Securities Law Attorneys and Commodities LawyersSKILLFUL SECURITIES AND COMMODITIES LAW REPRESENTATION THROUGHOUT FLORIDA AND ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
Are you an investor who has had significant losses in your investment accounts? Are you a stockbroker, commodities broker, or financial advisor facing a compliance, regulatory, or disciplinary action? If so, you will need to have representation from an experienced, highly rated and nationally recognized securities and commodities law attorney. These are extremely complex legal issues that require the highest quality representation from a securities fraud lawyer who not only understands the complexity of these cases, but who will fight for the best possible outcome in your case. By hiring Robert Wayne Pearce, an attorney with over 40 years of experience practicing securities and commodities law on both sides of the table, you will clearly see this legal experience and knowledge in action. Having a fierce litigator and tireless advocate of your rights, an attorney who will quickly identify both the strengths and the weaknesses of your case will surely increase the likelihood of winning your case. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., represents clients on all sides of securities and commodities law issues in a broad range of practice areas in courtroom litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings. Based out of offices in Boca Raton, Florida, securities fraud attorney Robert Wayne Pearce and his staff handle cases throughout Florida and across the United States.REPRESENTING INVESTORS THROUGHOUT FLORIDA AND NATIONWIDE
Please contact our South Florida law office online, or call 561-338-0037 to schedule your free consultation.
Attorney Pearce is a well-respected investors rights advocate throughout the legal community, known as a fierce litigator and tireless not only in Boca Raton but throughout Florida and across the nation. Read his Investors Rights Blog and discover the breadth of his knowledge that can only be gained from over 40 years of legal experience for yourself. As your investment dispute lawyer, Mr. Pearce knows all of the available options for your case and will pursue them vigorously to secure the best possible outcome for you and your case. He has earned a peer rating of AV Preeminent * through the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, the highest available rating through that program. Mr. Pearce is one of Thomson Reuters Florida Super Lawyers ** for Securities Litigation (Top 5). Read the feature article about him in the Florida 2014 Super Lawyers magazine entitled "No Excuses - How Robert Wayne Pearce Stared Down Personal Disaster". During his more than 40 years of experience practicing securities and commodities law, he has won numerous million-dollar awards and settlements for his clients which has earned him recognition for his success by The Million Dollar Advocates Forum and The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum as one of the Top Trial Lawyers in America TM***. Learn More
Mr. Pearce represents investors and recovers losses for all types of financial advisor misconduct, including losses due to:
Stockbrokers, commodities brokers, and financial advisors have the duty to tell you the truth about any investment they recommend and to fully disclose all of the risks associated with the investment, not just the benefits. They simply must not misrepresent any facts about anything relating to your investments, investment strategy, or your account. Similarly, they have the responsibility to disclose any fact that a reasonable person would consider relevant to his or her investment decision. Any failure to do so can create grounds for a fraud or misrepresentation claim under the applicable federal and state securities laws where the sale was made or under common law that has been established for centuries. We represent investors who have been damaged as a result of their financial advisor’s misrepresentations and omissions in connection with all types of investments. Call Robert Pearce 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) if you believe your investment was misrepresented or you are otherwise a victim of fraud.
Investors hire financial professionals for sound advice about how to reach their goals and trust those professionals to only make suitable recommendations for the benefit of the investor, not the financial advisor. Stockbrokers and financial advisors are held to a high degree of care in their dealings with the investors they serve. In many cases, stockbrokers and investment advisors are held to a Fiduciary Standard; that is, the highest standard of care requiring them to act with the utmost loyalty and care and to act with prudence and not engage in any speculation with respect to a client’s funds entrusted to them. Regardless, all brokers and investment advisors have a duty to act with a reasonable standard of care; when they fail to do so it amounts to negligence. When investors lose money, a claim for negligence or breach of fiduciary duty may be filed and result in a recovery of their investment losses. Call Robert Pearce 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) for free advice on whether you have a claim for negligence or breach of fiduciary duty against your financial advisor.
FINRA Rule 2111 is the Suitability Rule and gives rise to the most common investor claims at common law for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Negligence, and Breach of Contract for failure to follow FINRA and other industry rules and regulations in broker-customer disputes. FINRA requires its members in every retail broker-customer relationship to not only assess what the investor's goals are, as well as his or her risk tolerance, but also consider many other factors (age, financial situation and needs, tax status, investment experience, investment time horizon, other investment holdings, time horizon, liquidity needs, etc.) relevant to the investment or investment strategy recommendation being made, then to only recommend investments and/or strategies in which he/she has a reasonable basis to believe is suitable for the customer based upon the information obtained. The unsuitable recommendation can be in relation to purchase, sale, or even advice to hold an investment when it is unreasonable to do so.
