OUR STOCKBROKER FRAUD CASES & INVESTIGATIONS

For over 40 years, Attorney Pearce and his staff members at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. have worked on and continue to work on a wide variety of securities, commodities and investment disputes for investors arising out of stock brokerage, commodity brokerage, insurance and other financial service companys’ employees, representatives and agents’ misconduct. We represent investors with securities and commodities law issues and a broad range of other practice areas in courtroom litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings from offices in Boca Raton, Florida across the United States.

Our Florida Attorneys Handle Stockbroker Fraud Cases & Investigations Nationwide

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The most common investor claims have been claims for misrepresentationfailure to disclose important informationunsuitable recommendationschurning or excessive trading, and unauthorized trading in stocksbondsmutual funds and options in violation of federal and state statutes, common law and industry rules. However, in the past three years, most of our cases have arisen out of the latest wave of investment products, widespread misconduct with the same investment firms, branch offices and/or brokers. We are presently engaged in a number of cases and investigations involving not only the so-called “garden variety” stock, bond and option claims but many other types of misrepresented and mismanaged investment products and fraudulent schemes.

A brief description of some of our current stockbroker fraud Cases and Investigations with links to other pages within our website and Investors Rights Blog to help answer your questions and help you recover your losses is below:

Note Linked Structured Products

The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has had many cases involving these complex products made of a combination of securities, including notes (IOUs) linked to other assets such as a stock or basket of stocks or derivatives such as options which may be linked to other assets. According to Attorney Pearce, they have been misrepresented by many brokers as fixed income investments to lull retirees seeking to supplement their retirement income to invest in them. Many investors seeking safe investments were hooked by the false and misleading words “principal protected” in the names of the products, such as the Lehman Brothers’ “100% Principal Protected Notes” which, in reality, were no more than unsecured obligations of a company now in bankruptcy and nearly worthless. Representing clients throughout Florida and nationwide. Note-linked structured products were developed in the 1980s and sold primarily to institutional investors in the 1990s. In recent years, broker-dealers have increasingly targeted general retail investors. Although many of the note-linked products sold to retail investors are based upon “blue chip” and “household-name” stocks that comprise the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ -100 indexes, firm sales practices have created concerns about the manner in which the products are marketed to investors. Over $100 billion worth of note-linked structured products have been sold in recent years, often to senior investors looking to earn more interest while protecting their principal. In addition, they tend to pay higher commissions to brokers than conventional fixed income products do. FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH “PRINCIPAL PROTECTED” NOTE INVESTMENT DISPUTE ATTORNEYS The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. understands what is at stake in Principal Protected Note investment law matters and constantly strives to secure the most favorable possible result. Attorney Pearce provides a complete review of your case and fully explains your legal options. The firm works to ensure that you have all of the information necessary to make a sound decision before any action is taken in your case. For dedicated representation by a law firm with substantial experience in all kinds of securities, commodities and investment disputes, contact the firm by telephone at 561-338-0037 or toll free at 800-732-2889 or via e-mail.

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The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. Wins $6 Million Plus Award Against UBS and UBS Puerto Rico

In an arbitration proceeding against UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS) and UBS Financial Services, Inc. of Puerto Rico (UBS-PR), the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. won $4.25 million in compensatory damages plus interest at 6.25% from February 28, 2014 and costs of $170,000 for one of the firm’s clients last month. A summary of our clients’ allegations against UBS and UBS-PR are set forth below. If you or any family member received similar unsuitable recommendations from UBS-PR and its stockbrokers, or found yourself with an account overconcentrated in Puerto Rico municipal bonds and/or closed-end bond funds, or if you borrowed monies from UBS and used your investments as loan collateral, we may be able to help you recover your losses. Contact our office as soon as possible for a free consultation about your case. Time is of the essence!

