Awards and Settlements
Bob Gonser obtained an $845,000 settlement prior to the filing of a Statement of Claim for an 84 year old woman who was poorly advised to invest her assets into two TIC programs as part of a 1031 exchange from the sale of an apartment complex in California she owned and managed for 40 years. Sold under the guise the TIC investments were safe and secure and would provide a steady stream of income in her retirement and protect her principal, none of the inherent risks of these TIC investments were explained to this elderly client who clearly lacked the investment sophistication to understand the complexities and extraordinary risks associated with TICs. When the underlying TIC properties failed and stopped paying distributions, nearly her entire net worth was wiped out. Bob Gonser successfully argued that the TIC investments were unsuitable for her in light of her financial situation, assets and goals at the time of the transaction, and, more importantly, no effort was made to set aside assets to provide for her in the event these TIC investments failed to perform.
Bob Gonser ’s clients obtained a $1.7 million settlement involving the proceeds from a 1031 exchange which were invested into four unsuitable and high risk TIC programs. The TICs were sold pursuant to the misrepresentations the clients would receive monthly distributions and ultimately the underlying TIC properties would sell at a profit. Bob Gonser mediated the case and negotiated the sizeable settlement with the responsible broker dealer less than 10 months after filing the FINRA claim.
Bob Gonser ‘s client was awarded $3.9 million, which included 100% of the losses, as well as interest, attorney’s fees and costs. An experienced investor received fraudulent portfolio reports from his broker, which were sent from a national brokerage firm’s branch office. The fraudulent portfolio reports were used by the broker to conceal his unauthorized trading in the investor’s account. After six days of hearings, the panel of three Pacific Exchange arbitrators found that the broker had committed fraud, and that the national brokerage firm failed to adequately supervise the broker.
Bob Gonser negotiated over $2 million in settlements. Our firm was retained by several employees of a major technology company who were solicited by a broker with a national brokerage firm to exercise thousands of incentive stock options of a high profile technology company on margin. The subsequent decline of the major technology company’s stock resulted in millions of dollars in damages, from the decline of the stock, margin interest, and commissions. In many instances, the broker took discretion in the accounts without written authorization and transacted numerous unauthorized trades resulting in additional losses.
Bob Gonser represented a non-profit organization that had been sold unsuitable manufactured housing bonds through material misrepresentations and omissions. After seven days of arbitration in Los Angeles, the non-profit was awarded damages and costs of $1.2 million.
A panel at the Pacific Exchange awarded over $1.2 million in damages and interest to four employees of Cisco Systems who incurred damages in their national brokerage firm’s accounts as a result of their broker’s recommendation to exercise thousands of non-qualified Cisco stock options utilizing margin. The subsequent decline of the price of the Cisco shares resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages in the form of the decline of the stock and margin interest. The Pacific Exchange arbitration panel assessed liability for breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise, unauthorized trades and breach of contract.
Defeating Respondents’ motion to dismiss pursuant to the FINRA 6-year eligibility rule, Bob Gonser went on settle their 60 year old client’s claims against his broker dealers for mismanagement and over-concentration of his portfolio in illiquid high risk securities. As client’s registered representatives failed to appear in the FINRA matter, Bob Gonser filed a motion for default and motion barring the representatives from presenting defenses at hearing. The FINRA panel found the registered representatives jointly and severally liable and awarded compensatory damages, interest and attorneys’ fees to Claimant.
Bob Gonser was contacted by the grandson of an elderly widow who was concerned his grandmother had been fraudulently solicited to place proceeds from the sale of her farm land into approximately $1.7 million in highly speculative securities. After returns on his grandmother’s investments ceased to provide monthly income as promised, our client was left with no income other than her social security. Bob Gonser successfully negotiated a settlement with Respondents after arguing they failed to properly manage her account to reflect her conservative objectives, instead placing our client in investments which were high risk and speculative and only suitable for people who could afford to lose their entire principal.
Following a 7-day evidentiary hearing, a FINRA arbitration panel awarded Bob Gonser’s client over $914,000 for losses against the Respondent brokerage firm and its registered representative. The award included compensatory damages, pre-judgement interest, attorney’s fees and expert witness costs as well as rescission of seven Direct Participation Programs (DPPs). The panel also assessed all forum fees against Respondent brokerage firm and its registered representative. The case involved the sale of 14 investments including non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Oil & Gas partnerships, a Tenancy in Common (TIC) and one equipment leasing partnership. HG Attorney Robert Gonser represented the Claimant who sought damages for insufficient due diligence by the brokerage firm and the improper conduct of its registered representative who was not adequately supervised.