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Articles Posted in FINRA Award

FINRA issued an award in the arbitration between claimants Joseph R. Ritz, Susan F. Ritz and respondents Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (#CRD 149777) and Charles Alan Correal (CRD# 1366202).

According to the award documentation, the claimants asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty, violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, suitability, professional negligence, breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, failure to supervise  and vicarious liability by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Charles Alan Correal.

The claimants allege that respondents invested their funds in risky and unsuitable energy stocks, including Seadrill, Ltd., Copano Energy LLC, and Interoil.

A FINRA arbitration panel held Wunderlich Securities (CRD# 2543) and Ralph E. DeRose (CRD# 721488) liable for over $1 million in damages to a customer alleging securities misconduct related to energy investments on April 25, 2017.

According to the Award, Wunderlich’s and DeRose’s customers alleged that DeRose failed to sell holdings in their accounts at their request and overconcentrated their accounts in unspecified energy holdings.

DeRose is based out of Wunderlich’s Beachwood, Ohio branch.  Wunderlich has employed DeRose since October 2010.

Our attorneys are investigating potential legal claims against Las Cruces, New Mexico-based Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (CRD# 19616) broker Jeffrey R. Wilson (CRD# 1161819) concerning allegations that Wilson unsuitably recommended Wells Fargo customers to invest in oil, gas and energy investments.

Wilson’s FINRA BrokerCheck report reflects three customer complaints, all of which involve allegations of unsuitable investments.

In a customer complaint to Wells Fargo concerning Wilson, the investor alleged unsuitable energy and other investments.  Wells Fargo paid $250,000.00 to resolve the complaint.

A FINRA arbitration panel ordered Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (CRD# 6694), Inc. to pay back its customer for investments losses in Linn Energy LLC in March 2017.

The claimant in the FINRA arbitration alleged the investment in Linn Energy was unsuitable and, among other claims, Raymond James failed to supervise its broker, John S. MacGowan (CRD# 315901).

MacGowan is based out of Raymond James’ New York, New York branch and has been employed by Raymond James since 1999.

A retired investor recovered over $20,000 in February 2017 in a FINRA arbitration involving the sale of Breitburn Energy Partners LP (“Breitburn”).

According to the FINRA award, the retiree alleged unsuitability, failure to supervise and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.  The award was against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (CRD# 7691).

Breitburn is a publicly-traded, independent oil and gas master limited partnership (“MLP”).  Breitburn filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2016 due to low oil prices.  Breitburn is one of many oil and gas companies that have declared bankruptcy in the last two years.

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