In April 2019, a former client of Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc. won an award in a FINRA arbitration for compensatory damages for $480,000, as well as $30,000 in costs and $600 for the non-refundable portion of the filing fee. The investors were clients of financial advisor Larry Wolfe (CRD# 502361).
The causes of action included common law fraud; breach of fiduciary duty; negligence (gross negligence); breach of contract; and violation of Florida Statute §825.103, Exploitation of an Elderly Person. The causes of action relate to Claimants’ investments in bonds, including, but not limited to, investments in Aleris, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Van Eck Gold Fund, Adams City, HJSI Port, Bank of Nova Scotia, Black Elk Energy, Citigroup, Inc., Genon Escrow Corp., Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Burnet County Texas bond. The FINRA arbitration hearing was conducted in Boca Raton, Florida.
Wolfe was registered with Stoever, Glass & Company Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida from May 2016 to June 2017. Previously, he was registered with Aegis Capital Corp. in Boca Raton, Florida from February to March 2016 and with Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida from 2000 to 2016, when he was terminated regarding, “Broker exercised discretion, in a non-discretionary account, in making trades for an account without speaking with client before trades in violation of, among other things, firm policies. In addition, broker failed to appropriately re-title client’s account upon learning that client was deceased, also in violation of firm policies.”
In February 2018, FINRA barred Wolfe after he failed to respond to FINRA request for information.
In July 2017, FINRA sanctioned Wolfe to $5,000 in civil and administrative penalties and fines and suspended him for 15 days after he consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion in the accounts of customers, by submitting sell orders to sell one particular security in each customer account, without obtaining prior written authorization from the customers or written approval of the accounts as discretionary from his member firm. In October 2017, FINRA revoked Wolfe’s registration for failure to pay the $5,000 fine.
Wolfe has been the subject of 12 customer complaints between 1991 and 2017, one of which was denied, one was withdrawn and one was closed without action, according to his CRD report:
- April 2019. “Client alleged unauthorized trading, unsuitable investments of structured notes/structured products.” The case is currently pending.
- June 2018. “Time frame: 2004 to 2016 claimant alleged unauthorized trades.” The case is currently pending.
- April 2018. “Claimant alleged respondent constitute a breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, failure to supervise, misconduct.” The customer is seeking $200,000 in this pending customer complaint.
- February 2018. “claimant is alleging misconduct, unauthorized trading, unsuitable recommendation, misrepresentation, failure to supervise.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint.
- February 2017. “unauthorized trading, misrepresentation, unsuitable recommendations, failure to supervise.” The customer is seeking $400,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- September 2016. “customer alleges fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $45,000.
- February 2016. “client alleges trading losses.” The customer is seeking $400,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- April 2013. “Client claimed 4 trades of the over 35 done in the account from 3/2009 through 4/2013 were unauthorized and unsuitable.” The customer sought $33,141 in damages and the case was settled for $18,330.14.
- April 2010. “Client claims unauthorized trades, breach of fiduciary duty.” The client sought $146,000 in damages and the case was settled for $99,500.
- May 2001. “Customer alleges unauthorized and unsuitable purchases of bonds. The customer also alleges that the account was excessively traded. The transactions at issue occurred between August, 1995 and December, 1999.” The customer sought $178,000 in damages and the case was settled for $20,000.
- May 1991. “Client claimed she was put into lower quality securities and that her account was actively traded.” The customer sought $50,000 in damages and the case was settled for $4,000.
- February 1991. “The above claimant alleged that trading commodities were not suitable even though client amended his trust agreement in order to trade them. NASD panel awarded claimant $71,770.22.”
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Wolfe’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against former Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc. financial advisor Larry Wolfe regarding use of discretion in customer accounts. If you were a client of Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc. or another firm, and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.