A stockbroker may also be held responsible for recommending an unsuitable investment strategy, such as investing on margin, using options, or excessively trading (churning) securities in an account. Churning occurs when a broker exercises control over the investment decisions in an account and purchases stocks or recommends that you excessively purchase and sell stocks for the stockbroker’s benefit; i.e., commissions! Churning is never a prudent investment strategy.
We help investors recover their investment losses caused by their stockbroker’s unsuitable recommendations and/or churning of accounts. Call Robert Pearce 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) if you believe you were sold or advised to hold unsuitable investments or if you believe you are the victim of churning.
One of the most fundamental rules of investing is to diversify your portfolio to avoid an unreasonable risk of loss when market condition become unfavorable for the overly concentrated investment in your account. This risk of loss exists when you own too much of any asset class (e.g., stocks, bonds, real estate or commodities); too much of any one kind of stock in any sector (e.g., energy or technology stocks); or too many investments concentrated in any geographic area (e.g., Puerto Rico, Illinois or California). Any financial advisor who fails to diversify the investments in your portfolio and over-concentrates your investments in any particular asset class, stock sector, or geographic area resulting in losses when that asset class, stock sector, or geographic area collapses can be liable for another type of misconduct giving rise to claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Negligence, and/or Breach of Contract for violation of Industry rules and regulations.
It is your financial advisor's responsibility to recommend the right mix of investments to help you reach your goals without exposing you to excessive risk; and if he/she fails to do so, we can help you recover your losses. In fact, over the last six years we have recovered over $50 million for Puerto Rico investors who had their assets over-concentrated in one geographic area; i.e., Puerto Rico government municipal bonds and Puerto Rico-denominated closed-end funds.
A trustee or other fiduciary such as a stockbroker with discretionary authority and control (actual or de facto) over client accounts has a responsibility under the law to manage trusts and other investment accounts in accordance with prudence and not engage in undue speculation. Managers of employee retirement accounts governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) are always held to the highest standard of care under federal law.
The trustee or managers actions (or inaction) in many of these cases are judged in accordance with The Prudent Investor Rule. In short, the rule states that trustees or other fiduciaries must manage the accounts in a way that "a prudent investor" would manage his or her own money. The critical issue is the conduct of the trustee rather than the actual performance of the portfolio. As long as the strategy was sound, it can be found to be prudent even if it was not successful.
In some cases, the trustee is a financial professional who makes the investment decisions personally. In others, he or she is essentially an administrator who hires a qualified professional to manage the account. Call Robert Pearce 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889), and we will thoroughly review your case to determine if there were mistakes made and who was responsible and seek recovery of the losses you have suffered.
Hedge funds and Structured Products are very sophisticated investments that are typically reserved for high net worth investors with a high risk tolerance. A very narrow category of investors are suitable for these types of investments, and brokers need to be extremely careful about who they invite to invest in these funds and structured products. In some cases, investors are sold hedge funds as a safe investment based on a specific strategy that would be used. If the strategy does not work or the manager changes its midstream, investors can be exposed to significant risk and substantial losses.
These products involve multiple types of securities and strategies, so they are very complex. Consequently, very few attorneys understand these types of investments, and burned investors need to be careful with whom they select to represent them in these disputes. If you have suffered a financial loss after investing in a hedge fund or other complex structured product investment vehicle, you should contact us because we are very experienced hedge fund and structured products attorneys. In fact, during the period 2009 through 2014 we handled over 100 complex municipal arbitrage fund cases and recovered over $25 million for investors. Call Robert Pearce 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) for a free consultation about your hedge fund and structured product and whether you have a claim for losses in those types of investments.
Brokerage firms have the responsibility to supervise the actions of their employees. They are required to not only design and implement a reasonable supervisory system to protect the firm and investors but also to enforce the policies and procedures under that system. When they fail to do so or negligently perform their supervisory duties, it can have a significant negative impact on the investors. When brokers and advisors act in a way that is detrimental to investors, the broker, as well as his or her employer, can be held liable for any losses the investor suffers as a result of the firm’s failure to supervise that financial advisor. These cases can be quite complex, and the brokerage firms will go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for your losses.
