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Securities America: 70+ Customer and Regulatory Complaints

Securities AmericaPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on April 3, 2019 indicate that Nebraska-based broker-dealer firm Securities America has received more than 70 complaints from customers and regulatory authorities. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Securities America (CRD# 10205).

Established in Delaware in 1984, Securities America is headquartered in La Vista, Nebraska and registered with 53 US states and territories. According to its BrokerCheck report, it has received 52 regulatory sanctions and 27 customer complaints that evolved into arbitration and resulted in awards to the customer.

In September 2018 FINRA sanctioned Securities America in connection to allegations it failed in its supervisory duties regarding the recommendations of variable annuities. FINRA’s findings stated specifically that the firm sold variable annuity investments that came with options for different share classes, but its procedures did not “address the suitability issues pertaining to the fees and costs or surrender periods” of the varying classes. For instance, the firm’s supervisory protocols did not address suitability issues raised by the combination of an L-share contract with a long-term rider, or whether certain suitability concerns may warrant additional scrutiny during the principal review and approval process. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $175,000.

In March 2018 the Nevada Securities Division sanctioned Securities America in connection to allegations it maintained an unlicensed branch office between July 18, 2017 and January 18, 2019. The firm was issued a fine of $2,000.

In 2017 the Florida Office of Financial Regulation sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it permitted three customers to purchase real estate investment trusts that “exceeded the firm’s concentration limit guidelines without adequate explanation” and did not require one representative to complete a certain REIT training course. The firm was issued a fine of $30,000.

In 2017 the Massachusetts Securities Division sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it participated in “a dishonest and misleading radio advertising campaign.” The firm was issued a fine of $125,000.

In 2016 the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it unsuitably recommended a customer buy and hold non-traditional exchange-traded fund investments, and that it failed to supervise a representative regarding that representative’s recommendations to the client in question. The firm was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000.

In 2016 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organizational customers who were eligible to purchase mutual fund share classes without front-end sales charges. The firm was censured and ordered to pay restitution to applicable clients.

In 2016 the Indiana Department of Insurance sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to timely report certain administrative actions. The firm was ordered to pay a fine of $2,000.

In 2016 the Nevada Securities Division sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it maintained three branch offices in the state without obtaining licensure. The firm was ordered to pay a fine of $2,500.

In 2016 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it allowed a representative to sell a securities product without first performing due diligence on the product, and additional allegations that the firm’s approval of the product were not in accordance with its written supervisory procedures. The firm was censured and ordered to pay a fine of $250,000.

In 2015 the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Division of Finance and Corporate Securities sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it recommended unsuitable securities, failed to supervise its associated persons, and failed to maintain and enforce its written supervisory procedures. The firm was fined $70,000.

In 2015 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to identify and apply certain discounts to certain investors’ eligible purchases of unit investment trusts, and additionally that it failed to establish, maintain and enforce a reasonably designed supervisory system to ensure that customers were given sales charge discounts on applicable unit investment trust purchases. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $275,000.

In 2014 FINRA sanctioned the firm following allegations that in connection with its consolidated reporting system, it lacked “a satisfactory system to supervise the accuracy of certain valuations provided to customers” regarding assets and accounts held outside the firm. It was censured and issued a fine of $625,000.

In 2013 the Massachusetts Securities Division sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it sold non-traded real estate investment trusts “in excess of… concentration limits” in the state. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $150,000.

In 2013 FINRA sanctioned the firm following allegations it failed to have a supervisory system regarding electronic communications with clients that ensured complied with relevant laws. According to FINRA’s findings, the firm’s email monitoring system did not detect “numerous emails sent to customers” by its representatives which included “material misrepresentations or misleading statements” concerning private investments. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $100,000.

In 2013 a customer alleged Securities America acted negligently, breached contract, failed in its supervisory duties, and breached its fiduciary duty in connection to a real estate investment trust product. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $11,400.

In 2012 the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it sold investments in Medical Capital Holdings Inc. private placements that were unsuitable for certain New Hampshire investments, who suffered losses when the notes went into default. The firm was ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.

In 2012 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty and misrepresented material facts in connection to real estate investment trust securities. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $573,300.

In 2011 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations, among others, it approved the sale of investments issued by an unregistered entity for which it failed to perform adequate due diligence to determine whether the investments were suitable, though it “received a fee related to due diligence performed in connection with each offering.” The firm was censured and issued a fine of $250,000.

In 2010 a customer alleged the firm misrepresented and omitted material facts, breached its fiduciary duty, acted negligently, failed in its supervisory duties, and recommended unsuitable investments. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $552,600.

In 2010 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, made misrepresentations and omissions of material facts, acted negligently, and failed in its supervisory duties in connection to unspecified products. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $1.15 million.

In 2005 a customer alleged the firm acted negligently, breached contract, breached its fiduciary duty, and made misrepresentations of material facts. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $9.3 million.

In 2006 the NASD sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to report to the MSRB the correct price for certain transactions, and failed to enforce supervisory procedures regarding the approval of municipal securities transactions. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $10,000.

In 2003 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, misrepresented and omitted material facts, and recommended unsuitable investments in annuities and mutual funds. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $15.5 million.

In 2003 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty and executed unauthorized trades. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $177,200.

In 2003 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, misrepresented material facts, executed unauthorized trades, and failed to supervise. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $40,000.

In 2002 a customer alleged the firm breached contract, breached its fiduciary duty, misrepresented material facts, and acted negligently. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $262,500.

In 2002 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, failed in its supervisory duties, made margin calls, and acted negligently. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $54,000.

In 2002 a customer alleged the firm churned investments, made misrepresentations of material facts, recommended unsuitable securities, and participated in unauthorized trading. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $5.4 million.

In 2003 a customer alleged the firm made erroneous charges, breached contract, failed in its supervisory duties, and acted negligently. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $150,500.

In 2001 a customer alleged the firm misrepresented material facts, failed in its supervisory duties, and acted negligently. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $896,600.

In 2001 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, breached contract, failed in its supervisory duties, and acted negligently. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $216,000.

In 2001 a customer alleged the firm acted negligently, breached contract, failed in its supervisory duties, and breached its fiduciary duty. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $123,636.

If you or someone you know has lost money investing Securities America, call Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. You may be eligible to recoup your losses. Fitapelli Kurta accepts all cases on a contingency basis: we only get paid if and when you collect money. Time to file your claim may be limited, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.

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