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J.P. Morgan Sued For Edward Turley’s Alleged Misconduct: $55 Million!

The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has filed another case against Ex-J.P. Morgan broker Ed Turley for alleged misrepresentations, misleading statements, unsuitable recommendations, and mismanagement of Claimants’ accounts. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce has filed another case against J.P. Morgan Securities for alleged misrepresentations, misleading statements, unsuitable recommendations, and mismanagement of Claimants’ accounts continuing in fall 2019 and thereafter by Edward Turley (“Turley”), a former “Vice-Chairman” of J.P. Morgan. At the outset, it is important for our readers to know that our clients’ allegations have not yet been proven. IMPORTANT: We are providing information about our clients’ allegations and seeking information from other investors who did business with J.P. Morgan and Mr. Turley and had similar investments, a similar investment strategy, and a similar bad experience to help us win our clients’ case. Please contact us online via our contact form or by giving us a ring at (800) 732-2889. Latest Updates on Ed Turley – November 18, 2022 The Advisor Hub reported today that the former star broker with J.P. Morgan Advisors in San Francisco Edward Turley agreed to an industry bar rather than cooperate with FINRA’s probe of numerous allegations of excessive and unauthorized trading that resulted in more than $100 million worth of customer complaints. FINRA had initiated its investigation of Edward Turley as it related to numerous customer complaints in 2020. The regulator noted in its Acceptance Waiver and Consent Agreement (AWC) that the investors had generally alleged “sales practice violations including improper exercise of discretion and unsuitable trading.” According to Edward Turley’s BrokerCheck report, he had been fired in August 2021 for “loss of confidence concerning adherence to firm policies and brokerage order handling requirements.” On October 28th, FINRA requested Turley provide on-the-record testimony related to his trading patterns, including the “use of foreign currency and margin, and the purchasing and selling of high-yield bonds and preferred stock,” but Edward Turley through counsel declined to do so. As a result, Edward Turley violated FINRA’s Rule 8210 requiring cooperation with enforcement probes, and its catch-all Rule 2010 requiring “high standards of commercial honor,” the regulator said and he was barred permanently from the securities industry. Related Read: Can You Sue a Financial Advisor or Stockbroker Over Losses? Turley Allegedly Misrepresented And Misled Claimants About His Investment Strategy The claims arise out of Turley’s “one-size-fits-all” fixed income credit spread investment strategy involving high-yield “junk” bonds, preferred stocks, exchange traded funds (“ETFs”), master limited partnerships (“MLPs”), and foreign bonds. Instead of purchasing those securities in ordinary margin accounts, Turley executed foreign currency transactions to raise capital and leverage clients’ accounts to earn undisclosed commissions. Turley over-leveraged and over-concentrated his best and biggest clients’ accounts, including Claimants’ accounts, in junk bonds, preferred stocks, and MLPs in the financial and energy sectors, which are notoriously illiquid and subject to sharp price declines when the financial markets become stressed as they did in March 2020. In the beginning and throughout the investment advisory relationship, Turley described his investment strategy to Claimants as one which would generate “equity returns with very low bond-type risk.” Turley and his partners also described the strategy to clients and prospects as one “which provided equity-like returns without equity-like risk.” J.P. Morgan supervisors even documented Turley’s description of the strategy as “creating portfolio with similar returns, but less volatility than an all-equity portfolio.” Note: It appears that no J.P. Morgan supervisor ever checked to see if the representations were true and if anybody did, they would have known Turley was lying and have directly participated in the scheme. The Claimants’ representative was also told Turley used leverage derived from selling foreign currencies, Yen and Euros, to get the “equity-like” returns he promised. Turley also told the investor not to be concerned because he “carefully” added leverage to enhance returns. According to Turley, the securities of the companies he invested in for clients “did not move up or down like the stock market,” so there was no need to worry about him using leverage in Claimants’ accounts and their cash would be available whenever it was needed. The Claimants’ representative was not the only client who heard this from Turley; that is, he did not own volatile stocks and not to worry about leverage. Turley did not discuss the amount of leverage he used in clients’ accounts, which ranged from 1:1 to 3:1, nor did Turley discuss the risks currency transactions added to the portfolio, margin calls or forced liquidations as a result of his investment strategy. After all, Turley knew he could get away without disclosing those risks. This was because J.P. Morgan suppressed any margin calls being sent to Turley’s clients and he liquidated securities on his own to meet those margin calls without alarming clients.  This “one-size-fits-all” strategy was a recipe for disaster. J.P. Morgan and Turley have both admitted that Turley’s investment strategy was not suitable for any investor whose liquid net worth was fully invested in the strategy. It was especially unsuitable for those customers like Claimants who had other plans for the funds in their J.P. Morgan accounts in fall 2019 and spring 2020. Unfortunately, Turley recommended and managed the “one-size-fits-all” strategy for his best clients and friends, including Claimants. Turley was Claimants’ investment advisor and portfolio manager and required under the law to serve them as a “fiduciary.” He breached his “fiduciary” duties in making misrepresentations, misleading statements, unsuitable recommendations, and mismanagement of Claimants’ accounts. The most egregious breach was his failure to take any action to protect his clients at the end of February 2020, when J.P. Morgan raised the red flags about COVID-19 and recommended defensive action be taken in clients’ accounts. Turley Allegedly Managed Claimants’ Accounts Without Written Discretionary Authority Claimants’ representative hired Turley to manage his “dry powder,” the cash in Claimants’ accounts at J.P. Morgan, which he would need on short notice when business opportunities arose. At one point, Claimants had over $100 million on deposit with J.P. Morgan. It was not...

