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Erez Law Files Multiple Claims Against Centaurus Financial, Inc. related to its Brokers Rick Mantei and Cindy Chiellini for Structure Product Losses

Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 at 2:54 pm    

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Erez Law is investigating Centaurus Financial, Inc. and J.P. Turner & Company, LLC for structured product losses due to investments with Ricky Mantei (CRD# 1098981), Cindy Chiellini (CRD# 1015592), Dana Matthew Hawkins (CRD# 5731136), and Katherine Nishnic (CRD# 249955).  

Erez Law Files Claim on Behalf of Elderly Widow

In May 2020, Erez Law filed a FINRA arbitration against Centaurus Financial, Inc. and J.P. Turner & Company, LLC related to investments with Chiellini and Mantei, who were registered representatives of Centaurus Financial, Inc. in Lexington, South Carolina. 

According to the claim filed by Erez Law, the widow was risk-averse and unsophisticated and sought conservative investments that would preserve her irreplaceable retirement savings while generating a modest degree of income. The widow informed her brokers that she was not interested in speculative investments or investment strategies. Regrettably, for the client, Mantei and Chiellini generated exorbitant commission by taking advantage of trusting investors like her. Mantei and Chiellini recklessly recommended that the client dangerously concentrate her accounts in complex, high risk, illiquid and unsuitable structured products by making egregious misrepresentations and omissions.

It is alleged that Mantei and Chiellini misled their client by representing that the structured products were high-quality fixed-income investments. Regrettably for the client, they were not. Mantei and Chiellini represented to the client that the structured products they solicited and sold to her paid an attractive yield. The structured products carried names that included the words “notes” which connote safety. Mantei and Chiellini often referred to the investments as “CDs” or “bonds”, which in fact they were not. Mantei and Chiellini failed to fully and adequately disclose the key features and risks attendant to the structured products they were recommending. In fact, unbeknownst to the client, the so-called bonds that Mantei and Chiellini sold her were complex structured products, often with short term teaser interest rates, long-dated maturities and obscure features that caused them to lose capital rapidly along with greatly diminished interest payments. 

Structured Products are complex securities derived from or based on a single security or index, basket of securities or indices, a debt issuance, a commodity and/or a foreign currency. Most structured products pay an interest or coupon rate based on certain defined parameters. Structured products typically consist of a note and a derivative, most often an option. While the note pays interest, the derivative defines the payment at maturity. Despite the fact that structured products most often involve options, they are typically marketed as debt securities. Structured Products can offer a form of principal protection and frequently cap the upside participation in the underlying investment. Additionally, structured products do not trade on an exchange and are generally not liquid investments. Structured products are issued by brokerage firms and are registered with the SEC. 

Given the complexity of these structured products and their similarities to options, securities regulators have required brokerage firms such as Centaurus Financial, Inc. and J.P. Turner & Company, LLC to specially approve clients for structured products. 

It is alleged that the structured products sold to the client were generally long term, illiquid debt that paid quarterly interest, if any, equal to a multiple of the difference between two interest rates less a spread. The structured products were generally callable at par plus accrued interest for part of a quarter, typically after just one year. Investors were virtually certain to not be compensated for the risk of these structured products because the issuers would call the notes unless the interest the notes were to pay was below the prevailing market rates. 

The structured products sold to the client generally amounted to an opaque and complex wager on the yield curve. The yield curve is a curve showing interest rates at different lengths of time. Generally, if the yield curve flattened and the difference between two points on the yield curve did not exceed a certain threshold, the structured products sold to the couple would cease paying the same level of interest, or any interest at all, and the value of the structured products would decline. 

Additionally, many of the structured products paid an attractive teaser interest rate for one or two years with no guarantee of additional interest payments. 

The structured products generally had long maturities often as much as 20 years. Given that the securities are not listed on an exchange and therefore highly illiquid, investors would have to sell the structured products at significant discounts if they sold prior to maturity. Many of the structured products sold to the client do not mature until 2033 or 2034. 

