Florida FINRA Arbitration Panel Holds Brokerage Firm Liable for Nearly $2 Million in Investor Losses
On November 6th, 2019, a FINRA arbitration panel in Boca Raton, FL awarded a trio of investors nearly $2 million in damages (Case Number: 16-03072). The claim, which was brought by the three investors and several entities that they controlled, was filed against Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC (CRD#: 25440/SEC#: 801-78513)—a large brokerage firm that operates in 48 states, including in Florida.
Arbitration Decision: Broker-Dealer Negligence Led to Losses in Private Promissory Notes
The dispute in this case centered around a private investment in a company called Tax Funding, LLC. Through promissory notes, the trio investors allegedly put nearly $2 million this entity. In their complaint, claimants raised several different specific causes of action in relation to the troubled investment. Among other things, they allege that Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC was liable for their losses on the grounds of:
- Breach of fiduciary duty;
- Material misrepresentations;
- Omission of material facts;
- Common law fraud & negligence;
- Failure to supervise;
- Securities fraud under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; and
- Investment fraud under the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act.
After reviewing the claim brought by the investors, the FINRA arbitration panel ruled in favor of them—determining that Ross, Sinclaire & Associates was responsible for a significant portion of their investment losses. Specifically, the panel found the broker-dealer liable for material misrepresentations and negligence. Collectively, the three investors were awarded more than $1.9 million in compensatory damages. In addition to that, Ross, Sinclaire & Associates was held liable for $140,000 in attorneys’ fees.
When Can You Recover Attorneys’ Fees in a FINRA Arbitration Claim?
Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to recover attorneys’ fees through a FINRA arbitration claim. Although the winning side is not automatically entitled to legal costs under FINRA rules, there are some situations in which attorneys’ fees can and will be awarded by an arbitration panel. Generally, attorneys’ fees will be included in a FINRA award if:
- There is a fee-shifting clause in the investment agreement; or
- A relevant statute allows for or requires the payment of such fees.
As an example of a statutory rule, Florida’s elder financial abuse statute mandates the awarding of attorneys’ fees when certain conditions are met. Investors who have suffered losses as a result of fraud or misconduct by a broker deserve the maximum available financial compensation, including any available recovery for attorneys’ fees and other legal costs. An experienced lawyer can help you get the full financial support that you deserve.
Call Our Miami Investment Fraud Lawyers Right Away
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami investor fraud attorneys handle the full range of claims against financial brokers and brokerage firms. We know how to hold broker’s liable for misconduct. If you suffered investment losses due to negligent or fraud, we will protect your rights. Call our Miami law office today to get a confidential, no obligation assessment of your case.