Erez Law is currently investigating Merrill Lynch financial advisor Hector Gonzalez (CRD# 5330726) who is alleged to recommend unsuitable Puerto Rico bonds. Gonzalez has been registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico since 2010.
Puerto Rico suffers from long-term financial and economic deficiencies that rendered its credit increasingly more speculative. The deterioration of Puerto Rico’s financial condition culminated in its debt being downgraded to junk status or speculative (below investment grade). For the past several years, Puerto Rico has been struggling with compounding debt and economic decline. As a result, the value of Puerto Rico’s municipal tax-free bonds has considerably fallen. Since September 2013, when the steep decline in Puerto Rico bond values began, investors holding these bonds have suffered massive losses. In May 2017, Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in what is being described as the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in history.
Gonzalez has been the subject of two customer complaints between 2017 and 2018, according to his CRD report:
- May 2018. “The Customer alleges unsuitable investment recommendations, misrepresentation and omission of material fact(s) from February 2011 until 2013.” The customer is seeking $10 million in damages and the case is currently pending. This case is regarding Puerto Rico bonds.
- December 2017. “Customer alleges suitability, misrepresentation and omission of material facts from 2011 to 2013.” The customer is seeking $6 million in damages and the case is currently pending. This case is regarding Puerto Rico bonds.
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 Gonzalez’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.