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Investors With “Blown-Out” Securities-Backed Credit Line and Margin Accounts: How do You Recover Your Investment Losses?

If you are reading this article, we are guessing you had a bad experience recently in either a securities-backed line of credit (“SBL”) or margin account that suffered margin calls and was liquidated without notice, causing you to realize losses. Ordinarily, investors with margin calls receive 3 to 5 days to meet them; and if that happened, the value of the securities in your account might have increased within that period and the firm might have erased the margin call and might not have liquidated your account. If you are an investor who has experienced margin calls in the past, and that is your only complaint then, read no further because when you signed the account agreement with the brokerage firm you chose to do business with, you probably gave it the right to liquidate all of the securities in your account at any time without notice. On the other hand, if you are an investor with little experience or one with a modest financial condition who was talked into opening a securities-backed line of credit account without being advised of the true nature, mechanics, and/or risks of opening such an account, then you should call us now! Alternatively, if you are an investor who needed to withdraw money for a house or to pay for your taxes or child’s education but was talked into holding a risky or concentrated portfolio of stocks and/or junk bonds in a pledged collateral account for a credit-line or a margin account, then we can probably help you recover your investment losses as well. The key to a successful recovery of your investment loss is not to focus on the brokerage firm’s liquidation of the securities in your account without notice. Instead, the focus on your case should be on what you were told and whether the recommendation was suitable for you before you opened the account and suffered the liquidation.

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FINRA Arbitration: What To Expect And Why You Should Choose Our Law Firm

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.”

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A Stockbroker’s Introduction to FINRA Examinations and Investigations

Brokers and financial advisors oftentimes do not understand what their responsibilities and obligations are and what may result from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) examination or investigation. Many brokers do not even know the role that FINRA plays within the industry. This may be due to the fact that FINRA, a self-regulatory organization, is not a government entity and cannot sentence financial professionals to jail time for violation of industry rules and regulations. Nevertheless, all broker-dealers doing business with members of the public must register with FINRA. As registered members, broker-dealers, and the brokers working for them, have agreed to abide by industry rules and regulations, which include FINRA rules.

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Can You Sue a Brokerage Firm for Investment Losses?

If you have experienced significant investment losses, you may be wondering if you can sue your brokerage firm. Can You Sue a Brokerage Firm? Yes, you can sue a brokerage firm to help recover any investment losses that you have suffered due to a broker’s negligence or fraud. Lawsuits are typically filed against brokerage firms rather than individual brokers because the firm is vicariously (automatically) liable for the actions of all their employees. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. In addition, brokerage firms are directly responsible for supervising its employees and ensuring that they are adhering to industry regulations and can be held liable for their supervisory failures. FINRA rules require a brokerage firm to establish policies and procedures that monitor brokers’ activities in order to avoid investor losses and investment fraud. As such, if the brokerage firm has failed to supervise its employees properly and this has led to your investment losses, you may have a claim against the firm. IMPORTANT: Filing a successful lawsuit against a brokerage firm is a complex undertaking. You will need to prove that the firm did not properly supervise its employees and that this failure led to your investment losses. If you decide to pursue legal action, it is important to consult with an experienced securities lawyer who can help you navigate the process and build a strong case against the firm. When Can a Brokerage Firm be Held Liable for Investment Losses? Despite having issues with an individual broker, many investors are surprised to learn that lawsuits against an individual are actually quite rare. The vast majority of lawsuits that are filed in connection with investment losses are brought against the brokerage firm that employed the broker. A brokerage firm is required to properly supervise its employees and to ensure that they are adhering to FINRA rules and regulations. If the firm fails to do so and this results in investors suffering losses, the firm can be held liable. It’s unfortunately common for independent brokerage firms to hire under-qualified brokers with little to no experience in the industry. These brokers are often given very little training and are left to their own devices when it comes to handling clients’ investments. As a result, these inexperienced brokers can make serious mistakes that cost investors a lot of money. Due to the fact that brokerage firms are required to properly supervise their employees, the liability for investment losses often falls on the brokerage firm that hired the broker rather than the individual broker him or herself. In addition, under Section 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act, a brokerage firm can be held liable for the negligence of its individual brokers and advisors. In essence, the law tends to hold the brokerage firm liable for the misconduct of its employees unless the brokerage firm acted in good faith and did not indirectly cause the misconduct which has resulted in the investors’ losses. Note: The process of establishing liability against a brokerage firm is complex and it can be difficult to prove that the firm is responsible for your investment losses. It is in the best interest of the brokerage firm to avoid liability, so they will likely have a team of lawyers working to protect them. As such, if you decide to pursue legal action against a brokerage firm, it is important to consult with an experienced securities lawyer who can help you navigate the process and build a strong case against the firm. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. has over 40 years of experience representing those who have been wronged by a fiduciary and have recovered over $160 million in investment losses for our clients. If you believe that you have been the victim of broker or brokerage firm misconduct, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation. When Does the Liability Fall on the Individual Broker? There are many circumstances where the liability for investment losses may fall on the individual broker. For example, if a broker makes material misstatements or omissions about an investment, the broker can be held liable for any losses that result from those misrepresentations. Additionally, if a broker engages in fraudulent or illegal activity, the broker can be held liable for any losses that occur. All brokers and financial advisors are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and owe their clients a fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the client. If a broker breaches this duty and causes the client to lose money, the broker can be held liable. There are a wide variety of circumstances where a broker may breach their fiduciary duty to a client. For a more complete discussion on when the liability for investment losses falls on the individual broker, please see our article on “How to Sue a Financial Advisor or Stockbroker Over Investment Losses.” Have You Suffered Investment Losses? Take Legal Action Today. If you have suffered investment losses, you may be able to take legal action against the brokerage firm or individual broker responsible for your losses. The first step is to consult with an experienced securities lawyer to discuss your case and determine what legal options are available to you. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. has over 40 years of experience representing those who have been wronged by a fiduciary and have recovered over $160 million in investment losses for our clients. If you believe that you have been the victim of broker or brokerage firm misconduct, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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What is the Difference Between Solicited & Unsolicited Trades?

