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Notice to Clients of Andrew Yocum and Morgan Stanley: The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. has Commenced an Investigation in Light of Recent Regulatory Action Barring Andrew Yocum from Acting as a Broker

By | Blog, Featured Investigations, FINRA Disciplinary Actions, Oil & Gas Investments, Securities Concentration | No Comments

New York (Globe Newswire) – August 2, 2016 – The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes¸ P.A. (“K&T”), www.nasd-law.com, has commenced an investigation in light of recent regulatory action barring Andrew Yocum (“Yocum”) from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) recently barred Yocum from the securities industry after he failed to respond to a FINRA investigation.  (FINRA No.  2015048065701).  FINRA sanctioned Yocum after he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony in connection with an investigation into whether he effected unauthorized transactions, exercised discretion without written authorization, and recommended unsuitable concentrated purchases of energy sector securities to senior investors.

Numerous customer complaints were made against Yocum while employed at Morgan Stanley.  Several of these complaints included over-concentrating customer accounts in energy, oil and gas related securities as well as recommending unsuitable investments to Morgan Stanley customers.  Investment firms are required to supervise their brokers and financial advisors to ensure that they are compliant with FINRA rules.  FINRA sales practice rules related to potential violations may include misrepresentations and omissions of material facts, conflicts of interest, unsuitable investment advice, securities concentration, or failure to supervise its financial advisors.

The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Launches Investigation into Sales Practice Violations of Brokerage Firms Related to Concentrated Positions in Energy Company Stocks Collateralized by Margin Loans

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Boca Raton, Florida (Businesswire) – March 21, 2016 – The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. (“K&T”), www.nasd-law.com, announces an investigation into Financial Industry Regulatory (FINRA) sales practice violations of full-service brokerage firms related to the handling of client brokerage accounts with concentrated positions in energy company stocks collateralized by margin loans. According to K&T, the investigation encompasses investors who acquired energy company stocks through personal investment, inheritance or as a company employee.

Recent economic and political changes in the global oil markets have resulted in historic declines in the price of oil and losses for energy investors. According to securities attorney, Steven D. Toskes, Esq., “Brokerage firms may have recommended clients establish margin loans to avoid taxation and generate income utilizing their concentrated energy stock positions as collateral.” Mr. Toskes asserts, “Financial advisors may have failed to explain the risks associated with securities concentration and margin loans. Mr. Toskes explains, “Financial advisor recommendations which result in unsuitable investment advice, margin call risks and/or a failure to recommend risk management strategies for unprotected concentrated stock positions are causes of action that may be available to investors in an individual securities arbitration claim filed with FINRA.”

Our investigation includes sales practices violations related to the handling of concentrated positions in energy stocks, including the following:

  • Linn Energy (NASDAQ:LINE);
  • Swift Energy (PNK:SFYWQ);
  • Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN);
  • Consol Energy (NYSE:CNX);
  • Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI);
  • Range Resources (NYSE:RRC);
  • ONEOK (NYSE:OKE);
  • Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR):
  • Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO):
  • Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN):
  • Ensco (NYSE:ESV);
  • Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB); and
  • National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV).

Brokerage firm violations of FINRA sales practice rules may include misrepresentations and omissions of material facts, conflicts of interest, unsuitable investment advice, securities concentration, failure to implement risk management strategies or failure to supervise its financial advisors. Our investigation relates to concentrated investments in energy company stocks through personal investment, inheritance or as a company employee.

About Klayman & Toskes, P.A.

K&T is a leading national securities law firm which practices exclusively in the field of securities arbitration and litigation, on behalf of retail and institutional investors such as non-profit organizations, public and multi-employer pension funds in large and complex securities matters. K&T has office locations in California, Florida, New York and Puerto Rico. Investors, with losses in excess of $250,000 in energy company stocks, or who have knowledge of full-service brokerage firm sales practices can contact us, or call Steven D. Toskes, Esq. at 888-997-9956.

The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Continues to Investigate Sales Practices Violations Related to Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs

By | Alternative Investments, Blog, Featured Cases, Featured Investigations, FINRA Sales Practice Violations, MArket-Linked Notes, Oil & Gas Investments, Securities Arbitration, Structured Securities Products | No Comments

Boca Raton, Florida (BUSINESSWIRE) – January 21, 2016 – The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A., www.nasd-law.com, continues to investigate Financial Industry Regulatory (FINRA) sales practice violations related to Credit Suisse Securities USA (“Credit Suisse”) X-Links and Velocity Shares Exchanged Traded Notes (ETNs). Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs are issued by affiliated banks, Credit Suisse A.G and Credit Suisse Group A.G., ADR (NYSE:CS). In some instances, Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares performance is linked to oil prices, energy-related master limited partnerships and commodity indexes. Credit Suisse manages its proprietary X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs, commonly known as structured securities products, to generate greater returns through the use of embedded derivatives designed to track the performance of a volatile security, index, commodity or currency, many times without any principal protections.

