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Articles Tagged with securities arbitration lawyer

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Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims regarding UBS Securities. UBS Securities has agreed to pay almost $50 million to settle charges that it violated securities laws regarding certain collateralized debt obligation, or “CDO”, investments. The charges apply to the firm’s structuring and marketing of ACA ABS 2007-2 — a CDO, or collateralized debt obligation. Allegedly, UBS failed to disclose the fact that it retained millions in upfront cash while acquiring collateral. The SEC officially charged UBS on August 6, 2013.

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The collateral for the CDO was managed by ACA Management and reportedly was primarily consisted of CDS on subprime RMBS, or residential mortgage-backed securities. According to securities arbitration lawyers, the CDO — as the “insurer” — received premiums from the CDS collateral on a monthly basis. Then the premiums were used for CDO bondholder payments. According to the SEC, ACA and UBS agreed that the collateral manager would seek bids for yield that contained both a fixed running spread and upfront cash in the form of “points.”

According to the SEC’s findings, UBS collected upfront payments totaling $23.6 million while acquiring collateral and, instead of transferring the upfront fees at the same time as the collateral, UBS kept the upfront payments and chose not to disclose this information. In addition to retaining the undisclosed $23.6 million, it also retained a disclosed fee of $10.8 million. Investment fraud lawyers say the decision not to disclose the retention of the upfront points was inconsistent with prior UBS deals and the industry standard. Allegedly, UBS’ head of the U.S. CDO group stated, “Let’s see how much money we can draw out of the deal.”

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Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who mya have been defrauded through microcap shell company pump-and-dump schemes in light of one of the largest trading suspensions in Securities and Exchange Commission history. In June, the SEC announced that it would suspend trading in 61 companies in the over-the-counter market on the basis that they are ripe for fraud .135963527SEC_Suspends_61_Companies_as_Possible_Too_ls_for_Fraud “The SEC suspended trading in the securities of 61 empty shell companies that are delinquent in their public filings and seemingly no longer in business based on an analysis by the SEC’s Microcap Fraud Working Group,” SEC officials stated in a statement. “Since microcap companies are thinly traded, once they become dormant they have a great potential to be hijacked by fraudsters who falsely hype the stock to portray it as a thriving company and coerce investors into ‘pump-and-dump’ schemes.” Reportedly, these companies were identified in 17 states and one foreign country. Following this suspension, these companies are required to prove they are still operational with updated financial information. However, securities arbitration lawyers say that while these companies became useless to fraudsters once they were suspended, it is difficult for them to identify every shell company that is a possible tool for fraud in time to prevent fraud from occurring. According to investment fraud lawyers, in a pump-and-dump scheme, fraudsters will use false and misleading statements to sell investments in the company, purchasing the stock at a low price, “pumping” the price of the stock higher and then selling the stock at a profit. Previously, the SEC suspended 379 such companies in one day, making this the second-largest suspension in history. A complete list of the 61 companies can be found on the SEC’s website. If you were persuaded to invest in any of these companies by your broker or financial adviser, you may be able to recover your losses through securities 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 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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Investors who suffered significant losses as a result of the unsuitable recommendation of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I from a full-service brokerage firm can contact a securities fraud attorney to determine if they wish to pursue legal claims through Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration.

An announcement from Behringer Harvard Holdings LLC stated that affiliates of Behringer Harvard and a board of directors special committee of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I had entered into contractual arrangements, initiating the process of making the REIT self-managed. However, the management team for the REIT will remain basically unchanged. Five of the executives will become employees of the REIT instead of employees of Behringer Harvard. Furthermore, Mark T. Alfieri will replace Robert S. Aisner, who will remain an employee of Behringer Harvard, as the REIT’s CEO.

Typically, non-traded REITs carry a high commission, sometimes as high as 15 percent, which motivates brokers to make unsuitable recommendations to their clients. Non-traded REITs such as the Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I are attractive to investors because they carry a relatively high dividend or interest.  However, in some instances brokers have sold the REITs without disclosing the risks of principal loss and/or the fact that the investor’s funds may be tied up for several years due to the limited market for resale of non-traded REIT shares.

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Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of individuals who suffered significant losses as a result of the unsuitable recommendation of non-traded REITs and variable annuities from Royal Alliance Securities- and LPL Financial-registered representatives.

Investigations into Unsuitable Sales of REITs, Variable Annuities by Royal Alliance Securities, LPL Financial Representatives

Reportedly, a claim has already been filed on behalf of one investor against Kathleen Tarr, a former representative of Royal Alliance Securities. Allegedly, Tarr recommended taking an early retirement option and then sold the investor unsuitable variable annuities and non-traded REITs. Prior to taking the early retirement option, the investor’s portfolio consisted of diversified retirement investments.

In addition, securities arbitration lawyers are investigating recommendations made by Brian Brunhaver, a former registered representative for LPL Financial. Allegedly, Brunhaver unsuitably recommended the purchase of the non-traded REITs, specifically Inland American and Inland Western, to a client. This client was seeking to make investments that would fund future college expenses. Because of the illiquidity of non-traded REITs, the investments could not be sold in time to meet the client’s needs.

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Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses in exotic ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, sold by Morgan Stanley. Recently, Morgan Stanley was ordered to pay $100,000 for its alleged improper sales practices of exotic ETFs to investors. According to New Jersey state regulators, Morgan Stanley did not properly train its advisers, who then sold leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds to seniors desiring additional income.

Reportedly, the improper sales took place from January 2007 until June 2009. The $100,000 payment includes $10,000 for investor education, $25,000 for investigative expenses of the state and $65,000 in civil penalties. Morgan Stanley has apparently already paid New Jersey investor restitution in the amount of $96,940. However,  investors who suffered significant losses in unsuitable ETFs can still file a securities arbitration claim to recover losses.

In 2012, Morgan Stanley settled FINRA allegations regarding the firm’s handling of exchange-traded funds by paying almost $2.4 million. Reportedly, Morgan Stanley did not have an adequate supervisory system or written procedures in place to ensure compliance with NASD and FINRA rules for inverse and leveraged ETFs from January 2008 until January 2010. Allegedly, Morgan Stanley used the same procedures for oversight of the non-traditional ETFs as they did for traditional ETFs. In addition, investment fraud lawyers say Morgan Stanley-registered representatives did not completely comprehend the non-traditional ETF investments because the firm did not properly train them.

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Stock fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses in several TNP-sponsored investments, including the TNP 2008 Participating Notes Program LLC, sold by Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. and other full-service brokerage firms. Reportedly, around $26 million was raised from investors in total for the TNP 2008 Participating Notes Program and, though Berthel Fisher acted as the underwriter for the deal, the investment was also sold by other broker-dealers.

Investors Could Recover Losses for TNP-Sponsored Investments

According to the allegations made by one investor, Berthel Fisher failed to make the proper disclosures and perform adequate due diligence regarding the TNP 2008 Participating Notes Program. A complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on July 8, which stated, “Berthel Fisher had actual knowledge of the misrepresentations and omission in the 2008 [private-placement memorandum] and failed to investigate red flags that pointed to other misrepresentations and omissions.”

The deal’s sponsor, Thompson National Properties LLC, and chief executive Tony Thompson have also been under investigation by securities arbitration lawyers for the TNP Strategic Retail Trust Inc., a non-traded REIT, and the TNP 12% Notes Program. Allegedly, the TNP Strategic Retail Trust was recommended to many investors for which it was unsuitable, given their age, risk tolerances and investment objectives. Reportedly, the 12% Notes Program, which was designed to raise capital for tenant-in-common real estate operations, suspended interest payments to investors and was in danger of defaulting on two loans.

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  Reportedly, 15 brokerage firms have been subpoenaed by the Commonwealth of  Massachusetts as part of an  investigation into sales of alternative investments to senior citizens.

15 Brokerage Firms Subpoenaed Over Alternative Investment Sales

The following firms have reportedly been subpoenaed: Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS Securities LLC, Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Wells Fargo Advisors, ING Financial Partners Inc., TD Ameritrade Inc., LPL Financial LLC, MML Investor Services LLC, Commonwealth Financial Network, Investors Capital Corp., WFG Investments Inc. and Signator Investors Inc.

According to securities arbitration lawyers, the state sent subpoenas to the firms on July 10, 2013, requesting information regarding the sale of certain products to Massachusetts residents 65 or older over the last year. Nontraditional investments include private placements, hedge funds, oil and gas partnerships, tenant-in-common offerings, and structured products.

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Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of customers of UBS Financial Services who were sold 100 Percent Principal Protected Notes. 100 Percent Principal Protected Notes were bonds or structured notes issued by Lehman Brothers Inc. Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy in September of 2008, resulting in disastrous losses for many investors.

100 Percent Principal Protected Note Investors Could Recover Losses

Recently, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration claim was filed on behalf of a Texas investor against UBS Financial Services. According to the Statement of Claim, UBS Financial Services allegedly sold the investor, who was a brokerage customer of the firm at the time, $300,000 of the 100 Percent Principal Protected Notes.

According to the claim’s allegations, UBS was aware of the deteriorating financial condition of Lehman Brothers, but concealed its views from brokerage customers who owned the notes. Furthermore, UBS customers were allegedly kept unaware that the Lehman Brothers notes could quite possibly default and become worthless. In addition, the claim alleges that the sales of Lehman notes were halted twice by UBS Financial Services because of concerns regarding credit risk, but UBS did not disclose these halts to thousands of its customers who were already invested in Lehman notes.

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Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of the customers of James W. Margulies and Scottrade Inc. in light of a recent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority decision. Reportedly, Scottrade has agreed to pay a fine of $100,000 to FINRA for failing to supervise Margulies, the former Industrial Enterprises of America Inc. chief financial officer, general counsel and board member.

Scottrade Fined for Failure to Supervise 8.4 Million in Sales of Unregistered Stock

Reportedly, Margulies was allowed to improperly sell unregistered stock to investors between February 2005 and October 2007. Securities arbitration lawyers say he reportedly sold $8.4 million worth of unregistered stock. According to FINRA, “Scottrade failed to conduct an independent inquiry to determine whether the shares deposited were freely tradable.”

According to investment fraud lawyers, Margulies was convicted in 2011 of stealing more than $20 million from investors and looting over $90 million in illegally-issued securities by the Manhattan district attorney. He reportedly used more than $7 million of that money for luxury items such as jewelry for his wife, a vacation club membership, expensive homes and travel on a private jet.

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Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses as a result of the unsuitable recommendation of Lehman structured products. Recently, a securities arbitration claim was filed on behalf of a couple who did business with UBS Financial Services Inc. The FINRA arbitration was filed against UBS Financial Services and alleges the improper and unsuitable sale of Lehman structured products.

UBS Allegedly Made Unsuitable Recommendation of Lehman Structured Products

According to the Statement of Claim, the couple was nearing retirement and, therefore, wanted to preserve and protect their savings. Allegedly, they were presented with a written financial plan by UBS Financial Services that recommended an allocation of 52 percent equities and 46 percent fixed income for their “moderate” objectives and risk tolerance.

However, securities arbitration lawyers say the claim alleges that UBS disregarded the recommended allocation and concentrated the couple’s accounts in structured products and notes and equities for the “fixed income” portion. These investments allegedly included Lehman structured products, which UBS was aware carried significant default risk.

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