Ideally, hiring a skilled broker takes some of the risk out of investing. Unfortunately, however, some brokers fail to act with the appropriate level of integrity. As an investor, it’s very important to understand the difference between solicited and unsolicited trades. The distinction has significant consequences on your ability to recover losses from a bad trade. What’s the Difference Between a Solicited and an Unsolicited Trade? The main difference between a solicited and unsolicited trade is: a solicited trade is a transaction that the broker recommends to the client. In contrast, an unsolicited transaction is one that the investor initially proposed to the broker. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. In regards to solicited trades, the broker is ultimately responsible for the consideration and execution of the trade because he or she brought it to the investor’s attention. The responsibility for unsolicited trades therefore lies primarily with the investor, while the broker merely facilitates the investor’s proposed transaction. Why does the Difference Between an Unsolicited and Socilited Trade Matters? The status of a trade as solicited or unsolicited is hugely important when an investor claims unsuitability. An investor who wants to recover losses may be able to do so if the broker is the one who initially suggests the transaction. Take the following example. You purchase $150,000 of stock in a new company. Shortly after the trade is complete, the stock loses nearly all its original value. As an investor, you will want to recover as much of that loss as possible. One way is to file a claim against your broker on the basis that the stock was an unsuitable investment. When you say that an investment was unsuitable, you are essentially saying that based on the information your broker had about you as an investor, the broker should not have made the trade in the first place. If the stock purchase was at your request—that is, it was unsolicited—then it’s unlikely you’d be able to hold your broker liable for your losses. After all, the trade was originally your idea.  IMPORTANT: If the stock was suggested to you as a good investment by your broker, however, then you may have an argument that you were pushed into a solicited trade that was not in your best interests. If this is the case, you would have a much stronger argument for holding your broker liable. What Is Suitability? The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) imposes rules on registered brokers to protect investors against broker misconduct. Under FINRA Rule 2111, brokers are generally required to engage in trades only if the broker has “a reasonable basis to believe that the recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer.” Whether an investment is suitable depends on diligent consideration of several aspects of a client’s investment profile, including: The investor’s age; Other investments, if any; The investor’s financial situation and tax status; The investor’s individual investment objectives; The level of investing experience or sophistication of the investor; The investor’s risk tolerance; and Other relevant information the investor discloses to their broker. When a broker makes a trade without a reasonable basis for believing that the trade is suitable, the broker violates FINRA Rule 2111. Investors may then be able to recover losses from the broker, and FINRA may impose sanctions, suspension, or other penalties on the broker. Broker Obligations to Their Clients When a broker conducts a trade on behalf of an investor, the broker uses an order ticket with the details of the trade. Brokers mark these tickets as “solicited” or “unsolicited” to reflect the status of the trade. For the reasons explained above, this marking is very important. On one hand, it protects a broker from unsuitability claims following a trade suggested by the broker’s client. On the other, it provides an avenue to recover losses in the case of a solicited trade that turns out poorly. FINRA Rule 2010 covers properly marking trade tickets. This rule requires brokers to observe “high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade” in their practice. If a broker fails to properly mark a trade ticket, that broker violates Rule 2010. As an investor, you should always receive a confirmation of any trades your broker conducts on your account.  FINRA has found that abuse of authority by mismarking tickets is an issue within the securities industry. The 2018 report found that brokers sometimes mismarked tickets as “unsolicited” to hide trading activity on discretionary accounts. If your broker feels the need to hide a trade from you, that trade is likely unsuitable. How to Protect Yourself Against Trade Ticket Mismarking Whether your account is discretionary or non-discretionary, and whether you’re new to investing or a skilled tycoon, you should always pay close attention to your investment accounts. Carefully review your trade confirmations to make sure that all trades are properly marked. If you find a mistake, immediately report it to your broker or the compliance department of their brokerage firm. It’s their job to correct these mistakes and make sure they don’t happen in the future. Negative or suspicious responses to a legitimate correction request are red flags that should not be ignored. If you discover your broker intentionally mismarking your trade tickets, contact an investment fraud attorney immediately. Concerned About a Solicited Trade? The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have been helping investors recover losses for over 40 years. We have extensive experience representing investors and have helped our clients recover over $160 million in total. If you’ve become the victim of unsuitable or fraudulent investing, we can help you. Contact us today or give us a call at 561-338-0037 for a free consultation.

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Everything You Need to Know about an SEC Wells Notice

