Featured Posts

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.

Keep Reading

Regulation Best Interest (Reg. BI): Better But Not the Best!

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. 1

Keep Reading

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.”

Keep Reading

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.

Keep Reading

More Posts

UBS Financial Services, Inc. Sued for Florida and Ohio Advisor’s Alleged Misconduct Involving a Credit-Line Investment Strategy

UBS Financial Services, Inc, (“UBS”) employed a financial advisor (the “FA”) who has offices in Bonita Springs, Florida and Sylvania, Ohio. UBS held out the FA and other UBS employees on his team as investment advisers, investment managers, financial advisers, and financial planners with special skills and expertise in the management of securities portfolios and financial, estate, retirement, and tax planning matters.

Continue Reading

A Review of The Securities and Commodities Investment Laws

Financial Fraud Has Probably Been Around Since The Dawn Of Commerce. It Has Always Been Perpetrated By Individuals Who Scheme To Take Possessions (Goods And Capital) From Another By Misrepresentations, Misleading Statements, Manipulation And Other Means Declared Over Time To Be Fraudulent Practices, Schemes, Contrivances, And Devices.

Continue Reading

Oil and Gas Investors: How Do You Recover Your Oil and Gas Investment Losses?

Oil and Gas Investors: How Do You Recover Your Oil and Gas Investment Losses? If you are reading this article, we are guessing you invested in one or more of those misrepresented and unsuitable oil and gas stocks, bonds, limited partnerships, commodities, commodity pools and/or structured products as alternative investments linked to the oil and gas sector of the stock and commodities markets. We would not be surprised if you were told that the large oil and gas conglomerates had a proven track record of great dividends much higher than the yields on the fixed income investments you were accustomed but said nothing about the volatility of those types of investments. Maybe you are reading this webpage because your financial advisor recommended you invest your retirement savings in some those more complex and leveraged oil and gas structured products packaged as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) or other Exchange Traded Products (ETPs), that were leveraged two to three times and crashed in March this year. These were not suitable investments for retirees with conservative or moderate investor risk profiles. Did your financial advisor recommend you invest without explaining the nature, mechanics or risks of any of those oil and gas investments? Were your investments over-concentrated (more than 10% of your portfolio) by your stockbroker or investment advisor in the oil and gas sector to replace the bonds you owned for the higher dividend paying stocks? Did you lose fifty percent (50%) or more on those oil and gas investments? We’re not shocked because that is just what many other investors have told us about what happened to them recently. Now we are going to tell you what to do about those oil and gas investment losses. Your stockbroker had a duty to not only understand but explain the nature, mechanics and all of the risks associated with those investments before he/she sold you those investments, particularly some of the provisions within the ETNs where the broker-dealer who issued the ETNs or ETPs could redeem or retire them and force you to realize huge losses. Your stockbroker also had a duty to make sure they were suitable investments before they were recommended in light of your risk tolerance and financial condition and not over-concentrate investments in the volatile oil and gas sector in your portfolio. Unfortunately, many financial advisors who did not understand the nature, mechanics or risks sold these investments to clients with conservative and moderate risk who were seeking to enhance their income for their retirement. These were not suitable investments for investors with that kind of profile. If your financial advisor misrepresented the nature, mechanics or risks of those oil and gas investments or the risks were not fully explained, or you were over-concentrated (more than 10%) in the oil and gas sector, or if it was not in your best interest (or unsuitable), and/or your investments were liquidated without notice due to margin calls, you may have the right to bring an arbitration claim against your financial advisor and/or the brokerage firm who employed him. There is no way you will recover your losses on these oil and gas investments without some legal action. At The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., we represent investors in investment disputes for misrepresented and unsuitable investments in oil and gas stocks, bonds, limited partnerships, commodities, commodity pools and/or structured products as alternative investments linked to the oil and gas sector of the stock and commodities markets in FINRA arbitration and mediation proceedings. The claims we file are for fraud and misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise, and unsuitable recommendations in violation of SEC and FINRA rules and industry standards. Attorney Pearce and his staff represent investors across the United States on a CONTINGENCY FEE basis which means you pay nothing – NO FEES-NO COSTS – unless we put money in your pocket after receiving a settlement or FINRA arbitration award. Se habla español CONTACT US FOR A FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH EXPERIENCED STRUCTURED PRODUCT INVESTMENT ATTORNEYS IN FINRA ARBITRATIONS The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. have highly experienced lawyers who have successfully handled many oil and gas investment cases and other securities law matters and investment disputes in FINRA arbitration proceedings, and who work tirelessly to secure the best possible result for you and your case. For dedicated representation by an attorney with over 40 years of experience and success in structured product cases and all kinds of securities law and investment disputes, contact the firm by phone at 561-338-0037, toll free at 800-732-2889 or via e-mail.

Continue Reading

UBS ETRAC Exchange Traded Note Investors: How Do You Recover Your UBS ETRAC Investment Losses?