Needless to say, it is alleged that the brokers failed to adequately disclose the extraordinary risks associated with the structured products he sold to the client. 

Erez Law alleges that Mantei and Chiellini further compounded the risks to which the client was unknowingly exposed by needlessly concentrating his account in structured products. This strategy only served to further increase the risks in the couple’s portfolio. This reckless level of concentration resulted in a dangerously concentrated and grossly unsuitable investment strategy. 

The complaint alleges that Mantei and Chiellini implemented his unsuitable structured products investment strategy while at J.P. Turner and continued to recommend the unsuitable strategy after the client transferred her account Centaurus in or about June 2015. 

It is alleged that Mantei and Chiellini’s strategy of dangerously concentrating his customers in structured products was not unique to the couple’s account. On the contrary, this was Mantei, Chiellini, and Hawkins’ business model. 

One possible explanation for Mantei, Chiellini, and Hawkins’ business model of dangerously concentrating their customers in structured products, is the high commissions they likely earned in connection with selling structured products (over 3% in commission), which is significantly higher than the commissions on traditional fixed-income investments and other suitable securities investments. 

Mantei and Chiellini also sold the client additional high risk and unsuitable investments. For example, Mantei and Chiellini sold the client Maiden Holdings preferred stock and an investment Preferred Apartment Communities. Mantei and Chiellini failed to adequately disclose the inherent and significant risks associated with the investments they recommended and sold to the Erez Law client. Mantei and Chiellini’s reckless and unsuitable investment strategy caused the client to suffer significant losses.

Furthermore, not only has the Erez Law client suffered the significant loss of her irreplaceable principal but she also no longer receives any income (or drastically reduced income) from the illiquid structured notes Mantei and Chiellini recommended and sold to her. 

Unfortunately, this claim is not unique or isolated. 

Erez Law Files Claim on Behalf of Couple Seeking Safe Fixed-Income Investments for Retirement Savings Who Suffered Losses

In March 2020, Erez Law filed a FINRA arbitration against Centaurus Financial, Inc. and J.P. Turner & Company, LLC related to investments with Chiellini and Hawkins who were registered representatives of Centaurus Financial, Inc. in Lexington, South Carolina. 

According to the claim filed by Erez Law, the clients responded to an advertisement at Hawkin’s branch touting “CDs” that pay between 3% and 5%. The couple informed Hawkins that they were interested in investing in safe fixed-income investments with him that would serve to preserve their principal and generate a modest and steady amount of income as advertised. They explained that after the market declined in 2008-2009, they were interested in allocating a portion of their retirement savings to conservative fixed-income investments that would avoid stock market-like volatility. 

According to the filed Statement of Claim, Hawkins represented to the couple that the “smart money is in bonds, not stocks” and that he would recommend bonds that would preserve capital and generate income.

Regrettably for the couple, Mantei and his brokers including Hawkins, generated outsized commission by taking advantage of trusting investors like the couple. Hawkins recklessly mismanaged the couple’s investments and caused him significant and unacceptable losses. Hawkins recommended high risk and unsuitable structured notes and other investments. Hawkins recklessly recommended that the clients dangerously concentrate their accounts in complex, high risk, illiquid and unsuitable structured products by making egregious misrepresentations and omissions. Hawkins misled the couple by representing that the structured products were high-quality fixed-income investments. Regrettably, they were not. 

Hawkins represented to the Erez Law clients that the Structured Products he recommended and sold to the couple paid an attractive yield. The Structured Products carried names that included the words “notes” which connote safety. Hawkins often referred to the investments as “CDs” or “bonds”, which in fact they were not. Hawkins failed to fully and adequately disclose the key features and risks attendant to the structured products he was recommending. 

In fact, unbeknownst to the couple, the so-called bonds that Hawkins sold were complex structured products, often with short term teaser interest rates, long-dated maturities, and obscure features that caused them to lose capital rapidly along with greatly diminished interest payments. 

