Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor John Kirkland Moy Accused of High Risk and Unsuitable Investment Strategy

Merrill Lynch

Erez Law is currently investigating Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. financial advisor John Kirkland Moy (CRD# 848350) regarding high risk and unsuitable investments. Moy has been registered with Merrill Lynch in West Palm Beach, Florida since 2005.

Recently, former Merrill Lynch customers filed a FINRA complaint against Moy regarding concentrating their retirement savings into high risk investments. The former customers were a retired couple from Florida who were looking to generate income to sustain their income throughout their retirement years, without risking their principal. Moy invested $313,000 in high risk stocks, including Memorial Production Partners LP (a MLP) and Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. These investments were unsuitable for retired investors looking to maintain their principal and generate income, as they did not have a stop loss in place or means to protect losses or a downside. The customers allege that Moy’s investment strategy caused them approximately $145,000 in damages.

The MLPs are limited partnerships that are publicly traded, also known as a publicly traded partnerships. They combine the tax benefits of a limited partnership with the liquidity of publicly traded securities. Memorial Production Partners LP and other oil and gas companies have experienced price fluctuations over the past few years, which has put financial stress on the oil and gas industry. A supply glut in 2014 and 2015 led to some of the lowest prices the market has seen in recent years. In turn, securities values also dropped, including the value of Memorial Production Partners. While financial advisers can effectively coax clients into lucrative high risk, high yield investments in the oil and gas industry, some fail to fully inform their clients of the inherent risks.

Memorial Production Partners LP focuses on the acquisition, production and development of oil and gas properties in the United States. In January 2017, company eliminated $1.3 billion in debt by filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, according to a release on their website. As of March 2017, the stock price currently sits at $0.12, down from $2.58 this time last year.

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group is one of the largest institutional alternative asset managers in the world, managing multi-strategy funds, credit funds, collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), real estate funds, equity funds and other alternative investment vehicles. Och-Ziff Capital Management totaled $33.9 billion as of March 31, 2017, which is a 22% decrease from 2016, primarily associated with net outflows from company’s multi-strategy funds.

Additionally, Moy has been the subject of six customer complaints between 1993 and 2005, two of which were settled and one was closed without action, according to his CRD report:

  • November 2015. “Customer verbally complained that his financial (SP) advisors incorrectly told him that he couldn’t contribute additional funds to his two ING annuities and that there was a 7% cash flow that was guaranteed. Annuities purchased in April 2002 and January 2004.” The customer sought $19,593.67 and the case was settled for $17,593.
  • August 2001. “Customer alleged that he never signed a contract for an annuity and that it should be cancelled. He also alleges that the portfolio was too aggressive. While the customer does not allege a specific amount, damages are believed to be in excess of $5,000.” The case was settled for $23,491.61.
  • April 1993. “Alleged negligence, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision and violation of federal and state laws regarding [customer’s] account, alleged damages.” The customer sought $1,500,000 in damages and the customer was awarded $32,809.

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, Merrill Lynch may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Moy’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against Merrill Lynch financial advisor John Kirkland Moy, who is alleged to recommend a high risk and unsuitable investment strategy. If you were a client of Merrill Lynch financial advisor John Kirkland Moy 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.

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Author: Jeffrey Erez

The founder of Erez Law, Jeffrey Erez, focuses exclusively on securities arbitration and litigation. Mr. Erez passionately believes in representing aggrieved investors and obtaining justice for his clients through litigation.