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Articles Posted in Securities Arbitration

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Frequently, investment and securities fraud cases are only limited by Wall Street’s ability to find new and creative ways to abuse investors.

This type of fraud arises out of allegations that losses are due to misconduct or causes unrelated to market forces and is governed by the Securities Exchange Commission, also known as the SEC.

Attorney Scott Silver, of the Silver Law Group says:

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On October 9, 2018, Scott Silver lectured at the University of Miami School of Law Securities Arbitration Clinic.  The clinic was initially funded by FINRA and serves an important public service helping many small investors pursue their claims while teaching the next generation of lawyers.

Scott Silver has been actively representing investors in claims for over twenty years and is a graduate of Miami Law School, Class of ’96.  Scott spoke about the FINRA discovery process, the importance of pre-filing discovery and shared stories of previous experiences including a recent case for a woman named Flossie whose financial advisor tried to make himself a beneficiary of her estate.  Scott highlighted how many cases revolve around issues of elder financial fraud or abuse.

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Scott also enjoyed some time on campus and meeting 80’s movie star, Christian Slater, who was helping register students to vote.

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Investment Center Broker Accused of Stealing $300K from Elderly Client on silverlaw.comLeon Vaccarelli allegedly defrauded a total of nine clients out of more than $1 million

In May, former financial advisor Leon Vaccarelli was charged with 12 counts of fraud and money laundering in a federal court in Connecticut. If convicted on all of them, he could receive a maximum penalty of 210 years in prison. After pleading not guilty, Vaccarelli was released on a $100,000 bond.

Vaccarelli is alleged to have stolen money from several clients between 2011 and 2017. During that time, he reportedly informed his clients that their money would be invested in different places, including money market accounts and retirement products. What Vaccarelli actually did, according to investigators, was put the money into his own account and use it to pay his own expenses. In addition, federal prosecutors also say that he also used client money to make interest payments to other investors.

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National Securities Corporation: Frequent Customer Disputes with FINRA on silverlaw.comHow the company has violated or been accused of violating FINRA regulations

It is always important for investors to have a good understanding of the financial professionals they work with. Before handing over money to anyone, brokers should be vetted properly. This is why the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) created its BrokerCheck reports.

Not only do these provide good information on where brokers are licensed and their work histories, but they also reveal customer disputes, discharges, and alleged improper activity. But these reports don’t just cover brokers – they also include their member firms.

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If you’ve been investing for even a short while, you may have been contacted by someone claiming that you were “cheated” out of money or otherwise wronged by your broker. This company can help you get your money back that you are rightfully entitled to, they say.

Non-attorney representatives have been the subject of numerous recent news stories about how they fail to adequately represent investors in arbitration.

If you were to work with a law firm like Silver Law Group, you would be entering into a payment agreement commonly known as a “contingency fee arrangement.”  In other words, your legal fee would be contingent on representing you, and winning your case. You would generally have no out-of-pocket expenses.  A percentage of your settlement would be the fee you pay for the work on your case.

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Some of National Securities Corporation’s FINRA-Reported Brokers on silverlaw.comThese four brokers have been accused of numerous infractions

National Securities Corporation has been operating for decades and has offices and brokers all over the U.S. Unfortunately, however, a significant percentage of their brokers have been involved in numerous customer complaints. Here are just a few examples of how National Securities employees have allegedly violated FINRA rules:

James Eichner

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Michael Barnett (CRD #5792242) is a currently registered broker and investment advisor working with J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC of Marion, IL (CRD #453). He has been with Hilliard Lyons since 2012. Previously, Barnett was registered with Edward Jones (CRD #250) of Herrin, IL. He has been in the industry since 2010.

Bahram-Mirhashemi-Facing-Allegations-of-Elder-Financial-Fraud-300x200Barnett has three pending customer complaints in 2018, with the damages requested totaling $133,529.56. Two of these claims involve allegations of over-concentration and losses related to a company called Breitburn Energy (BBEP), and that the company was unsuitable for the clients. Both complaints include allegations of breach of contract and fiduciary duty, violation of Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, Kentucky Blue Sky Law, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. The third 2018 complaint, also pending, allege “breach of fiduciary duty, violation of Illinois’ Securities Act (Section 815 ILCS 5/12 et al.), negligence/negligent misrepresentation/omission, breach of contract, restitution, common law fraud, and negligent supervision.”

In 2017, Barnett had two additional customer complaints. In one case, the client alleges “unauthorized trading in an unsuitable security.”  The second complaint alleges “misrepresentation, unsuitable investments, and unauthorized trading in a single security beginning in 2014 through 2015.” The client has requested damages of $1.5 million.

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Former broker and investment advisor Michael Edward Fitz-Gerald (aka Michael Edward Fitzgerald, CRD #209062) was last registered with Morgan Stanley (CRD #149777) of San Francisco, CA. Previous employers include Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated (CRD #8209) and UBS Financial Services Inc. (CRD #8174), both of San Francisco. He began working in the industry in 1969.

New-York-Broker-Gregory-Flemming-Suspended-by-FINRA-300x200Fitz-Gerald is the subject of six disputes, dating back to 1987. The latest, filed on 6/6/2018, is pending, and requesting damages totaling $240,000 and allege, “inter alia, unsuitability with respect to investments in accounts -2014 to 2015.”

The previous dispute, filed on 2/14/2017, requested damages of $2,348,175.00, and settled for $185,000. The client alleged that his portfolio was insufficiently diversified from 2012 to 2016. A year before, in 2016, another dispute was filed, with the same allegation of insufficient diversification in the account from 2010 through 2015. The damages were unspecified, and case was settled for $50,000.

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Picture1-1-300x200-300x200Shon Flaharty (CRD #2666498) is a currently registered broker and investment advisor with LPL Financial LLC (CRD #6413) of Clearwater, FL. He was previously employed with Banc Of America Investment Services, Inc. (CRD #16361), also of Clearwater, and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (CRD #7691) of New York, NY. He has been in the industry since 1996.

Flaharty has one disclosure, filed on 5/121/2018. This customer dispute is currently pending, and alleges, “Corporate customer alleges over-concentration and unsuitability in connection with an ETF investment.”  The customer has requested damages of $566,319.57. No additional information is available.

Our attorneys routinely represent investors in securities arbitration claims against LPL Financial.

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Securities Arbitration Claims Against National Securities Corp. on silverlaw.comAccording to some reports, nearly 1/3 of National Securities brokers have had regulatory issues, legal disputes, or personal financial problems that have been disclosed to investors

National Securities Corporation is one of the oldest financial firms in the U.S., dating back over 70 years. Its the main office is in Seattle, Washington, but the company has licenses to operate in every state in the country, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

National Securities Corporation is registered with the SEC and three self-regulatory organizations: Nasdaq, Cboe BZX Exchanged, Inc., and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) – and it is with the latter agency that the company has come under intense scrutiny over the last couple of decades.

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