If you’ve received a Wells Notice from the SEC, it’s important to understand what it is and how to respond. What is a Wells Notice? A Wells Notice is usually a formal letter (sometimes just a telephone call) in which the staff enforcement attorneys of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notify individuals and/or firms that they are planning to recommend that the SEC authorize the attorneys to bring an enforcement action against the individual and/or the firm.  Investment Losses? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 800-732-2889. A Wells Notice will typically set forth the specific allegations against the individual and/or firm, as well as provide an opportunity for a response before the SEC makes a final decision on whether to bring charges. After an SEC investigation has turned up evidence of potential securities law infractions, the staff enforcement attorneys will usually provide a Wells Notice but, not always! Note: If you have received a Wells Notice, it means the SEC enforcement attorneys believe you have been violating securities laws and regulations, it is not a finding of guilt. It is important that you act quickly and consult with an experienced securities defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. What information is contained in a Wells Notice? A Wells Notice from the SEC will usually contain the following information: Identify the specific charges against the individual or firm that the SEC Enforcement Division is considering; Notify the recipient of the Wells Notice the opportunity to provide a written or videotape voluntary statement defending their actions (which may or may not include arguments why the Commission should not bring an action or why proposed charges or remedies should not be pursued, or bring any relevant facts to the Commission’s attention in connection with its consideration of the matter); Provide a reasonable time period for the recipient to prepare and submit their response; Advise the recipient that any submission should be addressed to the appropriate Assistant Director; Inform the recipient of the Wells notice that their Wells submission may be used by the Commission in any action or enforcement proceeding; An attached copy of the Wells Release; and An attached copy of the SEC’s Form 1662. The majority of what appears in a written Wells notice is boilerplate. Typically, the written notice details statutory and regulatory infractions under consideration but does not allude to the specifics of the specific case. Are public companies required to disclose a Wells Notice? A Wells notice is a private communication to the recipient, and the Commission will not disclose it. In the past, many companies elected to not make any public disclosure of a Wells Notice. However, in recent years, some companies have voluntarily disclosed the receipt of a Wells Notice in their public filings with the SEC. Generally, such disclosures are a discretionary choice, rather than a requirement. The decision turns on whether the investigation and potential consequences would be a material fact that needs to be disclosed in light of other statements being publicly made by the company. Are registered broker-dealers and investment advisors required to disclose a Wells Notice? Yes, if you are a registered broker-dealer or investment advisor, you will be required to disclose the receipt of a Wells Notice in your Form U4. Related Reads: SEC Subpoenas: How to Respond How to Respond to a Wells Notice If you’ve received a Wells Notice, the first thing you should do is consult with an experienced securities defense attorney. Your attorney will help you understand the specific allegations against you and decide whether you should respond at all. If so, the attorney will craft a strategic and customized response on your behalf. Your response to a Wells Notice (also known as a Wells Submission) will be incredibly important in determining whether or not the SEC takes enforcement action against you. In some cases, a well-crafted response may convince the SEC to drop the matter entirely. In other cases, it may result in a more lenient punishment if the SEC does decide to bring charges. Before responding to a Wells Notice, you and your attorney will need to carefully review all of the evidence collected during the SEC’s investigation. This may include: Understanding the specific charges the SEC Enforcement Division is considering filing against you The limitations established for the Wells notice disclosure The deadline for submitting your Wells Notice disclosure to the SEC Once the analysis of the evidence is complete, your attorney will work with you to prepare a persuasive response that addresses the SEC’s specific concerns. This is a very important step as a Wells Submission presents the facts and the first arguments to persuade the SEC Enforcement Division to not pursue an enforcement action or to recommend a less severe action. The SEC will review the response and make a final determination on whether or not to bring charges. Even though the Wells Notice process is confidential, it may become public if the SEC decides to bring an enforcement action against you. More important, whatever is written in the response to the Wells notice could be deemed an admission of the facts stated within the Wells Notice. What Happens if the SEC decides to bring Charges? If the SEC decides to bring charges after you’ve received a Wells Notice, it will file a formal complaint against you in federal court or administrative proceeding. At this point, you will have an opportunity to defend yourself against the SEC’s charges. This is a complex process, and you will need to have an experienced securities defense attorney by your side to protect your rights and help you navigate the legal system. A Wells Notice is just the beginning of the SEC’s enforcement process, but it’s a very important step. If you’ve received a Wells Notice, make sure you consult with an experienced SEC defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome in your case. Consider Consulting with an Experienced SEC Defense Attorney If you’ve received a Wells Notice, you should consult with an experienced...

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What to Do When a Financial Advisor Steals Money From You