A common claim these days due to the ever more prevalent large scale independent brokerage firm operations with remote offices of 1 or 2 brokers without any supervisors on site is known as “selling away.” When brokerage firms are developing the portfolio of products they sell to their customers, they go through a painstaking process of researching each one to ensure that they are good investment options for their clients. Despite the law and the internal policies of the brokerage firm, some stockbrokers and financial advisors will attempt to sell an investment product that has not been approved by the firm. Regardless of whether the broker or advisor was authorized to sell the investment it is the firm's responsibility to oversee the actions of brokers and advisors to ensure that they are following not only FINRA’s rules but also their own policies and procedures. When the firm fails to supervise its employees, it can share in the liability to investors for unauthorized product losses. Call Robert Pearce 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) if you suspect your financial advisor sold you an investment that was not authorized or supervised by the brokerage firm holding your account.
Stockbrokers, commodities brokers, and other financial advisors have been known to engage in many types of fraud and other practices in violation of federal, state, and self-regulatory agency rules and regulations, including, but not limited to: Affinity Fraud, Failure to Execute Orders, Best Execution Abuse, Forex Trading Fraud, Creating Fake Account Statements, Forging Clients Signatures on Agreements and Other Documents, Failing to Protect Profits in Accounts, Fraudulent Transfers of Clients Assets, Front Running, Making False Guarantees, High Yield or Junk Bond Fraud, Insider Trading, Limit Order Abuse, Margin Account Abuse, Mark-up and Mark-Down Abuse, Multiclass Mutual Fund Abuse, Mutual Fund Breakpoint Abuse, Mutual Fund Churning or Switching Fraud, Option Fraud, Ponzi Schemes, Stock Market Manipulation, Theft of Funds and/or Securities From Clients, Unauthorized Trading, etc. Please take the time to explore our website and read about the different types of broker abuses with which we have had experience in representing our clients recover their losses. Call Robert Pearce 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) if you suspect you are the victim of misconduct by your financial advisor.
For over 40 years, Attorney Robert Pearce and his team have been representing investors in all kinds of investment disputes. However, our current cases and investigations are focused on EquiAlt Private Placements, Puerto Rico municipal bond and leveraged closed-end bond funds, GPB Capital Holdings private placements, Steepeners, and the failed UBS Yield Enhanced Strategy (YES) described below:
We are investigating and representing investors against FINRA-registered brokerage firms and financial advisors who offered and sold securities issued by affiliates of EquiAlt, LLC (EquiAlt), a private real estate company which organized at least four private placements: EquiAlt Fund, LLC; EquiAlt Fund II,LLC; EquiAlt Fund III, LLC; and EA Sip, LLC (collectively referred to as the EquiAlt Funds). According to a recent SEC Complaint, Brian Davison (Davison) and Barry Rybicki (Rybicki) offered and sold $170 million of unregistered debentures issued by the EquiAlt Funds to over 1,100 investors nationwide.
The SEC alleged that Davison, Rybicki, and others misrepresented the debentures as “secure,” “safe,” “low risk,” and “conservative.” Further, while investors were promised “that substantially all of their money would be used to purchase real estate in distressed markets in the United States and their investments would yield generous returns … EquiAlt, Davison, and Rybicki misappropriated millions in investor funds for their own personal use and benefit.” According to the SEC, the revenues that were generated by the EquiAlt Funds became insufficient to pay the interest owed to investors. As a result, the SEC alleged “the Defendants resorted to [a Ponzi Scheme] fraud, using new investor money to pay the returns promised to existing investors.”
While many of the sales were solicited by unregistered EquiAlt salespersons, it is reported there were many sales by small offices of registered salespersons associated with large independent FINRA-registered stockbrokerage and insurance firms primarily located in Florida, Arizona, California, and Nevada, and many other states nationwide. It is alleged that EquiAlt salespersons received “commissions of anywhere between 10%-14%,” which is extraordinarily high for the sale of any investment product. Thus, there was such a strong incentive to sell these debentures by any means.
