FINRA Grants Largest Ever Award for UBS YES Case

Nearly $1.9 Million Awarded to Customers in UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrators have awarded over $1,875,000 to two family trusts involving the late Irving Siegel. The award marks the largest ever granted by FINRA to an investor who sustained losses after investing in the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES). 

At Meyer Wilson, we represent individuals who have suffered losses as a result of investment fraud or adviser misconduct. All we handle are investor claims, and we have helped our clients recover over $350 million in investment losses. If you invested in a UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) and suffered losses, contact our office at (800) 738-1960 for a free consultation. 

$1.875M Arbitration Award for UBS YES Losses

FINRA arbitrators have awarded two trusts nearly $1.9 million in a record-setting case after claimants asserted that the company engaged in fraud, misrepresentation, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and breach of contract. According to publicly available records, the arbitration award was in relation to investment in the Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) offering with UBS Financial. 

UBS’s YES product has come under scrutiny as over 1000 investors have come forward with allegations of significant losses. Many investors claim that the product was offered as a safe options strategy not affected by market fluctuations. It was said to have limited risk and that inventors should expect to receive a 2 to 3% market increase year over year. In reality, the Yield Enhancement Strategy was incredibly risky and suffered catastrophic losses.

UBS YES Results in Huge Investor Losses

Despite what was allegedly told to investors, the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy was far from market neutral. Market volatility was responsible for huge losses to investors in the strategy. The product was likely inappropriate for most retail investors. Individuals who invested in the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy are strongly encouraged to contact an investment misconduct lawyer to learn about their rights.

The two Siegel trusts, a generation-skipping transfer (GST) trust, and a QTIP trust, reportedly invested $8.5 million into the UBS strategy. As a result of their losses, the two trusts were awarded $517,020 and $1.171 million, respectively. The case was heard by a three-person FINRA arbitration panel in Boca Raton, Florida.

Recovering Losses Related to UBS YES Claims

Customers who were recommended and sold investment in the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy might have a claim for losses. Allegations against brokers and financial advisors that recommended investment in the strategy include that the strategy was falsely represented to them as being safe and that the firms omitted critically important information regarding the strategy when they recommended it.  

Aggrieved investors may be eligible to file a FINRA arbitration claim against UBS Financial to recover losses related to the product. It is essential to consult with an experienced attorney as early as possible to determine your legal options.

Suffered UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy Losses? Contact Our Office.

If you were recommended and sold investment in the Yield Enhancement Strategy offered by UBS Financial, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. 
Contact our office at (800) 738-1960 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Investor claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only earn a fee if money is recovered on behalf of the client. Call now to get started.

Ma Rosa Linan Abrego Barred by FINRA Over Misappropriation Inquiry

Ms. Abrego was recently barred by FINRA in the wake of allegations that she misappropriated client funds. Hailing from McAllen, Texas, Ms. Abrego was terminated by Merrill Lynch on June 10, 2019, after spending just three years at the company and in the securities industry at large. Merrill Lynch reported that she was terminated due to the misappropriation of client funds.

After Ms. Abrego’s termination, FINRA opened an investigation to determine if misappropriation had indeed taken place under her tenure as a broker. However, Ms. Abrego failed to appear for the inquiry as mandated by FINRA Rule 8210. Under Rule 8210, brokers are required to show up and cooperate with investigators – or risk becoming permanently barred from holding a position in the securities industry.

Knowing this, Ms. Abrego still chose not to appear before FINRA investigators or provide testimony about her actions at Merrill Lynch. As noted in her publicly-available BrokerCheck report, “Linan Abrego consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she refused to appear for on-the-record testimony as requested by FINRA.”

What Counts as Misappropriation of Funds?

Misappropriation of client funds is perhaps one of the most serious forms of investor misconduct, as it is defined as the illegal and intentional use of funds for an unauthorized purpose. Aside from facing FINRA sanctions and a lifetime ban in the securities industry, those who misappropriate client funds may be subject to both criminal and civil proceedings as well.  

At Meyer Wilson, we’re committed to holding investors accountable when their actions cause you to suffer financial harm. If you or someone you know has been affected by the misconduct of Ma Rosa Linan Abrego, you could be entitled to damages for your losses. Bringing over 50 years of legal experience to the table, our investment fraud attorneys can help you seek fair compensation.

For more information, contact our legal team at (800) 738-1960.

Did Michael May Engaged in Unsuitable Trades in Your Account?

Meyer Wilson is investigating allegations that Michael May, a New York-based broker, engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading in customer’s accounts, with significant margin exposure and interest. May has been working for VCS Venture Securities since October 2021. He previously worked for Joseph Stone Capital.

Michael May was recently suspended by FINRA for three months in connection with allegations that he engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading, including the use of margin, in a customer’s account.

