In December 2016, a former UBS Financial Services, Inc. and UBS Financial Services, Inc. of Puerto Rico client won an award in a FINRA arbitration for compensatory damages in the amount of $18.6 million for losses sustained from investments in Puerto Rico closed-end funds concentrated with Puerto Rico bonds. The investor was a client of Financial Advisor Ramon Manuel Almonte (CRD# 1014799), a broker who has been employed by UBS for the past 29 years.
The client claimed losses for unsuitable investments and strategy for investments in Puerto Rico bonds. The investor sustained major losses around December 2013 when Puerto Rico bonds tumbled. 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).
The legal claims that were brought against Almonte and UBS were for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, violation of the Puerto Rico Uniform Securities Act and the Puerto Rico Bill of Rights for the Elderly, failure to supervise, negligent supervision, failure to comply with the requirements set forth in the “Laws of Banks of Puerto Rico,” 7 L.P.R.A. 1, et seq., unsuitable investments and strategy, and secondary or vicarious liability. The FINRA panel also awarded attorney’s fees under the Puerto Rico Uniform Securities Act in the amount of $3,179,180.50. The FINRA arbitration panel also awarded costs and fees in the amount of $241,300. The FINRA arbitration hearing was conducted in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In addition to the case above, Almonte currently has 128 additional disclosures on his CRD report, most having to do with unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentations, suitability, poor advice and negligence regarding closed-end funds and Puerto Rico bonds.
Erez Law represent investors in the United States and Puerto Rico for claims against many former Almonte and UBS Financial Services Inc. clients in FINRA arbitrations to recover losses due to recommendations for high risk and unsuitable investments and strategies in Puerto Rico bonds. Recently, Erez Law won two awards against UBS.
In one case against UBS, the client’s claims involved investments in Puerto Rico closed-end funds concentrated in Puerto Rico bonds. The Erez Law clients were awarded $2.5 million.
In Ciordia vs. UBS, Erez Law represented a beneficiary of a trust that sustained significant losses in UBS proprietary closed-end funds that invested predominantly in Puerto Rico bonds. Ciordia alleged that the broker, Carlos Rodriguez and UBS recommended an overconcentrated and unsuitable position in the UBS Puerto Rico funds. The FINRA panel awarded the Claimant $957,796.59. The FINRA Panel awarded attorney’s fees under the Puerto Rico Uniform Securities Act as well as costs.
If you were a client of financial advisor Ramon Manuel Almonte, UBS Financial Services, Inc., UBS Financial Services, Inc. Puerto Rico or another firm, and have experienced investment losses or financial irregularities, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies.