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A National Securities Arbitration & Investment Fraud Law Firm

$70 MILLION Recovery for Investment Fraud
$44 MILLION Recovery for Ponzi Scheme Victims
$25 MILLION Recovery Against National Brokerage Firm
$9.1 MILLION FINRA Arbitration Award Against Brokerage Firm
$7.9 MILLION Securities Arbitration Award Against Stockbroker
$1 MILLION Securities Arbitration Award for Elder Financial Fraud
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Trusts can be a significant part of your estate plan. Some investors may decide to transfer securities into a trust, or leave them as part of their estate to their beneficiaries.  Assets that are transferred into a trust is taken out of the estate for the probate process. The expectation is that the beneficiaries will later have the benefit of the investments after the original owner passes in accordance with the deceased’s wishes.  Occasionally, a person will also select a stockbroker or other financial services person to serve as a trustee. A trustee and/or executor are supposed to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries. However, this isn’t always the case.  The Trustee  A fund’s trustee has the job of overseeing the funds in the trust, and keeping extensive records of all funds coming in and payments going out. This is in addition to preparing tax returns for the trust.Trusts can be a significant part of your estate plan. Some investors may decide to transfer securities into a trust, or leave them as part of their estate to their beneficiaries.

Assets that are transferred into a trust are taken out of the estate for the probate process. The expectation is that the beneficiaries will later have the benefit of the investments after the original owner passes in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. Continue reading ›

Most stockbrokers and other financial service representatives genuinely care about their clients. Unfortunately, there are some in the mix who see an elderly client as a target-rich environment, and the abuse frequently isn’t detected until it’s too late. They take advantage of a client who may not completely understand what’s being discussed or what they may be signing. Financial abuse of the elderly is the biggest form of elder abuse, and it’s getting bigger. An estimated $2.9 billion is stolen every year from elders. Our attorneys work with victims to recover losses from financial advisors, trustees and family members who engage in misconduct. Most people believe that only wealthier seniors are targeted for elder financial fraud, but any senior can be targeted. Elders who are not financially well off can lose everything. Unfortunately, our lawyers have handled cases involving massive losses that steal a person’s senior years. This is a growing problem that is only expected to get worse as the “baby boomer” generation gets older.Most stockbrokers and other financial service representatives genuinely care about their clients. Unfortunately, there are some in the mix who see an elderly client as a target-rich environment, and the abuse frequently isn’t detected until it’s too late. They take advantage of a client who may not completely understand what’s being discussed or what they may be signing. Continue reading ›

The SEC has issued an investor alert for people regarding fraudsters posing as brokers and investment advisors.  We’ve previously discussed brokers and investment advisors and their different schemes for defrauding clients—especially long-term clients. But as the SEC warns, there’s more to it than that, and a tactic you may not realize exists.  While you may have an established relationship with an investment professional, there are others who may attempt to convince you to terminate that relationship in favor of a new one. These individuals are frequently not registered brokers or investment advisors, but fraudsters. And that’s where the trouble starts. Many Ponzi schemes and other investment frauds use unregistered financial advisors to sell their securities. Sometimes, these advisors characterize themselves as senior wealth advisors or elder specialists to gain access to clients.    False Claims And Misrepresentation In The Sale of Securities  If you’ve ever received a friend request on social media from someone you are already connected to, you’ve experienced a “spoof.” This happens when someone creates an account pretending to be someone you already know. They steal a few pictures and facts so that people believe that the new account is the same friend. Also called “cloning,” you may not realize that the second account isn’t the same person until you begin conversing with them and realize something is wrong.The SEC has issued an investor alert for people regarding fraudsters posing as brokers and investment advisors.

We’ve previously discussed brokers and investment advisors and their different schemes for defrauding clients—especially long-term clients. But as the SEC warns, there’s more to it than that, and a tactic you may not realize exists. Continue reading ›

According to FINRA Disciplinary actions for June 2021, the following individuals were suspended from FINRA and cannot currently work for a FINRA brokerage firm for failing to provide FINRA with information it requested or to keep information current with FINRA pursuant to FINRA rules. However, these individuals remain bound by the securities arbitration agreement to arbitrate any disputes between themselves and their former customers:

NAME FORMER EMPLOYERS
  Lorenzo Atkins   The Huntington Investment Company
  Fifth Third Securities, Inc.
  Cyntera Belser   J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
  Amanda Berry   MML Investors Services, LLC
  NYLife Securities LLC
  Tiffany Burgess
  James Carpenter II   Simplified Wealth Management
  LPL Financial LLC
  Jinnie Chean   Allstate Financial Services, LLC
  Paul Furusho   AWA Capital, Inc
  Comprehensive Asset Management & Servicing, Inc.
  Courtney Mahdak   Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
  Marco Rivera   J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
  Janie Royal   Key Investment Services LLC

Continue reading ›

According to FINRA Disciplinary actions for June 2021, the following individuals were suspended from FINRA for failing to comply with a FINRA arbitration award or settlement agreement pursuant to FINRA rules:

