Investors in UBS Willow Fund, L.L.C. (the "Willow Fund"), which was sponsored and sold by UBS Financial Services, Inc., have begun filing claims to recover significant investment losses allegedly caused by the fund manager's decision to shift his investment strategy and invest in complex derivative trades. According to public sources, the fund, which historically focused on corporate bonds and other traditional debt interests, held assets approaching the $500 million mark in 2006. But after its long time manager began channeling fund assets into derivative investments including credit default swaps in 2007, the fund began a series of precipitous declines which ultimately led to its total liquidation in October 2012. According to a recent New York Times article, the fund lost 89% of its value in 2012 alone.
Shustak & Partners, P.C. announces that it has been retained to represent several individuals in connection with the Ponzi scheme fraud allegedly perpetrated by PAUL TABET, his wife, JENIFER TABET and former Oregon politician CRAIG BERKMAN. PAUL TABET and CRAIG BERKMAN purportedly managed venture capital fund VENTURES TRUST II which, they claimed, had special access to pre-IPO shares in high-tech companies about to go public, including Facebook and others.
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) was founded in 1919 and is one of the oldest investor protection organizations in the country. NASAA routinely publishes a list of its "top investor threats." For 2013, a rapidly growing, often risky investment vehicle referred to as "crowdfunding" was first on the list.
Just over one year ago, FINRA initiated disciplinary proceedings against Charles Schwab & Co. claiming, amongst other things, that the firm violated FINRA rules by requiring customers to sign agreements containing broadly-worded class action waivers. In an unusually long, 48-page written decision issued last week, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) enforcement panel agreed that Schwab's conduct violated FINRA rules and fined the firm $500,000.00. But in a strage twist, the panel also concluded FINRA was without the authority to enforce its rules proscribing class action waivers in light of the Federal Arbitration Act.
UBS has agreed to pay a $1.5 billion fine after after regulators in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland alleged the firm had lead a huge conspiracy to artificially inflate the Libor interest rate. In somewhat of a rare move, the firm acknowledged the regulators' allegations and one of the firm's subsidiaries has flat-out admitted its role in what has been described as an "epic" interest rate rigging scheme tied to trillions of dollars in loans and other financial products.
The SEC announced today it has has entered into a settlement agreement with J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse wherein the firms will pay a whopping $416.9 million in fines, restitution and disgorgement for allegedly misleading public investors in connection with the marketing and sale of mortgage-backed securities in the years preceding the financial crisis.
Earlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged James B. Catledge, Derek F.C. Elliott and several related entities with fraud in connection with the sale of unregistered investments in the "Juan Dolio Resort" and another property located in the Dominican Republic.
In early September 2012, the SEC initiated formal cease and desist proceedings against San Diego-based financial advisor Raymond J. Lucia, Sr. and his company, Raymond J. Lucia Companies, Inc. According to the SEC, Lucia mislead investors by claiming his proprietary "Buckets of Money" trading strategy had been extensively "backtested" and would generate income for life.
In the spring of 2012, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney began rolling out its new "3D" trading platform. Since its debut, the system has been widely criticized by brokers as being plagued by bugs, design flaws and glitches. While intended to be a comprehensive, "state-of-the-art" system, according to some of the firm's advisors, the system has had a multitude of serious problems, including system outages, incorrect changes to client account numbers, issues posting margin, problems with foreign currency transactions, slow trade processing and other delays.
In late August, Merrill Lynch agreed to a proposed $40 million class action settlement to settle claims the firm refused to pay deferred compensation owed to its brokers after its 2008 merger with Bank of America.