Hanley Law Investigates Sale of ARC New York City REIT

 

If you invested in the American Realty Capital “ARC” New York City REIT at the recommendation of your stock broker or financial advisor, and lost money as a result, you may have a FINRA Arbitration claim.  The ARC NYC REIT purports to have a dedicated strategy towards investing in New York City real estate with market expertise.  The ARC NYC REIT promotes its ability to capitalize on the positive traits that differentiate New York City and New York City’s workforce, which it claims outpaces that of any other city in the world.  The NYC REIT was marketed by stock brokers and financial advisors as a safe investment that has investment objectives of preservation and protection of capital and capital appreciation.  The ARC NYC REIT focused investment activities on acquiring quality, income-producing commercial real estate located in the five boroughs of New York City and, in particular, properties located in Manhattan. The ARC New York City REIT also purports to acquire real estate debt backed by quality, income-producing commercial real estate located predominantly in New York City.

In reality, the REIT was not well diversified and owned only between 6-8 properties.  The ARC NYC REIT had only a limited operating history which made future performance difficult to predict and in turn made the investment risky. The ARC NYC REIT ceased paying distributions on March 1, 2018.  The value of the shares has also declined substantially.  Investors who purchased the ARC NYC REIT at the recommendation of their stock broker or financial advisor have principal losses, failed distributions and limited to no liquidity.  Brokers and financial advisors received high commissions for selling ARC NYC REIT.  Hanley Law is conducting a nationwide investigation of any stock brokers or financial advisors who recommended an investment in ARC NYC REIT to his or her retail investor clients.

HANLEY LAW

Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant losses in their portfolios, retirement plans or investment accounts.  Hanley Law is dedicated to assisting investors to recover losses suffered by unsuitability, over-concentration, fraud, misrepresentation, self-dealing, unauthorized trades or other wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent.  Hanley Law represents clients nationwide in cases against the major Wall Street broker-dealers and has experience representing clients in claims to recover their losses related to REITs.

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact Hanley Law to discuss your legal options. Contact Hanley Law at (239)877-4330 or contact us through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to discuss your experiences with your stock broker which resulted in investment losses.

 

Hanley Law Files FINRA Arbitration Against Morgan Stanley for Sale of Luckin Coffee

Hanley Law recently filed a FINRA arbitration claim alleging that Morgan Stanley recommended its customer invest in the Chinese coffee company, Luckin, after Morgan Stanley won the leading role underwriting its public offering.  The Chinese upstart company, Luckin Coffee, grew at rapid speed opening stores faster than Starbuck and doubling its valuation just months after going public.  In April 2020, Luckin admitted that many of its sales had been faked.  The shocking news of the fraudulent sales sent its stock plunging 75% overnight.  Luckin sold vouchers redeemable for tens of millions of cups of coffee to companies that had ties to Luckin’s chairman and controlling shareholder.  The purchases of vouchers helped the company book much higher revenue than actually produced by the company.  Luckin Coffee’s IPO raised $651 million.  In May, after a six-week trading suspension the shares of Luckin further declined.

If you invested in Luckin Coffee at the recommendation of Morgan Stanley contact Hanley Law today.  Hanley Law is currently prosecuting a FINRA arbitration claim against Morgan Stanley as a result of Morgan Stanley’s recommendation to a retired retail customer to invest in Luckin Coffee- a stock that Morgan Stanley underwrote for its initial public offering.

HANLEY LAW

Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant losses in their portfolios, retirement plans or investment accounts.  Hanley Law is dedicated to assisting investors to recover losses suffered by unsuitability, over-concentration, fraud, misrepresentation, self-dealing, unauthorized trades or other wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent.  Hanley Law represents clients nationwide in cases against the major Wall Street broker-dealers, including Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact Hanley Law to discuss your legal options. Contact Hanley Law at (239)877-4330 or contact us through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to discuss your experiences with your stock broker which resulted in investment losses.

