For almost 30 years, I have primarily represented investors in securities arbitrations against brokerage firms. My foray into investor representation began in the early 90’s when I represented a group of Prudential Securities investors in Dallas, Texas who lost boatloads of money investing in limited partnerships at the behest of Prudenntial stockbroker Fred Storaska. The cases landed on the front page of the Wall Street Journal business section in March 1994, because my clients were pressuring Prudential to offer them higher settlements. It worked, and I obtained excellent settlements for my clients.
I have represented hundreds of investors over the years against most every brokerage firm there is and am proud of my accomplishments in helping investors recover what they are due.
The following are a few of my more memorable cases and kudosMerrill Lynch, Dallas, Texas
Another one of my cases was covered by the Wall Street Journal, because I represented a group of Dallas, Texas investors who had been defrauded by a Merrill Lynch stockbroker Brion Randall, who had befriended many of my clients in Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meetings. Though the amounts are confidential, my clients received very good settlements. ( Read WSJ article on Tracy's case )Salomon Smith Barney, Charlotte, North Carolina
I represented 63 Plaintiffs in a class action court case against Salomon Smith Barney. My clients were all employees at Bellsouth Corporation who were pitched in seminars to take early retirement and invest their savings with Salomon Smith Barney. The problem was that the brokers promised the employees they would get 12% a year, encouraging them to take vacations and spend money! ( Read Former Bell South Early Retirees Story )Raymond James, Dallas, Texas
In 2011, I am pleased to have recovered for an 87-year old man his losses of over $1 million, attorneys fees of $225,000 and costs in a case that involved complex variable annuities. The award is one of the largest against the firm. ( Read Wall Street Journal article on the case )Merrill Lynch, Atlanta, Georgia
I represented a nurse anesthesiologist who entrusted his life savings to his best friend, who was a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch (are you noticing a trend of clients whose stockbroker was a good friend?). We arbitrated the case and recovered $500,000 in damages, $100,000 in attorneys’ fees and $25,000 in costs. ( Read more on about the case that ran on Forbes.com )Ameri-First Securities, Dallas, Texas
Securities arbitration typically involves only financial losses. However in this case I found myself representing a woman who claimed that not only had her stockbroker lost a lot of her money through inappropriate trading, he also sexually harassed her and caused her mental anguish. We arbitrated the case, and the Panel not only awarded my client her losses, her attorney’s fees, and her costs, it also awarded $85,000 as damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery. This type of award is very rare in securities arbitrations.Morgan Stanley, Dallas, Texas
I represented a woman whose account was mishandled by a Morgan Stanley stockbroker and after arbitrating the case, the Panel wrote, “The Panel finds that the Respondent violated Federal and state securities laws and Respondent affected unauthorized, unsuitable and excessive trades in claimant's account, made misstatements and omissions in connection with the sale and purchase of securities to the Claimant, and failed to supervise its stockbroker.” You can’t aske for a better finding than that. The Panel entered a make-whole award - $152,883 in damages, $101,922 in attorneys’ fees and $25,000 in costs.SG Cowen Securities, Cleveland, Ohio
I rpresented one of the victims of a massive fraudulent scheme by a stockbroker named Frank Gruttadauria. The SEC Complaint stated the broker’s misdeeds best when it wrote, “ Over a period of many years, Gruttadauria told customers that he had bought or sold securities for their accounts when, in fact, he had misappropriated their funds for his own purposes. He also materially misrepresented the value of and the positions held in customer accounts, often telling customers that their accounts contained a wide variety of holdings worth millions of dollars when, in fact, the accounts contained only a few thousand dollars in a money market account.” Needless to say, the broker is serving 15 years in prison but meanwhile, my client had lost millions. I filed the arbitration claim and after many months of discovery battles and preparing for arbitration, I flew up to Cleveland and was ready to begin the arbitration the following morning. My hotel phone rang at 11 pm and it was opposing counsel wanting to talk settlement. The case settled at 3:00 am after hours of negotiating. My client was tired but very, very happy.Ameritrade, Baltimore, Maryland
This was another multi-party arbitration where I represented 40 older residents ofWarfordsburg, Pennsylvania in a claim against Ameritrade. The bad actor was an investment advisor named Robert Bard whose father was the minister in this small community. Robert Bard presented himself as a man of strong moral values and religious beliefs. He attended church with many of my clients and that is how he came to be my clients’ money manager. Mr. Bard opened up accounts for my clients at Ameritrade in what are called “Institutional” accounts, where he proceeded to decimate the accounts through various acts of wrongdoing. Our claim was not against Robert Bard, who is now serving time in prison for his wrongdoing. It was against Ameritrade for not properly responding to “red flags” raised by Mr. Bard in the opening of the accounts and his handling of them. The case settled in mediation for a very nice sum and my clients, who had lost a large portion of their life savings, recovered those losses.