All posts by Klayman & Toskes

Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Launches GoFundMe Relief Campaign for Puerto Rico

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Boca Raton, Florida (Globe Newswire) – October 9, 2017 – The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. (“K&T”),, recently launched a GoFundMe campaign for Puerto Rico, which has recently been devastated by multiple hurricanes, most recently Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island and its infrastructure. K&T has close ties to the Puerto Rican community as it has employees who come from Puerto Rico, a large client base who lives on the island, and many family members and friends who have been affected by these storms.

According to the GoFundMe, started by founders, Lawrence Klayman, Esq. and Steven Toskes, Esq., this relief effort will go toward helping Puerto Rico directly. “There is no sprint to win this relief effort, and it is a marathon, one which will take many months and perhaps years to fix the infrastructure and for people of the island’s lives to return to normalcy,” said Steven Toskes. “We just want to do what we can, what is right, to help the island rebuild. We have been dealing with cases in Puerto Rico for several years now, and it is part of our belief that helping goes much beyond the legal practice.”

If you would like to donate visit the GoFundMe page here, or visit our website at

Notice to Clients of Austin Richard Dutton Jr. and Newbridge Securities: The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. has commenced an Investigation in Light of Regulatory Fines of nearly $700,000.

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NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. (“K&T”),, has commenced an investigation in light of recent regulatory action concerning Austin Richard Dutton Jr. (“Dutton”) and Newbridge Securities Corporation (“Newbridge”). The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities recently levied fines against Newbridge for $499,000 and against Dutton personally for $200,000, for misconduct between 2012 and 2016. Dutton is currently registered with Sandlapper Securities, LLC, which is currently embroiled in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulatory action regarding the fraudulent markup of saltwater disposal wells.

According to securities attorney Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq., “Newbridge Securities is responsible for adequately supervising its registered representatives.  When brokerage firms fail to adequately supervise their registered representatives, they may be liable for any resulting investment losses sustained by customers.” The fine levied against Newbridge of $499,000, according to its Consent Agreement, is based on the failure to reasonably supervise one agent, Dutton, in-connection with sales of structured products. Dutton was also fined $200,000 in a separate action for dishonest and unethical practices in the securities business related to those same sales.

The sole purpose of this release is to investigate the sales practices of Dutton and Newbridge in-connection with the sale of structured products to their customers.  Current and former customers of Dutton who held accounts with Dutton and have information relating to the manner in which Dutton represented these products, are encouraged to contact the attorneys of Klayman & Toskes at (888) 997-9956, or visit our website at

NOTICE TO ALL SANDLAPPER SECURITIES, LLC CLIENTS WHO PURCHASED SALTWATER DISPOSAL WELLS: The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Commences Investigation on the heels of FINRA Complaint

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Boca Raton, Florida (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – October 4, 2017 – The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A.,, has commenced an investigation into Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sales practice violations by Sandlapper Securities, LLC (“Sandlapper”). FINRA alleges Sandlapper sold saltwater disposal wells to investors with excessive, undisclosed markups, through an owned and controlled middleman.

On September 29, 2017 FINRA filed a complaint (Disciplinary Proceeding # 2014041860801) against Sandlapper (CRD # 137906), Trevor Lee Gordon (CRD # 2195122), and Jack Charles Bixler (CRD # 22331), alleging that Gordon and Bixler, “extracted ill-gotten profits for themselves through their control of the fund.” Gordon and Bixler sold interests in the fund through Sandlapper, and made all investment decisions, specifically which wells to acquire and what prices to pay. The Complaint alleges that the fraudulent markups totaled over $8 million.

The sole purpose of this release is to investigate whether Sandlapper sold interests in saltwater disposal wells which may have resulted in unsuitable recommendationsbreach of fiduciary dutymisrepresentations and omissions of material facts and a failure to supervise. Current and former clients who have information about the sales practices of Sandlapper are encouraged to contact Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq. of Klayman & Toskes, P.A.  at (888) 997-9956, or visit our website at



AVISO A CLIENTES DE UBS PUERTO RICO: Los bufetes de Klayman & Toskes y Carlo Law Offices presentan una reclamación de arbitraje de FINRA por $15 millones contra UBS, por concentración en bonos y fondos de bonos cerrados de Puerto Rico, tras la radicación de la petición de quiebra por parte del gobierno de Puerto Rico.

