Clermont FL Broker Greg Townes hit with FINRA Award

On December 3, 2015, a FINRA Dispute Resolution, Inc. arbitration panel found against Greg Townes, a registered representative with Foresters Equity Services of Ocala, FL.

The Claimants in the matter, Wanda and Michael Saporito were represented by The Law Office of David Liebrader.  After hearing the evidence, the FINRA arbitrators awarded Claimants $135,000 against Greg Townes, including $45,000 in attorney’s fees

FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure section 12904 governs the issuance and payments of awards. Key provisions of the rule are that the award may be entered as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction, after a motion to confirm the award is filed pursuant to state or federal law. Furthermore, unless the applicable law directs otherwise, all awards rendered under the Code of Arbitration Procedure are final, and are not subject to review or appeal. Grounds for overturning binding FINRA arbitration awards are extremely limited.

FINRA Rule 9554. Failure to Comply with an Arbitration Award or Related Settlement or an Order of Restitution or Settlement Providing for Restitution

provides that a registered representative or a firm that fails to comply with a FINRA arbitration award shall have their license suspended 21 days after notice of the intent to suspend has been sent.

Greg Townes’s registration and disciplinary history

In order to lawfully sell investments to the public, one must either be registered or exempt from registration

Greg Townes was registered with the following firms

Registered with this firm since 01/2012

FORESTERS EQUITY SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 18464)

03/2009 – 01/2012
QUESTAR CAPITAL CORPORATION (CRD# 43100) –
01/2008 – 03/2009
NEXT FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. (CRD# 46214) –
05/2003 – 12/2007

According to FINRA’s CRD disclosure report, Greg Townes has been the subject of one customer complaint.

The Law Office of David Liebrader practices exclusively in the field of investment loss recovery. For the past 23 years, we have dedicated our law practice to assisting investors who have been victims of investment fraud via fraudulent and unsuitable investment transactions. During that time we have recovered money for over one thousand individuals, pension plans, trusts and companies. The recoveries we have obtained via judgments, awards and settlements on behalf of our clients exceed $40,000,000.

When investors contact our firm they can expect prompt attention, and a detailed analysis of their issues. Typical claims that we are asked to review involve “unsuitability (where a financial advisor makes investment recommendations that are inconsistent with a customer’s investment objectives), claims for “churning” (where a broker enters into an excessive number of trades for the purpose of generating commissions), claims involving illiquid investments such as private placements (I.e., real estate investment trusts, limited partnerships, equipment leasing and oil and gas drilling programs) as well as claims for violations of state securities laws, which often provide investors remedies like attorney’s fees and interest, if they are successful on the claim.

Since a Supreme Court ruling in the 1980s, most investment related disputes between brokerage firms and their customers have been filed in an arbitration forum hosted by FINRA Dispute Resolution. FINRA, along with the SEC, serves as a securities industry “watchdog” and regulator. Most brokerage firms require their clients to sign binding arbitration agreements, mandating that any disputes between them be arbitrated at FINRA.

Investors pursuing claims at FINRA typically advance claims related to suitability. FINRA rules require that all registered representatives make suitable investment recommendations to their clients. Other claims are based on negligence or breach of fiduciary duty, while another category includes claims based on misrepresentations and fraud. Most claims filed with FINRA are resolved within 15 months, and oftentimes, the cases are resolved via settlement or mediation in under a year.

FINRA’s rules require that all investment recommendations made by licensed financial advisors be suitable in light of a customer’s needs, objectives and risk tolerance. In addition, all registered representatives are required to be properly supervised, with periodic inspections and reviews by qualified supervisors, whose job it is to vigorously investigate suspicions of wrongdoing (red flags).

If you suspect that you have been the victim of investment fraud, or had a financial advisor recommend unsuitable investments to you, call us today for a free, confidential consultation at (702) 380-3131.