It is likely that many of the FINRA registered brokerage firms did not authorize sales of the EquiAlt Fund debentures and that no due diligence or any other investigation of the company or its investment offerings were ever conducted. Consequently, it is very likely that the EquiAlt Funds were sold via misrepresentations and misleading statements. We have learned that investors who purchased the EquiAlt Funds debentures through FINRA-registered brokerage firm representatives also received the same sales pitch; that is, the debentures are “secure,” “safe,” “low risk,” and “conservative” investments, which was untrue.
If you invested in any of the EquiAlt Funds private placements, you may be able to recoup your losses through a FINRA arbitration proceeding. Mr. Pearce has over 40 years of experience with private placement investment disputes and recovering money for investors lost in Ponzi Schemes. The cases we accept will be filed against FINRA registered broker-dealers for misrepresentation, omissions due to failed due diligence, unsuitable investment recommendations, and unauthorized private securities transactions otherwise known as “selling away.”
If Attorney Pearce accepts your case there will be no attorney’s fee or arbitration expenses unless we recover funds for you in a settlement with the brokerage or through an arbitration award. Call 1-800-SEC-ATTY (1-800-732-2889) or email us now and get your questions answered and top notch representation in connection with your EquiAlt Funds private placement investments. If you purchased your investment directly from EquiAlt or BR Support Services, your recovery will probably be limited to what assets the Court Appointed Receiver is able to locate, liquidate, and distribute to investors. However, please call us to find out what recourse is available.
We have successfully represented over 75 investors in arbitrations against UBS-PR and are still accepting cases against UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico (UBS-PR). Our latest arbitration resulted in a $5.88 million award against UBS-PR. Please call us if you have not filed a claim as time is running out to do so. We know what happened behind the scenes and why over 10,000 UBS-PR clients suffered over $1 billion in losses investing in UBS-PR sponsored Puerto Rico closed-end bond funds and Puerto Rico municipal bonds.
The UBS-PR integrated business model was to become the dominant investment banker, investment advisor, and brokerage firm in the Puerto Rico credit market. UBS-PR was a consultant to the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico (“GDB”) and the government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and underwriter of many of the Commonwealth and its enterprise agencies’ municipal bonds (“Puerto Rico Bonds”). Beginning in the mid-1990s, to facilitate the growth of its business, UBS-PR became the issuer, manager, and/or co-manager of 23 closed-end bond mutual funds (the “UBS-PR Closed-End Funds”). UBS-PR acted in conflict with its duties as a fiduciary under federal and Puerto Rico law by placing its integrated business model of dominance of the Puerto Rico credit market over the interests of its clients.
UBS-PR’s management pushed its brokers to encourage investors to purchase and hold concentrated positions in Puerto Rico Bonds and in shares of the UBS-PR Closed-End Funds. The UBS-PR Closed-End Funds became the depository of many Puerto Rico Bonds that UBS-PR purchased in connection with its investment banking business. UBS Trust, a UBS-PR affiliate, managed or co-managed the UBS-PR Closed-End Funds. UBS-PR controlled the secondary market trading of the UBS-PR Closed-End Funds, and UBS Trust used leverage to enhance fund yields and attract investors. In addition, UBS-PR encouraged its registered representatives to solicit investors to leverage their investments and open “Repo/Reverse Repo Accounts” and take out lines of credit through UBS’ affiliate, UBS Bank (USA) from the state of Utah, and unwittingly double the leverage risk clients were exposed too. It has been estimated that 9 out of 10 investors in Puerto Rico owned Puerto Rico Bonds and UBS-PR Closed-End Funds.
The typical UBS-PR arbitration claim arises out of a series of unsuitable recommendations by a UBS-PR and UBS financial advisor that investors purchase then hold an excessive concentration of Puerto Rico Bonds and UBS-PR Closed-End Funds. As a result, UBS-PR customers’ investment portfolios were not diversified from not only an asset allocation standpoint but also overly concentrated in securities issued in a single geographic area - Puerto Rico. The excessive concentration in Puerto Rico securities and leverage strategy implemented made the accounts highly speculative, which was inconsistent with many UBS-PR clients’ investment objectives and UBS-PR and UBS financial advisors’ representations. Through its representatives, UBS-PR disseminated false and misleading information to customers about the nature, mechanics, and risks of owning leveraged and concentrated positions in Puerto Rico Bonds and UBS-PR Closed-End Funds and the investment strategy employed in many of their best clients’ accounts.
