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Representing Individual, High Net Worth & Institutional Investors

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Category Archives: Firms Under Investigation

Have You Experienced Investment Losses?

In March of 2020, America has experienced the unprecedented pandemic known as the Coronavirus. The US stock market has declined by more than a 1/3 from its all-time high in February 2020. Some investors have watched their own portfolios decline by 30-50%.

In some instances, your investment losses could be normal market decreases. However, in other instances your losses could be due to mistakes made by your financial advisor. You could have been unsuitably invested in a portfolio that was too risky for you. Some of your investments could have been inappropriate. The risks of your investments may not have been accurately discussed with you. The typical American investor needs an experienced attorney to help him or her evaluate whether their losses are actionable against the advisor or firm that recommended them.

At Maddox Hargett & Caruso, P.C., we have been advising clients about their investment losses for over 30 years. We give investors free initial evaluations to help them understand the viability of their case against their financial advisor and his firm. If you are trying to understand whether your investment losses are attributable to normal stock market declines or breaches of duty by your advisor or firm, please contact us. We are here to help you make an informed decision. Call us at 317-598-2040 or check out our website at

2014 Milestone Year for Big Regulatory Fines

Industry regulators handed out some hefty fines to financial firms in 2014, due to a variety of misdeeds and oversights. Here’s a list of the10 biggest fines handed out this year, presented in order of the fine amount, individual broker or adviser penalties are excluded.

  1. WFG Investments fined $700,000, for failing to commit the time, attention and resources to a range of critical obligations in its supervision of registered reps. More info. here.
  2. Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. fined $775,000, for failure to supervise the sale of alternative investments such as non-traded REITs and leveraged and inverse ETFs. More info. here.
  3. LPL Financial fined $950,000, for supervisory deficiencies related to sales of nontraded REITs, oil and gas partnerships, business development companies, hedge funds, managed futures and other illiquid investments. More info. here.
  4. Stifel Nicolaus & Co. and its subsidiary, Century Securities Inc. fined $1 million, for selling leveraged and inverse ETFs to customers for whom the investments were unsuitable, as well as the firms not having proper training or written procedures in place to make sure their advisers had an “adequate and reasonable basis” for recommending the products. More info. here.
  5. Morgan Stanley fined $1 million, for paying approximately $100 million in commissions to approximately 780 unregistered, retired brokers without properly ensuring they were no longer soliciting or advising. More info. here.
  6. 2 independent broker-dealers owned by Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. fined $1.275 million, for failure to supervise hundreds of brokers who created and sent false and inaccurate consolidated account statements to clients. More info. here.
  7. Wells Fargo fined $1.5 million, for failing to properly vet some 220,000 new customer accounts by doing the necessary identity verification to comply with anti-money laundering requirements. More info. here.
  8. Bank of America Merrill Lynch fined $8 million, for failing to waive mutual fund sales charges for certain charities and retirement accounts. More info. here.
  9. Citigroup Inc. fined $15 million, for not adequately protecting against “potential selective dissemination of non-public research to clients and sales and trading staff.” More info. here.
  10. J.S. Oliver Capital Management fined $15 million, for breach of fiduciary duty and violations of securities laws via an alleged cherry-picking scheme that defrauded several clients out of about $10.9 million. More info. here.

More information on 10 of the biggest regulatory fines of 2014:

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