Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Advisors Win $2 Million Award Against NRP

Two financial advisors won $2 million in arbitration from a retirement-plan advisory firm they left Merrill Lynch to join in 2008, only to be let go the following year.

According to this article in FA Magazine, National Retirement Partners sought to have the Indianapolis advisors, Wade Walker and Jeffrey Bafs, return funds the company said they owed through a corporation NRP purchased to buy their practice. It also accused them of violating transition agreements. But a panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ruled that the claims by the company and two subsidiaries were "frivolous, unreasonable, groundless, and made in bad faith," according to the award document.

The panel awarded a total of $2 million to the two advisors, who had filed their own claim accusing the company, based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., of defamation, theft of clients, disclosure of confidential information and other offenses. More...

SEC To Distribute $106 Million in HealthSouth Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a Fair Fund distribution of more than $106 million to investors harmed in a financial fraud at HealthSouth Corporation.

The Fair Fund for HealthSouth Corporation fraud victims resulted from an SEC enforcement action in March 2003 after which HealthSouth paid $100 million to settle SEC charges that it falsely inflated earnings to meet Wall Street expectations. The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Alabama entered a final judgment against HealthSouth in June 2005, and the court approved the establishment of the Fair Fund in April 2006.

This Fair Fund distribution to 67,695 individual investors, pension plans and other victims represents the entirety of the money HealthSouth paid to settle the SEC's fraud charges, plus interest.

Questions regarding the Fair Fund distribution should be directed to the Claims Administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc. at www.HLSSettlement.com More...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Madoff Trustee Ready to Sue Investors

rving Picard, the court-appointed trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff's investment firm, is preparing to file new lawsuits to recover funds from investors who were also duped by the Ponzi scheme, the Wall Street Journal said.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Goldman Agrees to Pay $550 Million to Settle SEC Charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Goldman, Sachs & Co. will pay $550 million and reform its business practices to settle SEC charges that Goldman misled investors in a subprime mortgage product just as the U.S. housing market was starting to collapse.

In agreeing to the SEC's largest-ever penalty paid by a Wall Street firm, Goldman also acknowledged that its marketing materials for the subprime product contained incomplete information. More...

Monday, July 12, 2010

B. of A. says it made deals that hid debt

Bank of America Corp. has told federal regulators that it made six trades from 2007 to early 2009 that led to it hiding billions of dollars of debt, according to a media report Saturday. More at MarketWatch

MA Securities Regulators Leaks SSNs of Advisers

According to Investmentnews.com advisers in Massachusetts were stunned after receiving a letter from the Massachusetts Securities Division, announcing that the regulator had accidentally leaked personal information on some 139,000 advisers registered in the Bay State.

The regulator, which headed by Secretary of State William F. Gavin accidentally released the social security numbers of 139,000 state registered investment advisers. According to the article a spokesman for the securities division downplayed the privacy breach stating "the important thing is there was no breach and that the material was returned in tact."

More political doublespeak? The release of the social security numbers of over 100,000 individuals is not a security breach? If an adviser made that type of statement to the Massachusetts securities division, they would be filing charges for misrepresentation - not to mention the violation of state privacy acts for the underlying breach - accident or not.

Why do the regulators get a pass for this violation? Is someone being fired and having their permanent record permanently marked?


Friday, July 9, 2010

Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert

I am not a basketball fan, and barely knew who Lebron James was before all of the hoopla this month, but the letter from the Cavaliers' Owner to the Cleveland fans is priceless. He is a bit upset over James leaving the team. Just a bit. But maybe he will take "the curse" with him. More>>>