INVESTOR DEFENSE LAW BLOG

ICM Asset Management in Spokane Closing its Doors under Suspicious Circumstances

Posted on Mar 13th, 2017

ICM Asset Management of Spokane, Washington plans to close its doors permanently next month. Just a couple of years ago, the Spokane Journal of Business hailed ICM as a growing firm, in an article you can read here. ICM is an investment advisory firm, and its submissions to the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) state that it has assets under management of $130 million, so why is ICM shutting its doors?




Mr. Tracy R. Turner of Turner Financial Group Sued by Securities Regulator for Allegedly Improper Securities Sales

Posted on Feb 11th, 2017

Investors who invested in 1031 exchanges through Tracy Turner and Turner Financial Group of Carlsbad, California may be regretting that decision. According to a complaint filed against Mr. Turner by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mr. Turner entered into over $4.1 million in improper securities offerings, and that was just for one type of security, over the relatively short time frame of September 2013-April 2014.


Investors Overcharged for Mutual Funds by MassMutual, H.D. Vest & Principal Securities, FINRA Alleges

Posted on Feb 10th, 2017

If you bought mutual funds from H.D. Vest or MassMutual’s brokerage arm, MML Investor Services, you may have been overcharged. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been cracking down on investment firms that do not apply mutual fund sales charge waivers investors are entitled to receive, and MassMutual and H.D. Vest are just the latest firms to be caught overcharging investors. This can add up to thousands of dollars per investor, and millions in ill-gotten profits for brokerages.


First Southern Securities Busted for Bad Municipal Bond Sales

Posted on Feb 10th, 2017

Clients of First Southern Securities of Alpharetta, Georgia may have paid too much for their municipal bonds, or get paid too little if they ever sell them.

According to settlement documents between First Southern Securities and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), First Southern Securities made three important mistakes in over fifty different municipal bond transactions:

1)      They sold municipal bonds in amounts that were below the minimum denomination;

2)      They did not disclose to investors that the sales were below the minimum denomination; and

3)      They had inadequate supervision in place to catch such sales.


Dougherty & Company Censured for Unauthorized, Unsuitable Trades in Elderly Investors’ Accounts

Posted on Feb 9th, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) censured and fined Dougherty & Company after one of its “top producers” allegedly ripped off elderly investors by executing hundreds of unsuitable, unauthorized trades in their accounts over a four-year period.

These allegations come from a settlement document Dougherty & Company signed, which expressly precludes Dougherty & Company from contesting these allegations.

According to FINRA, this advisor recommended “short-term trading in corporate and municipal bonds and unnecessary uses of margin”—on the occasions that he spoke with his elderly clients before entering trades in their account.


Vanclef Financial Group in Hot Water for Misleading Marketing of Alternative Investments like Non-Traded REITs.

Posted on Feb 8th, 2017

Clients of Vanclef Financial Group might be finding out the hard way that you can lose a lot of money in alternative investments.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced that it had settled a disciplinary proceeding brought against a subsidiary of Vanclef Financial Group, VFG Securities, as well as Jason B. Vanclef for allegedly misleading marketing of alternative investments.

FINRA’s complaint paints an unflattering picture of Vanclef Financial Group, which VFG Securities cannot dispute under the settlement agreement.


IFS Securities Financial Advisor Richard Cody Secretly Empties Investors’ Retirement Accounts, SEC Alleges

Posted on Jan 16th, 2017

Imagine that you have woken up every day for eight years enjoying your secure retirement. Then, one day, you learn that the retirement portfolio you thought you owned, the foundation for your financial security, has vanished. This is exactly what happened to some unlucky Verizon retirees who trusted Richard Cody and his wife with their retirement portfolios, according to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.


Cambridge Investment Research Customers Who Bought Mutual Funds Charged “Unnecessary” Fees, FINRA Concludes

Posted on Nov 18th, 2016

Mr. Robert (“Bob”) M. Lyons of August, Georgia recently entered into a settlement agreement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for conduct that led to customers paying unnecessary fees while Mr. Lyons worked for Cambridge Investment Research.

The alleged misconduct revolves around the improper sale of mutual funds. When an investor invests in a mutual fund, he or she usually has a variety of mutual fund share classes to choose from: class A shares; class B shares; class C shares; and even class T shares.


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