Financial advisors are highly trusted professionals who help make decisions that impact your economic future. When that trust is broken through a bad or negligent act, the investor suffers and the financial advisor must be held accountable. When you’re looking at your investment losses, in the worst-case scenario, you may be asking yourself if a financial advisor can steal your money. Can Financial Advisors Steal Your Money? Yes, an unethical financial advisor can be in a position to steal money from you, especially if you have given them direct access to your money. Because of this, a vast majority of reputable financial advisors never take ownership of your money to protect your best financial interests. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. It is recommended that you always keep control over your investments and never give any financial advisor full discretion over your accounts. Giving an advisor direct access allows them to steal money with ease. Avoid doing so unless you’re 100% confident in the individual you’re dealing with. Note: If you believe your financial advisor stole your money, there are several options for you to recover. We recommend speaking with an experienced investment fraud lawyer to learn more about your rights and how you may recover your losses. The Fiduciary Duty of a Financial Advisor All financial advisors are held to a standard of care when dealing with investors. Registered financial advisors have a higher fiduciary duty to their clients under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This is the highest legal standard of care and requires financial advisors to act in the best interest of their clients, make suitable investments, and disclose relevant information to you.  Knowing whether your financial advisor is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state securities regulator is important because if the advisor breaches the fiduciary duty, you can bring a claim against the financial advisor through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA is the governing organization that creates and enforces rules for advisors and their firms and assists in resolving disputes between advisors and investors.  Do You Have a Claim? If your financial advisor outright stole money from your account, this is theft. These cases involve an intentional act by your financial advisor, such as transferring money out of your account. However, your financial advisor could also be stealing from you if their actions or failure to act causes you financial loss.   Losing money through investment is not enough to bring a claim against your financial advisor. Remember, there is no guarantee of return when investing. Even if your financial advisor made the recommendation, under federal securities law and FINRA regulations, you cannot hold your advisor liable simply because they lost you money. You need a viable cause of action, such as a breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, or malpractice. Types of Claims Against Your Financial Advisor  Understanding securities law and FINRA regulations are crucial to know whether you have a valid claim against your financial advisor. The investment loss recovery attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. have over 40 years of experience in securities and investment law. They have helped countless investors recover their financial losses caused by bad or negligent acts by their financial advisors. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. have handled hundreds of cases involving many types of misconduct by financial advisors. Negligence In a negligence claim, you do not need to show that the financial advisor intentionally acted in a harmful way, but rather that the advisor failed to do something they had an obligation to do and caused the economic loss. For example, your advisor may have made an unsuitable investment by failing to take into consideration your risk tolerance. If you lost money based on the recommended investment, it may be appropriate to file a claim for negligence against your financial advisor.  Breach of Fiduciary Duty A financial advisor who breaches his fiduciary duty has failed to meet the required standard of care. You may have a valid claim for breach of fiduciary duty if your advisor failed to execute your stated objectives or did not disclose information about a product. Other examples of breaching the fiduciary duty include: Unauthorized trading, Unsuitable investments,  Undiversified portfolio, and  Account churning.  In each of these instances, the financial advisor did not act in your best interest.  Failure to Supervise A brokerage firm is responsible for supervising the actions of its financial advisors and any other employees. If the firm fails to do this, it can be held liable for your financial losses.  What You Can Do There are several stages of resolution to recover your financial losses. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to resolve it and recover without any formal proceedings, or you may have to litigate. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce P.A. have helped investors in all stages and have successfully recovered over $160 million in losses for our clients.  Review Customer Agreement If you believe your financial advisor stole money from you, either directly or indirectly through losses in your account, you should first review your customer agreement. Understand what sort of authority you gave your financial advisor and if there is a mandatory arbitration clause. This clause is common in most customer agreements with brokerage firms. These clauses often state that you waive your right to file a lawsuit against your advisor and agree to engage in a FINRA arbitration proceeding instead.  Informal Dispute Resolution Claims against financial advisors are incredibly complex legal matters. There are informal options available, however. Even at this stage, you should contact an investor loss recovery attorney for assistance. FINRA, which regulates the investment industry, instructs investors to first pursue informal dispute resolutions before filing a claim against their financial advisor.  Depending on the severity of the financial advisor’s misconduct, you may be able to resolve the matter directly with your advisor or...

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Can I Recover My GWG L Bonds Investment Losses?

In recent news, it was reported that GWG Holdings, a Dallas, Texas-based asset manager that provides insurance services, as well as acquires life insurance policies in the secondary market, filed for bankruptcy on April 20, 2022. It is estimated that GWG Holdings has more than $2 billion in liabilities, including $1.3 billion of GWG L bonds, and has missed millions of dollars in combined interest and principal payments to investors owning the GWG L bond series. IMPORTANT: As of February 2022, GWG Holdings has failed to pay $13.6 million in payments to GWG L bondholders. These were high yield, high risk, illiquid investments that as stockbrokers should have been wary and not recommended to investors with conversative or moderate risk tolerances. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. is currently investigating claims against stockbrokers related to recommendations to purchase GWG Holdings L bonds (“GWG L bonds”) and is offering free consultations to those who have suffered GWG L bond losses. If you have suffered GWG L bond investment losses, our experienced securities litigation attorneys are prepared to discuss the matter and provide their legal opinion as to whether you can recover damages against the broker-dealer who recommended and sold you GWG L bonds. Please contact our law firm at 561-338-0037 or online for a free consultation. What are GWG L Bonds? In 2012, GWG Holdings created and has since sold nearly $2 billion in GWG L bonds to investors. These high-yield bonds were unrated and illiquid investments and therefore, unsuitable for investors with conservative or moderate risk tolerances. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. GWG Holdings issued the GWG L bonds to raise capital to purchase an individual life insurance policyholder seeking liquidity or cash by selling his/her life insurance policy to GWG Holdings for more than the surrender value but substantially less than the policy’s face value. GWG Holdings would then make the premium payments and hope to receive a payout worth greater than what it paid for the policy after the original policy matures or the policyholder passes away. The subject GWG L bonds were created to finance these life insurance policy purchases by GWG Holdings.  The problem for investors was the GWG L bond investments depended on insurance policy premiums and benefits being paid out according to assumptions and statistical models, thus making them speculative investments for investors seeking income and protection of their capital. Further, GWG L bonds had no secondary market, which prevented investors from liquidating should they need the cash immediately. In other words, money used to purchase GWG L bonds was essentially trapped from the moment of purchase. Moreover, the only collateral supposedly backing GWG Holdings are interests in GWG subsidiary companies that purportedly owned real assets, including the insurance policies. Don’t Be Discouraged by GWG Holdings’ Bankruptcy  As early as April 2022, news sources reported that GWG Holdings was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. However, this news should not stop investors from seeking the opinion of a skilled and experienced securities attorney and getting just compensation. Broker-dealers and their agents who misrepresented and/or made unsuitable recommendations as to the GWG L bonds may still be held liable for losses in investor accounts. In other words, an account holder can still file a FINRA arbitration against the broker-dealer to recover losses in GWG L bonds for misrepresentations, unsuitable recommendations, failure to conduct adequate due diligence, negligence, etc. You should not let your broker-dealer or broker/financial advisor convince you otherwise. Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. Recovers Investment Losses The attorneys at Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. are experienced in litigating high-yield and speculative fixed-income instrument securities loss cases. For over 40 years we have represented investors in arbitration and securities litigation matters, including FINRA arbitration proceedings in nearly every state. Contact us now at 561-338-0037 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.  GWB L Bonds Were Sold for High Commissions! According to GWG Holdings, the GWG L bonds were sold by Emerson Equity, the managing broker-dealer, which partnered with other brokerage firms that also sold the L bonds to their retail customers. The commissions on such sales by the brokerage firms were as high as 8%. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. suspects that many other broker-dealers were involved in the recommendation and sale of the GWG L bonds to their customers. Some of the firms alleged to have sold L bonds to their customers include: Aegis Capital Ages Financial Services Allied Beacon Partners American Trust Investment Services Arete Wealth Management Ausdal Financial Planers Cabot Lodge Securities Capital Investment Group Centaurus Financial, Inc. Center Street Securities Coastal Equities Dempsey Lord Smith Emerson Equity Great Point Capital IFP Securities International Assets Advisory Intervest International Equities Corporation Kingswood Capital Partners Landolt Securities Lifemark Securities Lion Street Financial Malone Securities Moloney Securities M Stevens Securities National Securities National Securities Corporation Newbridge Securities NI Advisors (Stiba Wealth Management) Strategic Financial Partners SW Financial The Fig Group Titan Securities TRL Capital Corporation Western international securities, Inc. Westmark Capital If the name of your broker-dealer does not appear on the list above, do not be alarmed. Rather, call us at 561-338–0037 or contact us online for free consultation to discuss whether you may have a claim to recover damages. Recover Your GWG L Bond Investment Losses in a FINRA Arbitration The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. is prepared to help investors who have sustained damages or monetary losses not only in GWG L bonds but other investments in your account in FINRA arbitration. If you were one of those investors who have suffered losses, you should seek the immediate advice of an experienced investment fraud attorney with more than 40 years of experience representing investors in investment fraud and broker-dealer negligence cases. It is imperative that you seek our consultation as soon as possible, as there are applicable eligibility rule and/or statutes of limitation that may forever bar your claim against the broker-dealer who...

