Jenkins v Crowell Weedon - $51,807 Preferred Stock Award
In February 2012 a FINRA panel in Los Angeles awarded Claimant $51,807 in compensatory damages, the full amount sought. The award was made after a hearing in which the Claimant alleged that the broker's professional obligation to assist clients in setting proper investment objectives and risk tolerance was improper. Mr. Meyer testified on behalf of the Claimant as to the unfavorable risk/return characteristics of preferred stocks and their unsuitability for most retail investors.
Lett et al v Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC - $130,000 Suitability Award
In November 2011 a FINRA panel in Atlanta awarded Claimant compensatory damages of $130,000. Mr. Meyer testified about the excessive risk in the Claimant's securities, resulting in an unsuitable portfolio. In an explained award, the panel stated that "in choosing high-return securities for the account, with their attendant risk," Respondent Wells Fargo Advisors recommended an "unsuitable investment portfolio" to Claimant.
Quiros v Merrill Lynch - $500,000 Award
In November 2010, a FINRA arbitration panel in Los Angeles ordered Merrill Lynch to pay compensatory damages of $500,000 to Claimant William Quiros. Claimant alleged that Merrill Lynch failed adequately to supervise the securities-related activities of two registered representatives, one of whom was conducting business away from his branch office. Claimant also alleged fraud and misrepresentation in connection with the offering of a security Merrill Lynch had not approved for sale. On behalf of the claimant, Mr. Meyer testified about a broker-dealer's duty to supervise all the securities-related activities of its associated persons.
Hagman v Citigroup - $11,558,127 Award
In October 2010 a FINRA arbitration panel in Los Angeles, CA ordered Citigroup to pay a total of $11,558,127, including punitive damages of $10 Million, attorneys' fees, and costs. Claimants alleged breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and failure to supervise. On behalf of the Claimants, Mr. Meyer testified about the role of asset allocation in making suitable recommendations and the duty to impose heightened supervision on registered representatives with a history of customer complaints.
- The New York Times, October 9, 2010 - "It's Not Nice to Mess With J.R."
Brezden et al v Associated Securities - $8.9 Million Hedge Fund Award
In March 2009, a FINRA Dispute Resolution panel, in an explained decision, awarded $8.9 Million to a group of Claimants who invested in an speculative options trading vehicle called APEX Equity Options Fund, LP. The panel concluded that the broker, who was also a registered investment advisor, deliberately misled these customers by telling them Apex was a safe, income-producing security. In fact, the fund was very risky, and the Claimants lost their entire investment. The panel also found the broker's employer, Associated Securities Corp., independently liable for its failure to supervise the broker. On behalf of the Claimants, Mr. Meyer testified about a firm's duties to supervise.