Merrill Lynch broker Hector J. Gonzalez has six pending customer complaints on his CRD, including one customer complaint filed in 2020 claiming $3 million in losses. The claims allege unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentations.
Mr. Gonzalez (CRD#: 5330726) has been in the securities industry for 13 years. He has been registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated since 2010. He was previously registered with UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico between September 2007 and June 2010.
Mr. Gonzalez has been the subject of eight customer complaints, most of which allege the same types of violations outlined in the pending cases.
Iorio Altamirano LLP es un bufete de abogados de arbitraje de valores con experiencia representando a inversionistas en todo el país ante el foro de pleitos de arbitraje de FINRA. Iorio Altamirano LLP tiene experiencia en pleitos de arbitraje sobre bonos municipales de Puerto Rico y fondos de bonos de Puerto Rico. Puede conocer más sobre nuestro bufete aquí.
Puerto Rico Bond Crisis
The Puerto Rico municipal debt market crashed at the end of the summer of 2013, following Detroit’s bankruptcy filing that July. Overconcentration in Puerto Rico securities and lack of diversification across markets and credit risks has caused millions of dollars in losses to investors since.
Puerto Rico’s municipal bond and closed-end fund crisis has also led to an unprecedented number of investor claims before FINRA.
Puerto Rico is barred from filing for traditional bankruptcy. It has no access to US bankruptcy laws. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA, was passed by Congress on June 9, 2016, to address Puerto Rico’s financial crisis. At the time of PROMESA filing on May 3, 2017, Puerto Rico was $72 billion in debt.
Puerto Rico closed-end funds sold to individual investors were not regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Under Section 6(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, broker-dealers selling mutual funds in Puerto Rico were not required to comply with significant investor protections afforded to Americans on the mainland.
Congress closed the loophole in May 2018 via amendment through the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
Nevertheless, investors are still reeling from the losses in their investments and have faced additional downgrades by credit agencies:
- July 2016: Puerto Rico defaulted on its general obligation (GO) bond debt. S&P downgraded Puerto Rico’s credit to a “D” rating.
- July 2017: Fitch Ratings downgraded COFINA bonds to D (in default and lowest grade rated by this agency).
- October 2017: Moody’s downgraded Puerto Rico’s GO, COFINA, and other debt citing a negative outlook.
Iorio Altamirano LLP is a securities arbitration law firm based in New York, NY. We pursue FINRA arbitration claims nationwide on behalf of investors to recover financial losses arising out of wrongful conduct by financial advisors and brokerage firms.
If you have suffered investment losses, contact New York securities arbitration lawyer Jorge Altamirano of Iorio Altamirano LLP at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at (855) 430-4010 for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.
Iorio Altamirano LLP is a bilingual law firm, fluent in both English and Spanish.