 

 

Hanley Law Files FINRA Arbitration Against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Hanley Law recently filed a FINRA arbitration claim alleging that Morgan Stanley (CRD No.: 149777) refused to distribute a deceased client’s IRA directly to her beneficiaries because Morgan Stanley determined that the beneficiary designation for the IRAs was invalid under applicable Treasury rulings.  The trustees to the estate allege that the new account form with the invalid beneficiary designation was prepared by Morgan Stanley and approved by Morgan Stanley’s compliance personnel over a decade earlier.  Claimants further allege that no one at Morgan Stanley raised any objection to the way the new account form was completed regarding the invalid beneficiary designations during the previous 13 years.  Claimants allege that the deceased client relied on Morgan Stanley to manage the funds in her IRA accounts, and also to assure that upon her death the funds would be distributed in accordance to her wishes.

Ultimately, the IRAs were distributed to the Estate because, as a result of the invalid beneficiary designation, the funds were payable to the Estate pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury rulings, and the Estate was forced to pay substantial taxes.  Claimants allege that unfortunately, because of the violation of the Internal Revenue Code by Morgan Stanley when completing and approving the client’s Individual Retirement Account Applications, the Estate was forced to pay substantial inheritance taxes.  Claimants allege that it is beyond unconscionable that Morgan Stanley raised the issue with the beneficiary designations on the Individual Retirement Account forms almost immediately upon request for the distribution of the accounts, but had remained silent during the 13 years after the client signed the form.  Claimants allege that Morgan Stanley had a duty to review and correct the Individual Retirement Account forms at the time the client opened her Morgan Stanley IRA accounts, and/or at some point thereafter prior to her death, and they failed to meet their obligation to their client which resulted in needless losses.

BROKER DEALERS MUST ACT IN THE CUSTOMER’S BEST INTERESTS

FINRA’s guidance to its members makes the members obligations to its customers unequivocal:  FINRA members must act in their customer’s best interests; not the best interest of the firm.

It is well-settled that a “broker’s recommendations must be consistent with his customer’s best interests” and are “not suitable merely because the customer acquiesces in [them].” Dane S. Faber, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 49216, 2004 SEC LEXIS 277, at *23-24 (February 10, 2004); see also Dep’t of Enforcement v. Bendetsen, No. C01020025, 2004 NASD Discip. LEXIS 13, at *12 (NAC August 9, 2004) (“[A] broker’s recommendations must serve his client’s best interests and the test for whether a broker’s recommendations are suitable is not whether the client acquiesced in them, but whether the broker’s recommendations were consistent with the client’s financial situation and needs”).  In the instant FINRA Arbitration claim, Claimants allege that Morgan Stanley failed to act in the best interest of their client, and because of this failure, Claimant’s estate was damaged when it was forced to pay substantial federal and state estate taxes.

HANLEY LAW

Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant losses in their portfolios, retirement plans or investment accounts.  Hanley Law is dedicated to assisting investors to recover losses suffered by unsuitability, over-concentration, fraud, misrepresentation, self-dealing, unauthorized trades or other wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent.  Hanley Law represents clients nationwide in cases against the major Wall Street broker dealers, including Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact Hanley Law to discuss your legal options. Contact Hanley Law at (239)649-0050 or contact us through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to discuss your experiences with your stock broker which resulted in investment losses.

Hanley Law Files FINRA Arbitration Involving broker Ronald Radner Former Registered Representative at the Delray Beach Florida Branch of Edward Jones

Hanley Law recently filed a FINRA arbitration claim alleging that Ronald Radner a broker formerly registered with Edward Jones solicited an elderly client into transferring his investment portfolio to his care after Radner hosted a “free lunch” seminar at a local deli.  The client alleges that Ronald Radner convinced him to surrender his American National annuity and to allow Ronald Radner to manage the funds from the surrendered annuity.  The client alleges that Ronald Radner convinced him that he could earn a greater rate of return on the funds, and therefore would be able to provide him with additional growth and income through retirement.