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Can a Broker Sell My Stocks Without My Permission?

You looked into your investment account and discovered that a number of your shares had been sold without your permission. You didn’t give the go-ahead, so you’re understandably confused, frustrated, and angry. What do you do now? First, you need to determine who sold your stocks. If it was your broker, you may be finding yourself asking whether or not your broker can sell stocks without your permission. Can my broker sell my stocks without permission? Your broker cannot sell stocks without your permission, unless you have given written authorization to do so. This is called unauthorized trading and not permitted under securities industry rules. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. However, while the appropriate authorization must always be obtained, a broker does not necessarily need to obtain express permission for every transaction. In this article we will review the two circumstances in which a broker may sell securities without prior notice to or consent from the client. Note: If you believe you have suffered losses on your investment as a result of unauthorized trading, you should speak to a stockbroker fraud attorney about your legal rights. Is Your Investment Account a Discretionary Account? The first instance when a broker may sell stocks without your permission is if they are trading in a discretionary account. A discretionary account is one in which the broker has the authority to make investment decisions on behalf of the client, without prior approval from the client. If you are unsure whether or not you have a discretionary account, you learn about the difference between a non-discretionary and discretionary account here. In order for a broker to sell stocks in a discretionary account, they must have what is called “discretion.” This means that the broker must have reasonable grounds to believe that the sale is in the best interests of the client. The key word in this definition is “reasonable.” This means that a broker cannot simply sell stocks without your permission because they feel like it. There must be a reason for the sale, such as an expectation of a market decline or other adverse event that could impact the value of the security. If you do not agree with a decision made by your broker in a discretionary account, you have the right to object and have the decision reviewed by a supervisor. Is There a Margin Call on Your Account? The second instance when a broker may sell stocks without your permission is in response to a margin call. A margin call is when the broker demands that the client deposit additional funds or securities to cover the cost of the stock purchased on margin. Technically, you probably gave him permission when you opened your margin account. If you do not meet the margin call, the broker has the right to sell the securities to cover the margin debt. This is done in order to protect the interests of the broker and the securities lending institution. Trading on a margin account is a risky investment and can result in substantial losses. For this reason, it is important to understand the risks before opening a margin account. You can learn more about margin trading on FINRA’s website. Get a Second Opinion: Contact a Stockbroker Fraud Lawyer Today If you have discovered that your broker sold stocks without your permission, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. You may be wondering what your legal rights are and whether or not you can take action. The best way to determine your legal rights and options is to speak with a stockbroker fraud lawyer. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. specializes in representing investors who have suffered losses as a result of investment fraud. We offer free, no-obligation consultations so you can learn more about your legal rights and options. Call us today at (800) 732-2889 to speak with an stockbroker fraud lawyer.

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How to Handle an SEC Subpoena [Step-by-Step]

