Western International Securities (CRD#: 39262) is a registered brokerage firm that was formed in Colorado and is now headquartered in Pasadena, California.
If you are a customer of this firm, you need to be aware of the history of investor complaints and regulatory sanctions that have been brought against this company. Here, our dedicated investment fraud attorneys highlight some of the complaints from Western International Securities customers.
Investor Complaints: Western International Securities
Mutual Funds and ETFs: Breach of Fiduciary Duty
In March of 2017, FINRA’s Office of Dispute Resolution heard an arbitration case in Miami, Florida, in which Western International Securities was the defendant. According to the complainant, Western International, along with another brokerage firm (Bennett Group Financial Services) acted negligently and caused an investor to lose a tremendous amount of money. This cases involved broker recommendations of certain mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Upon hearing the case, the arbitration panel ruled in favor of the investor, concluding that Western International Securities breached its fiduciary duty and inappropriately recommended unsuitable investments.
Specifically, the client in this case was recommending SPDR Gold Shares ETF, a highly speculative financial product that lost a considerable amount of money between 2011 and 2017. In all, the Western International Securities was ordered to pay $1,042,796.01 in compensation to the damaged investor.
Failure to Supervise Broker Who Ran FOREX Scam
In 2014, Western International Securities representative Jason Bo-Alan Beckman (CRD#: 2046999) was accused of fraud. In relation this case, Mr. Beckman was permanently barred from the securities industry. According to officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Beckman was operating two unlicensed investment funds:
- Oxford Global Advisors; and
- Oxford Global Partners.
These funds were engaged in FOREX trading. Currency trading is by nature speculative and risky, and it is not suitable for investors who want safe growth. Yet, Mr. Beckman informed investors that they could expect an annual return in excess of 10 percent if they put their money into these funds.
Even more alluring for these investors, Mr. Beckman promised these types of above-market returns with very little risk. Unfortunately, Mr. Beckman was selling false hope. In reality, investors lost nearly $24 million, while Mr. Beckman took in nearly $1 million in commission payments.
Western International Securities was not directly affiliated with either Oxford Global Advisors or Oxford Global Partners. Yet, at the time the fraud occurred, Mr. Beckman was employed as a registered broker at Western International Securities.
As such, the brokerage firm had a legal duty to monitor and supervise his outside business activities, in accordance with FINRA Rule 3270. Unfortunately, it appears that the firm failed to do its proper due diligence.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Churning
In October of 2014, a FINRA arbitration panel from Washington, DC awarded $100,250.01 to a former client of Western International Securities. This customer, who was based in Northern Virginia, alleged that the mismanagement of his account caused him substantial financial losses. Among other things, the investor complained that a Western International Securities broker ‘churned’ his account.
Churning, also known as excessive trading, occurs when a broker or brokerage firm makes transactions for the sole purpose of generating additional fees for themselves or their firm. Churning is a very serious form of misconduct and it can very quickly destroy the value of an investor’s account.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Unsuitable Investments
In April of 2014, a FINRA arbitration panel awarded $200,000 in financial compensation to a former customer of Western International Securities. The investor had several legal claims against the brokerage firm, including:
- Breach of fiduciary duty;
- Failure to supervise;
- Unauthorized trading; and
- Unsuitable investment recommendations.
Legal action was brought against Western International Securities after the customer sustained major losses investing in risky precious metal funds and volatile currency ETFs; in other words, investments that are not suitable for most retail investors. If you lost money because your broker put you into an inappropriate investment product, you may have a valid cause of action. Your claim should be reviewed by an attorney.
Speak to a Top-Rated Investor Losses Attorney Today
At Sonn Law Group, we are proud to fight for the legal rights and financial interests of investment fraud victims. If you lost money investing with Western International Securities, we would like to speak to you. Please call us today at 844-689-5754 to set up your free case evaluation. From our primary office in Aventura, FL, and our satellite offices in Miami, Boca Raton, Orlando, Atlanta and Houston, we serve investors nationwide.