The client alleges that because of the recommendation of Ronald Radner and Edward Jones he incurred a large surrender charge, and also lost his substantial death benefit of nearly $400,000 when Mr. Radner surrendered his American National Annuity.  Furthermore, the client alleges that he incurred a large tax consequence because of Ronald Radner’s and Edward Jones’ recommendation that he surrender his American National annuity.  Additionally, the client alleges that he lost significant principal on the investments Ronald Radner purchased with his annuity proceeds.

The Boynton Beach, Florida retiree client alleges that Edward Jones violated industry rules, including but not limited to FINRA’s customer suitability standard (Rule 2310) as well as FINRA rules 3010 and 2110. The client further alleges that Edward Jones violated its duty of care and was negligent and that Edward Jones breached the contract it entered into with its client. The client alleges that Edward Jones also breached the fiduciary duty that a securities firm and its employees/agents owe to their clients.  The client alleges that Edward Jones’ misconduct constitutes common law fraud.  Moreover, the client alleges that the accounts at issue were handled negligently and Edward Jones was negligent in their hiring, retention, and supervision of their employees.

According to FINRA’s Brokercheck, Ronald Radner was registered with the securities industry for 9 years, and was registered with the following firm(s) and has multiple customer complaints:

Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
CRD 6694
Delray Beach, FL
3/29/2019 – present

Edward Jones
CRD 250
Delray Beach, FL
9/30/2011 – 4/1/2019

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
CRD 149777
Delray Beach, FL
10/4/2010 – 9/7/2011

HANLEY LAW

Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant losses in their portfolios, retirement plans or investment accounts.  Hanley Law is dedicated to assisting investors to recover losses suffered by unsuitability, over-concentration, fraud, misrepresentation, self-dealing, unauthorized trades or other wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent.  Hanley Law represents clients nationwide in cases against the major Wall Street broker dealers, including Edward Jones.

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact Hanley Law to discuss your legal options. Contact Hanley Law at (239)649-0050 or contact us through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to discuss your experiences with your stock broker which resulted in investment losses.

 

Hanley Law Files FINRA Arbitration Involving broker William “Bill” Collins Registered Representative of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Hanley Law recently filed a FINRA arbitration claim alleging that William “Bill” Collins a broker with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney mislead his retired client into believing that he was not charging her any commissions or fees because he was managing her account as a favor to her. Meanwhile, the client alleges that Bill Collins recommended and purchased unsuitable investments in her accounts, improperly increased her lines of credit and acted negligently when handling her account. The retired client residing in Naples, Florida trusted Bill Collins implicitly to her detriment. The retired investor client alleges that Bill Collins redeemed a treasury note in her IRA account and used the proceeds to by speculative and high-risk investments without authorization. The client also alleges that Bill Collins sold suitable and low risk equities in her account and used the proceeds to buy speculative and high-risk equities without her authorization which lead her to suffer devastating principal losses. Specifically, the client alleges that Bill Collins purchased the Chinese coffee company Luckin in her accounts and that shortly after his purchase of Luckin Coffee, the stock’s trading halted on reports of fraud. The company is facing various class action lawsuits and bankruptcy is looming. The investor client’s large investment in Luckin Coffee is now essentially worthless. Lastly, the investor client alleges that when the market became increasingly volatile in March 2020 due to growing concerns of the coronavirus, Bill Collins refused her requests to provide her financial guidance or to discuss her concerns over her line of credit and her diminishing account value.

The Naples, Florida retiree alleges that Morgan Stanley violated industry rules, including but not limited to FINRA’s customer suitability standard (Rule 2310) as well as FINRA rules 3010 and 2110. The client further alleges that Morgan Stanley violated its duty of care and was negligent and that Morgan Stanley breached the contract it entered into with its client. The retired client alleges that Morgan Stanley also breached the fiduciary duty that a securities firm and its employees/agents owe to their clients. The client alleges that Morgan Stanley’s misconduct constitutes common law fraud and that Morgan Stanley violated Florida Statute § 517. Moreover, the client alleges that the accounts at issue were handled negligently and Morgan Stanley was negligent in their hiring, retention, and supervision of their employees.