FINRA sales practice rules require a fair and balanced representation to investors that Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs are more complex and risky than a simple “interest rate” credit when based on a volatile index or commodity. Credit Suisse underwrites, manages and markets billions of dollars in Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs including the following:

  • Credit Suisse S&P MLP ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPO)
  • Credit Suisse X-Links Commodity Benchmark ETN (NYSE Arca: CSCB)
  • Credit Suisse X-Links Commodity Rotation ETN (NYSE Arca: CSCR)
  • Credit Suisse X-Links Cushing MLP Infrastructure ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPN)
  • Credit Suisse Velocity Shares 3X Long Crude ETN (NYSE Arca: UWTI)
  • Credit Suisse Velocity Shares 3X Natural Gas ETN (NYSE Arca: VGAZ)

In 2015, a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) audit of major Wall Street brokerage firms led to a National Exam Program – Risk Alert Report after the review of sales practices violations related to Structured Securities Products, similar to Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs. According to the SEC examination, deficiencies were found in some brokerage firms’ supervisory and sales practices related to the determination of “suitability” and “levels of concentration” in customer accounts.

Our investigation of major Wall Street brokerage firms, including Credit Suisse relates to sales practices related to Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs. Brokerage firm violations of FINRA sales practice rules may include misrepresentations and omissions of material facts, conflicts of interest, unsuitable investment advice, securities concentration or the failure to supervise its financial advisors. Our investigation relates to investments in Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs designed to track the Price of Oil, MLP Pipeline Indexes, Commodities Baskets, and in some instances are leveraged up to 300%.

About Klayman & Toskes, P.A.

Klayman & Toskes, P.A., an experienced, qualified and nationally recognized securities litigation law firm, is currently investigating FINRA sales practice violations of major Wall Street brokerage firms related to the sale of Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs. Investors who have knowledge or experience related to the sales practices of brokerage firms and its financial advisors’ recommendations related to Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs, contact Steven D. Toskes, Esq. at 888-997-9956.

The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Continues to Investigate Sales Practices Related to UBS ETRACS ETNs

By | Alternative Investments, Blog, Broker Misconduct, Featured Investigations, FINRA Sales Practice Violations, MArket-Linked Notes, Oil & Gas Investments, Structured Securities Products | No Comments

Boca Raton, Florida (BUSINESSWIRE) – January 20, 2016 – The Securities Arbitration Law Firms of Klayman & Toskes, P.A., www.nasd-law.com, continues to investigate Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sales practice violations related to UBS Exchange Traded Access Securities (ETRACS) whose performance is linked to declining energy, currency and commodity markets. UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS), a wholly owned subsidiary of UBS Group A.G. (NYSE:UBS) sells and distributes UBS ETRACS Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs). UBS ETRACS ETNs, commonly known as structured securities products, are designed to generate greater returns through the use of embedded derivatives designed to track the performance of a volatile security, index, commodity or currency, many times without any principal protections.

FINRA sales practice rules require a fair and balanced representation to investors that UBS ETRACS ETNs are more complex and risky than a simple “interest rate” credit when based on a volatile index or commodity. UBS underwrites, manages and markets billions of dollars in UBS ETRACS ETNs to its customers, including the following:

  • UBS ETRACS Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSE Arca: AMU)
  • UBS ETRACS 2X Monthly Leveraged S&P MLP Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPV)
  • UBS ETRACS Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPI)
  • UBS ETRACS 2X Monthly Leveraged Long Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPL)
  • UBS ETRACS CMCI Energy Total Return ETN (NYSE Arca: UBN)
  • UBS ETRACS CMCI Total Return ETN (NYSE Arca: UCI)
  • UBS ETRACS Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return (NYSE Arca: DJCI)

In 2015, a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) audit of major Wall Street brokerage firms led to a National Exam Program – Risk Alert Report after the review of sales practices violations related to Structured Securities Products, similar to UBS’ proprietary ETRACS ETNs. According to the SEC examination, deficiencies were found in some brokerage firms’ supervisory and sales practices related to the determination of “suitability” and “levels of concentration” in customer accounts.

Our investigation relates to UBS’ sales practices related to its proprietary ETRACS ETNs. UBS’ violations of FINRA sales practice violations may include misrepresentations and omissions of material facts, conflicts of interest, unsuitable investment advice, securities concentration or the failure to supervise its financial advisors. Our investigation relates to investments in UBS ETRACS ETNs designed to track the Price of Oil, MLP Pipelines, Indexes, Currency and Commodities Baskets, and in some instances leveraged up to 200%.