A previous customer dispute alleging May recommended unsuitable and unauthorized transactions was settled.

If you suffered financial losses due to Michael May’s account management, the experienced securities and investment fraud attorneys at Meyer Wilson would like to speak with you. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Did Christopher Bond Engage in Unauthorized Trading in Your Account?

Meyer Wilson is investigating allegations that New York broker Christopher Bond engaged in unauthorized trading in a customer’s account. Bond has been registered with the brokerage firm National Securities Corporation since 2004.

Bond has been the subject of two prior customer disputes – one related to the sale of a private placement and one alleging that Bond gave his clients’ unsuitable investment recommendations.

In February 2022, FINRA suspended Bond in connection with allegations that he engaged in unauthorized trading by exercising discretion in a customer’s account without written authorization.

If you or someone you know suffered financial losses in an account managed by Christopher Bond, the experienced securities arbitration attorneys at Meyer Wilson would like to speak with you. Please contact us today for a no-cost, no-pressure consultation to discuss your legal options.

Did You Lose Money With Former Voya Financial Broker William Johnson?

Meyer Wilson is investigating allegations that William Johnson, a Connecticut-based broker, made multiple unsuitable recommendations to purchase speculative, non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and other alternative investments, including Commodity Futures. Johnson has been registered with Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. since 2019. He previously worked for Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. for twenty years.

Johnson has been the subject of eleven customer disputes. Five complaints are currently pending in FINRA arbitration, and all five allege that Johnson recommended his clients invest in unsuitable, high risk alternative investments.

If you suffered investment losses while working with William Johnson of Voya financial, the experienced investment attorneys at Meyer Wilson would like to speak with you. Working with the right legal team makes all the difference. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Did You Have an Account Managed by Kevin McCallum of LPL Financial?

Meyer Wilson is investigating allegations that Alabama-based broker Kevin McCallum engaged in unauthorized trading and unsuitable purchases of risky investments. McCallum worked for LPL Financial until 2019 and has not been registered since.

McCallum has been the subject of eight customer disputes and one regulatory action. Four disputes against McCallum are currently pending and four were settled. McCallum consented to a one-year suspension by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly recommending unsuitable investments to twelve customers. According to FINRA, these unsuitable recommendations resulted in his customers’ investments being overconcentration in a high-risk business development company.

FINRA rules require brokers to obtain customer’s permission prior to making any trades on their account. Failure to do so may result in unauthorized trading. Brokers must consider enough information about the financial situations of individual customers and have a reasonable basis for believing a recommendation of a purchase or sale of an investment is suitable for you. Otherwise, they may be liable for recommending an unsuitable investment.

Firms are required to supervise the activities of brokers. If you suffered financial losses due to McCallum’s actions, you may be able to hold Kevin McCallum and LPL Financial liable. The experienced securities and investment fraud attorneys at Meyer Wilson would like to discuss your legal options with you. Please contact Meyer Wilson today for a no-cost consultation.

Meyer Wilson Investigating Potential Legal Claims Against Worden Capital Management Relating to Excessive and Unsuitable Trading by Stockbroker John Lopinto

On January 11, 2022, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced sanctions against John Michael Lopinto (CRD#: 4563735). The sanctions stem from allegations that Lopinto engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading in at least five customer accounts and improperly exercised discretion in another customer’s account without prior written authorization.

Lopinto worked as a financial advisor with Worden Capital Management, LLC, from November 2016 to November 2019. FINRA states that during this timeframe:

Lopinto worked as a financial advisor with Worden Capital Management, LLC, from November 2016 to November 2019. FINRA states that during this timeframe:LoPinto recommended high frequency trading and his customers routinely followed his recommendations and, as a result, LoPinto exercised de facto control over the customer’s accounts. LoPinto’s trading was excessive and unsuitable given the customers’ investment profiles. As a result of LoPinto’s excessive trading, the customers suffered collective realized losses of $240,331 while paying total trading costs of $205,523, including commissions of $161,706. The findings also stated that LoPinto exercised discretion to effect trades in a customer’s account without prior written authorization. LoPinto charged the customer a total of $21,632 in commissions to place the trades. The customer did not provide written authorization for LoPinto to exercise discretion in the account and LoPinto’s member firm did not accept the account as a discretionary account.

Under the law, brokers are prohibited from making unsuitable and excessive trades in customer accounts and making trades without proper authority. While Lopinto neither admitted nor denied FINRA’s allegations, he consented to a nine-month bar from working in the securities industry and a $7,500 fine. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $135,333.

Brokerage firms like Worden Capital are required under securities industry rules to monitor trading activity in customer accounts to detect and prevent unsuitable and excessive trading and unauthorized transactions. Brokerage firm customers may be entitled to compensation if it can be shown that a firm failed to take adequate steps to prevent and respond to possible improper trading activity in the customer’s account.