According to FINRA’s Brokercheck, William “Bill” Collins was registered with the securities industry for 23 years, was registered with the following firm(s) and has multiple customer complaints:

Morgan Stanley
CRD 149777
34901 Woodward Ave.
Suite 300
Birmingham, MI 48009
5/28/2010 to present

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
CRD 19616
Troy, MI
01/01/2008 – 06/01/2010

A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.
CRD 4
Troy, MI
09/16/1996 – 01/03/2008

HANLEY LAW

Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant losses in their portfolios, retirement plans or investment accounts. Hanley Law is dedicated to assisting investors to recover losses suffered by unsuitability, over-concentration, fraud, misrepresentation, self-dealing, unauthorized trades or other wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent. Hanley Law represents clients nationwide in cases against the major Wall Street broker dealers, including Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact Hanley Law to discuss your legal options. Contact Hanley Law at (239)649-0050 or contact us through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to discuss your experiences with your stock broker which resulted in investment losses.

HANLEY LAW BRINGS CLAIM AGAINST J.P. MORGAN SECURITIES RELATING TO SALES PRACTICES OF FORMER REGISTERED REPRESENTATIVE NEAL MEHTA

 

Hanley Law recently filed a case against J.P. Morgan Securities relating to the sales practices of former J.P. Morgan Securities broker Neal Mehta.  The allegations against J.P. Morgan Securities include that Neal Mehta invested the entire principal balance of the client in one Master Limited Partnership (“MLP”) which had an inherent concentration risk because the fund’s investments were primarily invested in securities only in the energy sector and that Neil Mehta failed to disclose the risk related to overconcentration in one energy MLP.  The claim alleges breach of fiduciary duty, un-suitability, common law fraud and/or negligence, failure to supervise, breach of contract, and violation of industry rules.

Neal Mehta entered the securities industry in 2010 (CRD # 5802739) and has been registered with the following firms:

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

450 E. Las Olas Blvd

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

12/08/2016 – present

 

J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC

Pompano Beach, FL

07/2010-10/2012

Chase Investment Services

Pompano Beach, FL

07/2010-10/2012

HANLEY LAW

Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant losses in their portfolios, retirement plans or investment accounts.  The firm is dedicated to assisting investors to recover losses suffered by unsuitability, over-concentration, fraud, misrepresentation, self-dealing, unauthorized trades or other wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent.  The firm handles cases against the major Wall Street broker dealers, including J.P Morgan Securities, LLC.

Let Hanley Law work for you. Call (239)877-4330 or contact the firm through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to

Hanley Law Brings Claim Against Edward Carroll and Mark Scribner

Our firm is currently representing clients in a lawsuit against attorney Edward Carroll and attorney Mark Scribner related to the Jay Peak Hotel Suites LP EB5 Immigrant Investor Program.

The Jay Peak project attracted foreign investors who were hoping to earn permanent residence in the United States through investing in U.S. projects that create a certain number of jobs.  The Jay Peak project was structured as investments in limited partnerships, whereby each limited partnership would use its investors’ funds for specific purposes and under certain restrictions.

Investors who invested in the Jay Peak limited partnerships thought they were investing their funds in hotels, cottages, a biomedical research facility and other projects.  In reality, while some of the funds were used for the projects, the majority of the funds were commingled, misused, and diverted to pay for other projects and improper personal expenses which resulted in significant losses to the investors.

HANLEY LAW

Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant investment losses.  Let Hanley Law work for you. Call (239) 649-0050 or contact the firm through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to discuss your experiences which resulted in investment losses.

 

Dismissal of a Counterclaim is an Appropriate Sanction for Flagrant Discovery Abuse

Simons vs. Fox, No. 17-1012 (7th Cir., February 1, 2018)

This appeal addresses the propriety of sanctions against a litigant for discovery abuses. In a highly contested dispute between the ex-CEO of a trading firm and its founder, the founder and defendant, asks the appellate court to vacate the dismissal of his counterclaim as a sanction for his discovery abuse. Simons sued Fox for firing him for uncovering Fox’s alleged violations of corporate and securities laws. Fox then countersued Simons for defamation. Throughout the acrimonious litigation, Fox asserted that Simons lied in order to destroy Fox’s companies. Rather than prove that assertion with evidence, Fox obstructed Simons’s discovery. This led to sanctions and ultimately the dismissal of Fox’s counterclaim. Fox appeals the orders leading up to the dismissal.

Fox repeatedly refused Simons’s discovery requests, he refused to produce documents he possessed or controlled, and he was an uncooperative deponent. The district court judge directed the production of documents in at least three separate orders, yet Fox declined to produce discovery. The judge sanctioned Fox and he refused to pay the monetary sanction. Fox was then held in contempt of court and ordered to pay a fine for everyday he remained in contempt. Fox refused to pay the fine for contempt. After Fox asserted that he lacked funds to pay any fines, the judge entered an alternative sanction of dismissing his counterclaim as the sanction for Fox’s obstruction. The court found that when presented with the dismissal of claims as a sanction, “we weigh not only the straw that finally broke the camel’s back, but all the straws that the recalcitrant party piled on over the course of the lawsuit.” Domanus, 742 F.3d at 301 (quoting e360 Insight, Inc. v. Spamhaus Project, 658 F.3d 637, 643 (7th Cir. 2011)).

Similarly, the circuit court held that the trial court did not commit reversible error by allowing Simons to voluntarily dismiss the claims against Fox after Fox’s counterclaim was dismissed. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2) allows a Plaintiff to dismiss claims voluntarily at any time “on terms the court considers proper.” The court reasoned that at the time of dismissal, Fox was in contempt of court, and he showed no prospect of respecting his long-ignored discovery obligations. Therefore, Fox cannot show prejudice from the judge allowing Simons to dismiss his claims voluntarily to end the case. Finally, Fox contended that the district judge was biased and should have disqualified himself. The court found that judicial rulings, even those that “are critical or disapproving of, or even hostile to” a party, do not constitute a valid basis for disqualification except in the “rarest circumstances” in which “deep-seated favoritism or antagonism” makes fair judgement impossible. Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555 (1994). The circuit court found that Fox presented no persuasive reason to disturb the district judge’s fair and patient approach to managing the case and affirmed the decision.

Second Circuit Rejects Manifest Disregard of Law as a Basis for Vacating Arbitration Award Against Wells Fargo Advisors

Pfeffer v. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, et al., No. 17-1819-cv (2d. Cir. Feb. 15, 2018)

A FINRA arbitration panel dismissed Claimant Pfeffer’s state law claims arising from Wells Fargo Advisors failure to follower her late husband’s instructions to transfer all assets from a trust naming his children as beneficiaries to a trust naming her as the beneficiary. Pfeffer testified that her now deceased husband requested the transfer because the Pfeffers became concerned about the management of the accounts. The Wells Fargo broker testified that he did not transfer the assets because he was worried that Mr. Pfeffer was not competent and was being unduly influenced by Mrs. Pfeffer. After receiving two letters from physicians confirming that Mr. Pfeffer was not capable of making financial decisions, Wells Fargo froze both trust accounts. After a five-and-a-half-day hearing, during which both parties presented testimony and other evidence, the Panel denied Mrs. Pfeffer’s claim.

