Articles Posted in Featured Investigations

hard choice 3

We are investigating customer complaints against broker David E. Mickey, who is currently barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public, as per FINRA’s BrokerCheck. According to FINRA BrokerCheck, in 2015 FINRA imposed a sanction on Mr. Mickey as he failed to appear for testimony in response to a request pertaining to an investigation about his trading activities. As per BrokerCheck, Mickey’s firm filed a Form U5 with FINRA terminating his registration, disclosing that he sold securities during a blackout period and while in possession of material, non-public information.

According to FINRA BrokerCheck, Mickey had similar allegations made against him in 2014, while he was at LPL Financial, where he allegedly violated the code of conduct by selling Niagara Securities during a blackout period and while in possession of certain non-public material. Per BrokerCheck, there was another customer dispute is 2002, where the customer alleged that Mickey did not act promptly on wire instructions thereby, keeping him from realizing market gains.

If you or anyone you know have experienced similar issues or are concerned about unauthorized trading or failure to execute by a broker, you should let an experienced Securities team assess the situation. You need an experienced team that is well versed with FINRA laws and protecting investors from unscrupulous brokers on your side. At Malecki Law, we champion the cause of investor protection and education.

exclamation-point-icon-1444386The investment fraud attorneys at Malecki Law announce the firm’s investigation into potential securities law claims against broker-dealers relating to the improper sale of natural gas and oil linked structured notes and similar products to investors.

Malecki Law is interested in hearing from investors who purchased structured notes issued by well-known financial institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), UBS (NYSE: UBS), and Barclays (NYSE: BCS).

These investment products, often bearing such names as “Phoenix,” “Plus,” “Enhanced Return,” “Principal Protected,” “Bullish,” “Leveraged Upside” or “Accelerated Return,” were reportedly marketed to investors as a way to make significant returns and income from the rising price of oil.  In addition to promises of increased gains, investments like these are frequently also sold to investors with assurances that their potential losses would be limited and their initial investment would be protected.

The securities and investment fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors in MainStay Investments’ Cushing series Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) and Energy Equity mutual funds.  MainStay Investments is a subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company.

Among the MainStay Cushing portfolio of funds, a number of them declined between 33% and 57% in 2015 year to date, per Morningstar.  These funds include:

  • MainStay Cushing® Royalty Energy Inc A (CURAX)

The investment and securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Florida-based UBS stockbroker Brian J. Gold.

According to his BrokerCheck report maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Gold has been the subject of no less than five customer complaints and was discharged from Morgan Stanley DW in 2004.

In addition to UBS and Morgan Stanley, FINRA reports that Mr. Gold has also been registered with Merrill Lynch in Florida, Advest in Connecticut, and Prudential in New York City.

Oil briefly dropped below $30 per barrel today.  For those who drive SUVs, this may feel like a blessing. However, for those who are heavily invested in Oil and Gas, it can be frightening.  People who invested in Oil and Gas at the recommendation of their financial advisor may be feeling anger and confusion, in addition to that fear – these investors rightfully want answers.

Aside from buying Oil and Gas futures directly, there are two frequently used products that investors use to invest in Oil and Gas – Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

As we wrote here last year, investors lost millions as gas prices dropped at the beginning of 2015.  As prices have continued to slide over the past 12 months, losses have compounded.  This is terrible news for those whose financial advisors recommended that they invest in Oil and Gas, and then convinced them to stay in and “ride it out” on promises of a price recovery.

The investment fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are investigating potential claims by investors against Morgan Stanley stockbroker David H. Bindelglass.  According to his BrokerCheck report maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Bindelglass, who works out of Morgan Stanley’s Paramus, New Jersey branch, has been the subject of at least three customer complaints.

Mr. Bindelglass is believed to have regularly recommended investments in Puerto Rican bonds to his clients.  It is believed that Mr. Bindelglass may have recommended such investments in high concentrations.  In high concentrations, even investments believed to be “safe” can be unsuitable and result in significant losses.  If a financial advisor recommends investments in a concentration that is unsuitable, the investor may be entitled to recover some or all of their losses.

According to FINRA records, since 2006, Mr. Bindelglass has been accused by at least three different customers of recommending unsuitable investments.  In each case, FINRA records indicate that those investors were able to recover for their losses.

The securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding former stockbroker James J. Bracey IV.  According to his BrokerCheck report maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Bracey is no longer FINRA licensed to sell investments.  He has reportedly been the subject of no less than four customer complaints.

Mr. Bracey has also reportedly been barred by FINRA for his conduct related to real estate projects.  FINRA reports that this misconduct involved Mr. Bracey receiving an unapproved loan from a customer in violation of FINRA rules and falsifying a customer document.  Per FINRA, Mr. Bracey was discharged from LPL Financial, where he had worked since 2010, “after allegations.”

In 2010, Mr. Bracey was the subject of two customer complaints, per FINRA.  One complaint alleged “misrepresentation and suitability issues,” while the other alleged “misrepresentation of the REITs she purchased and the fees involved.”  FINRA records indicate that one customer recovered $105,000 as a result of their complaint.

The securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors who have complaints against stockbroker Jared Cohen.  Mr. Cohen is reportedly registered with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., based out of Armonk, NY.  He has also recently been registered with IDS Life Insurance Company, according to industry records.

According to BrokerCheck, as maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Cohen has been the subject of two customer complaints in the past six years.  Mr. Cohen has been the subject of complaint alleging misrepresentations of investment risk and over-concentration in non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”), as well as misrepresentations surrounding the sale of preferred stock recommendations, per FINRA records.

Of these customer disputes, FINRA records indicate that one customer initiated a FINRA arbitration and recovered $25,000 in a settlement with Ameriprise.

The securities fraud attorneys are interested in hearing from investors with complaints involving John Smallwood of Commonwealth Financial Network.  Per his BrokerCheck Report, maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Smallwood is a registered stock broker with Commonwealth, based out of Red Bank, NJ.

Mr. Smallwood’s BrokerCheck Report indicates that he has been the subject of at least two customer complaints in the past three-plus years.  Per FINRA, the complaints against Mr. Smallwood have alleged unsuitable investment recommendations and breach of fiduciary duty, among other things.

FINRA records indicate that Mr. Smallwood’s customers have recovered $90,000 and $97,500 respectively in connection with their complaints.

The securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors with complaints involving Adam F. Coblin. Per his BrokerCheck Report, maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Coblin is currently not a registered stock broker or investment advisor. He was previously registered with the Gilford Securities Incorporated in New York.

Mr. Coblin’s BrokerCheck Report indicates that he has been the subject of at least ten customer complaints.  At the center of several of these complaints was unsuitable investments leading to huge financial losses, negligence in handling customer accounts, unauthorized sales. In 2013, Adam Coblin resigned from Gilford Securities while he was being reviewed for customer complaints involving unsuitable investments, activity and negligence.

According to BrokerCheck, there are numerous customer disputes in the past, dating from 2012 to 1995, involving Mr. Coblin which have been settled by awarding damages of $910,000, $3,000, $107,500 and $32,000. He has also been registered with the GMS Group LLC, Spencer Clarke LLC, Broadband Capital Management LLC, Dalton Kent Securities Group, Bluestone Capital Partners, Gruntal & Co., Prudential Securities Inc., Oppenheimer & Co., Merill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Co., Bear Stearns & Co.