The latest sanctions are not Lopinto’s first run-in with regulators. In September 2020, Lopinto was the subject of a Securities & Exchange Commission cease-and-desist order, which included a public censure and $40,000 fine. The SEC accused Lopinto and another colleague of various violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 relating to Keyport Venture Partners, LLC, an unregistered investment fund. The SEC accused Lopinto of misrepresentations relating to the fund’s purported investment in a pre-IPO offering.

An investigation of Lopinto’s regulatory record also shows a history of numerous tax liens in excess of $350,000.

If you are a former customer of John Lopinto and suspect misconduct in your trading account, contact the investment fraud lawyers at Meyer Wilson for a complimentary case evaluation.

Did You Lose Money in an Account Managed by Tony Brookfield?

Meyer Wilson is investigating allegations that Anthony Patrick Brookfield, a California-based securities broker registered with UBS Financial Services, engaged in misconduct that caused his clients to suffer substantial investment losses.

Brookfield and UBS are subjects of a recently-filed customer complaint that was filed with FINRA. The complaint alleges that Brookfield recommended unsuitable investments and made misrepresentations relating to an options overlay strategy. The complaints seeks damages of $7,000,000.

Options trading can be highly risky and therefore is often unsuitable for many investors, especially seniors. If brokers sell unsuitable investments or engage in other misconduct, then they and their employer may be held legally responsible for customers’ losses.

If you feel that Brookfield recommended you unsuitable investments, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. Meyer Wilson offers a completely free, no-pressure consultation so that you can learn about your rights to recovery after securities fraud, stockbroker misconduct, or investment fraud. All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t get paid for our work unless we’re successful in recovering money on your behalf.

Are You a Former Client of Ricky Mantei?

Meyer Wilson is investigating claims that South Carolina-based registered representative Ricky Mantei violated industry rules in recommending investments to his customers.

Mantei was associated with the brokerage firm JP Turner & Co., LLC, from 2010 to 2015. He has been registered with Centaurus Financial, Inc., since 2015. Mantei has worked in the securities industry since 1983. Previous employment stints include Merrill Lynch, First Allied Securities, and GunnAllen Financial.

Regulatory records show that Mantei has been the subject of 36 previous customer complaints, most of which relate to his time as a branch office manager. Three customer complaints against Mantei are currently pending. Mantei was previously sanctioned by FINRA in 2019 alleging that he willfully violated MSRB Rule G-17 by circumventing the supervisory system of his member firm while he was seeking to effect a trade between firm customers.

Stockbrokers and investment advisors have special duties to their customers. If they don’t fail to meet these duties, sell unsuitable investments, ignore industry rules, or engage in other misconduct, then they and their supervising brokerage firm can be held legally responsible for customers’ losses.

If you are a former or current customer of Mantei, contact Meyer Wilson today and schedule a free consultation today to learn about your legal options.

Meyer Wilson Investigating Potential Investment Fraud Claims Involving Sean D. Casterline

Orlando area securities broker and investment adviser recently agreed to an 18-month suspension and other penalties for allegedly selling unapproved securities to investors 

The investment fraud lawyers at the law firm of Meyer Wilson are investigating claims on behalf of investors who may have been sold private securities issued by Tuscan Gardens Senior Living, LLC, by registered representative Sean Donovan Casterline (CRD#: 2212919).

On December 29, 2021, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced that Casterline, a securities broker and investment adviser with offices in Maitland, Florida, agreed to an 18-month suspension and monetary penalties, including a $5,000 fine and disgorgement of $116,325 in selling compensation. The sanctions stemmed from Casterline’s alleged sale of unapproved securities to 20 investors without obtaining proper approval from his supervising brokerage firm, Delta Securities Company, LLC, in violation of securities industry rules.

According to FINRA, from May 2018 through June 2019 – while he was licensed as a securities broker with Delta Securities – Casterline improperly solicited 20 investors to invest approximately $1.5 million in “membership units” issued by an outside business entity in which Casterline served as the Managing Director of Private Equity. Although FINRA did not specifically name the outside entity when announcing the sanctions, Meyer Wilson’s investigation has found that Casterline held the same title while he was associated with Tuscan Gardens Senior Living, a Florida-based company that operates senior living facilities in Venice, Palm Coast, and Delray Beach.

Securities industry rules prohibit financial advisors like Casterline from selling private securities to investors without prior notice to and approval from their supervising broker-dealer. In fact, brokerage firms have an affirmative duty to reasonably supervise their employees, which includes supervision to detect and prevent unapproved securities sales.

If you or someone you know was sold investments in Tuscan Gardens Senior Living by Sean Casterline, the experienced securities arbitration lawyers at the law firm of Meyer Wilson would like to speak with you. Please contact us today for a complimentary review and analysis of your case.