The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Ian Deliz Morales. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Ian Deliz Morales has been the subject of numerous customer disputes involving Puerto Rico securities.
Ian Deliz Morales was a Florida based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for thirteen years. During his career, he was registered with three different securities firms.
- Citigroup (2003-2007)
- Popular Securities (2007-2014)
- Morgan Stanley (2014-2016)
- In August 2014, claimants alleged that Ian Deliz Morales recommended they purchase various Puerto Rico securities. This resulted in an overly concentrated portfolio that was unsuitable to these clients based on their risk tolerance. This case was settled for $50,000.
- In September 2014, claimants alleged that Ian Deliz Morales’ recommendations to hold Puerto Rico municipal bonds resulted in a far too risky portfolio. They also alleged that Morales did not adequately explain the risks involving the margin account. This case went to arbitration where the claimants were awarded $354,855 in damages.
- Ian Deliz Morales was the subject of 23 more complaints from customers alleging identical charges to the two mentioned above. Seven of these complaints were settled for a total of $660,000 in damages. One of them went to arbitration where the customer was awarded an undisclosed amount in damages. The remaining fifteen cases are currently pending. The customers in these cases are seeking a total of approximately $19 million in damages.
What Does This Mean?
Puerto Rico municipal bonds and closed-end funds were very popular for a period of time. They were mainly sold by UBS related securities firms; however, they were also sold by some smaller tier firms including; Popular Securities, Santander Securities, and Oriental Financial Services. They were mainly sold to Puerto Rico residents, but were also sold to mainland US residents. The reason that these products were so appealing to mainland investors was because they were triple tax exempt. Since Puerto Rico is not technically a state, these municipal bonds and closed-end funds were exempt from federal, state, and local taxes. Normally, to receive the tax break, an investor needs to be located where the investment is; however, these Puerto Rico securities were an exception. The investor could receive the tax benefits while stationed anywhere across the mainland United States. Puerto Rico continued at this pace until the territory eventually filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on these investments–making them worthless.
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 Ian Deliz Morales, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation.