Were you the victim of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated financial advisor James Lowther (CRD# 2043169) who is alleged to recommend unsuitable investments, including energy stocks and master limited partnerships (MLPs)? Lowther has been registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in Sarasota, Florida since 2010.
Over the past few years, oil prices have significantly declined. 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. The volatile energy sector experienced significant turmoil, and many energy companies were negatively impacted when global crude oil prices fell below $40 per barrel at the end of 2015. This was the lowest level since early 2009, as supply was in excess of global demand. Oil and gas companies experienced a spike in bankruptcies, which have left many investors reeling.
Lowther has been the subject of two customer complaints between 2011 and 2017, according to his CRD report:
- August 2017. “The Customer alleges unauthorized trading, unsuitable investment recommendations, and misrepresentation and omission of material facts from July 2010 to July 2017.” The customer is seeking $300,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- January 2011. “Claim alleges misrepresentation and unsuitability with regard to mutual funds purchased in 2006.” The customer sought $10,334.11 in damages and the case was settled for $7,000.
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, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Lowther’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.