17, 2015

Securities lawyers are investigating broker Derek Weaver, who was recently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA to investigate his dealings.  FINRA first requested documents from Weaver in December 2014.   FINRA authority was looking into allegations that Weaver may have participated in […]

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FINRA Faults Sigma Financial’s Supervision of Stockbrokers

February 4, 2015

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently sanctioned brokerage firm Sigma Financial, for alleged supervisory failures. FINRA alleges that from April 2011 through June 2012, there existed supervisory deficiencies at Sigma, namely: the supervision of registered representatives, suitability processes and procedures, customer information procedures and branch office registration for trade execution. Sigma’s supervisory and compliance […]

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Securities Lawyers Reviewing Investor Claims Involving ICON 11 and 12 and LEAF I-IV Leasing Funds

February 4, 2015

Securities lawyers are investigating brokerage firms who made inappropriate recommendations and sold investments in Icon Leasing Fund 11 and Icon Leasing Fund 12, as well as LEAF Equipment Leasing Income Funds I-IV, to investors who would not be able to withstand the high risks associated with the funds. Equipment-leasing funds of this type are both […]

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State Securities Regulators Warn Of Prevalent Oil and Gas Investment Fraud

January 13, 2015

State securities regulators around the country warn that high oil prices that prevailed until recently created a heightened interest in investments in energy-related business ventures- ventures that may lead to losses now that oil prices have plummeted to the $45 a barrel range (from around $100 a barrel in recent months) Oil and gas investments […]

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Reuters Investigation Reveals Shocking Fail Rate Of Oil And Gas Investments Offered by Reef

January 13, 2015

A recent Reuters article analyzed the success of funds structured and offered by Reef Oil & Gas Partners, Black Diamond, and Discovery Resources & Development LLC . These firms have marketed their funds to investors as a way to profit from the U.S. shale oil and fracking boom. These companies issue limited partnerships and other […]

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Unsuitable Recommendations Of Oil And Gas Royalty Trusts May Give Rise To Arbitration Claims S

January 13, 2015

With crude oil trading in the range of $45 a barrel, down from over $100 a barrel in the past year, investments linked to the value of crude oil extraction such as royalty trusts have also seen their share prices plummet. The ten largest royalty trusts traded on the U.S. exchanges are: BP Prudhoe Bay […]

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Ameriprise Broker Thomas Sharp Charged By FINRA With Misleading Communications Concerning Non-Traded REITs

October 20, 2014

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has charged broker Thomas Sharp with making misleading communications to customers concerning non-traded REITs.    FINRA alleges that Sharp violated NASD Rule 2210(d)  by sending customers e-mails recommending the REITs that were not fair and balanced and failed to provide a sound basis for evaluating the facts. Sharp was associated with […]

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