A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered UBS Financial Services Inc. to pay investor Kajeet Inc. $80.8 million for failed auction-rate securities. The brokerage firm disagrees with the decision and intends to file a motion to have the claim vacated.
Although Kajeet had only invested $8 million in ARS through UBS, the company, which markets cell phones for kids, contends that because its securities were frozen, a “domino effect” resulted and it ultimately lost $110 million. Also, Kajeet was forced to significantly cut its 60-person work team and it lost a key distribution deal with a national retail chain.
UBS had previously resolved ARS-related charges with an agreement that it would pay a $150 million fine and buy back $18.6 billion of the securities. The brokerage firm was one of a number of broker-dealers that agreed to repurchase over $60 billion in ARS from investors because they had allegedly misrepresented the securities as safe investments. When the $330 million ARS market froze in February 2008, UBS had over $35 billion in ARS that were held by some 40,000 customers.
Our securities fraud lawyers continue fight for clients’ right to recover their losses from the ARS market collapse. We want to remind you of the special arbitration procedure that has been set up to allow clients with frozen ARS that couldn’t access their funds to claim “recovery of consequential damages.” The procedure does not allow investment firms to contest liability claims that are based on the argument that brokers issued misrepresentations when they caused investors to think that reselling the assets would be easy.