Investors who purchased MAT/ASTA municipal arbitrage funds between 2002 through 2005 may mistakenly believe that they have waited too long and it is too late to pursue a claim for damages against Citigroup. Fortunately, this is not the case.
While statutes of limitation may arguably bar some claims based on deceitful sales practices such as misrepresentation and omission for some early MAT/ASTA investors, other legal claims exist that are clearly not barred, even for early investors in the funds. That was demonstrated by an August 2010 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) award exceeding $1.8 million to a MAT/ASTA investor. See Gerald J. Kazma, as Trustee of the Gerald J. Kazma Revocable Trust, et al. vs. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., et al, FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitration Number 09‑02697. The Kazma family was represented by Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. of Boca Raton, Florida. Mr Pearce and his firm recently entered into an agreement with Page Perry, LLC to jointly investigate and prosecute MAT/ASTA claims.
In the Kazma case, the arbitrators specifically found that Citigroup and Citigroup Alternative Investments, LLC negligently mismanaged the MAT/ASTA funds and negligently supervised their employees. Because Citigroup’s mismanagement of MAT/ASTA began during 2006 through 2007 and continued through early 2008, even early investors in the funds are now eligible to pursue their claims. Thus, claims based on mismanagement and negligent supervision in 2006 and 2007 remain actionable under the laws of most states.
The impact of the decision is that it greatly expands the number of potential clients who can pursue valid claims against Citigroup and its affiliates. The Kazma award also strongly suggests that any MAT/ASTA investor, even a Citigroup employee who had no involvement with the funds, can file a claim for negligent management and may well recover his losses.
While there is, of course, no guarantee that other arbitration panels will follow the Kazma award and reach the same conclusion, the decision is nonetheless significant in that it gives many MAT/ASTA investors the opportunity to finally recover the damages they sustained through no fault of their own.
A PRUDENT CASE APPROACH
Mr. Pearce, a former SEC attorney with over 40 years experience, focuses his practice on securities matters. He is a member of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association and serves as Chairperson of the SPBCBA Securities Committee. He has represented hundreds of investors in securities arbitration and have prosecuted multiple MAT/ASTA arbitration claims. Between them they have already been involved in representing almost 50 clients throughout the country in MAT/ASTA cases.
The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. follows a multi‑theory approach encompassing three separate bases for recovery, depending on the facts and circumstances of the particular investor’s case. These include: (1) MAT/ASTA was a flawed investment product; (2) Citigroup and its affiliates misrepresented and failed to disclose material facts at the time the investor was sold the investment; and (3) Citigroup and its affiliates were guilty of negligent mismanagement of MAT/ASTA and negligent supervision of their employees. We believe that this approach gives investors three separate bases for recovering damages and enhances the likelihood of an award. We prefer not to put all of our clients’ “eggs in one basket.”
If you are seeking a law firm with integrity, dedication, and substantial experience in MAT/ASTA fraud and mismanagement disputes, please schedule a confidential consultation with Mr. Pearce today. Call our firm at 561-338-0037 or toll-free at 800-732-2889, or fill out our intake form to schedule your free consultation.