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Report – 8/11/17

1 – On Wednesday, August 9, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) sought an 18 month delay for implementing the final part of its fiduciary.  Many observe that this delay is certainly beneficial to the industry stake holders at the expense of individual investors. The rule actually went into effect on June 9, 2017, but there has been little, if any, enforcement effort so far. According to advisorhub.com, many brokerage firms and advisors have argued that the fiduciary rule has scared them into depriving investors of account and product choices, an argument that consumer groups supporting the rule deem hypocritical.  Given the frothiness of the current financial markets, against the backdrop of rising tensions between the US and North Korea, which has only increased the volatility in the market, the Investment Loss Recovery Team at Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell supports the rules immediate implementation, as it appears an individual investors reliance on fiduciary advice is presently necessary. If you are concerned about your account, losses, brokerage firm or advisor, and have questions whether a fiduciary duty is owed to you, please contact the Investment Loss Recovery Team at the Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell Law Firm at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.  

2 – Advisorhub.com reported on 8/10/17 that a federal judge in Pittsburgh ordered a former advisor to pay nearly $2 million in fines and disgorgement for allegedly stealing money from professional athletes and other high net worth investors.  Louis Martin “Marty” Blazer III, founder of Blazer Capital Management following a 13 year stint at Smith Barney, took approximately $2.35 million from 5 clients to fund two movie projects.  Mr. Blazer was barred from the industry in May 2016.  The Investment Loss Recovery Team has experience in matters involving professional athletes, who unfortunately fall victim to unscrupulous financial advisors and “handlers,” often times unknowingly lose their entire net worth. If you are an investor who has suffered losses with a Mr. Blazer or any other stockbroker or financial consultant related to any alleged theft or misappropriation, or any investment transactions, please contact the Investment Loss Recovery Team at the Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell Law Firm at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review. 

3 – On Friday, August 11, 2017, the SEC filed charges against two men from Tennessee, who had an accomplice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, involving an oil drilling investment scheme.  See www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2017-141.  The SEC’s Complaint was filed in federal court in Savannah, Georgia against David R. Greenlee and David A. Stewart, Jr., who allegedly orchestrated a t$15 million scheme by recruiting and controlling a network of salesmen who offered and sold investors a stake in various companies purportedly using enhanced oil recovery techniques to extract and sell oil, promising profits of 15-55%.  The Florida accomplice was Richard “Ric” P. Underwood, who drafted false offering brochures and oversaw a boiler room operation in Ft. Lauderdale, FL that solicited investors nationwide.  If you are an investor who has suffered losses with Messrs. Greenlee, Stewart or Underwood, please contact the Investment Loss Recovery Team at the Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell Law Firm at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.  

4 – On 8/10/17, a FINRA arbitration claim was filed against Cetera Advisors. The Cetera Advisor registered representative, George C. Merhoff, allegedly recommended high risk investments in oil and energy stocks, including Linn Energy, a darling pick among many Wall Street firms during the oil price boom between 2011 and 2014.  Mr. Merhoff has 18 disclosures on his CRD, including 10 pending arbitration matters.  See https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/2918171#disclosuresSection.  If you are an investor who has suffered investment losses with Mr. Merhoff, a stockbroker, investment advisor, financial consultant at Cetera, or experience investments losses in oil, gas or energy securities (including but not limited to Linn Energy), please contact the Investment Loss Recovery Team at the Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell Law Firm at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.  

5 – This week FINRA barred an AXA representative from the industry who was working Boca Raton, FL.  On August 9, 2017, Investment News reported that Mr. Bryan C. Lightsey failed to appear before a hearing relating to alleged misconduct. According to Mr. Lightsey’s FINRA Broker Check report, he was licensed for 14 years and registered with AXA between 2008 and 2016.  Apparently, AXA discharged Mr. Lightsey for material misrepresentations on multiple customer variable annuity applications. If you are an investor who had questionable dealings with Mr. Lightsey and/or AXA, or suffered losses with a brokerage firm or investment advisor, please call the Investment Loss Recovery Team at the Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell Law Firm at 1-800-856-3352 for a no-cost consultation and review.