The Growing Problem With Sales of Unregistered Securities

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Recently I have been busy working to recover losses for a large number of investors who lost money in unregistered investments offered by Woodbridge and Future Income Payments or FIP. In many cases these investments were recommended by insurance agents who were not licensed to sell securities, and did not perform adequate due-diligence on these… Read more »

Securities Arbitration—Should You Hire an Attorney?

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Note: this is a re-post of an excellent article that was published on January 3, 2019 in FINRA’s Alert Investor newsletter. The article was co-authored by FINRA staff and The PIABA Foundation. The vast majority of interactions between investors and investment professionals are positive. However, sometimes the relationship doesn’t go as planned, and the situation… Read more »

The Problem With Private Placements

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One of the biggest problems I am seeing these days is private placements (also called alternatives or non-registered investments) that are sold to accredited investors through a private placement memorandum or PPM. Because these investments are not registered with the SEC the information that you can get about them is far more limited, and can… Read more »

SEC Creating Searchable Database of Bad Brokers

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This is a repost of an article that appeared in ThinkAdvisor today.  Apparently the SEC agrees with one of the main goals of this website; people are increasingly googling the names of people they want to do business with, so information about people who have a documented history of unethical or fraudulent conduct needs to… Read more »

SEC Publishes Recommendation on How Avoid Common Investment Scams in 2017

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has published its annual list of tips designed to help investors with managing their money and avoiding common scams in the New Year. Here is the list which is published by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy: SEC INVESTOR BULLETIN: 10 INVESTMENT TIPS FOR 2017 12/27/2016 Whether you… Read more »

UPDATE: The Shocking Story of A Small Town Fraud

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UPDATE: Yesterday United States District Judge David Sam rejected a plea deal that had been worked out between Thomas Andrews (the subject of the story below) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. According to a story in the Deseret News, Judge Sam rejected the plea deal because he believed it was too lenient. Andrews withdrew his… Read more »

The Steven B. Heinz Ponzi Scheme

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Today I realized that I never posted about the case against Steven B. Heinz. Please accept my apologies for this oversight, as this is a story that fits the purposes of this blog perfectly. Heinz solicited his clients at his brokerage firm, Ogilvie Security Advisors Corporation, and used his membership in the Mormon Church to… Read more »

American Pension Services Lawsuit

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On April 30, 2014 the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against a Utah-based company called American Pension Services, Inc. (“APS”) and alleged that the retirement plan administrator defrauded investors. This is not a Ponzi Scheme case (unlike many the SEC files in Utah) it is really about forgery and theft. And it was… Read more »

Why FINRA’s New Rules on “Suitability” Are Important for Investors

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FINRA, the regulatory organization that governs broker-dealers, has now implemented a major overhaul of its suitability rules that could have a big impact on investors who feel that they were misled by their stock broker. The new rules went into effect on July 9th and require brokers to (1) perform reasonable due diligence on investment… Read more »