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

Steepener Structured Products

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 $125 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

EquiAlt Private Placement Investments

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

Investigations and Prosecutions of Early Retirement Scams

Looking for fresh capital to invest in order to earn commissions, the early retirement scam has gained popularity among unethical investment advisors and brokers throughout the United States. The Law offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. is representing retirees who were tricked into taking lump sum retirement payments in lieu of the traditional pension payments they slaved away for many years with promises of greater growth and more income with little or no risk. We are also representing other baby boomers, near retirement, who were falsely promised security and income at an earlier stage in their life by accepting early retirement packages or just retiring early and cashing out their 401(k) plan. According to Attorney Pearce many investors have fallen prey to these schemes through elaborate seminars and financial projections that misrepresent or do not fully disclose all of the assumptions or the underlying projections and/or risks of the investment program. Representing clients throughout Florida and nationwide. Se habla español Too many retirees have elected the lump sum option based on the advice of trusted financial professionals. In these cases, the financial professional improperly recommended the lump sum option because that was the only way that his or her firm could gain control of the retirement assets and generate commissions. As a result, the investors sustained substantial losses and retained our law firm to recover their nest egg. For more information on Early Retirement Scams and our cases, click on the links below: Watch Out for Early Retirement Scams Regulation Best Interest (Reg. BI): Better But Not the Best! 72(t) Early Retirement-Not for me! FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH ATTORNEYS WHO UNDERSTAND EARLY RETIREMENT SCAMS The Law offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. understands and has substantial experience with early retirement scams. We represent victims of such scams and constantly strives to secure justice. Attorney Pearce provides a complete review of your case and fully explains your legal options when you have been scammed out of your retirement funds by unscrupulous brokers and financial advisors. 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. 72 (t) Early Retirement-Not for Me! Watch Out for Early Retirement Scams

Continue Reading

SEC Halts Alleged EquiAlt Ponzi Scheme: How do Investors Recover Their Losses?

On February 11, 2020, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a Complaint for injunctive relief to halt an alleged ongoing fraud conducted by EquiAlt LLC (“EquiAlt”), a private real estate investment company that controlled the business operations of EquiAlt and its four real estate investment funds: EquiAlt Fund, LLC (“Fund I”); EquiAlt Fund II, LLC (“Fund II”); EquiAlt Fund III (“Fund III”); and EA SIP, LLC (“EA SIP Fund”) (collectively referred to as the “EquiAlt Funds”). Simultaneously, the SEC and filed an Emergency Motion to freeze all of the Defendant assets and appoint a Receiver to marshall all of the assets and take control of EquiAlt and the EquiAlt Funds. The Court entered an Order that granted the SEC’s request for Temporary Restraining Order and Asset Freeze and another Order Appointing a Receiver.

Continue Reading

Oil and Gas Investment Attorneys

FLORIDA BASED ATTORNEYS HANDLING OIL AND GAS INVESTMENT CASES AND INVESTIGATIONS NATIONWIDE AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD Just as the oil and as limited partnerships proliferated in the 1980s and 1990s, Wall Street has invented a new set of oil and gas energy sector products to capture more of your savings for themselves. These investments along with traditional stock and bond investments in the energy sector are aggressively promoted during the period of booming oil and gas prices and then abandoned when the energy sector market collapses leaving investors with huge losses. Attorney Pearce knows this market well because he has been representing investors in stockbroker disputes involving this sector since 1980, over 40 years. This is not a new phenomenon to financial advisors who have had many lessons over the years about the volatile nature of this market and when the market goes south they tell investors not to worry and to hold their investments because prices always rebound and investors will always recoup their investment capital placed in the energy sector. While that may have been true decades ago, some new products in the energy sector are leveraged multiple times and blow up permanently when the energy market tanks. Some of the more exotic structured oil and gas products have features which mandate liquidation at certain price points where investors lose any opportunity to participate in any energy sector market rebound. Other complex oil and gas investments involve the rolling of commodity futures contracts and/or option contracts that lose money when the market rebounds when investors thought the opposite was supposed to happen. Welcome to the new world of investing in the oil and gas market and the reason you need a knowledgeable, skilled and experienced FINRA arbitration lawyer to represent you when you have suffered an unreasonable amount of losses in your oil and gas market related investments. REPRESENTING CLIENTS THROUGHOUT FLORIDA, NATIONWIDE AND THE WORLD IN FINRA ARBITRATIONS Investing in the oil and gas market directly or indirectly is not for everyone. Investors must understand that all of the investments in the energy sector are volatile and therefore, risky investments. Even investments in the traditional dividend paying energy sector stocks are never guaranteed. Further, over-concentration of investor’s portfolios in this sector has been a perennial suitability problem. Lately, financial advisors have been pushing the more complex Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) and other Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) tied indirectly to the oil and gas market through various indices that are often misunderstood by not only investors but the stockbrokers and investment advisors themselves. For more information about our oil and gas investment cases and investigations, click on the links below or just call us: Oil and Gas Investors: How Do You Recover Your Oil and Gas Investment Losses? CALL FOR YOUR FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION ABOUT YOUR OIL AND GAS INVESTMENT DISPUTE The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. understands what is at stake in all securities and commodities investments, particularly the many forms of oil and gas investments and risks associated with them. Attorney Pearce provides a complete review of your case and fully explains your legal options. He constantly strives to secure the most favorable possible result. Mr. Pearce and his team is careful 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, particularly oil and gas investment disputes, contact the firm by telephone at 561-338-0037 or toll free at 800-732-2889 or via e-mail. Oil and Gas Investors: How Do You Recover Your Oil and Gas Investment Losses?

Continue Reading

72 (t) Early Retirement-Not for Me!

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