The complaint alleges that Hawkins also sold the couple additional high risk and unsuitable investments. Specifically, he sold him a real estate investment trust (REIT). Hawkins sold the couple an investment in the ARC Healthcare Trust, Inc. which is now known as Global Net Lease, Inc.

Hawkins’ reckless and unsuitable recommendations and investment strategy caused the couple to suffer significant losses. 

Erez Law Files Claim for Unacceptable Losses in Elderly Couple’s Accounts

In February 2020, Erez Law filed another FINRA arbitration against Centaurus Financial, Inc. and J.P. Turner & Company, LLC related to investments with Chiellini and Hawkins. According to the claim filed by Erez Law, the clients are a married couple entrusted Chiellini and Hawkins with all of their securities investments, which represented their irreplaceable retirement savings. Chiellini and Hawkins knew that the couple was elderly, risk-averse and unable to replace any lost capital. Regrettably, Chiellini and Hawkins recklessly mismanaged the couple’s investments and caused them significant and unacceptable losses. Chiellini and Hawkins recklessly recommended that the couple over-concentrate their accounts in complex, high risk, illiquid and unsuitable structured products by making egregious misrepresentations and omissions. 

According to the filed Statement of Claim, Chiellini, and Hawkins misled the couple by representing that the structured products were high-quality fixed-income investments. Sadly, they were not. Erez Law alleges that Chiellini and Hawkins failed to adequately disclose the acute risks attendant to the structured products they sold to the couple. It is alleged that Chiellini and Hawkins further compounded the risks to which the couple was unknowingly exposed by over-concentrating their accounts in structured products. 

Erez Law Files Claim for Irreplaceable Retired Savings Losses Due to Ricky Maintei and Cindy Chiellini

In August 2019, Erez Law filed another FINRA arbitration against Centaurus Financial, Inc. and J.P. Turner & Company, LLC related to investments with Mantei and Chiellini. According to the claim filed by Erez Law, the clients are a married couple that were elderly, risk-averse and unable to replace any lost capital. The couple entrusted Chiellini with all of their securities investments, which represented their irreplaceable retirement savings. Regrettably, Chiellini recklessly mismanaged the couple’s investments and caused them significant and unacceptable losses.

Erez Law Files Claim for Structured Products and Non-Traded Real Estate Investment Trusts

In May 2019, Erez Law filed another FINRA arbitration against Centaurus Financial, Inc. related to investments with Mantei, Chiellini, and Nishnic on behalf of a retired married couple of advanced age and their adult daughter who suffered investment losses due to their brokers’ recommendations of unsuitable structured products and non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs). 

According to the claim filed by Erez Law, the clients are a married couple of advanced age and their adult daughter. The retired couple opened a brokerage account with Nishnic in 2015. They informed Nishnic that they were humble people that live a low-key lifestyle. They also informed Nishnic that they were risk-averse and interested in generating a modest and sustainable amount of income from their investments while preserving their retirement savings. The couple’s adult daughter, who was divorced, informed Nichnic that she was an unsophisticated and inexperienced investor who had never had a brokerage account before, and she was not interested in high risk or speculative investments and did not need any income to meet her expenses. The family entrusted Mantei, Chiellini, and Nishnic with all of their securities investments which represented their irreplaceable retirement savings. The family’s accounts were originally with J.P. Turner and then Centaurus when Mantei, Chiellini, and Nishnic transferred to the firm in June 2015. 

Erez Law alleges that Mantei, Chiellini, and Nishnic failed to adequately disclose the acute risks attendant to the Structured Products they sold to the family. Mantei, Chiellini, and Nishnic further compounded the risks to which the husband was unknowingly exposed by over-concentrating his IRA account in Structured Products. This strategy only served to further increase the risks in the husband’s account. The drastic level of concentration recommended by Mantei, Chiellini, and Nishnic for the husband’s IRA resulted in an unsuitable investment strategy. The family sustained staggering losses in the Structured Products that Mantei, Chiellini, and Nishnic sold them.