In so doing, UBS-PR and its representatives not only violated the Puerto Rico Uniform Securities Act (“PRUSA”), but also committed fraud, breached their fiduciary duties to investors, breached their contracts and the FINRA Code of Conduct, and were negligent in advising their clients on how to safeguard their investment capital. We allege UBS-PR negligently failed to supervise its employees in connection with the management of customers’ accounts. As a result of UBS-PR and its representatives’ misconduct, customers suffered over $1 billion in damages, and we have recovered over $50 million for our clients.
We are investigating and representing investors against brokerage firms and financial advisors who offered and sold securities issued by affiliates of GPB Capital, a New York-based alternative asset management firm. GPB Capital Holdings organized and manages the following nine private placements: GPB Automotive Portfolio, LP; GPB Cold Storage LP; GPB Holdings, LP; GPB Holdings II, LP; GPB Holdings III, LP; GPB Holdings Qualified, LP; GPB NYC Development, LP; and GPB Waste Management Fund, LP.
GPB Capital Holdings’ two most significant investment funds are GPB Holdings II and GPB Automotive Portfolio, which have raised $1.27 billion ($645.8 million for GPB Holdings II and $622.1 million for GPB Automotive Portfolio), making up the majority of GPB Capital Holdings’ portfolio. GPB Holdings II and GPB Automotive Portfolio, LP have collectively paid brokers $100 million in commissions at a rate of 7.9%. Over the last year, it has been the subject of a series of federal, state, and self-regulatory agency investigations and other bad news.
In August 2018, GPB Capital Holdings ceased raising capital from investors.
In September 2018, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin announced an investigation into 63 broker-dealer firms that sold private placements sponsored by GPB Capital Holdings.
In November 2018, Crowe LLP, the firm’s auditor resigned, and according to InvestmentNews: “Crowe notified GPB Capital that it elected to resign as the auditor for the partnership… due to perceived risks that Crowe determined fell outside of their internal risk tolerance parameters.”
In March 2019, GPB Capital Holdings sent a letter to investors to inform them of a visit by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and that officials from the New York City Business Integrity Commission entered the firm’s Manhattan offices.
In June 2019, GPB Capital Holdings reported losses in the value of two of its investment funds: GPB Holdings II and GPB Automotive Portfolio. GPB Holdings II saw a decline in value of 25.4% and GPB Automotive Portfolio has decreased by 39%. GPB Holdings II and GPB Automotive Portfolio make up the majority of GPB Capital Holdings’ portfolio, raising $1.27 billion from investors. GPB Capital Holdings’ other funds also reported declines in estimated value of between 25% and 73%.
In July 2019, David Rosenberg, a former business partner and chief executive of Prime Automotive Group, filed a lawsuit against GPB Capital Holdings. The complaint alleged severe financial misconduct. It also alleged that GPB Capital Holdings retaliated against Rosenberg after he complained to the SEC. According to an article in the Boston Globe, Rosenberg allegedly accused GPB Capital Holdings of running a Ponzi-like scheme, in which it used money from investors to prop up the performance of the auto dealerships it owns, as well as to finance payments to other investors.
GPB Capital Holdings was launched in 2013, and since that time it raised $1.8 billion from roughly 4,000 investors through private placements sold by brokerage firms across the United States. Investors in the United States are filing FINRA arbitration claims against their brokerage firms for investments made in GPB Capital Holdings on the advice of their brokers. Many of these investors were not adequately warned about the high-risk nature of the investments and have suffered serious losses as a result. Investors may have a claim against the brokerage firm based on misrepresentation, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, and state and federal securities laws. In addition, before a financial advisor recommends a security to his customers, the financial advisor must conduct due diligence, investigating the facts surrounding the security, to confirm that it is suitable for the customer. A firm may be held liable for its broker’s failure to perform due diligence and recommend suitable investments to its customers.
