Articles Posted in FINRA Arbitration Award

Over the past calendar year, GPB Capital investors have won over $2.4 million in monetary awards in 10 out of 11 (nearly 91%) arbitration claims that have proceeded to a final hearing.  According to public records, many other claims filed against broker-dealers who sold the private placements offered by GPB Capital have been settled for monetary compensation.

The judgments and awards come after years of filing lawsuits and arbitration claims by GPB Capital investors.

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On August 23, 2021, a FINRA Dispute Resolution Services arbitration panel in Baltimore, Maryland, ordered UBS Financial Services, Inc. (“UBS”) to pay $405,000 to customers who invested in UBS’s Yield Enhancement Strategy (“YES”).  The award included $300,000 in compensatory damages, $30,000 in costs, and $75,000 in attorneys’ fees.  The customers alleged that UBS and broker Adam Rogers misrepresented UBS’s Yield Enhancement Strategy, a complex and highly risky options strategy, as a way to obtain marginally higher yield on a portfolio while taking limited risks.  In actuality, the complexity and nature of YES exposed the Claimants to a significant risk of loss.  The Claimants also alleged that UBS and its team of options traders conducted the YES program with virtually no supervision or compliance oversight and with inadequate risk controls.

This order is the third arbitration award against UBS in 2021 concerning YES and the fourth since December 2020.   On March 31, 2021, a FINRA arbitration panel in Columbus, Ohio, ordered UBS to pay customers over $372,000 in compensatory damages and fees.  Earlier in the month, on March 5, 2021, another FINRA arbitration panel in Denver, Colorado, ordered UBS to pay customers over $1 million in compensatory damages.  In December 2020, a FINRA arbitration panel in Boca Raton, Florida, awarded a customer nearly $90,000.

UBS has faced numerous lawsuits from customers in the form of FINRA securities arbitrations related to YES, a complex managed options strategy that UBS marketed as safe and market-neutral. The customers have claimed that the strategy was not suitable for them and that UBS materially misrepresented and omitted the risks of the strategy.

On August 13, 2021, a FINRA arbitration panel in New York, New York, ruled in favor of a brokerage customer that invested in GPB Automotive Portfolio LP and GPB Waste Management LP at the recommendation of his financial advisor at Hightower Securities, LLC.

The arbitration panel ordered Hightower Securities, LLC to refund $163,201 to the customer in exchange for a return of the limited partnership interests, essentially making the customer whole. The customer had purchased the limited partnership interests for $170,000 and had previously received $6,799 from the investments as a return of capital.

Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating claims on behalf of defrauded investors who were victims in the GPB funds scheme. The GPB funds were marketed to independent broker-dealers and investment advisers who would, in turn, sell the GPB funds to their retail investors.

In an arbitration award published by FINRA on July 30, 2021, Boca Raton, Florida financial advisor William Friedman was ordered to pay $250,000 in damages to a Claimant.

Notably, Mr. Friedman was suspended by FINRA on July 2, 2021, over his failure to respond to a FINRA request for information. He is currently facing a potential bar from the securities industry on October 5, 2021, if he fails to request the termination of his suspension.

If you have lost money with Boca Raton, Florida financial advisor William Friedman, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.

A FINRA Dispute Resolution Services arbitration panel in Boca Raton, Florida, ordered SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc. (collectively “SunTrust”) to pay a customer $200,000 over losses in the customer’s discretionary account with the firms.

Additionally, the arbitration panel denied SunTrust’s request for expungement on behalf of broker Jeffrey Paul Oliverio. Mr. Oliverio was not a party to the arbitration.

Iorio Altamirano LLP represents investors nationwide that have disputes with their financial advisors or brokerage firms, such as SunTrust.

A FINRA Dispute Resolution Services arbitration panel in Richmond, Virginia, found Westpark Capital, Inc. to be liable for actions of its disgraced former broker, Lawrence Fawcett, and ordered the firm to pay nearly $800,000 to customers Charles and Karen Hailey.  The award included over $545,000 in compensatory damages, $33,500 in costs, and $215,000 in attorneys’ fees.    The arbitration panel found Westpark liable for failing to supervise Mr. Fawcett, who churned the Hailey’s accounts and made unsuitable investment recommendations.  The unsuitable investment recommendations related to private placement investments in the following entities:  Protagenic Therapeutics, Inc., Monster Digital, Inc., Miamar Labs, Inc.

The former stockbroker, Lawrence (Larry) Fawcett, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in March 2018 for failing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into his outside business activities.  FINRA subsequently revoked Mr. Fawcett’s securities license for failing to pay a fine and suspended him for failing to comply with an arbitration award.  Mr. Fawcett, who had only been in the securities industry for five years, had an extensive history of customer complaints, regulatory sanctions, associations with disreputable brokerage firms, and an employment termination after allegations of wrongdoing.

If you have lost money with Lawrence Fawcett or Westpark Capital, Inc., contact FINRA arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.

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