NAME FORMER EMPLOYERS
  Gina Adly   MML Investors Services, LLC
  NYLife Securities LLC
  Patrick Carberry   AXA Advisors, LLC
  NYLife Securities LLC
  Roy Cederfranco   Morgan Stanley
  Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
  Michael Gopie   AXA Advisors, LLC
  Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc
  Cary Kievman   Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
  Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
  Gaetano Magarelli   Newbridge Securities Corp
  Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
  Margarita Medina   LPL Financial LLC
  Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Continue reading ›

According to FINRA Disciplinary actions for June 2021, the following individuals were barred from FINRA and cannot currently work for a FINRA brokerage firm for failing to provide FINRA with information it requested or to keep information current with FINRA pursuant to FINRA rules:

NAME FORMER EMPLOYERS
  Nathaniel Eklund   J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
  Geneos Wealth Management, Inc.
  Idean Esfahani   Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC
  Justyn Euan   Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC
  Ngonidzashe Parirenyatwa   Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC
  Planco Financial Services, LLC
  Laquita Antionette Pettis   Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC
  Rodney Repko   Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation
  Valic Financial Advisors, Inc.
  George Stills, Jr.   Securian Financial Services, Inc.
  AXA Advisors, LLC

Continue reading ›

Dustin Shafer (Dustin Paul Shafer CRD# 34198962) is a former registered broker and investment advisor who was registered most recently with Newbridge Securities Corporation from 2019-2020, but spent the previous decade of his career with Money Concepts Capital Corp in Springfield, Illinois. Shafer worked in the brokerage industry since 2000.  Dustin Shafer Discharged From Newbridge Securities  In November 2020, Shafer was discharged from Newbridge. According to Shafer’s BrokerCheck Report, published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Shafer’s discharge stemmed from allegations that he “borrowed money from an existing client without firm pre-approval, in contradiction of firm policies.”  Allegations That Shafer Borrowed From Clients Leads To Regulatory Sanctions  First, in December 2020, Shafer was investigated by the Illinois Securities Department for allegations that while employed by Newbridge and Money Concepts, he “borrowed over $55,000 from one of his elderly clients” in violations of Illinois securities laws.  For this alleged misconduct, the state issued a permanent bar.Dustin Shafer (Dustin Paul Shafer CRD# 34198962) is a former registered broker and investment advisor who was registered most recently with Newbridge Securities Corporation from 2019-2020, but spent the previous decade of his career with Money Concepts Capital Corp in Springfield, Illinois. Shafer worked in the brokerage industry since 2000. Continue reading ›

A growing trend in the brokerage industry is for financial advisers to offer their customers access to pre-IPO “deals”. Often, investors are promised “inside access” to invest in start-ups or even well-known companies before the initial public offerings (“IPOs”), but in reality investors are just investing in some sort of venture or company that promises to acquire the pre-IPO shares.  While the sales pitch of getting in on the ground floor of growing companies can be enticing to retail investors, many pre-IPO investment “vehicles” are in fact complex products that contain hidden commissions and fees that make it nearly impossible for investors to turn a profit.  Investors should be weary of these products. While there are legitimate and profitable ways to invest in pre-IPO companies, this type of investment is highly susceptible to fraud, self-dealing, and other misconduct and these products are sometimes sold by unregistered brokers and there is even a risk that these products can be outright frauds.A growing trend in the brokerage industry is for financial advisers to offer their customers access to pre-IPO “deals”. Often, investors are promised “inside access” to invest in start-ups or even well-known companies before the initial public offerings (“IPOs”), but in reality investors are just investing in some sort of venture or company that promises to acquire the pre-IPO shares. Continue reading ›

Kevin Meadows (Kevin Kimball Meadows CRD #2878889) is a former registered broker and investment advisor whose most recent employer was IBN Financial Services, Inc. of Liverpool, NY. Prior to working at IBN, Meadows was registered with Lombard Securities Incorporated, Cape Securities Inc, and First Allied Securities, Inc.  Meadows has been in the securities industry since 1997.  Kevin Meadows Failed To Cooperate With FINRA’s Investigation Into Misconduct  In May 2021, FINRA indefinitely barred Meadows from working in the brokerage industry. According to FINRA’s Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent with Meadows, he declined to provide documentation and information along with on-the-record testimony after a former employer disclosed a customer complaint on his record.  Just a year earlier, FINRA suspended Meadows for three months following an investigation into his aggressive trading of three accounts belonging to an elderly customer at Cape Securities, resulting in losses. According to FINRA:  Meadows excessively and unsuitably traded three accounts of a senior customer Meadows controlled the trading in these three accounts by recommending almost all of the tradesKevin Meadows (Kevin Kimball Meadows CRD #2878889) is a former registered broker and investment advisor whose most recent employer was IBN Financial Services, Inc. of Liverpool, NY. Prior to working at IBN, Meadows was registered with Lombard Securities Incorporated, Cape Securities Inc, and First Allied Securities, Inc.  Meadows has been in the securities industry since 1997. Continue reading ›

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