Tim O'Connor's Blog

Variable Annuity Ponzi Schemes

Most recently, we have seen a number of separate schemes involving the fraudulent transfer of monies out of legitimate individual retirement annuities and variable annuity-type accounts into a bogus corporation.  In such a scheme, the sales agent appointed by the respective insurance companies has exploited weaknesses in the supervisory, compliance, managerial and administrative systems at the brokerage […]

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Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) and Financial Firms

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) are judgments issued by a judge in a divorce (equitable distribution) proceeding, ordering the freezing of retirement-type accounts, such as IRA’s, 401K’s, 403(b)’s, pension plans, and retirement annuities.  Financial firms are required to adhere to the directives of these orders, but oftentimes fail to assure the proper protection and safeguarding […]

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Margin Trading

Margin trading involves the purchase of investments, such as stocks and mutual funds, in an existing investment account, using leveraging, i.e. monies borrowed against other existing investments in your investment account.  Investors who purchase additional investments on margin are charged margin interest for the amount of the funds borrowed and can also expose themselves to […]

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FINRA Issues Warnings Regarding Financial Advisors Working Out of Branch Banks

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued a number of notices and opinions designed to protect small investors from confusion when dealing with stockbrokers and financial advisors working out of retail bank branches. In the past decade, many hometown branch banks have expanded their sales operations to include the sales of investments such as […]

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Winners of Personal Injury Lawsuits are Often Losers with Financial Advisors – Know Your Rights!

One of the most common profiles of investor victimization involves individuals who have received sizable monetary awards or settlements in personal injury actions.  Oftentimes, individuals in this situation lack the experience or resources to find honest and confident financial advice, leaving them open to victimization by unscrupulous financial advisors looking to trade the accounts of […]

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