FINRA allegations include billing elderly clients $70,000 in false fees to make up lost commissions
Former Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments and MML Investors Services, LLC adviser Stanley Clayton Niekras is under investigation by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly taking advantage of elderly clients.
In its complaint, FINRA alleges that Niekras billed two elderly customers more than $70,000 for both estate and financial planning services that he was not entitled to, in addition to the fact that Niekras did not receive his firm’s approval for such billing.
His elderly customers, 90 and 91 years old respectively, gifted approximately $500,000 in cash and securities to each of their three children, which was transferred into brokerage accounts Niekras opened for each of the customers’ children at his brokerage firm. Niekras then allegedly misrepresented to the customers’ children that they would not pay commissions if they purchased the annuities he recommended. Such purchases would have resulted in almost $75,000 in commission to Niekras.
When the children did not purchase the recommended annuities, Niekras then reportedly presented the elderly customers with bills for estate planning and financial planning in the amount of $70,000. The FINRA report states that Niekras admits that the bills he presented to the customers were intended to replace the commissions he would have received from the sale of the variable annuities he recommended to their children.
Niekras did not have an investment advisory or financial planning agreement with these elderly customers and, as he knew, was not entitled to estate planning or financial planning fees from them.
If you or someone you love has fallen victim to broker malfeasance, including the alleged transgressions of Stanley Niekras or any financial advisor, it is important to know you have rights. Through securities arbitration, you may be able to recover monetary losses due to broker or firm behavior.
The attorneys at Silver Law Group are leaders in the field of securities arbitration. We represent individual and institutional investors across the United States who have lost money at the hands of a trusted financial advisor. Scott Silver is currently the chairman of the American Trial Lawyers Association, Securities and Financial Fraud Group and routinely represents investors in securities arbitration claims.
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