Alphonse M. Lucchese, a CitiSmith Barney customer, has not only lost his $100,000 securities claim against the financial firm in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration, but he also now must pay for Citigroup‘s $49,985 in attorney fees. The case is Alphonse M. Lucchese, Claimant, v. Citi Smith Barney, Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., Robert Joseph Malenfant, and Alfred George Weaver, Respondents.
Lucchese had originally filed a securities fraud lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court of Massachusetts. The case was later dismissed and sent to arbitration.
Lucchese claims Smith Barney stockbroker Weaver, who is a Respondent, recommended that he buy 4,000 shares of Lehman preferred. Despite his reservations-including concerns about the stock and how they compared with other companies’ shares-Lucchese “reluctantly agreed” and at $25/share spent $100,000.
The stock initially dropped 20%-a $20,000 drop in value. The Claimant says that Weaver told him to hold on to his stock. When the financial markets collapsed, Lucchese’s stocks’ worth then dropped by 63%. He says that when he told Weaver to sell the position even though it meant losing $63,000, the broker recommended that the Claimant still hold on to his shares and that Lehman was not going to fail… only it did. Lucchese’s shares then became worthless when Lehman filed for bankruptcy.
While Weaver acknowledged making a mistake by not selling Lucchese’s stock, the Respondent claims that the Claimant never ordered him to sell. Lucchese disputes this account.
The arbitrator, when ruling on the case, decided that there was lack of credible evidence supporting Lucchese’s claim. He also found that Weaver acted on “good faith” when he advised Lucchese not to sell prior to Lehman filing for bankruptcy and that the broker would have no way of knowing that this would happen.
Lucchese’s claims of securities fraud, including breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, negligence, failure to supervise, violations of federal and state securities laws, and other violations were denied in their entirety. In addition, the arbitrator determined that the Claimant should be responsible for Citigroup’s legal fees of $49,985, $3,150 in arbitration forum fees, and $400 for the explained decision.
Most securities cases must be resolved in arbitration and you want to make sure you are represented by experienced stockbroker fraud lawyers to increase your chances of recouping your losses. A securities claim is not the type of case you want to handle on your own.
Citi Smith Barney Customer Sues Over 2008 Failure to Sell Lehman Shares, Forbes, December 18, 2011
More Blog Posts:
Citigroup Global Markets Inc. Sues Two Saudi Investors in an Attempt to Block Their FINRA Arbitration Claim Over $383M in Losses, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 22, 2011
Citigroup Global Markets Fined $500,000 by FINRA for Inadequate Supervision of Broker Accused of Bilking Sick and Elderly Investors, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, August 16, 2011
Citigroup to Pay $285M to Settle SEC Lawsuit Alleging SecuritiesFraud in $1B Derivatives Deal, October 20, 2011
**This post has been backdated for publication.
Our stockbroker fraud law firm knows how devastating it can be to lose your investment-especially if this was because you were given bad advice or due to broker misconduct.
Unfortunately, many investors suffered during the financial collapse of 2008 and they are still trying to recoup their losses.