The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), issued a news release on June 4, 2012 announcing that a FINRA hearing panel fined Brookstone Securities $1 million for the fraudulent sales of Collateralized Mortgage Obligations to elderly investors. In addition, FINRA ordered restitution from the firm and the individuals involved and permanently barred the firm’s Owner/CEO and one of the firm’s brokers from the securities industry. The firm’s Chief Compliance Officer was suspended by FINRA for two years.
FINRA found that from 2005-2007, Brookstone, through its employees, “made fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions to elderly and unsophisticated customers regarding the risks associated with investing in CMOs.” Many of the alleged defrauded customers were senior citizens, including two women who were recently widowed. The customers allegedly feared losing their assets and relied on Brookville to keep their retirement funds safe. However, CMOs were apparently actually high-risk investments that were unsuitable for senior investors seeking income and principal protection.
Unfortunately, all too often brokers sell high-risk investment products like CMOs to elderly investors as safe, secured or guaranteed, typically to get the higher commission that these riskier investments pay. Misrepresenting the risk of an investment to a customer like that is against the law and rules under which these professionals work.
It is the right of any and all investors who believe they may have suffered losses as a result of recommendations of their financial advisor to contact our offices to explore their legal rights and options. If you or a family member invested in reverse convertible notes, contact the securities fraud lawyers at Malecki Law for a free consultation and case evaluation at (212) 943-1233.