Erez Law Files $1 Million-Plus Claim for Structured Notes Losses

In April 2019, Erez Law filed another FINRA arbitration for $1 million-plus against Centaurus Financial, Inc. and J.P. Turner & Company, LLC for losses on behalf of an elderly married couple and grown children who suffered significant losses in their investment accounts due to recommendations of unsuitable structured notes. 

According to public records, in late 2018, a former customer of Centaurus Financial and Mantei, Chiellini and Nishnic filed a FINRA arbitration for unlawful recommendations. According to claim, the financial advisors recommended an over-concentrated portfolio of long-term, adjustable-rate structured products that were grossly unsuitable and illiquid, including non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) to an elderly retired blue-collar worker with impaired cognitive function. Due to fluctuations with interest rates, the former customer’s investments now pay no income and the principal value of the investment has also declined. Additionally, the customer now faces the choice of holding onto the investments until maturity, which is between 2028 and 2036, or selling now and suffering large losses.

It is alleged that Mantei, Chiellini, Hawkins, and Nishnic recommended various types of structured products, including but not limited to the following: 

  • Structured CDs
  • Market-Linked CDs
  • Leverage Callable CMS Curve Linked Notes
  • Callable Quarterly CMS Spread-Linked Notes
  • Callable Variable Rate Range Accrual CDs
  • Callable Interest Rate Spread CDs
  • Senior Callable CMS Steepener Notes
  • Callable CMS Spread Notes

Chiellini has multiple pending customer complaints of a similar nature alleging misrepresentations, omissions, and unsuitability in regards to structured products and other illiquid investments. Additionally, it is without a doubt that many more similar claims will be filed. 

Centaurus Financial Inc. Charged with Securities-Related Violations

In September 2019, the state of Colorado charged Centaurus Financial Inc. with potential securities-related violations due to failure to supervise the sale of structured certificates by broker Chiellini who was formerly licensed in Colorado and her supervisor Mantei, who was not licensed in Colorado. Centaurus placed Chiellini under heightened supervision because of the unusual amount of complaints against her. In addition to supervising Chiellini, as branch manager, Mantei approved all sales of structured products by the Lexington, South Carolina branch. 

The state of Colorado opened its investigation into Centaurus Financial Inc. after it received a high volume of complaints against Chiellini. The state of Colorado is looking to identify if there was a systemic root issue that might have put Centaurus Financial Inc. customers at risk. According to the filing, five Colorado customers purchased structured products from the Lexington branch; all of these customers were older than 65. 

According to Colorado’s charges, South Carolina Written Supervisory Procedures (WSPs) differ from the global WSPs with respect to structured products. For instance, the global WSPs states that a maximum of 10 percent of a client’s net worth can be in structured products, however, the South Carolina WSPs states that 50 percent of a client’s net worth can be in structured products. Additionally, the global WSPs state that structured products may only be offered to accredited and sophisticated investors, and it states that Structured Products with particular risks may be suitable for recommendation to only a very narrow band of investors capable of evaluating and being financially able to bear those risks. There is no requirement on the South Carolina WSPs that a client be accredited, nor that the client be sophisticated, nor a cautionary statement that structured products may be suitable for recommendation to only a very narrow band of investors. 

The state of Colorado also alleged that Centaurus failed to follow the safeguards in its own WSPs. Both the South Carolina and the global WSPs require “additional reviews” for retirement accounts for investors older than 59 1⁄2 years old and for any account of an investor older than 70 1⁄2 years old. 

Cindy Chiellini Structured Product Losses

In July 2019, Chiellini withdrew her license from Colorado. 

Chiellini has been registered with Centaurus Financial, Inc. in Lexington, South Carolina since May 2015. Chiellini has been the subject of 36 customer complaints between 2016 and 2020, two of which were closed without action, according to her CRD report. Recent complaints are regarding: 

March 2020. During the period of approximately 2008/2009 through 2017, the Customers allege that the financial advisor over concentrated their portfolio in unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

February 2020. “During the period 2011 through January 2018, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $171,000 in damages. 

