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So far Drew Hickman has created 148 blog entries.
Aug 1, 2017

Four Former Brokers from LPL Financial in Atlanta Were Charged with Variable Annuity Fraud by the SEC

By |August 1st, 2017|Legal Matters|

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged four former Atlanta, Georgia brokers with variable annuity fraud. Specifically, the Commission claims that they fraudulently persuaded federal employees to roll over holdings from their federal Thrift Savings Plan retirement accounts into variable annuities with more expensive fees. The alleged actions occurred roughly from March 2012 to November [...]

Jul 26, 2017

Not-So-Golden Touch: The Risks of Investing in Gold

By |July 26th, 2017|Gold|

Despite what those late-night infomercials may pitch, as a precious metal, gold really carries no greater intrinsic value than other investment options. In fact, the World Gold Council reports there were over 400 million pounds of gold in various forms of circulation as of 2015, mostly in jewelry, investments, and industry. If gold does not hold [...]

Jul 21, 2017

Frankowski Firm Investigating Jerry McCutchen for Multiple Acts of Broker Negligence and Fraud

By |July 21st, 2017|REIT, Suitability|

The Frankowski Firm is continuing its investigation of now-expelled securities broker Jerry McCutchen. McCutchen has been the subject of a multitude of customer complaints since 2000, the vast majority of which were filed since 2012. These complaints contain various allegations of securities law violations, including unsuitable investment recommendations, negligence, and fraud, among other causes of [...]

Jul 20, 2017

Frankowski Firm Investigating Westpark Capital for Potential Broker Fraud and Negligence

By |July 20th, 2017|Churning, FINRA, Suitability|

The law offices of The Frankowski Firm, LLC are investigating customer complaints concerning Westpark Capital, Inc. for the potential sale of unsuitable investments to their customers and failure to diversify these customers' accounts. The firm has its headquarters in Los Angeles, California, and FINRA records show it has been registered with both the SEC and [...]

Jul 19, 2017

Developing a Portfolio: Balancing Risk and Reward

By |July 19th, 2017|Fraud|

The role of brokers and registered investment advisors is invaluable; they educate investors; they manage the fine, tedious details of investing; and they give their best advice and guidance to clients who come from a variety of backgrounds and financial familiarities. Investing is much more of a science than an art. It is a learned [...]

Jul 14, 2017

Bond Fraud Trial Sees Mixed Results for Nomura Holdings Inc. Traders

By |July 14th, 2017|Fraud|

Investment brokers have certain obligations to all their clients: to not only tell the truth, but also to provide guidance that reflects the client’s specific needs and wants. This responsibility is also known as suitability. Although suitability may at first seem amorphous, in reality, the law has set out very clear guidelines for what types [...]

Jun 29, 2017

Thomas Gresham Subject Of Customer Disputes

By |June 29th, 2017|Legal Matters|

las-vegas-investment-issues-lawyer Thomas Gresham is a stockbroker currently registered with Moloney Securities Co., Inc in Overland Park, Kansas. Between 2001 and 2015, FINRA's BrokerCheck records show that he was been the subject of fourteen customer disputes. On July 10, 2015, five disputes were filed against Gresham, in which he was alleged to have made [...]

Jun 21, 2017

Pension Advance Scams Target the Elderly

By |June 21st, 2017|Fraud|

Pensions are the primary means of support for about one-half of Americans of retirement age or older. This income—set aside throughout the course of a lifetime of employment and work—is often supplemented by social security, or other retirement investing. However, America’s seniors are not usually living in the lap of luxury, bringing in an average [...]

Jun 14, 2017

Ponzi Scams Persist: SEC Crackdown Continues with Recent Judgment

By |June 14th, 2017|Fraud|

Beyond sheer greed and malevolence, the most common catalyst for Ponzi schemes is to cover up other serious losses. This was the situation for Francisco Illarramendi, a former hedge fund manager in Connecticut, who ultimately spent five years raising over $30 million in illicit funds to cover an initial $5 million shortfall.  But such is [...]

Jun 7, 2017

Investment Fraud from the Pulpit?

By |June 7th, 2017|Fraud|

Religion rarely comes into account when making investing decisions. However, in the case of one church in California, the mixture led to fraud, losses, and a lawsuit. The church mandated participation in the courses: victims claim they were pressured by their religious leaders into taking investing direction from Paul Ricky Mata, a member since the [...]

May 31, 2017

Bitcoin: New Currency, New Investment Scams

By |May 31st, 2017|Fraud|

In early March of 2017, the value of one Bitcoin surpassed the value of one ounce of gold for the first time. Proponents saw this development as validation of the digital currency’s endurance; but other, more baleful watchers saw instead an opportunity to create new scams and defraud unwary investors. Why is Bitcoin so exciting [...]

May 24, 2017

When Your Promissory Note is Void of Promise

By |May 24th, 2017|Fraud|

Promissory notes are often used by companies to raise revenue. Investors loan money to the company in exchange for a promise to repay the principal, plus interest, on a specific date. While these forms of debt can sometimes be legitimate, there is a substantial enterprise of fraudulent notes being marketed to individual investors. With hundreds [...]

May 18, 2017

Barclays To Pay $97M To Customers

By |May 18th, 2017|SEC|

Barclays Capital has reached a settlement with the SEC to refund over $97 million in advisory and mutual fund fees to customers the firm allegedly overcharged. The firm also agreed to set up a fund to repay advisory fees to the overcharged customers, the SEC said. This fund will consist of $49.8 million in disgorgement [...]

May 17, 2017

Kevin Graetz Suspended By FINRA

By |May 17th, 2017|FINRA News|

  Kevin Graetz has settled a FINRA complaint accusing him of failing to report federal and state tax liens against him amounting to over $1 million over nearly seven years. FINRA's Form U4 mandates registered representatives to disclose whether there are any unsatisfied judgments or liens against them. In amendments, Graetz filed to his form [...]

May 17, 2017

Is it Acceptable to Sue Your Broker for Losses? 

By |May 17th, 2017|Broker Negligence|

Not every investment loss is the fault of your broker. Even the most upstanding, capable broker can put you in an unsuccessful investment. However, in some situations, investors lose substantial amounts of money due to the negligent or fraudulent acts of a broker. While you may be tempted to simply cut your losses and move [...]

May 12, 2017

LPL May Pay $8M In New Hampshire REIT Suit

By |May 12th, 2017|Legal Matters|

LPL Financial may ultimately repay $8 million to customers according to a settlement it reached with the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities regarding sales of non-traded real estate investment trusts. New Hampshire and LPL agreed to the settlement in December 2015. The case was initiated in reaction to a complaint from an elderly New Hampshire [...]

May 3, 2017

Discretionary versus Non-Discretionary Investment Accounts

By |May 3rd, 2017|Suitability|

Many investors wonder about the differences between discretionary and non-discretionary investment accounts or do not even realize that there are two types of such accounts that function quite differently from each other. Simply put, a discretionary account is one in which a broker makes trades, buying or selling securities, in an investor's account without the [...]

May 3, 2017

Securities Fraud: What Is Insider Trading, Exactly?

By |May 3rd, 2017|Fraud|

Since 2014, the news has been telling the story of Thomas C. Davis, the former chairman of Dean Foods, a professional gambler named Billy Walters and golf legend Phil Mickelson. According to the Justice Department and the SEC, these three men have been involved in an insider trading scam that netted Walters approximately $40 million [...]

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