Articles Posted in Puerto Rico Bonds

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Wells Fargo AdvisorsNews reports by Financial Advisor IQ, the Los Angeles Times, and other outlets indicate that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has ordered Wells Fargo Advisors to pay a sum of more than $8 million dollars to the former chief executive officer of OfficeMax, the office supplies chain, in connection to Puerto Rico bond investments.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the former officer, Sam Duncan, in 2016 sued Wells Fargo and its broker Marc Rogers over the sales of Puerto Rico bonds which he alleged were unsuitable for his investment profile. He also alleged that Mr. Rogers declined to abide by the firm’s own analysis of Puerto Rico bonds as unsuitable for conservative investment profiles. Mr. Rogers’ bonds were held by a trust established for his children, according to his Times, citing his attorney, who said: ““Rogers knew this was a trust — knew this was money to be invested for future generations… It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know these were risky investments.”

In connection with Mr. Rogers’ lawsuit, a panel of FINRA arbitrators determined that Mr. Rogers and Wells Fargo Advisors owe Mr. Duncan $4.2 million to cover his losses, as well as millions in interest, punitive damages and other costs amounting to $8.6 million. A representative of Wells Fargo Advisors told the Times, “We disagree with the award and we are researching our options.” Mr. Duncan’s lawsuit also named Mr. Rogers’ former firm, RBC Capital Markets, which paid a settlement of $25,000 in May.

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Justin FletchallPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on July 10, 2018 indicate that Wisconsin-based RBC Capital Markets broker/adviser Justin Fletchall is involved in a pending customer dispute. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Fletchall (CRD# 4636321).

Justin Fletchall has spent 12 years in the securities industry and has been registered with RBC Capital Markets in Madison, Wisconsin since 2006. He has no previous registrations. He has passed two securities industry examinations: Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law Examination), which he obtained on March 3, 2006, and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on February 2, 2006. He is a registered broker and investment adviser with 43 US states and territories and with ten self-regulatory organizations (SROs): BOX Options Exchange LLC, Cboe Exchange Inc., FINRA, NYSE American LLC, NYSE Arca Inc., Nasdaq BX Inc., Nasdaq ISE LLC, Nasdaq PHLX LLC, the Nasdaq Stock Market, and the New York Stock Exchange.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one pending customer complaint.

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The GMS GroupPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 29, 2018 indicate that New Jersey-based brokerage and advisory firm The GMS Group has received numerous regulatory sanctions and customer complaints. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding The GMS Group (CRD# 8000).

Formed in Delaware in 1997, The GMS Group is headquartered in Livingston, New Jersey and registered with 52 US states and territories. According to its BrokerCheck report, it has received six regulatory sanctions and twelve customer complaints that evolved into arbitration. For instance, in 2016 FINRA sanctioned The GMS Group following allegations it recommended and sold municipal bond investments below the minimum denomination, and that in several instances it failed to disclose to its retail customers that their purchase fell short of the minimum denomination; in addition, customers in certain transactions were not qualified institutional buyers, and thus did not meet the qualifications to purchase the bonds in question, according to FINRA. In this action, the firm was censured and issued a fine of $45,000.

In 2015, FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to adequately supervise a registered representative who made unsuitable recommendations and trades of non-traditional exchange-traded funds, and who also exercised discretion without proper authorization. FINRA found that the firm failed to establish and maintain supervisory procedures designed to achieve compliance with rules governing non-traditional ETF sales and that the firm also failed to provide training to the representative about non-traditional ETFs. According to FINRA, the principal supervising the representative neglected to take certain steps to do so, such as determining whether the representative was using discretionary authority, discussing the risks of non-traditional ETF trades, or discussing the commissions that were being generated. In connection to these findings, FINRA censured The GMS Group and issued it a fine of $75,000.

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John CasimirPublicly available records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 14, 2018 indicate that New Hampshire-based Citizens Securities broker/adviser John Casimir has received a pending customer dispute. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Casimir (CRD# 5019141).

John Casimir has spent eleven years in the securities industry and has been registered with Citizens Securities in Bedford and Hooksett, New Hampshire since 2010. Previous registrations include TD Wealth Management Services in Nashua, New Hampshire (2009-2010); Bancnorth Investment Group in Nashua, New Hampshire (2008-2009); and Banc of America Investment Services in Manchester, New Hampshire (2006-2008). He has passed three securities industry examinations: Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law Examination), which he obtained on June 23, 2006; Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on June 7, 2006; and Series 24 (General Securities Principal Examination), which he obtained on October 10, 2006. He is a registered broker and investment adviser with five US states—Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire—and one self-regulatory organization (SRO): FINRA.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one pending customer complaint and two denied customer complaints.

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Travis KnadlePublic records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 5, 2018 indicate that Florida-based GMS Group broker Travis Knadle has been involved with resolved or pending customer disputes. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Knadle (CRD# 6222138).

Travis Knadle has spent four years in the securities industry and has been registered with The GMS Group in Boca Raton, Florida since 2014. He has no previous registrations. He has passed two securities industry examinations: Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination), which he obtained on May 20, 2014, and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on January 14, 2014. He is a registered broker with 18 US states and territories: California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one customer complaint and one pending customer complaint.

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Edward HerbstPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on May 30, 2018 indicate that New York-based Wellington Shields & Company broker Edward Herbst has received resolved or pending customer disputes. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Herbst (CRD# 243580).

Edward Herbst has spent 47 years in the securities industry and has been registered with Wellington Shields & Company in New York, New York since 2009. Previous registrations include Shields & Company in New York, New York (2001-2009); Dominick & Dominick in New York, New York (1999-2001); SG Cowen Securities Corporation in New York, New York (1998-1999); Cowen & Company in New York, New York (1983-1998); Drexel Burnham Lambert (1977-1983); and Drexel Burnham & Company (1970-1977). He has passed six securities industry examinations: Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination), which he obtained on March 16, 1982; Series 15 (Foreign Currency Options Examination), which he obtained on November 17, 1982; Series 5 (Interest Rate Options Examination), which he obtained on September 21, 1981; PC (AMEX Put and Call Exam), which he obtained on August 29, 1977; Series 1 (Registered Representative Examination), which he obtained on August 20, 1970; and Series 4 (Registered Options Principal Examination), which he obtained on November 28, 1977. He is a registered broker with 26 US states and three self-regulatory organizations (SROs): FINRA, NYSE American LLC, and the New York Stock Exchange.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received four customer complaints and one pending customer complaint.

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Ian Deliz MoralesPublic records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on May 25, 2018 indicate that former Florida-based Morgan Stanley broker Ian Deliz Morales, who has received numerous resolved or pending customer disputes, is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Morales (CRD# 4697350).

Ian Deliz Morales has spent 13 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Morgan Stanley in Tampa, Florida (2014-2016). Previous registrations include Popular Securities in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2007-2014) and Citigroup Global Markets in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2003-2007). He has passed two securities industry examinations: Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law Examination), which he obtained on October 16, 2003, and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on September 18, 2003. He is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received three customer complaints and eleven pending customer complaints.