Meyer Wilson, LPA announces they have won a $971,500 FINRA arbitration award on behalf of retirees Jeff and Raya Ridgway, longtime residents of Upper Arlington, Ohio, against the brokerage firm Money Concepts Capital. The two lawyers from the Meyer Wilson, LPA law firm who represented the Ridgways at the four-day FINRA arbitration hearing in Columbus, Ohio, were David P. Meyer and Courtney M. Werning.
The Money Concepts advisor, located in Columbus, concentrated the Ridgways’ brokerage accounts in a speculative gold mining exploration company, Tanzanian Royalty Exploration (TRX), a stock of which the advisor himself owned a substantial amount. The advisor also sold the Ridgways a speculative oil and gas private placement named NGAS Partners as well as six separate variable annuities. TRX never extracted any actual gold and never generated any revenue. The private placement went bankrupt, and a whole host of problems ensued with the six variable annuities.
“As bad as the underlying conduct of the advisor was in this case, the other primary focus of the case was the complete lack of any meaningful supervision by the brokerage firm,” said Attorney David P. Meyer. He explained that, “the securities industry rules mandate that brokerage firms implement a robust supervisory system that is reasonably designed to detect and prevent violations of industry rules.” Attorney Courtney Werning said, “[t]he firm’s failure to act when faced with numerous red flags, warnings, and even the actual knowledge of the advisor’s egregious misconduct that spanned nearly ten years, caused the Ridgways to suffer devastating financial damages.”
The three FINRA Arbitrators ruled unanimously in the favor of the Ridgways, holding Money Concepts liable for $698,979 in compensatory damages, $244,642 in attorneys’ fees, and costs in the amount of $27,920.
The FINRA Arbitration Award can be viewed here.