Fighting for Investors
Verdicts and Awards
THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT AND DISCLAIMER: SETTLEMENTS, AWARDS, AND VERDICTS IN ALL CASES DEPEND ON VARIOUS FACTORS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH ARE UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. THEREFORE, PAST RESULTS IN CASES ARE NOT A GUARANTEE OR PREDICTION OF SIMILAR RESULTS IN FUTURE CASES.
Customer Award in FINRA arbitration for UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES)
A FINRA arbitration panel issued an award in December, 2021 to a client of Greco & Greco who had filed securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, unsuitability, and other legal claims against UBS Financial Services related to its Yield Enhancement Strategy, also known as YES. The award totaled approximately $300,000 and included damages, attorney’s fees, and costs. The attorney’s fees were awarded pursuant to the Washington D.C. Securities Act.
Two More Customer Awards Against UBS of Puerto Rico in 2019
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 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.
Greco & Greco Wins Third FINRA Arbitration Award Against UBS of Puerto Rico
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 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.
As set out in more detail at Greco & Greco’s website the UBS Puerto Rico Closed-End Funds (CEFs) were high risk investments which used leverage (a speculative investment technique) and which did not have a market (they were traded by UBS’s trading desk but UBS had the ability to stop trading of the funds at any time).
Greco & Greco provides free attorney consultations regarding potential cases involving UBS, Puerto Rico Closed-End Funds, and Puerto Rico bonds. If we can help, please contact us.
Million Dollar Plus Awards
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 $1,200,000 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 Recovers $75,000 Paid out of Disabled Woman's Account to Alleged Business Venture of Broker
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
Losses and Attorneys' Fees Recovered for Northern Virginia Couple
Greco & Greco represented a retired Northern Virginia couple in a NASD arbitration seeking the recovery of savings lost by their stockbroker which they had intended to use to buy a new house. The broker had invested all of their life savings and house sale proceeds in the stock market through the use of a money manager. The arbitration panel awarded the couple $195,000 in damages (an amount higher than their out-of-pocket losses), $65,000 in attorneys' fees, and interest from July, 2003. Read the NASD award.
Damages, Punitive Damages, and Costs Recovered for Retired Mississippi Man
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.
Recovery of Losses Incurred in Trust and IRA Accounts of Washington, DC Retiree as a Result of Unsuitable Investments and Stock Trading
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.
Greco & Greco Obtains $3.24 Million Arbitration Award
Greco & Greco recently obtained a $3,240,000 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.
Stock Loss and Attorney Fees Awarded for Private Placement "Selling Away" Case
Greco & Greco's client was awarded her entire investment ($100,000) plus interest and 1/3 attorney's fees by a Washington, D.C. FINRA arbitration panel. The award was entered jointly against the brokerage firm, despite its claims that it was unaware of its representative's sale of the non-approved security, and its claim that a release barred the recovery. Read the FINRA award.
$2 Million FINRA Award for Greco & Greco Clients
A New York FINRA arbitration panel entered an award for over $2,000,000 ($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.
Registered Rep Awarded Back Commissions Owed From Split Fee Agreement
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.
Investment Losses Recovered for Disabled Charlottesville Woman
An NASD arbitration panel in Richmond recently awarded a disabled Charlottesville, Virginia woman represented by Greco & Greco all of her losses in her investment account ($60,530) plus interest. Her brokerage firm had unsuitably invested her account aggressively in growth stocks despite the woman's need for income from the account for living expenses for the rest of her life. Read the NASD award.
Full Damages Awarded for Failure to Make Suitable and Safe Recommendations
In this case taken pro bono by Greco & Greco, the FINRA arbitrator awarded the full amount of compensatory damages and interest requested based on claims of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and unsuitable recommendations. The arbitrator found that the brokerage firm "failed to recommend suitable investments based on [Claimant's] request, age, needs, income status, and need for security." The firm had ignored Claimant's request for safer investments as her IRA declined with the market in 2008. Read the FINRA award.
First FINRA Arbitration Award Against UBS of Puerto Rico Regarding Bond Funds
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.