No one ever wants to receive an SEC subpoena, but when you do it is important to take action immediately so as to protect your future. In this article we will review what an SEC investigation subpoena is, the different types of SEC subpoenas you can receive, and what to do, step-by-step, if you receive an SEC investigatory subpoena. What is an SEC Subpoena? An SEC subpoena is a legal order for recorded testimony that is issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with one of its investigations. The subpoena requests documents, data, or both which are relevant to an ongoing investigation. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. Note: If you get served with an SEC subpoena, it means you’re likely under suspicion of committing or witness to securities fraud even though the SEC will tell you not to conclude anything from the fact you were served with a subpoena. It is strongly encouraged that you consult with a SEC defense lawyer. SEC Subpoena Power The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing securities laws, proposing new securities rules, and regulating the securities industry. The SEC has the power to investigate almost any company or individual for securities fraud. The SEC is primarily interested in issues involving potential stock manipulation, false or misleading statements in offering documents, insider trading, and other areas where investors are being cheated out of money. The staff of the SEC has subpoena power which they can use to compel individuals and companies under investigation to produce requested documents and/or testify at hearings under oath about their involvement with certain companies or businesses. If you receive an SEC subpoena, your life could be turned upside down until the issue is resolved. There are two types of SEC subpoenas: Subpoena ad testificandum: This subpoena compels the person to whom it is addressed to appear at a specific time and place and testify under oath or affirmation. Subpoena duces tecum: This subpoena compels the person to whom it is addressed to produce documents in his possession or control, either at a designated location or before the person who signed the subpoena. What happens when you get an SEC Subpoena?  When you get served with an SEC subpoena, it means that your records are being requested by a federal agency for an investigation. Generally, you’ll be told that you have 30 days from the date of service of this document to provide all records related to whatever it’s requesting. IMPORTANT: You will likely have to appear in front of a SEC enforcement official who may ask you questions under oath and subject to the penalty of perjury and/or making false statements to a government official. Do not lie about not having any records because if they come back and say you lied about having them, you could be charged with obstruction of justice. What should I do if I get an SEC Subpoena? Unfortunately, investigations by the SEC does happen from time to time. If you receive an SEC subpoena, it’s important to act quickly and be proactive. Below are the steps to take after receiving a subpoena from the SEC: Step 1: Consult a SEC defense lawyer who is experienced with SEC subpoenas immediately. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and represent you during the investigation. An attorney can determine how to respond to your subpoena, what information you should immediately turn over, and help you avoid making any mistakes that could result in additional scrutiny or legal consequences. Step 2: Know your rights under the concept of “privileged” information. Under the attorney-client privilege, for example, you do not have to provide anything to the SEC if it would be between you and your lawyer. Step 3: Read the terms of the subpoena thoroughly. Make sure you understand them and determine what information must be turned over. If your subpoena requests specific documents, the SEC will likely want to review all of those documents. Step 4: Respond to the subpoena as soon as possible with an attorney by your side. Returning things too quickly without consulting a lawyer first could look bad for you during the rest of the investigation process. And if they ask for something that is difficult or unrealistic to produce, you can let them know that upon receiving their request. Some items may take longer than 30 days to find/produce depending on how easy it is for you to obtain (i.e., if there are thousands of emails it could take some time). Step 5: Keep a detailed record of all aspects of the process, including any contact or communication with an SEC investigator(s) so that you can protect yourself down the road with evidence in case there is any uncertainty about what happened during the investigation process. Step 6: Keep the details of your case confidential with yourself and your legal representation. Do not discuss or share information about your case with anyone who isn’t an attorney because you do not want to risk incriminating yourself. Step 7: Be proactive and do not engage in any activity that could be considered obstruction of justice, such as lying or concealing information. What types of records might the SEC subpoena? The Commission may subpoena documents related to financial transactions (including transfers of money between accounts), communications (including e-mails), photographs, videos, and other data like employment history or company policies/employee handbooks/training manuals. For example, the SEC may subpoena communications related to specific stock sales or actions taken during an acquisition. Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced SEC Defense Attorney If you are served with an SEC subpoena, you should promptly contact a lawyer experienced in representing parties dealing with federal investigations to guide you through how to handle your case and protect yourself. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has over 40 years of experience dealing with the SEC subpoenas and enforcement actions. Our attorneys can help you determine what information needs to be turned over, provide advice on how to handle...

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Options Trading vs. Margin Trading: The Risks & Benefits of Both

When it comes to trading stocks and other securities, there are a few different approaches that investors can take. Two of the most popular methods are options trading and margin trading. Both of these strategies can be profitable, but they each come with their own set of risks and rewards. In this article, we’ll break down the key differences between options trading and margin trading. As an investor it is important to understand the risks and benefits of each before deciding if either of these investment strategies is right for you. What is the difference between options trading and margin trading? Margin trading offers investors a way to control a larger number of shares than they could with just their own money with the added risk that losses could be amplified. Options trading, on the other hand, provides investors to buy or sell securities at a later date for a set price and is considered to be low risk and low returns. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. Note: Trading on a margin is considered a risky investment strategy. If you have lost money due to an advisor or broker who has unsuitably recommended margin trading, you should speak to an experienced investment fraud lawyer to discuss your legal options. What is Options Trading? Options trading is a type of investing where you trade contracts that give you the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an asset at a set price on or before a certain date. Options are typically used as a way to hedge against other investments, or to speculate on the future price of an asset. When you buy an option, you have the right to buy or sell the underlying asset at a set price. If the price of the asset goes up, you can make a profit by selling it at the higher price. If the price goes down, you simply don’t exercise your option and don’t incur any loss. There are two types of options: call options and put options. What is a call option in stocks? A call option is a contract that gives you the right to buy an security at a set price within a certain time frame. The price you will pay for the security is called the strike price. The time frame in which you can buy the security is called the expiration date. If the stock price is above the strike price when the expiration date arrives, you will exercise your option and buy the stock at the strike price. If the stock price is below the strike price, you will let the option expire and not incur any loss. What is a put option in stocks? A put option is a contract that gives you the right to sell an security at a set price within a certain time frame. If the stock price is below the strike price when the expiration date arrives, you will exercise your option and sell the stock at the strike price. If the stock price is above the strike price, you will let the option expire and not incur any loss. What are the benefits of options trading? Options trading is a relatively low-risk way to invest in stocks and other securities. Because you are not obligated to buy or sell the underlying asset, you can simply let the option expire if it is not profitable. Options trading can also be used to generate income through premiums. When you sell an option, you collect a premium from the buyer. If the option expires without being exercised, you keep the premium as profit. What are the risks of options trading? The biggest risk of options trading is that you may not correctly predict the future price of an asset. If you buy a call option and the price of the underlying asset goes down, you will lose money. If you buy a put option and the price of the underlying asset goes up, you will also lose money. In order to make money from options trading, you must correctly predict which direction the price of an asset will move. Can you sue your broker for options trading losses? Yes, you can sue your broker for options trading losses. However, it is important to understand that your broker is not obligated to make money for you. They are only required to provide you with the resources and information necessary to make informed investment decisions. If you lose money due to bad investment decisions, you cannot sue your broker. What is Margin Trading? Margin trading is when you buy or sell stocks (or other types of securities) with borrowed money. This is also sometimes called “trading on margin.” The money you borrow is called a margin loan. This means you will be going into debt in order to make an investment. Typically the loan comes from your broker, and you will repay it with interest at a later date. Buying on a margin may have a lot of appeal compared to using your own money, but it is very important to understand the risks before you do it. Margin trading is a form of leverage. Leverage is when you use something (in this case, money) to control a much larger amount of something else. Note: If the investment doesn’t make money, you will have to pay back the loan with interest regardless. This means that the investment losses can be much greater than if you had just used your own money. What are the risks of margin trading? The biggest risk of margin trading is that you may lose more money than you originally invested. When investors trading on a margin and they experience losses, they may be required to pay back more money than they originally borrowed (Margin Call). A margin call is when your broker asks you to add more money to your account because the value of your securities has fallen. If you cannot afford to pay the...

