Erez Law is currently investigating J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC financial advisor Michael Barnett (CRD# 5792242) regarding losses sustained from investments in Breitburn Energy Partners Limited Partnership. Barnett has been registered with J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC in Marion, Illinois since 2012.
Breitburn Energy Partners is an independent oil and gas master limited partnership focused on the development and production of oil and gas properties throughout the United States. The decline in commodity prices beginning in 2014 placed stress on the industry as a whole, and the company’s debt burden became unsustainable. Breitburn has since filed for Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to restructure its balance sheet in May 2016 and eliminated $5.8 billion in debt.
In September 2017, a former customer of Barnett was awarded $450,000 in compensatory damages, $100,000 in punitive damages, $18,399.00 in costs, and $300 in filing fees related to claims that Barnett sold the customer’s blue chip stocks and invested all of the funds in their joint account and an IRA in a highly speculative oil and gas company, Breitburn Energy Partners LP. Claimants asserted that this lack of diversification exposed them to massive risk which was contrary to their conservative investment objectives and low-risk tolerance level.
The claim asserted the following causes of action: violation of Illinois’ Securities Act, 815 ILCS 5/12 et al.; breach of fiduciary duty; negligence/negligent misrepresentation and omission; breach of contract; restitution; common law fraud; and negligent supervision. The former client asserted that this lack of diversification exposed them to massive risk which was contrary to their conservative investment objectives and low risk tolerance level.
Barnett has been the subject of one additional customer complaint, according to his CRD report:
January 2017. “Client alleges unauthorized trading of an unsuitable security.” The case is currently pending.
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, J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Barnett’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If 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.