DALLAS – Attorney Barrett Robin helps DFW couple obtain an arbitration award of nearly $800,000 in compensatory damages against their former accountant and investment adviser whose mismanagement wiped out over 65% of their retirement savings.
After working as the couple’s certified public accountant for several years, the former investment advisor convinced them to grant him discretionary management authority over their retirement accounts in exchange for quarterly fees he would withdraw from the accounts. Over the course of the client/adviser relationship, however, the advisor repeatedly selected risky investments that were not suitable for this near-retirement-aged couple. To make matters worse, the advisor ignored the couple’s stated investment goals, repeatedly misleading them about their investments and the market’s performance and failing outright to disclose the risks posed by his strategy, including investing the couple’s hard-earned money into long-term positions in leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds.
The couple reached out to attorney Barrett Robin in late 2019, who investigated and made a pre-arbitration demand from the investment adviser. After the adviser refused to accept any responsibility for the damage he had done, Barrett initiated arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in May 2020. A panel of three FINRA arbitrators decided the case in the couple’s favor after a one-day live evidentiary hearing, issuing an award of $792,292.60 in compensatory damages, consisting of $689,288.82 in actual losses and $103,003.78 in account management fees the advisor had charged the couple over the years. The panel also awarded the couple $15,000 in attorneys’ fees and assessed $6,187.50 of the $6,750 in hearing fees to the advisor.
“This victory is a significant step toward obtaining justice for our clients,” Barrett said of the award. “It is also meaningful because this public award may serve as a warning to current and potential investors of what can happen to people who place their trust in this investment adviser.”
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