February 2020. “The customer alleges that the Registered Representative invested his account(s) in unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

February 2020. “During the period of approximately 2011 through February 2020, the customers allege that the Registered Representative invested their account(s) in unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

January 2020. “The Customer alleges that the financial advisor misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $143,000 in damages in this pending complaint. 

January 2020. “The Customer alleges that the financial advisor negligent, misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $50,000 in damages in this pending complaint. 

December 2019. “The customers allege that the Registered Representative did not adequately diversify their accounts which allegedly resulted in a loss of account value. Additionally, the customers, and their attorney, have clearly misread various account statements and alleged that there were unexplained withdrawals when in fact they were internal movements into money market funds. The movements were clearly reflected on the customer statements. No specific dates were included in the letter.” The client sought $58,258 in damages in this complaint was settled for $17,500.

October 2019. “During the period 2010 through June 2018, the customer states that the Registered Representative, among others, “handled” his investment account. No specific allegations are noted within the Statement of Claim. As such, it appears as though the Registered Representative was named solely as a result of her capacity as a senior affiliated Registered Representative of the Branch. Due to her long tenure and experience at the Branch, she was identified on all customer statements as a point of contact for any service related issues.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

October 2019. “It appears as though the Registered Representative was named solely as a result of her capacity as a senior affiliated Registered Representative of the Branch. Due to her long tenure and experience at the Branch, she was identified on all customer statements as a point of contact for any service related issues. She had no direct or indirect relationship or contact with the claimants. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The customer is seeking $110,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

September 2019. “It appears as though the Registered Representative was named solely as a result of her capacity as a senior affiliated Registered Representative of the Branch. Due to her long tenure and experience at the Branch, she was identified on all customer statements as a point of contact for any service related issues. She had no direct or indirect relationship or contact with the claimants.” The case is currently pending. 

September 2019. “The customers allege that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

September 2019. “The customers allege that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

September 2019. “During the period August 2018 through August 2019, customers allege that the Registered Representative facilitated and misrepresented unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $170,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

August 2019. “The customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The customer is seeking $200,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

August 2019. “During the period 2014 through 2019, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

August 2019. “The customers allege that the Registered Representative facilitated and misrepresented unsuitable investments. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The customer is seeking $50,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

August 2019. “During the period 2013 through July 2019, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative facilitated and misrepresented unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $200,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

July 2019. “During the period 2013 through July 2019, the customers allege that the Registered Representative facilitated and misrepresented unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

June 2019. “During the period 2010 through 2019, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative facilitated and misrepresented unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

June 2019. “During the period from approximately 2012 through 2019, the customer alleges that the financial advisor was negligent, recommended unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty.” The case is currently pending. 

June 2019. “During the period 2015 through 2018, the customers allege that the Registered Representative facilitated and misrepresented unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

May 2019. “Beginning in early 2015 through May 2019, the customers allege that the Registered Representative facilitated/misrepresented unsuitable investments, and breached her fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

May 2019. “Beginning on or around 2014 through May 2019, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $138,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

April 2019. “During the period of approximately 2012 through August 2017, the Customer alleges that the financial advisor was negligent, engaged in potentially fraudulent activity with respect to the investments and breached her fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $1 million in this pending customer complaint. 

March 2019. “Customer primarily alleges that, on or around July 30, 2018, the financial advisor processed unauthorized trades and several other allegations associated therewith.” The customer sought $90,000 and the case was settled for $65,000.

February 2019. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith from late 2013 to early 2019.” The customer sought $253,757 and the case was settled for $12,000.

January 2019. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith from late spring/summer of 2014 through summer of 2018.” The customer is seeking $500,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

December 2018. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith from November 30, 2012 through August 30, 2018.” The customer is seeking $336,160 in this pending customer complaint. 

November 2018. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith.” The customer sought $100,000 and the case was settled for $55,000.

November 2018. “Customers primarily allege that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith.” The case is currently pending. 