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Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Just as the real estate limited partnerships proliferated in the 1980s and 90s, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) were the real estate investment du jour of the past decade. In many cases handled by The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., the sales solicitations were gross misrepresentations about the sponsors track record, market valuations, rates of return, liquidity, risks and fees. Unfortunately, Attorney Pearce says investors are now realizing they have been duped by the promoters of many non-traded REITs such as the Apple REITs, Cornerstone REITs and others. Representing clients throughout Florida and nationwide. Se habla español Investing in non-traded REITs is not for everyone. Investors must understand that these are complex and risky investments. First, REIT distributions are never guaranteed. The REIT Board of Directors decides when and the amount of any distribution. The lack of a publicly traded market creates illiquidity and valuation issues. Early redemption is usually limited and may be costly. Non-traded REITs can be expensive due to front-end fees and “issuer costs” that may be hidden from investors. Most non-traded REITs start out as blind pools, which have not yet specified the properties to be purchased. The diversification of properties within REITs is not always present which increases the risk of these investments. For more information about REITs and a complete list of our REIT cases and investigations, the links below: Our REIT Blog Archives FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) INVESTMENT DISPUTE ATTORNEYS The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. understands what is at stake in securities, commodities and REIT investment law matters and constantly strives to secure the most favorable possible result. Attorney Pearce provides a complete review of your case and fully explains your legal options. The firm works to ensure that you have all of the information necessary to make a sound decision before any action is taken in your case. For dedicated representation by a law firm with substantial experience in all kinds of securities, commodities and investment disputes, contact the firm by telephone at 561-338-0037 or toll free at 800-732-2889 or via e-mail. We may also be able to arrange a meeting with you at offices located in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida and elsewhere.

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Investing in Hedge Funds

THE BASICS Hedge funds are similar to mutual funds in that they pool and invest investors’ money in an effort to earn a positive return. However, hedge funds have more flexible investment strategies than mutual funds. Many hedge funds seek to profit in all kinds of markets by using leverage, short-selling, and other speculative investment practices that are not typically used by mutual funds.

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Investing in Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are mutual fund-like registered investment companies whose shares trade on a securities exchange. ETF shares typically trade throughout the day at prices established by the market, just like common stock issuances.

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Variable Annuities and Equity Indexed Annuities

Variable and equity indexed annuities are another form alternative investments involving mutual fund type and/or insurance products which occupy a large portion of the attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. caseload. Variable annuities are mutual funds with insurance contracts with a variety of features that have hidden costs. They are not wise investments for many investors. According to Attorney Pearce the suitability of variable annuities for elderly investors and those on the verge of retirement or those seeking to make investments in 401(k) Plans, IRAs or pension plans is highly suspect. Sales of equity-indexed annuities (EIAs) have grown considerably in recent years with the promise of expensive guarantees. EIAs are anything but easy to understand; one of the most confusing features of an EIA is the method used to calculate the gain in the index to which the annuity is linked and there is not one, but several different indexing methods. Because of the variety and complexity of these annuity products, many investors are duped into buying something they don’t need, cannot afford and do not understand. Representing clients throughout Florida and nationwide Variable annuity investments are becoming popular among senior investors who are close to retirement. While a variable annuity can be an appropriate investment under the right circumstances, investors should be aware of their restrictive features and tax consequences. Investors should also be concerned with sales pitches. Before purchasing a variable annuity, investors should carefully investigate the product they are considering as well as the salesman. Investors should start out by reading the prospectus, which contains important information about the annuity contract terms, fees and charges, investment options, and death benefits. In addition, investors should compare the benefit and costs of the annuity to other variable annuities as well as other types of investments such as mutual funds. EIAs are far more complex financial instruments than variable annuities. They have characteristics of both fixed and variable annuities. Their return varies more than a fixed annuity, but not as much as a variable annuity. So EIAs give you more risk (but more potential return) than a fixed annuity but less risk (and less potential return) than a variable annuity. EIAs offer a minimum guaranteed interest rate combined with an interest rate linked to a market index. One of the most confusing features of an EIA is the method used to calculate the gain in the index to which the annuity is linked. To make matters worse, there is not one, but several different indexing methods. FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH VARIABLE ANNUITY & EQUITY INDEXED ANNUITY INVESTMENT DISPUTE ATTORNEYS The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. understands what is at stake in securities, commodities and investment law matters and constantly strives to secure the most favorable possible result. Attorney Pearce provides a complete review of your case and fully explains your legal options. The firm works to ensure that you have all of the information necessary to make a sound decision before any action is taken in your case. For dedicated representation by a law firm with substantial experience in all kinds of Variable Annuity and Equity Indexed Annuity investment law disputes, contact the firm by telephone at 561-338-0037 or toll free at 800-732-2889 or via e-mail.

