Securities America Inc. has to deal with the fallout of the activities of a broker it fired in 2018. The company is one of the leading broker-dealers in America. The broker, Hector A. May, was charged with managing a Ponzi scheme. A family that had worked with the rogue advisor since 2001 has filed a suit against the company and demanded $18 million as compensation for losses suffered. In December 2018, May pleaded guilty on the charges of running a Ponzi scheme. He faces 25 years in prison.
Securities America Financial Corp, headquartered in La Vista, Nebraska, is owned by Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services (NYSE MKT: LTS). They offer many investment products, services, and research.
Currently, there are 84 disclosures on FINRA’s broker check for Securities America. Many included substantial monetary awards to investors.
On February 26, the Jamieson family had filed a complaint against Securities America in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The company revealed the details of the complaint and the accompanying claim of $18 million in the annual audited financial statement submitted in March 2019 to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The complainant has alleged that May conducted the Ponzi scheme along with his daughter, Vania May Bell. Over 17 years, the duo stole from the Jamieson family and offered financial advice that facilitated the theft.
The family, in its complaint, stated, “The only reason May and Bell were able to perpetrate a fraud that was breathtaking in scope — the Jamieson family was not the only victim — and duration was the abject failure of Securities America to perform its duties.”
According to the complaint, the firm was derelict in its duties to check the workings of the rogue broker, and that it missed clear opportunities to expose the fraud as far back as 2003. At that time, May had cheated the family of $750,000.
An investor that are uncertain about their accounts should seek the advice of an investment fraud lawyer. Most financial advisors provide excellent advice. An independent third party will help determine if there is anything fraudulent going on.
Common red flags for investors are investment products where the value is not found on the exchanges. If the product’s price is not on one of the major exchanges, there may be serious issues.
Another issue is significant losses of retirement funds. Another red flag is when investors lose a substantial amount of retirement funds because they were put into inappropriate or risky investments.