The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of securities broker Alex Gierbolini. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Alex Gierbolini has been the subject of numerous customer disputes over the course of his career centered around the sale of Puerto Rico municipal bonds and closed-end funds.
Alex Gierbolini is a Puerto Rico based securities broker. He has worked in the securities industry for twenty-two years. During his career, he has been registered with four different securities firms.
- Dean Witter Reynolds (1997-1998)
- Popular Securities (1997-2000)
- UBS Financial Services (2000-2012)
- Merrill Lynch (2012-Present)
- In December 2008, a customer alleged that he did not authorize purchases made by Gierbolini on his behalf. This case was settled for $67,145 in damages.
- In June 2014, customers alleged that Alex Gierbolini failed to disclose the risks associated with unsuitable Puerto Rico bonds and closed-end funds. This case was settled for $300,000 in damages.
- In August 2014, a customer alleged that Alex Gierbolini recommended unsuitable investments and made material misrepresentations and omissions of material facts. This case was settled for $200,000 in damages.
- In August 2015, more customers alleged that Alex Gierbolini recommended highly unsuitable closed-end funds. This case was settled for $1.08 million in damages.
- In August 2018, yet another customer alleged that Alex Gierbolini recommended highly unsuitable Puerto Rico municipal bonds and closed-end funds and made material misrepresentations about the products. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $380,000 in damages.
The above-mentioned cases are just a handful of the settled and pending complaints levied against Alex Gierbolini regarding his alleged misconduct concerning Puerto Rico municipal bonds and closed-end funds.
What Does This Mean?
Puerto Rico municipal bonds and closed-end funds were very appealing to investors for a period of time a few years ago. This is because these municipal bonds were triple tax exempt. Essentially, most municipal bond purchasers have to pay taxes; however, since Puerto Rico was not technically a state, these municipal bonds were exempt from federal, state, and local taxes. Normally, an investor must reside in the state where the bond was purchased in order to receive the tax benefits; however, this was not the case with these Puerto Rico bonds. This enticed investors from all over the United States. However, the tax breaks that came with these bonds contributed greatly to Puerto Rico’s declining financial status. Eventually, the territory filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and defaulted on all the bonds. Securities brokers, like Alex Gierbolini, either knew, or should have known, that these bonds carried much greater risk than normal state municipal bonds and should have communicated that risk to their customers.
Oakes & Fosher Can Help
Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages.
Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Alex Gierbolini, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. Oakes & Fosher handles cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.