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San Juan, Puerto Rico, 5 de mayo de 2017 – El bufete de arbitraje de valores Klayman & Toskes, P.A.,, junto con Carlo Law Office, P.S.C., ubicado en Puerto Rico, anunció hoy que presentó una reclamación por $15 millones ante FINRA, en contra de UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico y UBS Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: UBS). La reclamación se presentó tras la radicación de quiebra por el gobierno de Puerto Rico; la más grande de la historia municipal de los Estados Unidos. Según la reclamación, el demandante confió sus ahorros de retiro a UBS, con el objetivo de inversión de ingreso fijo y preservación de capital. Contrario a este objetivo, UBS concentró la cuenta en bonos del gobierno de Puerto Rico (“PRGBs”) y en fondos de bonos cerrados generados por UBS (“UBS PR CEBFs”), los cuales estaban apalancados con préstamos de UBS Bank USA.

UBS compró y mantuvo para el demandante los PRGBs y UBS PR CEBFs, los cuales están estrechamente ligados al desempeño de la economía de Puerto Rico. El demandante creyó que estas compras fueron consistentes con su tolerancia al riesgo. Sin embargo, la sobre concentración en estos PRGBs y UBS PR CEBFs dio lugar a riesgos excesivos, que se vieron exacerbados por el uso de préstamos de UBS Bank USA. UBS no divulgó al demandante los riesgos asociados con la concentración excesiva de su cuenta en estos valores. A consecuencia, el demandante sufrió pérdidas, las cuales fueron precipitadas por llamadas de margen, ya que sus inversiones ilíquidas se utilizaron como garantía para el préstamo.

El único propósito de este comunicado es investigar, en nombre de nuestros clientes, las prácticas de venta de UBS en relación con recomendaciones de inversión inadecuadas proporcionadas a sus clientes. Los clientes actuales y antiguos de UBS que tengan información relacionada con el asesoramiento de inversión proporcionada por UBS relacionados con PRGBs y UBS PR CEBFs, deben contactar a Steven D. Toskes de Klayman & Toskes u Osvaldo Carlo de Carlo Law Offices, al (787) 268-6444, o visite nuestro sitio web:

closeup of a court gavel on cash

NOTICE TO UBS PUERTO RICO CUSTOMERS: Klayman & Toskes and Carlo Law Offices File $15 Million FINRA Claim Against UBS for Concentration in Puerto Rico Government Bonds and Closed-End Bond Funds in the Wake of Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Filing

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San Juan, Puerto Rico.  May 5, 2017 — The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A.,, together with Carlo Law Offices, P.S.C. located in Puerto Rico, announced today that they filed a FINRA claim against UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico and UBS Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: UBS) (collectively “UBS”) for $15 million.  The claim has been filed in the wake of Puerto Rico’s recent bankruptcy filing, which is the largest in U.S. Municipal history. According to the Claim, the Claimant entrusted his retirement assets to UBS with an investment objective of current income and capital preservation.  Contrary to these objectives, UBS concentrated his account in Puerto Rico Government Bonds (“PRGBs”) and its proprietary Puerto Rico closed-end bond funds (“UBS PR CEBFs”), which are leveraged with UBS Bank USA Loans.

UBS purchased and held for Claimant PRGBs and UBS PR CEBFs, both of which are closely tied to the performance of Puerto Rico’s economy. The Claimant believed the purchases were consistent with his risk tolerance. However, the over concentration in these PRGBs and UBS PR CEBFs resulted in excessive risks, which were exacerbated by the use of UBS’ Bank Loans.  UBS failed to disclose to Claimant the risks associated with over concentrating his account in these securities.  Ultimately, the Claimant suffered losses which were precipitated by margin calls since his illiquid securities were utilized as collateral.

The sole purpose of this release is to investigate, on behalf of our clients, the sales practices of UBS in connection with unsuitable investment recommendations provided to their customers. Current and former customers of UBS who have information relating to the investment advice provided by UBS related to Puerto PRGBs and UBS PR CEBFs, are encouraged to contact Steven D. Toskes of Klayman & Toskes or Osvaldo Carlo of Carlo Law Offices, at (787)268-6444, or visit our website:

FINRA Bars Broker for Excessive Trading in Elderly Customer Accounts

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Released April 2017

Matthew Christopher Maczko (CRD #1888519, Downers Grove, Illinois) submitted an AWC in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Maczko consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he engaged in excessive trading in an elderly customer’s accounts. The findings stated that Maczko effectively controlled these accounts, which had an average aggregate value of $3 million. Maczko’s transactions in these accounts generated approximately $581,650 in commissions, $84,270 in other fees, and approximately $397,000 in trading losses. This level of trading was unsuitable for the customer given her investment profile, including her age, risk tolerance and income needs. The findings also stated that Maczko provided inaccurate and misleading testimony to FINRA. Maczko testified that he had not spoken with two customers since his termination earlier that month. However, a review of Maczko’s telephone records revealed that he had in fact spoken with these customers by telephone several times after his termination.