Financial advisors across the country from more than 80 brokerage firms are alleged to have misrepresented and/or recommended unsuitable investments in GPB Capital Holdings-sponsored private placements. The brokerage firms include: Accelerated Capital Group; Advisory Group Equity Services, Ltd; Aegis Capital Corp; Aeon Capital, Inc.; American Capital Partners, LLC; Arete Wealth Management, LLC; Arkadios Capital; Ascendant Alternative Strategies, LLC; Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc.; Avere Financial Group, LLC; Axiom Capital Management, Inc.; BCG Securities, Inc.; Benjamin & Jerold Brokerage I, LLC; Cabot Lodge Securities, LLC; Calton & Associates, Inc.; Cape Securities, Inc.; Capital Financial Services, Inc.; Capital Investment Group, Inc.; Cascade Financial Management, Inc.; Center Street Securities, Inc.; Coastal Equities, Inc.; Colorado Financial Service Corp.; Concorde Investment Services, LLC; Crown Capital Securities, L.P.; Crystal Bay Securities, Inc.; David A. Noyes & Company; Dawson James Securities, Inc.; Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC; Detalus Securities, LLC; DFPG Investments, Inc.; Dinosaur Financial Group, LLC; Emerson Equity LLC; Financial West Group; FSC Securities Corp.; Geneos Wealth Management, Inc.; Great Point Capital, LLC; H. Hill Securities, LLLP; Hightower Securities, LLC; IBN Financial Services, Inc.; Innovation Partners LLC; International Assets Advisory, LLC; Investment Architects, Inc.; Kalos Capital, Inc.; Kingsbury Capital, Inc.; Ladenburg Thalman; Landolt Securities, Inc.; Lewis Financial Group, L.C.; Lion Street Financial, LLC; Lowell & Company, Inc.; Madison Avenue Securities, Inc.; McDonald Partners LLC; McNally Financial Services Corp.; Moloney Securities Co., Inc.; Money Concepts Capital Corp.; MSC – BD LLC; National Securities Corp.; Newbridge Securities Corp.; Orchard Securities, LLC; Pariter Securities, LLC; Private Client Services, LLC; Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments; Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.; Sagepoint Financial, Inc.; Sandlapper Securities, LLC; SCF Securities, Inc.; Sentinus Securities, LLC; Silber Bennett Financial, Inc.; Stephen A. Kohn & Associates, Ltd.; Triad Advisors, LLC; Uhlmann Price Securities, LLC; United Planners’ Financial Services of America, LP; Vanderbilt Securities, LLC; Vestech Securities, Inc.; Western International Securities, Inc.; Westpark Capital, Inc.; Whitehall-Parker Securities, Inc.; Wilmington Capital Securities, LLC; Windsor Street Capital, LP; and Woodbury Financial Services, Inc.
If you invested in any of the GPB Capital Holdings private placements, you may be able to recoup your losses. Mr. Pearce has over 40 years of experience with private placement investment disputes. We know how to hold brokerage firms and advisers liable for their misconduct. Call 1-800-SEC-ATTY (1-800-732-2889) or email us now and get your questions answered and top notch representation in connection with your GPB private placement investment.
We represent investors nationwide that were sold certain structured products referred to as “steepeners” which are either notes or CDs that pay varying levels of interest depending on the steepness of flatness of the yield curve. When the yield curve flattened in 2018 and long term interest rates were equal to short term interest rates, these steepeners rapidly declined in value and either ceased paying interest or paid significantly lower interest. In 2019, the yield curve inverted and short term interest rates rose to a higher level than long term interest rates causing even more losses.
The negative impact on investors that invested in the following types of structured products, including, but not limited to, the following has been dramatic: Structured CDs, Market-Linked CDs, Leverage Callable CMS Curve Linked Notes, Callable Quarterly CMS Spread-Linked Notes, Callable Variable Rate Range Accrual CDs, Callable Interest Rate Spread CDs, Senior Callable CMS Steepener Notes, and Callable CMS Spread Notes.
Investors across the United States report being misled by their brokers or financial advisors when they were told that the “notes” or “CDs” were high quality fixed-income investments. In reality, the investments were complex structured products, often with short-term teaser interest rates, long-dated maturities, and obscure features that caused them to lose capital rapidly along with greatly diminished interest payments. Additionally, brokers represented to their clients that the steepeners they solicited and sold to them paid an attractive “yield.” Brokers cited the high credit rating of the issuer in order to induce clients to invest, and some touted the supposed safety and the so-called yield as the central selling points without fully and adequately disclosing the key features and risks attendant to the structured products they were recommending. Furthermore, many brokers employed a strategy of concentrating their customers in these structured products.
We are investigating and claims against brokerage firms including Centaurus Financial, Inc., J.P. Turner & Company, LLC, Aegis Capital Corp., Wells Fargo Advisors, and other brokerage firms for structured products investment losses. Please call us if you purchased steepeners through Ricky Mantei (CRD# 1098981), Cindy Chiellini (CRD# 1015592), Katherine Nishnic (CRD# 2499553), Dana Matthew Hawkins (CRD# 5731136), Alan Applebaum (CRD# 500336) or Joseph Andreoli (CRD#1718688).
