The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is currently investigating the alleged misconduct of securities broker Megurditch “Mike” Patatian. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Mike Patatian had been the subject of multiple customer disputes over the course of his career.
Mike Patatian was a California-based securities broker who worked in the securities industry for twenty one years. During his career, he was registered with five different securities firms. He is not currently practicing as a securities broker in any fashion.
- Edward Jones (2011-2014)
- Raymond James Financial Services (2014-2018)
- Alliance Global Partners (2018-2020)
- In June 2017, a customer alleged that Mike Patatian gave them bad advice regarding an investment. This case was settled for $30,000 in damages.
- In February 2021, FINRA filed a complaint alleging Patatian made 81 unsuitable recommendations to 59 customers who purchased more than $7.8 million in non-traded real estate investment trusts between 2013 and 2017. Patatian was further accused of impersonating a customer in a telephone call with an insurance company to obtain the contract value and surrender fee for a variable annuity.
What Does This Mean?
Securities brokers have a duty to their customers to always act in their best financial interests. This is their duty as a fiduciary. This means that brokers can only recommend investments that their customers are actually suited for. Brokers like Mike Patatian can determine if a particular investment is suitable for their customer by looking at various different factors provided to them by the customer. This includes the customer’s investment objectives, financial situation, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance. Brokers who invest their customers contrary to these needs have either done so in a fraudulent manner, placing their own financial interests ahead of their customer’s, or in a negligent one. Regardless if the broker’s intent was fraudulent or negligent, managing a customer’s account unsuitably disqualifies them from the ability to perform their duties in the required manner.
Variable annuities are highly illiquid investment vehicles designed to provide investors with income during their retirement. They are only suitable for certain types of investors, however, they are consistently recommended to investors who do not qualify because of the excessively high commissions that brokers like Mike Patatian receive when the transaction is executed. The reason these products are so illiquid is because of the incredibly high fees the investor is charged if the product is liquidated during its surrender period. Because of this, it is highly inappropriate for brokers to recommend annuity exchanges to customers because they will be charged surrender fees and additional commissions–all of which is completely unnecessary as these types of exchanges rarely serve any benefit to investors.
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 due to this fraud or negligence 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 Mike Patatian, 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.