Articles Tagged with Overconcentration

Silver Law Group, The Law Firm of David R. Chase, and Ciklin, Lubitz & O’Connell have initiated an investigation in unsuitable recommendations and overconcentration in Arch Coal, Inc. (“Arch Coal”).

U.S.-based Arch Coal was the second-largest coal producer in the country as of 2015, with 128 million tons of coal sold in 2015.  Even with that lofty title, plunging oil and energy prices brought the company down.

The company, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange at one point but now traded on the OTC Markets, was a hot commodity in trading circles.

Our lawyers are investigating Wedbush Securities Inc. (“Wedbush”) (CRD# 877) broker William “Mark” Heiden (CRD# 2885156) for alleged unsuitable recommendations and overconcentration in various oil and gas investments.

Heiden, based out of Wedbush’s Newport Beach, California office, currently has four disclosures according to his FINRA BrokerCheck report.  According to the report, Heiden’s most recent disclosures are two FINRA arbitration filings, one filed in March 2016 and the other filed in October 2015.  Both are currently pending.

The 2015 FINRA arbitration alleges wrongful, intentional, fraudulent and deceptive activities, including unsuitable and unauthorized trading, falsifying documents, misrepresentation, and omission of material facts.  The FINRA arbitration alleges $1.5 million in damages.  In addition to those allegations, the 2016 FINRA arbitration alleges improper and unauthorized use of margin.  The 2016 FINRA arbitration alleges $200,000 in damages.

Silver Law Group, The Law Firm of David R. Chase, P.A., and Ciklin, Lubitz & O’Connell are continuing their investigation in the suitability of recommendations made by numerous financial advisors and brokerage firms to purchase risky oil and gas securities.

The price of oil has historically been volatile, risky, and difficult to predict. In turn, securities reliant on the commodity’s favorable pricing are highly risky and prone to huge swings in value depending on the price of oil. Such risky investments include but are not limited to:

• Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)

A report published by the law firm Haynes and Boone on August 1, 2016 found that 90 gas and oil producers in the United States and Canada have filed bankruptcy from January 3, 2015 to August 1, 2016.  Over half of the bankruptcies have come in this year alone.

According to the report, the total debt defaulted on by the 90 companies is $66.5 billion.  Some of the more notable firms listed in the report are Linn Energy, LLC; Breitburn Operating LP; Sandridge Energy, Inc.; and Atlas Resource Partners, L.P., all of which have filed for bankruptcy in the last three months, many of which were heavily recommended by financial advisors and their respective institutions.

The numerous bankruptcies are the product of oil prices’ dramatic fall from the over-$100 per barrel heaven it occupied for some time.  While the prices of the commodity have always been volatile and difficult to determine, the prices have dramatically dropped.

Our lawyers are investigating oil and gas securities fraud claims against Wells Fargo broker John B. Leonard (CRD# 2113842).

According to Leonard’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) BrokerCheck report, his 25 years in the securities industry has been relatively clean.  But in the past three months, two customers have filed FINRA arbitration complaints against him, alleging unsuitable recommendations in the oil and gas industry totaling close to $300,000.  The two complaints are currently pending.

While many brokers and brokerage firms have unsuitably recommended oil and gas securities, Wells Fargo has been accumulating many complaints recently.  Our firms have previously investigated Irvine, California Wells Fargo brokers Charles B. Lynch Jr. (CRD# 3004877) and Charles H. Frieda (CRD# 5502319).  The brokers have a combined 60 misconduct disclosures on their FINRA BrokerCheck reports, all but two coming in the last two years and a significant majority alleging unsuitable recommendations and overconcentration in the oil and gas industry.

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