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Watch Out for Early Retirement Scams

In the last 5 years early retirement scams have become widespread as a result of the financial crisis. Many major corporations decided to downsize and offer early retirement with benefits (pension plan or lump sum payments) to their older and highly compensated employees in their 50s or near retirement. Many holders of 401(k)s became unemployed and instead of seeking new employment they were persuaded by financial advisors to cash out their 401(k)s and enjoy their early retirement with promises that could never possibly be kept by financial advisors. The common thread in all of these early retirement scams is the false promise of investment returns at a rate greater than the rate one would need to withdraw funds from their retirement savings annually to support themselves. Unfortunately for many employees who accepted the offers of early retirement and/or those who were persuaded to cash out their pension plans or 401(k)s and reinvest with unscrupulous financial advisors and stockbrokers, the results have been horrible in terms of tax consequences, investment returns, and the total loss of years of retirement savings. It is important to be on high alert for retiree predators because those who promote early retirement schemes can be highly persuasive. Run when you hear pitches from financial advisors like the following: Everyone can retire early! You can make as much in retirement as you can by continuing to work! You can expect returns of 10% or more annually! You can withdraw 8% or more of your savings and never run out of money! We know a secret tax loophole (IRS section 72 (t)) that allows you to retire early! These financial advisors will prepare beautiful charts, graphs and glossy brochures that will absolutely demonstrate their promises can be kept if only you invest through them. However, the stockbrokers will not tell you about the effect of ordinary income tax on your withdrawals; the large upfront sales charges and management fees on the mutual funds or variable annuities they use in their projections; the effect of stock market volatility on projected returns; or the assumed rate of returns in their hypothetical retirement proposal. The reality is, you are always going to pay income tax on the amount you withdraw from your retirement account, even if you avoid IRS penalties; you are always going to pay for new investments, and that expense is going to affect your rate or return; all of the advisors projections assume a steady rate of return, and that periods of lower than average investment returns or negative returns will severely deplete your savings and render it impossible to live out your retirement with the same projected income; and the assumed rate of returns used in their projections were historically and/or statistically unachievable throughout your life time. It is critical that you think carefully before you decide to voluntarily take an early retirement and/or cash out your 401(k) or other retirement account for management by some financial advisor or stockbroker promoting an early retirement scheme. Taking early retirement can only make sense if you have enough saved to begin with based on your lifestyle and monthly expenses. Further, only withdraw funds at a rate that would not deplete your savings too early and certainly no greater than 3 to 5% per year with less being withdrawn in the early years. You need to make smart investment decisions and not base your retirement upon lofty growth expectations in your investment portfolio. Remember, medical science and health care has improved all of our life expectancies. And so, it is as important not to underestimate your future expenses as it is to not overestimate your future retirement income in making your decision about retirement at any age. The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This article on Early Retirement Scams is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. , located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 40 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our blog, post a comment, call 800-732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about losses you may have suffered in connection with any early retirement recommendation and/or any related investment matter.

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Report On Elder Financial Abuse-An Epidemic

According to “The Met life Study of Elder Financial Abuse: Crimes of Occasion, Desperation, and Predation Against Americas Elders,” older Americans are losing $2.9 billion annually to Elder financial abuse. The insurance company study published recently found that over 50% of the reported cases of Elder financial abuse were committed by strangers such as stockbrokers, financial advisors, investment advisors, precious metal brokers and other high pressure quick- rich scheme promoters. Unfortunately, the balance of these crimes were committed by the Elders own family members, friends and neighbors. In those cases involving a person known to the victim, the perpetrator through a relationship of trust and confidence gained access to the victim’s financial information and accounts and seized upon the opportunity to control stock and bank accounts, forge checks and/or letters of authorization transferring funds and other assets to wipe out the Elder person’s life savings.

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Investing in Note-Linked Structured Products

In general, structured products are notes linked to a single security, a basket of securities, an index, a commodity, a debt obligation, and/or a foreign currency. There is a large variety of structured products, some of which offer full principal protection, while others offer limited or no protection of principal. The majority of structured products have a fixed maturity date and pay an interest rate substantially above the prevalent market rate, but they also frequently limit the upside participation in the reference asset if principal protection is offered. Investment banks or their affiliates are the primary issuers of structured products, but the products are not all listed on a national securities exchange.

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