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Articles Tagged with Puerto Rico Bonds

We recently wrote about securities arbitration claims our securities attorneys are handling involving former Morgan Stanley broker Angel Aquino, (CRD #2687333), while he was a stockbroker with Morgan Stanley. He resigned from the company in July of 2017 after multiple customer complaints and securities arbitration claims. Current customer disputes filed against Aquino currently add up to nearly $12 million. A new related complaint was filed on May 8, 2018 against Aquino and Morgan Stanley (CRD #149777.)  He is not currently registered as a broker, and no current employment information is available.  Morgan Stanley continues to be subject to multiple claims relating to its recommendation and sale of Puerto Rico bonds.

The complaints stem from Aquino’s heavy emphasis on investments in Puerto Rico Cofina bonds. These are backed by the island’s sales tax revenue, and have triple-tax-free status. They became a popular investment for Wall Street banks to sell to retirees and other investors, but when things changed, the bonds didn’t pay as much and many advisors allegedly failed to disclose the risks with the bonds. But Aquino continued to sell his customers heavily on Puerto Rico bonds, even while they lost money.

Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy in May of 2017 for relief of $70 billion in municipal debt. On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria swept through the island and destroyed crops, damaged aging infrastructure and flooded the cities. No clear path exists for Puerto Rico to meet its debt obligations.

Silver Law Group is investigating claims against Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. for the sale of unsuitable investments.

Silver Law Group has filed a securities arbitration claim against Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. (“Stifel”) alleging the customers suffered significant losses due to unsuitable investments and misrepresentation of fees and commissions. The allegations include unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of contract and failure to supervise.

Stifel’s broker allegedly recommended unsuitable investments to conservative retired customers. The investment recommendations included concentrating the accounts in below investment-grade corporate bonds and Puerto Rico bonds. The broker would regularly make the recommendation to sell one bond to purchase another bond with a higher coupon without explaining to the customers that the higher coupon carried higher risk.

Silver Law Group is investigating claims against Miami-based stockbroker Angel E. Aquino-Velez. According to FINRA records, Mr. Aquino is no longer registered with Morgan Stanley. Aquino’s FINRA BrokerCheck record shows (11) total Customer Disputes with (3) of those disputes still pending resolution. The pending claims allege unsuitability and misrepresentation with respect to municipal bond investments primarily relating to Puerto Rico. The damages being sought in the 3 pending complaints total over $6.9 million.

Silver Law Group has filed on behalf of a customer a securities arbitration claim against Aquino and Morgan Stanley alleging the customer lost several million dollars in Puerto Rico municipal bonds because of Morgan Stanley’s negligence. The allegations against Morgan Stanley and Aquino include unsuitable investment recommendations, failure to diversify, and failure to supervise based on investments in Puerto Rico municipal bonds.

For aggrieved investors, brokers and brokerage firms are required to recommend suitable investments and abide by other securities rules. In some cases with Puerto Rican bonds, these brokers and brokerage firms have failed to make reasonable recommendations among other forms of misconduct.

Silver Law Group has filed a complaint on behalf of a family group of investors against Morgan Stanley (CRD# 149777) and financial advisor Angel E. Aquino-Velez (CRD# 2687333) for unsuitable recommendations and concentration of client accounts in Puerto Rico municipal bonds. The allegations against Morgan Stanley and Aquino include unsuitable investment recommendations, failure to diversify, breach of fiduciary duty, and failure to supervise.

Claimants all had accounts with Morgan Stanley managed by Aquino. With a risk profile of conservative to moderate risk and investment goals of retirement, the statement of claim alleges that Aquino concentrated the accounts in Puerto Rico municipal bonds.

The Claimants placed their trust in the hands of their financial advisor hoping to achieve their financial goals but instead Aquino pushed the investments in Puerto Rico debt misrepresenting the risks associated with the bonds. This left the claimants overexposed to the risks of the Puerto Rican economy which was known to be in financial difficulty at the time. With the downgrade and subsequent default by Puerto Rico on its debt the Claimants suffered extensive losses due to the strategy.

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