Finally, ten years after the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) was enacted to bring about sweeping changes to the securities industry, the best regulation the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) could pass, SEC Regulation Best Interest, is now the law governing broker-dealers giving investment advice to retail customers. Although the SEC had the authority to impose a uniform and expansive “Fiduciary Duty” standard throughout the country upon broker-dealers and investment advisors, it yielded to the stock brokerage industry demands and enacted Regulation Best Interest (“Reg. BI”), which is better than the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) “Suitability Rule,” but not the best that it could have been done to protect investors. Last month FINRA amended its Suitability Rule to conform with SEC Reg. BI and made it clear that stockbrokers now uniformly have duties related to disclosure, care, conflicts and compliance, which are equivalent to the common law “fiduciary duty” standard when making recommendations to retail customers. See, FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-18. 1Continue Reading
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH ATTORNEYS WHO CAN HANDLE YOUR SECURITIES, COMMODITIES AND INVESTMENT PROBLEMS
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. Mr. 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 phone at 561-338-0037, 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.
If you are reading this article, you are probably an investor who has lost a substantial amount of money, Googled “FINRA Arbitration Lawyer,” clicked on a number of attorney websites, and maybe even spoken with a so-called “Securities Arbitration Lawyer” who told you after a five minute telephone call that “you have a great case;” “you need to sign a retainer agreement on a ‘contingency fee’ basis;” and “you need to act now because the statute of limitations is going to run.”Continue Reading
If you are reading this article, we are guessing you invested in some of those high-dividend paying UBS ETRAC Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) your stockbroker recommended to increase your retirement income. We would not be surprised if you were also told the UBS ETRAC investments had a proven track record of great returns. You probably also heard: No need to worry about these investments because they were backed by one of the largest brokerage firms in the world – UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS). We’re not shocked because that is just what many other investors have told us about the pitch made to them to invest in UBS ETRACs.Continue Reading
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 fraud and has recovered over $170 million for investors. Was it just the market or were you mislead to invest in unsuitable steepener investments? Call Attorney Pearce at 1-800-SEC-ATTY (732-2889) with any questions you may have about how you may recover your steepener investment losses.Continue Reading
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 committed securities fraud by misrepresenting 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 which constitutes securities fraud. 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 for this investment fraud.Continue Reading
Section 72 (t) of the Internal Revenue Code is often touted as the secret to early retirement by brokers and financial advisors at free seminars and free lunches for employees of major corporations with profit-sharing and pension plans and 401(k)s. Presentations are made at upscale hotels and restaurants to induce the employees to retire or cash out their 401(k)s earlier than they might otherwise have done through a fairly unknown loophole that allows you to avoid the IRS penalty for early withdrawal. Employees are also promised that that they can cash in their retirement savings in their 40- 50s, reinvest the money, and live off the proceeds for the rest of their lives. But there is a lot more to early retirement benefits that just avoiding the IRS penalty.Continue Reading
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!Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading