News

Investment Advisor Misappropriated $450,000 From Elderly Client

Senior citizens are becoming increasing targets of financial exploitation, which can result in significant losses.

Recently, a Colorado federal court entered a consent judgment against an investment advisor relating to his alleged misappropriation of more than $450,000 from an elderly client. The final judgment orders Rodemer to pay a civil penalty totaling $385,536.

The Securities and Ex...

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Recovery of AllianzGI Structured Alpha Losses

Many of AllianzGI’s “Structured Alpha” funds have suffered catastrophic losses this year, according to reports. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced securities attorneys are investigating claims involving losses in these Structured Alpha funds.

In early 2020, AllianzGI allegedly told investors that its Structured Alpha US Equity 500 hedge fund was positioned well if...

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SEC Charges Smart Partners for Operating a $27M Ponzi Scheme

By Attorney Jared Levy

Morgan & Morgan’s securities attorneys are investigating an alleged $27 million fraudulent scheme that The Smart Partners LLC and 1st Million LLC perpetrated against over 1,000 investors – most of whom are African immigrants.

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged Smart Partners, 1st Million, and their principals (Dennis Jali, John Frimpong, an...

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Recovery of Investment Losses in Volatility ETPs Sold by JP Morgan

Morgan & Morgan’s Business Trial Group is investigating investment losses in volatility-related exchanged traded products (ETPs) sold by JP Morgan Securities LLC and other brokerage firms.

JP Morgan recently entered into a settlement with FINRA that requires the firm to pay more than $650,000 in fines and res...

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FINRA Fines Electronic Broker-Dealer for AML Failures

Electronic broker-dealer Interactive Brokers LLC was recently fined $15 million by FINRA for widespread failures in its anti-money laundering (AML) program.

From 2013 to 2018, Interactive Brokers grew substantially to become one of the largest electronic broker-d...

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SEC Halts Par Funding's Fraudulent Scheme Against Small Businesses

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently halted an alleged fraudulent scheme perpetrated by Complete Business Solutions Group Inc. (d/b/a Par Funding). The scheme raised about $500 million from more than 1,000 investors.

Morgan & Morgan’s securities attorneys are investigating potential claims involving Par Funding’s scheme.

The SEC’s ...

VALIC Financial Advisors Failed to Disclose Conflicts of Interests

VALIC Financial Advisors Inc. was charged with failing to disclose conflicts of interest regarding more expensive mutual fund investments.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, VALIC earned millions of dollars in revenues from placing clients in these more expensive mutual funds, which it never disclosed to clients.

The SEC’s Order

SEC Charges Former Georgia Legislator in Ponzi Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged former Georgia state legislator Clarence Dean Alford in an alleged $23 million Ponzi scheme, and our experienced securities attorneys are investigating these claims.

According to the SEC, Alford defrauded about 100 investors, mostly Indian-American professionals, in Allied Energy Services LLC, his energy development company that now is bankrupt. Alf...

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Integrity Aviation & Leasing Charged With Defrauding First Responders

By Attorney Jared Levy

Integrity Aviation & Leasing (IAL) has been charged in a $14 million fraudulent scheme that allegedly victimized many San Antonio police officers and other first responders. Morgan & Morgan’s securities attorneys are investigating the alleged fraudulent scheme.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against IAL and its owner, Victor Lee Farias, for al...

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Morgan Stanley Advisor Charged with Fraud for Stealing Millions from Investors

By Attorney Jared Levy

The securities attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are investigating the alleged theft of client funds by a former registered representative and investment advisor of Morgan Stanley.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Michael B. Carter with fraud based on allegations that he stole millions of dollars from brokerage and advisory customers. When the thefts a...

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Recovery of Losses Relating to International Investment Group's Fraud

Morgan & Morgan’s securities attorneys are investigating an alleged $60 million Ponzi scheme involving International Investment Group LLC (IIG).

The former registered investment advisor had been previously charged in late 2019 with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. At this time, the SEC revoked IIG’s registration.

Then, in March 2020, the SEC obtained a final consent judgment requiring IIG to p...

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Cunningham Commodities' Failure to Supervise Put Seniors’ Retirement Savings at Risk

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission settled charges against registered futures commission merchant Cunningham Commodities, LLC.

According to the CFTC, Cunningham Commodities failed to properly supervise accounts brought to the firm by an introducing broker, whose activities it guaranteed from March to December 2019.

According to the CFTC’s Order, Cunningham Commodities agreed to guarantee the introducin...

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Recovery of Losses if You Bought Wirecard Bonds

By Attorney Jared Levy

Shares of German payment processor company Wirecard recently crashed when it became known that nearly $2 billion in cash on its balance sheet allegedly does not exist. Then, Wirecard’s CEO was arrested.

Recently, it has come to light that Credit Suisse allegedly sold about $1 billion in convertible bonds from Wirecard after entering into a strategic partner...

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Losses in Wirecard Stock

German payment processor Wirecard’s shares recently plummeted by more than 60 percent after its auditor alleged that it can’t find evidence for a quarter of the company’s cash on its balance sheet.

According to reports, Wirecard’s auditor Ernst & Young didn’t have sufficient evidence for $1.9 billion euros that Wirecard’s ba...

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Whistleblower Receives Record $50 Million Award From SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently awarded almost $50 million to a whistleblower who provided a detailed account of a company’s misconduct. This reported misconduct led the SEC to bring an enforcement action, and the The SEC ultimately was able to return substantial amounts to harmed investors

According to Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, this award marks several milestones for t...

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SEC Stops Fraudulent Hedge Fund Offering By Florida Investment Advisor

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged Kinetic Investment Group LLC and its managing member, Michael Scott Williams, in connection with an alleged fraudulent, unregistered securities offering. According to the SEC, the fraudulent offering raised approximately $39 million from at least 30 investors located mostly in Florida and Puerto Rico.

If you’ve been the victim of a fraudulent or unregist...

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Recovery of Investment Losses in UBS’s Yield Enhancement Strategy

The securities attorneys at Morgan & Morgan’s Business Trial Group are investigating investment losses in UBS Wealth Management’s Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES).

The financial firm marketed YES as a conservative, market-neutral strategy and bond-portfolio enhancer. This strategy, according to UBS, would generate consistent income while limiting risks to the premiums paid, even if markets turned bearish. UBS represented to investors that YES would limit exposure to substantial...

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Investigations into Investment Losses at WestPark Capital Continue

Morgan & Morgan’s securities attorneys are investigating investment losses in pre-IPO shares and products sold by WestPark Capital, Inc. These pre-IPO products include the Horizon Select Technology Fund LLC and Horizon Select Technology Fund II LLC (collectively, “Horizon Funds”). Pre-IPO shares include Uber, Lyft, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, Pinterest, Dropbox, SpaceX, MagicLeap, Cloudera, AliphCom (d/b/a Jawbone), and Air...

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SEC Charges Wells Fargo In Connection With Investment Recommendation Practices

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently settled charges against Wells Fargo Clearing Services and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network for failing to adequately supervise advisers and registered representatives who recommended single-inverse ETF investments to retail investors. According to the SEC, Wells Fargo also lacked proper compliance policies and procedures for ensuring the suitability of these recommendations. The recommendations occurred from April 2012 through September...

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Recovery of Investment Losses in Exchange Traded Products

The securities attorneys at Morgan & Morgan’s Business Trial Group are investigating investment losses in Exchange Traded Products (ETP) that recently closed after suffering massive losses this year.

Amid the markets’ extreme volatility in 2020, an unusually high number of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETN) have closed. Many of the ETFs and ETNs that have closed were leveraged or inverse products.

Leveraged and inverse ETPs are extremely high-ri...

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Recovery of Investor Losses in Oil & Energy Funds

Morgan & Morgan’s securities attorneys within our Business Trial Group are investigating losses in oil and energy investments, including losses in the United States Oil Fund LP.

Oil prices have crashed to multi-decade lows amidst drastically reduced demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most heavily traded crude contracts recently fell to their lowest level in over 20 years. And one contract for U.S crude oil fell into negative territory for the first time ever – meaning tha...

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Investigation on Investment Losses at WestPark Capital Continues

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently settled charges against Wells Fargo Clearing Services and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network for failing to adequately supervise advisers and registered representatives who recommended single-inverse ETF investments to retail investors. According to the SEC, Wells Fargo also lacked proper compliance policies and procedures for ensuring the suitability of these recommendations. The reco...

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Investigation on Investment Losses at WestPark Capital Continues

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently settled charges against Wells Fargo Clearing Services and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network for failing to adequately supervise advisers and registered representatives who recommended single-inverse ETF investments to retail investors. According to the SEC, Wells Fargo also lacked proper compliance policies and procedures for ensuring the suitability of these recommendations. The reco...

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Recovery of Leveraged ETF Losses During 2020 Market Crash

The securities attorneys at Morgan & Morgan’s Business Trial Group are investigating losses that leveraged investment products have experienced recently during the 2020 market crash.

Leveraged products – more specifically leveraged exchange-traded funds or exchange-traded notes – allow investors to gain greater exposure to the market without increasing their capital investment. By doing so, these products amplify the potential p...

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How to Recover High-Yield Bond ETF Losses

By Attorney Jared Levy

During this most recent period of market volatility and decline, it’s become difficult to trade certain options. That has been the case recently with options on iShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond Exchange-Traded Fund, a high-yield bond ETF whose price has declined drastically.

If you have suffered large or disproportionate losses in this ETF, ...

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CFPB, South Carolina, and Arkansas File Suit Against Brokers of High-Interest Credit Offers to Veterans

By Emily Zulz

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — along with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs and Arkansas Attorney General — recently filed a lawsuit against a South Carolina law firm that worked with several companies that brokered contracts offering high-interest credit to consumers, primarily disabled vete...

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Beware Coronavirus Investment Scams

By Emily Zulz

The Securities and Exchange Commission is warning investors about potential coronavirus investment scams. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued an Investor Alert that warns investors about fraudulent claims that a company’s products or services will be used to help stop the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have become aware of a number of Internet promotions, incl...

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SEC Charges Florida-based Real Estate Company With Defrauding Retail Investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an emergency enforcement action to stop an alleged fraud by EquiAlt LLC, a Florida real estate firm .

The SEC alleges that EquiAlt, its CEO, and its managing director, orchestrated a Ponzi scheme involving $170 million in investor funds raised through fraudulent unregistered securities offerings. Many of the investors were elderl...

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Blockchain Startup Agrees to Return Funds and Register Tokens As Securities

By Emily Zulz

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently settled charges against a blockchain technology startup for conducting an unregistered initial coin offering (ICO).

Enigma MPC, a blockchain technology startup, has agreed to return funds to harmed investors. It also has agreed to register its tokens as securities, file periodic reports with the SEC, and pay a $500,000...

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SEC Charges Businessman Who Orchestrated $33M Digital Asset Scheme

By Attorney Jared Levy

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently filed charges against Michael Ackerman, alleging that the Ohio businessman defrauded about 150 investors (including many physicians) in a $33 million digital asset scheme.

The SEC claims that Ackerman told investors that he had created an algorithm that enabled extraordinary profits from cryptocurr...

SeaWorld Settles Securities Class Action for $65M

By Attorney Jared Levy

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. recently settled a securities class action for $65 million, where investors alleged SeaWorld misled them about park attendance declines following the release of the 2013 documentary ,“Blackfish.” The documentary depicted the brutality involved in capturing killer whales and the hazards that SeaWorld’s trainers faced.

The securities class action – filed in 2014 – alleged that SeaWorld blamed poor attendance on factors other ...

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Be Cautious If Considering an IEO or ICO Investment

By Emily Zulz

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued an investor alert urging caution when considering investments in initial exchange offerings (IEOs) and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

“The past few years have seen opportunistic fraudsters take advantage of the quickly evolving investment space around digital assets, crypto...

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SEC Charges Firm and Portfolio Manager for Misrepresenting Risk

By Attorney Jared Levy

We are currently investigating claims against Catalyst Capital Advisors LLC for alleged misrepresentations regarding risk management in a mutual fund.

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges against Catalyst (an investment advisory firm) and its Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Szilagyi. Catalyst and Szilagyi agreed to pay a total o...

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Business Trial Group Investigates Bitfinex Offerings

By Attorney Jared Levy

Many companies today use initial coin offerings or initial exchange offerings to raise capital or provide investment opportunities. These offerings may, in fact, involve the sale of securities – which means they need to be registered under federal securities laws. And, as with any offering, issuers may not misrepresent or omit important facts to investors.

We are currently investigating offerings issued by Bitfinex. If you invested in any initial coin...

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Blockchain Company Block.one Settles Charges for Unregistered ICO

By Attorney Jared Levy

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently settled charges against Block.one for allegedly making an unregistered initial coin offering (ICO) of digital tokens that raised several billion dollars. The blockchain technology company paid a $24 million penalty to resolve the charges.

The SEC’s Order finds that Block.one c...

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CFTC Awards Whistleblower $1 Million

By Attorney Jared Levy

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently announced a $1 million whistleblower award to a tipster who helped uncover Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) violations. Notably, the tipster first provided the information to another regulator before it reached to the CFTC.

CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald stated, “Today’s award shows how referrals from other regulators ca...

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