Ricky Alan Mantei Under Investigation for Mismanagement and Regulatory Violations

Ricky Alan Mantei is a notorious financial broker who was previously affiliated with JP Turner, now defunct. The noose seems to be tightening. The FINRA records show a pattern of regulatory infractions, disputes, questionable deals, and other concerns.

Mantei’s financial snags include three regulatory problems, 38 past customer disputes, and three pending ones.

Ricky Alan Mantei: Sanctions and Charges against him

In recent events, the Securities Commissioner of South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Insurance, and the US Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”Mantei received sanctions for a variety of regulatory infractions. In February of 2023, the government imposed fines exceeding $200,000 and suspended Mantei, as well as issued cease-and-desist orders due to numerous violations.

Mantei is accused of having recommended corporate bonds and Variable Interest-Rate Structured Product (VRSP) to customers, without properly evaluating the customer’s financial profile. His purported failure to oversee his brokers, while he was branch manager at the time, effectively added to the allegations.

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Mantei was also indicted for a SEC case (#3-21295), which accused him of recommending VRSPs as a solution to clients that were:

  • Retirement age is approaching
  • Having an annual income below $100,000 is the primary qualification.
  • Most of the time, a person with a net value less than $5000 is considered to be in this category.
  • A low- or moderate-risk tolerance.
  • Looking for periodic interest payments “income” motives,
  • Need moderate to high liquid assets
  • Investments with a time horizon of less than 15 years.
  • They are unwilling to take the risk of losing their original principal investment in VRSPs.

The Many Claims of Customers

Mantei, in addition to the regulatory censures imposed by South Carolina Department of Insurance, was fined for failing to timely disclose a misdemeanor conviction related to mismanagement of property tax.

The broker also has a long history of dealing with customer complaints. Over $1.1 million was paid out in settlements for 38 cases involving clients of previous employers, including JP Turner and Summit Brokerage Services. Plaintiffs’ main claims were:

  • Unsuitable investments made in alternative investments
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Unsuitable investments are concentrated in a large number.

There are currently two customer lawsuits seeking compensation for mismanagement. In the FINRA arbitration filed in October 2023, damages of $499,000 are sought, claiming that Mantei recommended speculative and illiquid investments with high risk.

You have invested in variable interest rate structured products? Here is the Catch…

The VRSPs (Variable Interest Rate Structured Product) are sophisticated securities distributed by financial institutions. They provide fixed-interest guarantees for up to three years. Many investors may not find them attractive, especially retirees or conservative investors.

Due to their complexity, and the potential risk factors involved, firms and brokers must adhere to FINRA rules on suitability when recommending these investments.

Rick Mantei, Helm: Recovering Losses

Those who have suffered financial losses as a result of Mantei’s handling may be eligible for compensation through FINRA arbitration. Legal help can be provided to clients in order to understand their rights, and guide them through the process of financial recovery.

Most cases are handled based on contingent fees. This means the investor pays no legal fees unless they win the case.

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