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Broker Complaints: Woodbury Financial Services (CRD#421)

Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Woodbury Financial Services or its brokers.

Woodbury Financial Services is a broker-dealer firm registered with both the SEC and FINRA. Woodbury Financial Services was formed in Minnesota in 1968 and its main office is located at 7755 3rd Street North, Oakdale, Minnesota 55128.  Woodbury Financial Services is approved in 52 U.S. states and territories. Woodbury Financial Services is owned by AIG Advisor Group, Inc.

Woodbury Financial Services has a history of customer complaints and FINRA violations. Specifically, Woodbury Financial Services has 13 regulatory events (actions initiated by FINRA Enforcement) and has been a party to six customer-initiated arbitrations.

For example, in June 2014, Woodbury Financial Services was fined $150,000 for failing to supervise one of its brokers. Apparently, the broker was converting customer’s funds by having the money wired form their personal bank accounts, to a bank account that he controlled. Woodbury Financial Services terminated the broker upon discovery and paid the customers who were impacted $1.9 million dollars.

In December 2013, Woodbury Financial Services was fined $60,000 for failing to maintain certain business related electronic communications of its brokers. While most brokers used Woodbury Financial Services’ email addressed on the vendor’s server, a small group of brokers were permitted to use their work email on an outside vendor server. As a result, these emails went undetected and unviewed by any Woodbury Financial Services supervisor.

In January 2012, Woodbury Financial Services was fined $45,000 for failing to maintain and enforce an adequate system to review equity trades and ensure there was no excessive trading occurring in customer accounts. Woodbury Financial Services relied on a trade report for ensuring only suitable investments were being recommended and that no churning or other malfeasance was happening, however the trade reports did not include the number of shares purchased or sold, the total cost of the transaction, the account name, or the age, or investment experience or risk tolerance of the customer. Eventually Woodbury Financial Services noticed unusual activity and a customer’s account and upon further investigation, discovered the Woodbury Financial Services brokers had been exercising unauthorized discretion and excessively traded securities in the client’s account.

In June 2010, a FINRA arbitration panel awarded a customer over $171,000 in damages against Woodbury Financial Services. According to the complaint, Woodbury Financial Services, among other things, misrepresented material facts, engaged in unauthorized trading, failed to supervise its brokers, and was negligent.

In October 2009, a FINRA arbitration panel awarded a customer over $600,000 in damages against Woodbury Financial Services stemming from a TIC (Tenant-in-Common) investment. The complaint alleged Woodbury Financial Services breached its fiduciary duty, breached its contract with the customer and violated California securities laws.

In May 2009, Woodbury Financial Services was fined $250,000 for failing to supervise brokers, Mayra Angulo and Mark Islas. Apparently, Mayra Angulo and Mark Islas were PO boxes to defraud customers.  The customers were actually directly paying Mayra Angulo and Mark Islas, not Woodbury Financial Services. However, this fraudulent conduct was not discovered by Woodbury until after a customer contacted Woodbury seeking a new broker.

In March 2005, a FINRA arbitration panel entered a $122,000 award against Woodbury Financial Services. The complaint alleged Woodbury Financial Services failed to supervise its brokers, breached industry standards, and failed to disclose numerous risks associated with the variable annuity in question.

If you or someone you know has fallen victim to any corrupt broker practices at Woodbury Financial Services as a result of bad investments recommended by Woodbury Financial Services. or any of its brokers, you may be entitled to full recovery of your losses.

Our firm prosecutes cases on behalf of investors, like yourself, who have been victimized by broker-dealers like Woodbury Financial Services. Time to file a claim with FINRA is limited, so do not delay. Call 212-658-1502 now for your free consultation.