This week, the Doss and Frankowski law firms filed claims with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) against VSR Financial Services, Inc. on behalf of a 70-year-old Texas retiree alleging the firm and former broker John Towers put his life savings into illiquid "alternative" investment programs and other non-conventional investments against in his instructions.
Former VSR client James R. Jackson, of Keller, Texas, alleges he suffered losses in excess of $845,807 due to alleged fraud, violations of the Texas Securities Act, breach of contract, breach of duty, negligence, and failure to supervise and secondary liability. He seeks actual damages, well-managed account damages, benefit-of-the-bargain damages, rescission, disgorgement of fees and commissions, punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and interest. The case is "James R. Jackson v. VSR Financial Services, Inc.," FINRA Arbitration Case No. 16-01447.
The FINRA filing alleges VSR put clients into unsuitable investments such as non-traded REITs, public REITs, equipment leasing programs, oil and gas drilling programs, promissory notes, and commodity funds. These alternative investments are perennial Top Ten Investor Traps, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
Jason Doss, of The Doss Firm LLC, said, "Our investigation and regulatory records indicate a pattern of allegations and regulatory findings against VSR Financial Services, Inc. VSR is well known to regulators. The firm has been the subject of at least four FINRA disciplinary actions. Mr. Towers' history is clear as well, as he was eventually terminated and then fined and suspended by FINRA."
As of April 2016, regulatory records indicate at least 30 customer complaints for alleged misconduct, including unsuitability, self-dealing and misrepresentations, as well as two regulatory actions, against Mr. Towers, The Doss Firm LLC and The Frankowski Firm LLC have learned. In 2015, FINRA censured and fined VSR $550,000 for failure to supervise unsuitable sales of non-conventional investments.
Richard Frankowski, of The Frankowski Firm LLC, said, "Investment advisers, brokers and their firms have a legal duty to understand and communicate to investors all the material facts about recommended investments, including the risks. In other words, they have a duty not to misrepresent or fail to disclose any important facts before the investment is made. In addition, they have a duty not to recommend an investment that is unsuitable for the investor based on the investor's investment objective, risk tolerance and time horizon. If any of these duties is breached, and losses occur, the investor has a compelling claim to recover those losses in FINRA arbitration."
Current and former clients of VSR Financial Services, Inc. and Mr. Towers are welcome to contact The Doss Firm LLC and The Frankowski Firm LLC for free case evaluations.
About The Doss Firm LLC and The Frankowski Firm LLC
Jason Doss and Richard Frankowski literally wrote the book on how to effectively represent investors in FINRA arbitrations. Their book, A Practitioners Guide to Securities Arbitration (American Bar Association), is used in law schools and practicing attorneys across the country. The attorneys at their firms collectively have more than 30 years of experience representing aggrieved investors. Mr. Doss and Mr. Frankowski often represent investors who allege money lost as a result of Ponzi schemes, investment fraud, or stockbroker misconduct.
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