Articles Posted in Pennsylvania

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Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses in non-traded real estate investment trusts, or non-traded REITs, in light of an investigation that is now underway by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.

Pennsylvania Regulators Investigate Non-traded REIT Sales

Reportedly, Pennsylvania regulators are currently looking into non-traded REIT sales conducted by Securities America employees. Securities America is owned by broker-dealer Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., which also owns two more independent brokerage firms. Ladenburg stated in its annual report that Pennsylvania regulators wanted to be provided with data regarding non-traded REITs purchased by Pennsylvania residents since 2007.

Securities arbitration lawyers are currently unsure if the non-traded REIT sales investigation will extend to firms other than Securities America.

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Securities fraud attorneys are currently investigating claims on behalf of the customers of Robert G. Bard. Current claims against Bard on behalf of investors seek compensation for investment losses that resulted from securities laws violations in the amount of as much as $6 million. 

Victims of Robert G. Bard Could Recover Losses

Current allegations against Bard include breach of contract, negligence, fraud through omission of material fact and violation of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulations and other securities laws, among others. Before incorporating his investment firm in December 2004, Bard was terminated from the investment firm where he worked for allegedly preparing and submitting investment documents with forged signatures of his customers. A FINRA investigation confirmed these charges and Bard signed a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent.

In August 2013, Bard was found guilty of 21 felony counts of offenses related to securities fraud. According to stock fraud lawyers, FINRA rules have established that firms must properly supervise brokers’ activities while they are registered with the firm. Reportedly, Scottrade, Ameritrade, Choice Investments and E-Trade have been named in an arbitration claim soon to be filed on behalf of some of Bard’s clients and these investment firms could be ordered to compensate clients for losses sustained for the period Bard was registered with the firms.

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David L. Rothman, a Pennsylvania resident, has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly defrauding elderly clients. Stock fraud lawyers say the civil and criminal charges accuse Rothman of sending his clients falsified account statements that inflated the value of their accounts. Then, in a repayment scheme, Rothman took funds from another client in order to repay those who received phony statements.

Elderly Investors Targeted by Pennsylvania Financial Advisor

According to the SEC’s complaint, the two clients were “elderly and unsophisticated investors” which, securities arbitration lawyers say, made them ideal targets for Rothman’s fraud. The complaint further alleges that the fraud occurred from 2006-2011 and the falsified statements “materially overstated” the value of the clients’ investments. In addition, allegations against Rothman state that once the investors realized the fraud had taken place, the financial advisor stated that he would repay the statements’ reported value. However, his financial resources eventually ran short.

Apparently, Rothman was previously censured by the CFP Board in 2004. This separate matter involved the purchasing of mutual fund Class S shares.

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Investment fraud lawyers are investigating potential claims on behalf of investors who suffered losses as a result of municipal bond purchases. Two of the bonds currently being investigated are the TW Tax Advantage Fund and Harrisburg.

Investors Who Suffered Municipal Bond Losses May Have Valid Securities Arbitration Claim

The TW Tax Advantage Fund, created by First Republic Investment Management, is a complicated, high-risk municipal arbitrage bond. Investment fraud lawyers are attempting to determine whether the necessary due diligence was performed by brokerage firms prior to the offering the investment for sale to their clients. Furthermore, broker-dealers may not have properly disclosed the features and risks of this complicated product. Shortly after the fund’s creation, it collapsed. As a result, investors of the fund suffered significant losses.

Securities arbitration lawyers are also investigating Harrisburg municipal bond. The general-obligation bond payments were missed for the first time by Harrisburg’s insolvent capital. Furthermore, its receiver is seeking approval for an asset sales plan. Reportedly, Harrisburg’s debt load is five times more than its general-fund budget and it missed bond payments amounting to $5.27 million. The bond payments were due on March 15. These payments were for bonds issued in 1997, amounting to $51.5 million.

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Investment attorneys turn their eyes to Bank of America once again, only two months into the New Year. Bank of America Corp. has been subpoenaed by William Gavin, the Massachusetts securities regulator, over LCM VII Ltd. and Bryn Mawr CLO II Ltd., two related collateralized loan obligations. These two CLOs led to investor losses totaling $150 million. The subpoena will, hopefully, help authorities in determining if Bank of America knew it was overvaluing the assets of the portfolios. Both Bryn Mawr and LCM were sold in 2007, prior to the 2008 merger between Bank of America Securities and Merrill Lynch.

News: Bank of America Faces More Allegations In 2012

Bank of America held commercial loans from small banks amounting to around $400 million in 2006. In 2007, securities packages were put together from these loans and then sold to investors. The subpoena arrives only one day after Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. settled allegations of engaging in abusive mortgage practices. These abusive practices included engaging in deceptive practices in the offering of loan modifications, a failure to offer other options before closing on borrowers with federally insured mortgages, submitting improper documents to the bankruptcy court and robo-signing foreclosure documents without proper review of the paperwork.

The settlement amounted to $25 billion and involved federal agencies plus authorities in 49 states. This settlement is designed to give $2,000 to around 750 borrowers whose homes were foreclosed upon after the home values dropped 33 percent from their 2006 worth, and to provide mortgage relief. In addition, all five banks will pay $766.5 million in penalties to the Federal Reserve. This is considered to be the biggest federal-state settlement ever. Bank of America will also pay $1 billion to settle allegations that it, together with its Countrywide Financial unit, engaged in fraudulent and wrongful conduct.

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