(FINRA Case #2016050430201)

Source: FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. 2017
Full Disciplinary Reports Available to the public at:

Department of Labor Fiduciary 60-Day Rule Delays Financial Industry Crunch Time

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The new Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule that was enacted and scheduled to begin this month on April 10th has been postponed 60 days to June 9th.  Brokerage Firms and Financial Advisors are responsible for compliance with the rules as they are now written.  Keeping in mind that the requirements may be modified or eliminated based on the what happens during the 60-day delay. Klayman & Toskes, P.A. is monitoring the developments and will keep investors posted and provide further updates as they become available.

Best Interest Contract (BIC)

Brokerage firms and financial advisors who recommend investment of retirement funds into investment and insurance products that provide commission-based compensation are subject to Best Interest Contract disclosure requirements.  The BIC requires the disclosure of compensation to the client and the acknowledgement of the Fiduciary Standards, which are met through the recommended investment.

Fiduciary Standards

Under the current DOL Fiduciary Rule, brokerage firms and financial advisors are considered Fiduciaries for all retirement accounts.  Accordingly, the following fiduciary standards must be met:

Avoid Conflicts of Interest

This primarily refers to receiving Commissions on brokerage accounts or compensation paid by Product Vendors.  The BIC allows the payment of commissions to brokerage firms and financial advisors but requires that all other aspects of the fiduciary standards are followed.

Advice Must Be in Client’s Best Interest

A written explanation and proof of “client’s best interest” will be required for every transaction.

Give Prudent Advice

Financial advice must be prudent and suitable based on the clients’ risk tolerance, in the clients’ best interest, have reasonable expenses and pay no more than reasonable compensation.

The DOL Fiduciary Rule recommends two tiers of investments when giving advice on retirement accounts. The second Tier of investments will be prohibited in retirement accounts unless an exception is provided.  The prohibited investments include, Illiquid and difficult to value securities, such as:

About Klayman & Toskes, P.A.

Klayman & Toskes, P.A. is dedicated to the protection of investor rights and the recovery of investment losses in retirement accounts that are the result of violations of FINRA sales practice rule and regulations.



Texas E&P Partners Expelled By FINRA for Misconduct Related to Chestnut Exploration Partners

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Released March 2017

Texas E&P Partners, Inc. fka Chestnut Exploration Partners, Inc. (CRD #127228 , Richardson, Texas) and Mark Allan Plummer (CRD #4608699 Richardson, Texas).

The firm was expelled from FINRA® membership. Plummer was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and ordered to pay $ 513,961, plus interest, in restitution to customers. The sanctions were based on findings that Plummer misused customer funds by misusing the portion of a completion assessment (certain assessments that were levied on investors for prospective oil and gas well investments) attributable to a prospective well. The findings stated that Plummer collected funds for one purpose—well completion—following a vote by investors and did not use that portion of the funds pertaining to a prospective well for that purpose. Plummer never received permission to use that portion of the assessed funds for other purposes and to date has not repaid those funds to investors (except for settlement payments made to three investors). The findings also stated that the firm had insufficient written supervisory procedures (WSPs). The firm’s business involved acting as a placement agent in connection with investment offerings involving its affiliates, and its supervisory system failed to address conflicts of interest in such offerings.

The findings also included that the firm produced an altered document regarding prospective oil and gas investments to FINRA during its investigation. Plummer intentionally altered the document prior to providing it to FINRA. The firm’s chief compliance officer (CCO) had witnessed the alteration and nevertheless produced the document to FINRA without disclosing its falsity. Plummer acted unethically or in bad faith by falsifying, and thereby rendering misleading, the document that he knew the firm was going to provide to FINRA in connection with its investigation. Plummer also gave false and misleading testimony concerning the document at his FINRA on-the-record interview, and did so intentionally or, at a minimum, recklessly. The Hearing Panel determined that FINRA failed to prove that the firm and Plummer engaged in fraud and made misrepresentations and omissions in connection with the sale of joint venture interests, or that the firm improperly collected or misused customer funds or otherwise acted unethically. Accordingly, those charges were dismissed. (FINRA Case #2014040501801)

Source: FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. 2017
Full Disciplinary Reports Available to the public at:


Broker Barred by FINRA for Excessive Trading in Client IRA Accounts

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Released March 2017

Richard Gomez (CRD #4727721, Jackson Heights, New York) submitted an AWC in which he was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one year.  In light of Gomez’s financial status, no monetary sanction has been imposed. Without admitting or denying the findings, Gomez consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he engaged in several types of misconduct in the Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) of three of his member firm’s customers. The findings stated that without obtaining prior written authorization from two of these customers—who are husband and wife and senior investors—and without the firm’s acceptance of the customers’ IRAs as discretionary accounts, Gomez effected discretionary trades in these customers’ IRAs. Gomez failed to discuss the trades with the customers on the dates of the transactions. The findings also stated that Gomez’s trading in these accounts was excessive. The turnover and cost-to-equity ratios far exceeded the thresholds indicating excessive trading. Further, the strategy was inconsistent with the investment objective of capital preservation and a moderate to moderately aggressive risk tolerance that the customers expected for their respective IRAs. Nevertheless, Gomez’s trading in these IRAs resulted in losses of approximately $213,000 for the customers and generated approximately $483,400 in commissions.