September 2018. “Customers allege their investments were inappropriate and unsuitable based on their investment objectives.” The customer is seeking $150,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

August 2018. “Clients allege that the investments in their account(s) had less liquidity than they originally instructed the Registered Representative they desired, resulting in a loss of principal upon sale.” The customer sought $175,000 in damages and the case was settled for $50,000.

May 2018. “The Claimants, beneficiaries of a deceased client’s account, allege that the Registered Representative recommended the client unsuitable investments, which later resulted in partial loss of value upon liquidation attempt.” The customers are seeking $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $14,500.

December 2016. “Claimants state that they were sold unsuitable investments from 2010 through 2016.” The customer sought $164,000 and the case was settled for $70,000.

Ricky Mantei Structured Product Losses

Mantei was regarded as the head of this group of financial advisors which operates as Mantei & Associates. Mantei has been registered with Centaurus Financial, Inc. in Lexington, South Carolina since May 2015 and previously with J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. in Lexington, South Carolina from 2010 to 2015. 

In August 2019, Mantei was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he willfully violated MSRB Rule G-17 by circumventing the supervisory system of his member firm while he was seeking to effect a trade between firm customers. According to his Brokercheck profile, “The complaint alleges that to comply with the firm’s WSPs, Mantei would have been required to identify each of these transactions as a cross-trade on the firm’s order tickets and also to affirmatively justify its fairness in writing. Mantei instead effected each trade in a manner that avoided these requirements. Specifically, Mantei arranged for an external third party to buy the selling firm customer’s investment with the understanding that Mantei would have the firm repurchase it a short time later. After Mantei caused the firm to repurchase the investment, he then finally sold it to the buying firm customer. In effecting all of these transactions, Mantei failed to comply with the firm’s supervisory procedures even though, in substance, each set of transactions amounted to a cross-trade between firm customers.”

Mantei has been the subject of 32 customer complaints between 1995 and 2020, one of which was closed without action and one was denied, according to his CRD report. Recent complaints are regarding: 

March 2020. “During the period of approximately 2008/2009 through 2017, the Customers allege that the financial advisor over concentrated their portfolio in unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

February 2020. “During the period 2011 through January 2018, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $171,000 in damages. 

February 2020. “The customer alleges that the Registered Representative invested his account(s) in unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

February 2020. “During the period of approximately 2011 through February 2020, the customers allege that the Registered Representative invested their account(s) in unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

January 2020. “The Customers allege that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty. No dates are provided within the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $315,000 in damages. 

January 2020. “In or about 2014, the Customers allege that the financial advisor misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $230,000 in damages. 

January 2020. “The Customer alleges that the financial advisor misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $143,000 in damages. 

December 2019. “The customers allege that the Branch Manager misrepresented unsuitable investments and failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s). No dates are provided within the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $245,000 in damages. 

December 2019. “The customers allege that the Branch Manager misrepresented unsuitable investments and failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s). No dates are provided within the Statement of Claim, however the investments took place at the prior broker/dealer. It should be noted that the claimants was never a customer of Centaurus and as such made no investments through Centaurus.” The case is currently pending. 

December 2019. “The customers allege that the Branch Manager misrepresented unsuitable investments and failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s). No dates are provided within the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $50,000 in damages. 

December 2019. “The customer alleges that the Branch Manager misrepresented unsuitable investments and failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s). No dates are provided within the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $51,000 in damages. 

December 2019. “The customers allege that the Branch Manager misrepresented unsuitable investments and failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s). No dates are provided within the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $125,000 in damages. 

November 2019. “During the period 2011 through 2016, the customer alleges that the Branch Manager misrepresented unsuitable investments and failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s).” The client is seeking $50,000 in damages. 

November 2019. “The customers allege that the Branch Manager misrepresented unsuitable investments and failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s). No dates are provided within the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $140,000 in damages. 

November 2019. “The customers allege that the Branch Manager misrepresented unsuitable investments and failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s). No dates are provided within the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $109,000 in damages. 

