Erez Law is currently investigating former Ameritas Investment Corp. financial advisor Michael Blake (CRD# 2022161) regarding losses from a pooled investment fund. Blake was registered with Mid Atlantic Capital Corporation in Paradise Valley, Arizona from May to October 2013 and with Ameritas Investment Corp. in Scottsdale, Arizona from 2006 to 2013.
In November 2013, the Arizona Corporation Commission Securities Division revoked Blake’s registration as a securities salesman after finding that he was subject to an order of an SRO (FINRA) suspending or revoking his membership or registration for at least six months.
In October 2013, Blake consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings and was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for one year. The FINRA investigation found that Blake formed an entity so that he and three colleagues could pool funds to invest in commercial real estate projects and through this entity he participated in private securities transactions without providing to his member firms prior written notice. The entity invested approximately $3.2 million in real estate properties being developed by a real estate development enterprise organized as a limited liability company. The invested funds were provided by 28 investors and 12 of these investors were customers of Blake’s firms at the time of their respective investments. FINRA found that Blake participated in the sale of the entity’s investments by soliciting investors, receiving, processing and forwarding the funds that were invested, providing the investors with documentation evidencing their investments, functioning as the point of contact between the investors and a real estate development enterprise, apprising the investors of the status of the entity’s investments and causing the preparation of schedule k1 forms. The real estate development enterprise filed for bankruptcy and none of the investors in the entity’s investments have received a return of their principal or any interest or other payments.
Blake has been the subject of 10 customer complaints between 2009 and 2017, one of which was denied, according to his CRD report:
- August 2017. “FINRA arbitration 17-02071. Claimants allege misrepresentation, violation of Arizona securities statutes, fraudulent concealment, unsuitable investment recommendations, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision and breach of contract.” The customer is seeking $50,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- February 2017. “FINRA arbitration 17-00334. Claimant alleges in January and February, 2008, misrepresentation, unsuitable investment recommendation, violation of New Mexico uniform securities act and FINRA conduct rules, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent supervision occurred.” The customer is seeking $441,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- July 2017. “Claimant alleges between June 1, 2008 and September 30, 2008 securities fraud, common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligent supervision and breach of fiduciary duty occurred.” The customer is seeking $875,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- May 2016. “Claimant alleges unsuitable recommendations in the purchase of real estate investments from 2002-2006.” The case was settled for $9,000.
- December 2015. “Claimant alleges misrepresentation, unsuitable investment recommendations, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract between 1/1/2007 – 7/30/2015.” The customer sought $425,000 in damages and the case was settled for $95,000.
- December 2013. “Claimant alleges a breach of fiduciary duty, fiduciary misconduct & fraud. Alleged activity between 7/10/2008 – 12/3/2012.” The customer is seeking $450,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- April 2013. “Client alleges negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and a breach of fiduciary duty.” The customer sought $50,000 in damages and the case was settled for $30,000.
- April 2012. “Breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the duty of ordinary and reasonable care, negligence and gross negligence, and breach of contract.” The customer sought $430,000 in damages and the case was settled for $75,000.
- August 2009. “Violation of state securities laws; common law breach of fiduciary duty; breach of fiduciary duty under Minnesota statute; negligence; common law fraud; and violations of FINRA Rule 2010.” The customer sought $1.5 million in damages and the customer was awarded $500,000 in damages.
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, Ameritas Investment Corp. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Blake’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.