About Klayman & Toskes, P.A.

Klayman & Toskes, P.A., an experienced, qualified and nationally recognized securities litigation law firm, is continues to investigate FINRA sales practice violations related to the sale of UBS ETRACS ETNs. Investors who have knowledge or experience related to the sales practices of brokerage firms and its financial advisors’ recommendations related to UBS ETRACS ETNs, contact Steven D. Toskes, Esq. at 888-997-9956.

The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Announces Investigation into FINRA Sales Practices Violations Related to Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs

By | Alternative Investments, Broker Misconduct, Featured Investigations, FINRA Sales Practice Violations, MArket-Linked Notes, Oil & Gas Investments, Securities Arbitration, Securities Concentration, Structured Securities Products | No Comments

Boca Raton, Florida (BUSINESSWIRE) – October 13, 2015 – The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A., www.nasd-law.com, announces an investigation into Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sales practice violations by major Wall Street brokerage firms, including Credit Suisse Securities USA (“Credit Suisse”), related to Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares Exchanged Traded Notes (ETNs). Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs are issued by affiliated banks, Credit Suisse A.G and Credit Suisse Group A.G., ADR (NYSE:CS). In some instance, Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares performance is linked to oil prices, energy-related master limited partnerships and commodity indexes. Credit Suisse manages its proprietary X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs, commonly known as structured securities products, to generate greater returns through the use of embedded derivatives designed to track the performance of a volatile security, index, commodity or currency, many times without any principal protections.

FINRA sales practice rules require a fair and balanced representation to investors that Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs are more complex and risky than a simple “interest rate” credit when based on a volatile index or commodity. Credit Suisse underwrites, manages and markets billions of dollars in Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs including the following:

  • Credit Suisse S&P MLP ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPO)
  • Credit Suisse X-Links Commodity Benchmark ETN (NYSE Arca: CSCB)
  • Credit Suisse X-Links Commodity Rotation ETN (NYSE Arca: CSCR)
  • Credit Suisse X-Links Cushing MLP Infrastructure ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPN)
  • Credit Suisse Velocity Shares 3X Long Crude ETN (NYSE Arca: UWTI)
  • Credit Suisse Velocity Shares 3X Natural Gas ETN (NYSE Arca: VGAZ)

On August 24, 2015, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a SEC National Exam Program – Risk Alert Report which reviewed sales practices violations of major Wall Street brokerage firms related to supervision and sales of Structured Securities Products, similar to Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs. According to the SEC examination, deficiencies were found in some brokerage firms’ supervisory and sales practices related to the determination of “suitability” and “levels of concentration” in customer accounts.

Our investigation of major Wall Street brokerage firms, including Credit Suisse relates to sales practices related to Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs. Brokerage firm violations of FINRA sales practice violations may include misrepresentations and omissions of material facts, conflicts of interest, unsuitable investment advice, securities concentration or the failure to supervise its financial advisors. Our investigation relates to investments in Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs designed to track the Price of Oil, MLP Pipeline Indexes, Commodities Baskets, and in some instances are leveraged up to 300%.

About Klayman & Toskes, P.A.

Klayman & Toskes, P.A., an experienced, qualified and nationally recognized securities litigation law firm, is currently investigating FINRA sales practice violations of major Wall Street brokerage firms related to the sale of Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs. Investors who have knowledge or experience related to the sales practices of brokerage firms and its financial advisors’ recommended investment in Credit Suisse X-Links and Velocity Shares ETNs, contact Steven D. Toskes, Esq. at 888-997-9956.

The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. Announces Investigation into UBS ETRACS ETNs Linked to Declining Energy and Commodity Prices

By | Blog, Featured Investigations, MArket-Linked Notes, Oil & Gas Investments, Securities Arbitration, Securities Concentration | No Comments

Boca Raton, Florida (BUSINESSWIRE) – October 9, 2015 – The Securities Arbitration Law Firms of Klayman & Toskes, P.A., www.nasd-law.com, announces an investigation into UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS), a wholly owned subsidiary of UBS Group A.G. (NYSE:UBS), for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sales practice violations related to UBS Exchange Traded Access Securities (ETRACS) whose performance is linked to declining commodity and energy prices. UBS manages ETRACS Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs), commonly known as structured securities products, to generate greater returns through the use of embedded derivatives designed to track the performance of a volatile security, index, commodity or currency, many times without any principal protections.

FINRA sales practice rules require a fair and balanced representation to investors that UBS ETRACS ETNs are more complex and risky than a simple “interest rate” credit when based on a volatile index or commodity. UBS underwrites, manages and markets billions of dollars in UBS ETRACS NTNs to its customers, including the following:

  • UBS ETRACS Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSE Arca: AMU)
  • UBS ETRACS 2X Monthly Leveraged S&P MLP Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPV)
  • UBS ETRACS Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPI)
  • UBS ETRACS 2X Monthly Leveraged Long Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPL)
  • UBS ETRACS CMCI Energy Total Return ETN (NYSE Arca: UBN)
  • UBS ETRACS CMCI Total Return ETN (NYSE Arca: UCI)
  • UBS ETRACS Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return (NYSE Arca: DJCI)

On August 24, 2015, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a National Exam Program – Risk Alert Report which reviewed sales practices violations of major Wall Street brokerage firms related to the supervision and sales of Structured Securities Products, similar to UBS’ proprietary ETRACS ETNs. According to the SEC examination, deficiencies were found in some brokerage firms’ supervisory and sales practices related to the determination of “suitability” and “levels of concentration” in customer accounts.

Our investigation relates to UBS’ sales practices related to its proprietary ETRACS ETNs. UBS’ violations of FINRA sales practice violations may include misrepresentations and omissions of material facts, conflicts of interest, unsuitable investment advice, securities concentration or the failure to supervise its financial advisors. Our investigation relates to investments in UBS ETRACS ETNs designed to track the Price of Oil, MLP Pipelines, Indexes, Commodities Baskets, and in some instances leveraged up to 200%.

About Klayman & Toskes, P.A.

Klayman & Toskes, P.A., an experienced, qualified and nationally recognized securities litigation law firm, is currently investigating FINRA sales practice violations of UBS related to the sale of its proprietary UBS ETRACS ETNs. Investors who have knowledge or experience related to the sales practices of UBS and its financial advisors’ recommended investment in UBS ETRACS ETNs, contact Steven D. Toskes, Esq. at 888-997-9956.

What Legal Recourse Exists For Hedge Fund Investors In BlackGold Opportunity Fund LP?

By | Blog, Featured Investigations, FINRA Sales Practice Violations, Hedge Funds, News, Oil & Gas Investments, Securities Arbitration | No Comments

The collapse in oil prices has hit hard investment strategies focused on the oil and energy sector for many investors, both retail and high net worth, accredited investors.  Accredited investors qualify to invest in BlackGold Opportunity Fund, LP through meeting minimum net worth and stated income requirements specified by the SEC Rule 506, Regulation D.  BlackGold Opportunity Fund, LP raised capital through the use of offering documents known as Private Placement Memorandums (PPM).  According to securities industry rules, accredited investor are deemed able to understand and assume risks of investments in BlackGold Opportunity Fund, LP.  However, when an investment advisory firm recommends hedge fund investments in BlackGold Opportunity Fund, LP, are there any duties and obligations owed to clients?

BlackGold Opportunity Fund LP is a credit-oriented hedge fund which invests in securities issued by energy companies across the credit spectrum including bank debt, unsecured debt, bonds, convertible debt, preferred stock.  BlackGold GP LP, as investment adviser is entitled to a performance-based management fee and a management fee.  Both performance-based and management fees are fully discussed in the PPM.  The following investment advisory firms received compensation for investments made in BlackGold Opportunity Fund LP:

  • Avalon Wealth Management, LLC
  • Credit Suisse (USA), LLC
  • Eaton Partners, LLC

Do accredited investors have any legal recourse to recover investment losses given the information and risk disclosures contained in Private Placements Memorandum (PPM) Offering documents?

There are two fiduciary investment advisors involved in the transaction at issue; the hedge fund manager and the investment advisory firm that recommended the transaction and amount invested.  Investment advisory firms have a fiduciary duty to perform competent and unbiased investment advisory services including due diligence review, suitability determinations and performance evaluations for its investment recommendations.  Accredited investors are reasonable to rely upon representations made by investment advisory firms.  Investment advisory firms are not exempt from performing suitability determinations for customers who are accredited investors.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules, suitability determinations are a two step process; first, a reasonable investigation of the private placement’s investment merits must be determined and understood by investment advisors, and second, a “customer specific suitability” determination must be made. After a customer is qualified as an accredited investor, investment advisory firms are required to make a suitability determination taking into consideration a customer’s personal situation.

FINRA securities arbitration claims for damages in BlackGold Opportunity Fund, LP may arise from violations of sales practice rules and regulations.  FINRA rule violations may include concentrated investments in hedge funds caused by misrepresentations or omissions of material facts that are motivated by investment advisor conflicts of interest.  The FINRA Dispute Resolution Process is designed resolve customers disputes with member firms concerning investment losses that are the result of sales practice violations.

Klayman & Toskes, P.A. is dedicated to the protection of BlackGold Opportunity Fund investor rights concerning investment advisory firm violations of securities industry rules and regulations.

Do you have a question or need more information? Get in touch with us