The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Robert Hayes Hoffmann. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Robert Hayes Hoffmann has been the subject of multiple customer disputes.

Robert Hayes Hoffmann was an Indiana based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for seventeen years. During his career, he was registered with four different securities firms.

His Registrations

  • Robert W. Baird & Co. (1999-2002)
  • Northwestern Mutual Investment Services (1999-2006)
  • Woodbury Financial Services (2006-2017)
  • Thurston, Springer, Miller, Herd & Titak (2017)

The Allegations

  • In August 2014, a customer alleged that Robert Hayes Hoffmann recommended she purchase an unsuitable variable annuity that also created tax consequences. This case was settled for $47,574 in damages.
  • In April 2017, a customer alleged that Robert Hayes Hoffmann recommended unsuitable securities, executed unauthorized trades, churned their account, and engaged in selling-away. This case went to arbitration where the customer was awarded $1,091,575 in damages.
  • In November 2017, a customer alleged that Robert Hayes Hoffmann breached his fiduciary duty, recommended unsuitable securities, made material misrepresentations, and engaged in selling away. This case was settled for $225,000 in damages.
  • Also in November 2017, Robert Hayes Hoffmann was officially sanctioned by FINRA after allegedly failing to comply with an investigation into him possibly making unsuitable recommendations, executing unauthorized transactions, excessively trading customer accounts, and executing private securities transactions. Due to this alleged failure to comply, Robert Hayes Hoffmann was barred by FINRA from acting as a securities broker in any fashion.

Churning

The way that most brokers are compensated for their position is by receiving a percentage of an investor’s principal investment every time they execute a trade on their behalf. This percentage acts as the broker’s commission for brokering the trade. This type of compensation can easily lead to a deceptive trading practice known as churning. This act occurs when a securities broker like Robert Hayes Hoffmann excessively trades an investor’s account to an unsuitable degree with the express purpose of increasing their commissions. This act can be detrimental to investors due to the unnecessary fees and trading losses that cause their principal investment to significantly deteriorate.

Unauthorized Trading

Brokers are required to obtain their customer’s authorization before executing trades on their behalf. Just because investors have hired a securities broker to recommend suitable trades does not mean they have forfeited the right to decide what securities they want to be invested in. Unauthorized trading can be a very slippery slope due to the precedent that it sets. Some investors might not mind if a securities broker does this, however, it can often lead to incredibly harmful situations. This is because the trades that brokers usually do not seek approval for before making are usually the types of trades that would not be approved.

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 Robert Hayes Hoffmann, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation.