Securities Fraud Headlines: NBA’s Tim Duncan Sues Financial Adviser Again, JPMorgan Hackers Face Criminal Charges, and FINRA Warns Military Vets May Be Targeted by Their Own

Spurs Star Tim Duncan Says Ex-Financial Adviser Bilked Him of Millions
NBA star Tim Duncan is suing his former financial adviser again. The San Antonio Spurs player says that Charles Banks cost him millions of dollars because he persuaded him to invest $1.1 million in a cosmetics company. Banks purportedly told him that the company was profitable even though it was about to go bankrupt.

Duncan sued Banks in January in another Texas securities case accusing the latter of making unsuitable recommendations that cost him some $25 million. Banks gave financial advice to the NBA player for almost twenty years. Duncan claims that some of the recommendations made were in his former financial adviser’s best interests while detrimental to him.

JP Morgan Hackers are Indicted for Securities Fraud
US Attorney Preet Bharara says that Joshua Samuel Aaron, Gery Shalon, and Ziv Oreinstein committed “securities fraud on cyber steroids” when they stole customer data from JPMorgan (JPM) and hacked 11 other financial institutions. At least 83 million customers who trade significantly saw their personal information stolen.

Bharara said the men took a typical stock scam into cyberspace, utilizing the stolen private information to send out emails promoting penny stocks in massive pump and dump schemes. Investors would purchase stock, which would raise the price. The men would then cash out before the stock price fell.

They also allegedly conducted reverse mergers of private companies with public shell corporations under Shalon’s control. The defendants are accused of making over $100 million, using 75 shell companies, and 30 bogus passports from 17 nations to conceal their scheme. They were indicted and charged on numerous counts.

The authorities initially thought that Russian hackers were involved.

FINRA Cautions Military Vets to Watch Out for Fraud
On its website recently, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority reminded military veterans that they can be targeted by investment scammers and in some instances the fraudster may be a fellow vet. This type of financial scheme, where the scammer exploits his/her financial ties to gain an investor’s trust is known as affinity fraud. As FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s Military Financial Readiness Program Director Bud Schneeweis warns, just because someone served with you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check their credentials to make sure that the person has the professional experience, educational background, and proper registrations to serve as your broker or investment adviser.

That said, there are military vets who are legitimate financial advisers who are qualified to help other vets manage their money. Doing your due diligence can allow you to make sure you are picking someone who has your best interests at heart, knows how to handle your investments, and can help you meet your financial goals.

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, we help investors in pursuing claims against negligent brokers, investment advisers, and financial firms. We would like to offer you a free case consultation. Contact us today.

Tim Duncan says ex-financial adviser cost him millions, USA Today, November 9, 2015

Trio Indicted in Massive JPMorgan Hack, eWeek, November 10, 2015