We have been retained by many investors to file FINRA arbitration claims against brokerage firms to recover their losses. Our firm has been very successful in making recoveries for our clients throughout the United States for investment losses and has recovered over $100 million for investors. Was it just the market or were you mislead to invest in unsuitable steepener investments? Call us at 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) with any questions you may have about how you may recover your steepener investment losses.
UBS Financial Services (UBS) recommended the Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) to its high net-worth customers. UBS financial advisers across the country presented YES as a safe way to earn additional income by using existing assets at UBS as collateral. UBS’ marketing materials emphasized that the YES program minimized the risk of losses by providing investors with downside protection in market volatility. It also noted that UBS would “manage risk” and “minimize losses” by hedging and actively monitoring the position. UBS further represented to its clients that the YES program had “excellent risk metrics” and would allow its clients to increase returns, while at the same time reducing risk. Unfortunately, many UBS brokers did not adequately understand and/or disclose the risks associated with this type of high-risk investment program.
It also appears the YES Strategy was managed contrary to its representations. UBS presented its YES program as employing a “market neutral” options strategy known as an “iron condor,” named for the strategy’s profit/loss diagram. An iron condor strategy seeks to generate income through the sale of “out-of-the-money” put and call options contracts, while providing hedging against losses through the purchase of further out-of-the-money put and call options on the same asset to limit the investor’s downside risk. The iron condor strategy is intended to be a market-neutral strategy, which means that it is not a directional wager that the price of the underlying asset will increase or decrease in value. Rather, the strategy seeks to profit from a relative lack of volatility in the price of the underlying asset.
Contrary to UBS’ presentation of YES, we believe the strategy did actively engage in market timing and took directional positions on the market and suffered significant losses as a result. We believe the UBS YES strategy was, in fact, an aggressive options strategy. Consequently, the YES strategy posed a significant risk for investment portfolios, especially those that were over-concentrated in these securities.
Investors in UBS YES sustained significant losses in December 2018 and throughout the first few months of 2019. These losses were contrary to the way UBS represented it would manage the program. We have represented over 100 investors in various disputes with UBS and understand that the way it does business has always been for its benefit, not its customers’. The representations and mismanagement of the YES program by UBS is remarkably similar to the way Citigroup misrepresented and mismanaged the MAT/ASTA structured products for the 100 plus clients we represented and recovered millions of dollars. Please call Robert Pearce for a free consultation at 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) and let us help you recover your losses in the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES).
Attorney Pearce began his career with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1980. Thereafter he moved to Fort Lauderdale and has expanded his nationwide SEC defense law practice to include commodities law and the defense of United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigations and enforcement proceedings. Mr. Pearce's SEC and CFTC defense skills are highly respected throughout Florida and across the nation. Federal District Court Judge Janet C. Hall has opined in a public court decision about his knowledge and skills:
"Since 1983, Attorney Pearce has continued his specialized education by attending hundreds of hours of seminars focused on SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") investigation and enforcement proceedings and the practices and procedures of the securities and commodities industry. He has received intensive training on broker-dealer practices and procedures (both front and back office) in the OTC market and the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"), the American Stock Exchange ("AMEX"), and the Chicago Board Options Exchange ("CBOE"). In short, Attorney Pearce has knowledge and skill gained over  years of specialized training on the minutiae of broker-dealer practices and procedures and SEC enforcement proceedings which could not be obtained by a competent practicing attorney through routine research or legal experience."
Attorney Pearce is one of the few attorneys who has not only single handedly beat the SEC's team of lawyers, but recovered his clients' attorney fees and litigation expenses incurred in the defense of the government's flawed investigation and enforcement action.WE ALSO REPRESENT STOCKBROKERS AND FINANCIAL ADVISORS
Robert Pearce represents investors as well as stockbrokers, commodities brokers and advisors and other investment advisors in not only SEC and CFTC court and administrative proceedings but FINRA, NFA, CME and other self-regulatory agency proceedings for rule infractions and registration issues. In addition, Mr. Pearce and his team aggressively represent financial professionals in disputes with their employers, including but not limited to contract disputes, promissory note and forgivable loan collection matters, Form U-5 and other defamation issues. The law firm even represents falsely accused stockbrokers in FINRA expungement proceedings.