Woodstock Financial Group (CRD#: 38095) is a registered brokerage firm that is headquartered in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. The company is licensed to sell securities in all 50 U.S. states as well as in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
If you have invested money with this broker-dealer, or any of its representatives, you need to be aware of the notable consumer complaints against this firm. Here, the experienced investment fraud lawyers at the Sonn Law Group highlight some of the recent examples of misconduct by the brokerage firm and its individual investment advisors.
Allegations of Misconduct By Woodstock Financial Group
Registered broker-dealers have fiduciary duties to their customers. This means that they have a legal obligation to always handle their investors’ accounts with adequate skill, proper attention and with a focus on the best interests of the client. Indeed, brokerage firms must always put clients’ financial interests above their own financial interests.
Additionally, brokerage firms are legally responsible for the conduct of their individual investment advisors. They must ensure that the individual brokers that they employ are acting in the best interests of the firm’s clients. The duty requires proper oversight policies and proactive supervision.
Broker Fraud and Negligence
David Robert Wolk (CRD#: 2945630), a registered financial broker, worked at Woodstock Financial Group from 2003 through 2014. During this time, he was based in an office that was located in Garden City, New Jersey. While employed at Woodstock Financial Group, this broker was subject to an enormous number of customer disputes. Indeed, since 2012, Mr. Wolk settled at least seven different major customer disputes. These include settlements of:
- $46,500 for recommending unsuitable investments to a customer;
- $45,000 for the excessive use of margin on a customer account;
- $14,999 for churning one of his client’s account;
- $200,000 for unauthorized trading;
- $60,000 for unsuitable investment recommendations, churning and negligence;
- $82,500 for breach of contract, including unsuitable investments; and
- $71,500 for unauthorized trading and negligence.
There are also still three pending claims against David Robert Wolk, each requesting more than $100,000 in damages. All of the misconduct in question, as well as the pending allegations, occurred while Mr. Wolk was representing Woodstock Financial Group customers and while he was supervised by the firm.
Woodstock Financial Broker Suspended from the Industry
Recently, another Woodstock Financial Group broker, Olori Dennis Hamilton (CRD#: 2956727) of New York, was suspended from the securities industry for violating regulations. According to FINRA’s Department of Enforcement, Mr. Hamilton failed to provide the agency with the appropriate compliance information following circumstances in which an investor was granted $352,300.00 in financial damages after working with him. The damages were granted due to Mr. Hamilton’s negligence and fraud in managing the customer’s investment portfolio.
Brokers who have been the subject of misconduct complaints have a professional obligation to provide appropriate documents regarding any settlements. This information is critically important as it gives investors an opportunity to make an informed decision when selecting someone to trust with their money.
Further, brokerage firms like Woodstock Financial Group must ensure that their brokers are complying with all industry regulations. Otherwise, they could be putting their clients’ money at serious risk.
Arbitration Award Entered Against Woodstock Financial Group
In 2011, a FINRA arbitration panel in Omaha, Nebraska awarded a Woodstock Financial Group customer $75,000 in compensatory damages. The award was granted after the panel heard a complaint alleging that Woodstock Financial Group breached its fiduciary duty when one of its registered investment advisors recommended that a client (who was seeking financial safety) put all of his assets into equities.
For conservative investors, only a small percentage of their portfolio should be in the stock market. This was an inappropriate investment strategy. The company has also been subject to multiple other arbitration awards for issues involving excessive trading, unsuitable investments and breach of fiduciary duty.
At Sonn Law Group, our dedicated securities fraud lawyers are standing by, ready to fight for your legal rights and financial interests. Call us today at 844-689-5754 or reach out to us directly through our website. We will review your claim for free and determine exactly what steps you need to take to seek full and fair compensation for your investment losses.