Articles Tagged with Customer dispute

Jeff Ramsey (CRD#: 2766351), formerly a registered representative with H. Beck, Inc. (CRD#: 1763) in Paris, Ohio, has been terminated from his member firm and is currently involved in a customer dispute over a variable annuity, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on January 20, 2020.

Jeff Ramsey
What happened? On December 9, 2019, H. Beck, Inc. terminated Jeff Ramsey after a firm investigation found that the broker cashed a check made out to a mutual fund company and then failed to provide all requested information after a compliance inquiry was opened. A week later, on December 16, 2019, Jeff Ramsey became involved in a customer dispute. A client alleged that Jeff Ramsey recommended a variable annuity that was unsuitable for the client given their investment objectives. The client alleged that the activity in question took place between June 5, 2015 and December 16, 2019.

Jeff Ramsey’s recent termination and recent customer dispute are not the only two disclosures on his BrokerCheck record. On September 16, 2010, a client alleged that Jeff Ramsey sold him a variable annuity and misrepresented its benefits. As a result, the client alleges that they requested to exercise his free look although the free look period had ended. The client is requesting $180,000 in damages.

Richard PittmanRichard Pittman (CRD#: 2845145), a registered representative with Cetera Advisors LLC in Memphis, Tennessee, is currently involved in a pending customer dispute in which a client alleges that Richard Pittman recommended unsuitable investments in 2008, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on October 23, 2019. The investments in question involve oil and gas, as well as limited partnerships (in which an investor’s liability is limited to the amount they invested in a given business venture). The client, who filed the complaint on September 24, 2019, is seeking $150,000 in damages; the matter is pending.

This is not the only instance in which a client has alleged that Richard Pittman recommended unsuitable investments in 2008. The other three disclosures on Richard Pittman’s BrokerCheck involve the same allegations. On October 19, 2016, another client sued Richard Pittman for $200,000. The matter was ultimately settled for $75,000. On August 9, 2018, a client filed a complaint against Richard Pittman, requesting $736,000 in damages. The dispute was settled for $95,000. Just three months later, on October 31, 2018, a client sought $200,000 in damages, and the matter was settled for $75,000. All the investments involved oil and gas, as well as real estate. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are illiquid and are not suitable for investors who want to be able to easily convert their assets to cash should the need arise.

What does Richard Pittman have to say in response to these allegations? According to his Broker Comment, he “asserts that the investments were suitable at the point of sale, when suitability is determined. Later performance does not and cannot affect the initial suitability determination. Matter settled by the prior BD as a business decision.” Registered representatives have a responsibility to recommend suitable investments to their clients, considering their risk tolerance, long-term goals, and need for liquidity, along with other factors. If the recommended investments later performed such that a client lost a significant amount of money, it is possible that the registered representative placed the client in investments that were too risky given their unique goals and needs.

George Strnad (CRD#: 1635225), a registered representative with Morgan Stanley (CRD#: 149777) in Monarch Beach, California, is currently involved in a $750,000 customer dispute, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on January 20, 2020. Clients allege that George Strnad misrepresented investments.

George Strnad
This dispute is not the only disclosure on George Strnad’s BrokerCheck record. On November 22, 2017, George Strnad became involved in a customer dispute that also dealt with a suitability claim. A client alleged that George Strnad recommended unsuitable investments from 2013 to 2016. The matter was settled for $75,000.

George Strnad has passed the Series 65 – Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, the SIE – Securities Industry Essentials Examination, the Series 3 – National Commodity Futures Examination, and the Series 7 – General Securities Representative Examination. He is registered to sell securities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, George, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.