Mrs. Pfeffer filed a complaint challenging the arbitration award and Wells Fargo moved to dismiss the complaint and confirm the award. The district court confirmed the award and this appeal followed. On appeal, Mrs. Pfeffer argued that the award was procured by undue means, evident partiality, and misconduct because the Panel was intimidated by defense counsel and refused to consider relevant evidence. Pfeffer alleged that the Panel exhibited manifest disregard for the law and facts.

Under the Federal Arbitration Act, a district court may vacate an arbitration award if: (1) the award was procured by “corruption, fraud, or undue means”; (2) the arbitrators exhibited “evident partiality” or “corruption”; (3) the arbitrators were guilty of “misconduct” such as “refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy” or “any other misbehavior” that prejudiced the rights of any party; or (4) the arbitrators “exceeded their powers.” 9 U.S.C. § 10(a); see also AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333, 350 (2011). The court reasoned that the second circuit does not recognize manifest disregard of the evidence as a proper grounds for vacating an arbitration panel’s award, and will only find a manifest disregard for the law where there is no colorable justification for a panel’s conclusion. Wallace v. Buttar, 378 F.3d 182, 193 (2d Cir. 2004).

The court held that Mrs. Pfeffer failed to meet her “very high” burden to demonstrate that vacatur was appropriate. Id. at 103. The court found that the transcript of the arbitration reveals no suggestion that the award was produced by undue means, evident partiality, or misconduct. Mrs. Pfeffer’s allegations that the Panel failed to abate defense counsel’s abrasive manner and that it was intimidated by him are belied by the record. The court found that contrary to Mrs. Pfeffer’s allegations, the transcript of the proceedings shows that the Panel considered her evidence, understood the issues underlying her claims, and afforded her latitude because she was pro se. Therefore, the court found no support for the conclusion that the panel had manifestly disregarded the law and affirmed the lower court’s decision confirming the award.

HANLEY LAW INVESTIGATES MATTHEW COCHRAN FORMER CHARLOTTE NORTH CAROLINA BROKER

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) Matthew Cochran has been barred from the industry and consented to a sanction and to the entry of findings that he and a third party exercised discretionary authority to execute securities transactions in accounts held away from Cochran’s member firm. (FINRA Case #2017054247001).

FINRA alleged that during the relevant period, Cochran recommended that 98 firm customers and other individuals, who were not family members, open 94 accounts at another broker-dealer. FINRA further alleged that at Cochran’s recommendation, the investors verbally gave him and/or a third party discretionary authority over the outside accounts and Cochran assisted the investors in opening the outside accounts. FINRA alleged that during the relevant time-period, Cochran and the non-registered person executed securities transactions in the outside accounts pursuant to the investors’ verbal discretionary authority. According to FINRA, neither Cochran nor the Non-Registered Person obtained written discretionary authority. Furthermore, FINRA alleged that Cochran and the Non-Registered Person executed a total of approximately 5,931 transactions with an aggregate trade value (buy and sell) of more than $9.6 million for the investors in the outside accounts. According to FINRA, Cochran received $34,000 in funds from the investors related to this activity. FINRA further alleged that during ten telephone calls during the relevant period, for ten different investors, Cochran misrepresented to the executing firm that he himself was one of the investors and during two of these telephone calls, Cochran instructed the firm to liquidate investors’ securities positions. By impersonating investors, Cochran violated FINRA rules.

Matthew Thomas Cochran entered the securities industry in 2011. Matthew Cochran (CRD # 5853600) has been registered with the following firms:

Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
CRD # 2881
Charlotte, NC
11/14/2011 – 05/11/2017

HANLEY LAW

Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant losses in their portfolios, retirement plans or investment accounts. The firm is dedicated to assisting investors to recover losses suffered by unsuitability, over-concentration, fraud, misrepresentation, self-dealing, unauthorized trades or other wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent. The firm handles cases against the major Wall Street broker dealers, including Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC.

Let Hanley Law work for you. Call (239)649-0050 or contact the firm through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to discuss your experiences with your stock broker which resulted in investment losses.