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What is Forced Liquidation?

If you find yourself reading this article, it’s likely because you’re going through a forced liquidation. Forced liquidation, sometimes referred to as forced selling, is the process by which an investor is forced to sell their assets, typically by a broker or financial advisor, in order to meet margin calls or repay debts. In this guide we will go over what forced liquidation is, how it works, and what you can do if you find yourself in this situation. What is Forced Liquidation? Forced liquidation, also known as forced selling, occurs when an investor is forced to sell their assets or securities, typically by a broker or financial advisor, in order to repay debts or meet margin calls. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. The term “forced liquidation” usually refers to the involuntary sale of assets, but it can also refer to the situation where an investor is given a choice between selling their assets or having them sold by the broker. Forced liquidation often happens when an investor has been unable to meet a margin call or has failed to repay debts. When this occurs, the broker or exchange will take possession of the assets and sell them in order to recoup the money that is owed. How Forced Liquidation Works If you find yourself in a forced liquidation situation, it’s likely because you have failed to meet a margin call or have been unable to repay debts. When this occurs, the broker or exchange will take possession of the assets and sell them in order to recoup the money that is owed. In most cases, the assets are sold at a loss, which can be significant. Forced Selling within a Margin Account If you have a margin account, your broker may force you to sell your securities if the value of your account falls below the minimum required amount. Within a margin trading account, this is known as a margin call. Your broker or advisor will typically give you a set period of time to bring your account up to the minimum value, and if you are unable to do so, they will sell your securities to repay the debt. It’s important to note that you may not be able to control which securities are sold, and you may not be able to get the same price for them that you paid when you purchased them. Forced Selling within a Securities-Backed Lines of Credit If you have a securities-backed line of credit (“SBL”), your broker or financial advisor may force you to sell your securities if the value of your account falls below the minimum required amount. Your broker or advisor will typically give you a set period of time to bring your account up to the minimum value, and if you are unable to do so, they will sell your securities to repay the debt. It’s important to note that you may not be able to control which securities are sold, and you may not be able to get the same price for them that you paid when you purchased them. What is margin call? A margin call is a demand from a broker or exchange for an investor to deposit more money or securities into their account. Margin calls are typically made when the value of the securities in an account falls below a certain level, known as the margin requirements. If an investor fails to meet a margin call within the grace period, the broker or exchange has the right to sell the securities in the account in order to cover the shortfall. Can a Broker Liquidate an Investor’s Account without Notice? Some investors learned the hard way the true meaning of “forced liquidation” when their brokers sold their securities without much warning in order to meet margin calls. In most cases, brokers will give investors a grace period to meet margin calls, and they are not required to sell the securities in an account without notice. There can be cases where a broker may sell securities without notice (a “Blow-Out), with the investor suffering substantial investment loss, this is typically only done in the most extreme cases where there is a fear of an imminent market crash and the broker wants to protect their own interests. We have heard from many investors that when they complained to their respective brokerage firms, they were told that they signed contracts that allowed the broker-dealers to do exactly what they did to them and that they had no recourse. Without doubt, contracts with those onerous contract conditions were signed, but that does not mean that the terms of the contract are enforceable. Can You Take Legal Action After a Forced Liquidation? If you have been the victim of a forced liquidation, there may be legal action that can be taken against a broker-dealer for breach of fiduciary duty and other causes of action. You may not have recourse for the issuance of margin calls and/or forced liquidations of all or some of your securities on short notice or no notice at all, but that doesn’t mean that the broker-dealer did nothing wrong. IMPORTANT: The most important question to ask is: what happened when the securities-backed line of credit and/or margin accounts were recommended by your broker or financial advisor to be opened in the first place. Depending on the situation that led to you opening up your securities-backed line of credit and/or margin accounts, you may have legal action you can take to help recover your investment losses. In some cases, the recommendation to open the account may have been unsuitable for you. In other words, if your broker or financial advisor recommended that you open an account that was too risky for you given your investment profile, then they may be held responsible for the losses that you incurred as a result of the forced liquidation. We’ve Helped Investors Who’ve Suffered Losses Due to Forced Liquidation The securities fraud attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert...

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