November 2019. “During the period August 2015 through 2018, the customers allege that the Registered Representative recommended unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $150,000 in damages. 

October 2019. “The Customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and the commissions associated therewith. No dates of alleged activity were noted in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $110,000 in damages. 

September 2019. “The customers allege that the Branch Manager failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative servicing their account(s). No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

September 2019. “The customers allege that the Branch Manager failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative servicing their account(s). No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

August 2019. “The customer alleges that the Branch Manager failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative servicing their account(s). No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The client is seeking $200,000 in damages. 

June 2019. “During the period 2010 through 2019, the customer alleges that the Branch Manager failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s).” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

June 2019. “During the period of early 2015 through 2018, the customer alleges that the Branch Manager, failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s).” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

May 2019. “During the period 2015 through the end of 2017, the customer alleges that the Branch Manager failed to adequately supervise the Registered Representative(s) servicing their account(s).” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages. 

April 2019. “During the period of approximately 2012 through August 2017, the Customer alleges that the Registered Representative was negligent, engaged in potentially fraudulent activity with respect to the investments, and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $1 million in damages. 

November 2018. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith.” The customer sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $55,000.

May 2018. “The Claimants, beneficiaries of a deceased client’s account, allege that the Registered Representative recommended the client unsuitable investments, which later resulted in partial loss of value upon liquidation attempt.” The customers sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $14,500.

December 2016. “Claimants state that they were sold unsuitable investments from 2010 through 2016.” The customer sought $164,000 and the case was settled for $70,000.

Dana Matthew Hawkins Structured Product Losses

Hawkins has been the subject of 10 customer complaints between 2018 and 2020, one of which was closed without action, according to her CRD:

February 2020. “During the period 2011 through January 2018, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $171,000 in damages. 

February 2020. “During the period of approximately 2011 through February 2020, the customers allege that the Registered Representative invested their account(s) in unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.” The client is seeking $100,000 in damages.

October 2019. “During the period 2010 through June 2018, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

September 2019. “During the period 2014 through 2019, the customers allege that the Registered Representative facilitated, misrepresented unsuitable investments, and breached his fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

September 2019. “The customers allege that the Registered Representative facilitated, misrepresented unsuitable investments, and breached his fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

August 2019. “The customers allege that the Registered Representative invested in unsuitable, complex, high-risk, speculative and illiquid investments and breached his fiduciary duty. No dates of alleged activity were disclosed in the Statement of Claim.” The customer is seeking $50,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

February 2019. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith from late 2013 to early 2019.” The customer sought $253,757 in damages and the case was settled for $12,000.

December 2018. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith.” The customer is seeking $336,130 in this pending customer complaint. 

September 2018. “Customers allege their investments were inappropriate and unsuitable based on their investment objectives.” The customer is seeking $150,000 in this pending customer complaint. 

Katherine Nishnic Structured Product Losses

Nishnic has been registered with Centaurus Financial, Inc. in Lexington, South Carolina since May 2015. Nishnic has been the subject of eight customer complaints between 2017 and 2019, one of which was closed without action, according to her CRD report:

October 2019. “During the period 2010 through June 2018, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in damages and the case is currently pending. 

September 2019. “During the period 2013 through 2019, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative mismanaged and misrepresented unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $130,000 in damages and the case is currently pending. 

August 2019. “During the period 2014 through 2019, the customer alleges that the Registered Representative misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending complaint. 

June 2019. Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and breached her fiduciary duty beginning in 2010 through 2019.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending complaint. 

May 2019. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith beginning in early 2015 through the end of 2017.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending complaint. 

May 2019. “Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith beginning in 2014 to present.” The customer is seeking $138,000 in this pending complaint.” 

November 2018.Customer primarily alleges that the financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments and several other allegations associated therewith.” The customer sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $55,000.

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, Centaurus Financial may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Mantei, Chiellini, Hawkins and Nischnic’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.