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

Vernon Sears was a Texas based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for seven years. During his career, he was registered with just two different securities firms. Vernon Sears is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.

His Registrations

  • Raymond James (2010-2014)
  • Wells Fargo (2014-2018)

The Allegations

  • In November 2015, a customer alleged that Vernon Sears failed to disclose that withdrawals from his annuity would impact his potential for annual increases in value, or that the annual increases would not continue for the beneficiary of the policy after his death. This case was settled for $45,135 in damages.
  • In September 2017, a customer alleged that Vernon Sears forged her signature on an application that opened a joint account for himself and the customer when he was instructed to just open an individual account for her. She also alleged that Sears transferred funds she deposited into his own personal checking account. This case was settled for $35,000 in damages.
  • In March 2018, Vernon Sears was discharged from his position at Wells Fargo Clearing Services. This was due to concerns related to his unit investment trust sales practices–specifically concerns related to his analysis of clients’ ability to hold to maturity.

What Does This Mean?

A Unit Investment Trust, or UIT, is an investment that encompasses a portfolio of various different stocks and bonds. They are however sold as individual units. The value of the units are dependent on how well the overall portfolio is doing as opposed to the success or failure of a single security. These products are designed to be held for longer periods of time. They are meant to provide investors with dividend income over the life of the investment or just to appreciate in value until such time that portfolio expires and the investor receives the amount their units were valued at. Because of this, UITs should only be recommended to investor’s who can financially handle waiting until the investment matures. Investors that may need to liquidate assets at a moment’s notice would be better off investing in mutual funds.

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 Vernon Sears, 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.