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. The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is interested in hearing from investors who believe that this may be them.
Oakes & Fosher is currently investigating the possible misconduct of securities broker Stuart Horowitz. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Stuart Horowitz has been the subject of numerous customer complaints over the course of his career.
Stuart Horowitz operated most recently as a Florida based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for nineteen years. During his carer, he was registered with five different securities firms.
- Linsco/Private Ledger Corp. (1996-1997)
- Investacorp. (1997-2000)
- Commonwealth Financial Network (2000-2005)
- NFP Securities (2005-2009)
- Securities America (2009-2016)
- In December 2010, a customers alleged misrepresentation, violation of Florida’s securities investor protection act, fraudulent inducement, breach of fiduciary duty, and gross negligence. This case was settled for $903,000 in damages. This was all in connection with the sale of real estate property investments–also known as non-traded REITs. Stuart Horowitz received an identical complaint in April 2011. This case was settled for $865,000 in damages.
- In September 2012, customers alleged that Stuart Horowitz invested them in unsuitable and high risk investments that went against their investment objectives. They also alleged that Horowitz handled their account negligently, breached his fiduciary duty, breached contract, misrepresented material details, and over-concentrated their account. This case was settled for $75,000 in damages.
- In December 2012, a customer alleged that Stuart Horowitz recommended that she invest in a variety of risky and illiquid investments. The customer made additional allegations that included; misrepresentation, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud, and breach of contract. This case was settled for $266,714 in damages.
- Also in December 2012, customers alleged that Horowitz invested them in a highly unsuitable private placement. This was in addition to the customer’s allegations of misrepresentation, unsuitability, fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of industry rules and regulations. This case was settled for $260,000 in damages.
- In July 2013, a customer alleged that Stuart Horowitz engaged in fraud, breached his fiduciary duty, misrepresented details about the account, breach contract, handled their account negligently, and made unsuitable investment recommendations that resulted in loss. This case was settled for $220,142 in damages.
- In March 2015, a customer alleged unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, common law fraud, and breach of contract. This case was settled for $90,000 in damages.
- In June 2016, a customer alleged that the sale of a TIC was unsuitable. This case was settled for $100,000 in damages.
These were just some of the complaints made against Stuart Horowitz.
What Are Private Placements?
Private placements are unregistered privately traded securities not sold on any public securities exchanges. Due to their private nature, there there is a great potential for over oversight when dealing with these products. Securities brokers, like Stuart Horowitz, take advantage of this fact when pitching these products to potential investors. They do this to hide the complex nature of them and misrepresent the investments as low-risk. The truth is that private placements are incredibly speculative and high risk products that are only suitable for “accredited” investors. These are investors with a net worth of at least $1 million, or a yearly income of $200,000.
Private placements are also incredibly illiquid products. This is because they are not traded on public exchanges. If an investor needs to liquidate their shares of a private placement, it’s not as simple as receiving what the stated market value. Investors in private placements may have to wait for buyouts in order to get the cash value of their shares.
Despite how unsuitable these products are, securities brokers, like Stuart Horowitz, continue to push them onto unsuspecting investors because of the excessively high commissions they receive when executing these transactions. Which is yet another reason these products are detrimental to investors.
Oakes & Fosher Can Help
Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Stuart Horowitz, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation.