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Greco & Greco is pleased to report the first FINRA Arbitration Award against UBS Financial Services of Puerto Rico relating to the crash of UBS closed-end bond funds in 2013 which were sold to Puerto Rico residents. W. Scott Greco represented the Claimant customer in the case of Bauza v. UBS Financial Services of Puerto Rico, et al. The arbitration panel awarded $200,000 in damages to the Claimant, despite claims by UBS that Claimant’s net out of pocket losses were less than $10,000.

The case involved a heavy over-concentration of the Claimant’s UBS account in proprietary UBS closed-end bond funds pursuant to UBS’s recommendations. The funds invested heavily in Puerto Rico bonds using leverage (a speculative investment technique) and had significant geographic concentration risk.

Read about the arbitration award in this Reuters article.

This case involved Trust and IRA accounts relied upon by a retiree to pay living expenses. The broker and firm were advised that the accounts were not to be invested in the stock market or other risky investments. Despite the conservative objectives for the accounts, the brokerage firm unsuitably invested the accounts primarily in stock/equities, and aggressively daytraded the accounts in initial public offerings and high risk investments. The FINRA arbitration panel awarded $124,156.00 in damages plus interest since January, 2009. See the award here.

A Norfolk, Virginia NASD arbitration panel found a brokerage firm liable for $75,000 in savings paid out of a disabled woman’s brokerage account to an alleged business venture of her stock broker on the last day of employment at the firm by her broker. The firm had taken the position that it was not responsible for the “investment” made outside of the firm. Read the NASD award

Greco & Greco’s client in this case was a Norfolk, Virginia broker who had agreed with his partner to set up introductory meetings with institutional clients and to subsequently split the fees earned from these clients. An NASD arbitration was filed seeking the broker’s share commissions which were not correctly split and paid. The arbitration panel awarded $509,732 in back commissions and interest to Greco & Greco’s client. Read the NASD award.

Million Dollar Plus Awards for Family sold unsuitable risky limited partnerships.  Greco & Greco represented a Chicago, Illinois family against a Virginia based brokerage firm and received an award for $1.2 million in damages and $400,000 in attorneys fees.  A second arbitration was then successfully prosecuted against the control persons of the firm for failure to honor the award. The awards can be found here and here.

Greco & Greco recently obtained a 3.24 million dollar arbitration award on behalf of a retired Northern Virginia man against his stockbroker and brokerage firm. The case involved churning, unauthorized margin trading, unsuitable recommendations, and securities fraud. In addition to $1,003,725 in compensatory damages, the arbitration panel awarded $1,300,000 in punitive damages, $774,863 in attorneys fees, and pre-award interest. Read the NASD award or read the Virginia Lawyers Weekly article about the case.

A New York FINRA arbitration panel entered an award for over two million dollars ($1,875,000 in damages plus interest) for five Greco & Greco clients against a Denver, Colorado securities broker. The customers incurred severe losses over a short time frame in their accounts involved in a leveraged U.S. Treasury trading program. Read the FINRA award.

A FINRA arbitration panel issued an award of damages to Greco & Greco clients against UBS of Puerto Rico on February 23, 2018. The arbitration involved multiple Puerto Rico customers of UBS who had been invested primarily in UBS Puerto Rico Closed-End Mutual Funds and Puerto Rico Bonds.

The award, totaling $521,075.00 in damages, was significant because most of the damages were incurred in investments that UBS claimed were conservative (the Puerto Rico AAA Portfolio Bond Fund and COFINA bonds), and UBS further unsuccessfully claimed that the customers had not lost any money because of the interest/dividends they had earned over the years in the investments.

Read more at InvestmentNews

In this FINRA Arbitration held in Jackson, Mississippi, Greco & Greco represented a retiree who was cold-called by a New York broker. The broker’s investments ultimately lost a significant amount of the client’s savings in several overconcentrated stock positions. The FINRA panel awarded $80,000 in damages, $15,000 in punitive damages for “reckless disregard of Claimant’s rights,” and expert witness costs. Read the FINRA award.

W. Scott Greco, working with local Puerto Rico co-counsel, represented multiple customers in FINRA arbitration hearings in 2019 against UBS of Puerto Rico that resulted in monetary awards to the customers.

The first, a case involving overconcentration in risky UBS Puerto Rico closed end funds, resulted in an award of $4,813,161.00 which were the principal losses from February, 2013 forward, despite UBS’s claims that the accounts had a net out of pocket profit.

The second FINRA arbitration award in 2019 involved overconcentration in a few Puerto Rico bonds, and resulted in an arbitration award of $195,000 including attorney fees, again despite UBS claims of a net out of pocket profit.

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