The findings also included that Gomez executed transactions in a third customer’s IRA, who is also a senior investor, that were part of a qualitatively unsuitable trading strategy. The transactions that Gomez effected in this customer’s IRA resulted in market losses, and commissions and fees totaling nearly $30,000. The customer learned that Gomez was not implementing the trading strategy that they had agreed upon when he began to receive trade confirmations in the mail. The customer immediately complained to Gomez and the firm, and instructed Gomez to stop effecting any transactions in his IRA. Gomez’s trading in this customer’s IRA was unsuitable for the customer because the investment strategy in the IRA was inconsistent with the customer’s expectations and his directions to Gomez regarding the strategy that Gomez promised to implement in the account. The investment strategy was also inconsistent with the customer’s moderately aggressive risk tolerance and growth investment objectives, which were reflected in the customer’s new account documents for the firm. Instead, the strategy concentrated the customer’s assets in a single security at a time, so a negative performance in the security would have drastic effects on the IRA value. Gomez also effected transactions in the customer’s IRA without his authorization, knowledge or consent.

FINRA found that as a result of the customer’s complaint regarding his trading activity in his IRA, Gomez executed an agreement in which he agreed to repay to the customer, in an installment plan, the commissions of $9,186 generated from Gomez’s trading in his IRA. Gomez proposed the dates and amounts for repayment that were incorporated in the agreement. However, Gomez never intended to honor the terms of the agreement. Without providing any explanation, Gomez failed to make the first required payment. Gomez also failed to make subsequent payments, despite repeated promises to the customer and the firm’s management that he would do so. On at least two occasions, the firm withheld Gomez’s commission payments in order to make partial payments to the customer. By the agreement’s deadline for Gomez to fulfill his obligations pursuant to the agreement, the customer had received approximately a third of the amount due to him under the agreement, largely through the firm’s intervention. By that point, Gomez had resigned from the firm, had ceased to make any payments under the agreement, and had stopped responding in any way to the customer’s requests for payment. Gomez did not have any reasonable justification or excuse for his failure to comply with the agreement. The suspension is in effect from February 6, 2017, through February 5, 2018. (FINRA Case #2014039358003)

Source: FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. 2017
Full Disciplinary Reports Available to the public at:


NOTICE TO UPS EMPLOYEES/SHAREHOLDERS: Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Files $1,000,000 FINRA Arbitration Claim on Behalf of Retired UPS Employee for Losses Suffered as a result of Merrill Lynch’s Unsuitable Recommendation to Invest in Rampart Strategy

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NEW YORK, March 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The securities arbitration law firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. (“K&T”),, has filed a $1,000,000 FINRA arbitration claim [FINRA Case No. 17-00599] on behalf of retired United Parcel Service (“UPS”) (NYSE: UPS) employee for losses suffered as a result of Merrill Lynch’s unsuitable recommendation to invest in Rampart Strategy.

According to K&T, the investigation focuses on Merrill Lynch’s sales practices for customers who acquired UPS stock through UPS’ Employee Stock Purchase Plan or Managers Incentive Program and were advised by Merrill Lynch to implement a covered call strategy on their concentrated UPS stock position through Merrill Lynch’s Rampart Strategy.

Securities attorney Steven D. Toskes from K&T explains, “The covered call strategy implemented by Merrill Lynch through Rampart was unsuitable since the strike price of the call option was either too close to the current share price of UPS or below the then current price.  Mr. Toskes continues, “The close proximity of the share price and strike price of UPS virtually ensured that the stock would get called away or it would be very expensive to buy back the option.  Our client accumulated low cost basis stock during the 29 years they worked for UPS and did not want to have their stock ‘called away’ and trigger a large capital gains tax.”

K&T continues to represent UPS employees who invested in the Rampart Strategy against Merrill Lynch for FINRA sales practice violations, including unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations and omissions of material facts and failure to supervise.  Investors who have information about the sales practices of brokerage firms and their financial advisors are encouraged to contact Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq. or Steven D. Toskes, Esq. of Klayman & Toskes at (888) 997-9956, or visit our website at

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