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SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, December 14, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Three former prosecutors from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") have teamed together to assist investors who are experiencing significant losses as a result of the Bond Fund crisis in Puerto Rico. Walter J. Mathews with Mathews Wallace LLP in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; James D. Sallah with Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC in Boca Raton, Florida and Mark David Hunter with Hunter Taubman Weiss LLP in Coral Gables, Florida, all worked together at the SEC's regional office in Miami, Florida and left the SEC to establish their own firms. The firms decided to work together on the Puerto Rico based bond loss claims by pooling their collective experience for the benefit of investors suffering significant losses due to the misconduct of certain broker dealers and their registered representatives. The team of attorneys are assisted by local counsel in Puerto Rico, namely Ramon "Ray" Dapena and Morell Bauza Cartagena & Dapena LLC, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
UBS customers affected have seen the value of their holdings fall. In many cases, wealthy investors were sold millions in local municipal bond funds as conservative, safe investments, when some were not. Some brokers recommended investments in highly leveraged bond funds while encouraging clients to borrow money to double down on their investments. In some cases, investors have been forced to liquidate hundreds of millions of dollars in holdings in these funds to satisfy margin calls. Attorney James D. Sallah has identified some troubling themes including specific examples of the improper use of margin and lines of credit in addition to accounts that contain over concentrated positions. The over concentration created an excessive risk of loss. Among other instances of misconduct, Mr. Sallah has also identified instances where certain registered representatives failed to adequately discuss the nature of the investments with their clients in terms that they could understand.
The SEC's action against UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico ("UBS Puerto Rico") and two of its executives, Miguel A. Ferrer and Carlos J. Ortiz has complicated the situation. While UBS Puerto Rico agreed to settle the SEC's charges by paying $26.6 million, Messrs. Ferrer and Ortiz successfully challenged the SEC. Naturally, UBS investors are confused about the mixed results and whether the SEC's action impacts their ability to initiate a claim and obtain redress against UBS Puerto Rico. Each investor with questions concerning significant losses in their securities account should consult with a knowledgeable financial advisor and an attorney with experience in securities claims and prosecutions before they relinquish any legal rights. It is prudent to research and investigate before reaching any conclusions.
Ray Dapena indicated, "the securities claims and prosecution experience of Messrs. Mathews, Sallah and Hunter together with our local presence and knowledge should produce a great team of qualified counsel to assist Puerto Ricans in need of this type of legal service. Ours is a unique mix addressed to a very particular and specialized problem affecting investors in Puerto Rico."
"Part of our mission is simply to raise investor awareness -- that investors should closely monitor their investment accounts", stated attorney Walter J. Mathews. Furthermore, investors should act cautiously when provided with recommendations from financial advisors. Sometimes investors should obtain a second opinion from a knowledgeable financial advisor, CPA or attorney before they invest. Attorney Mark David Hunter added, "each investor has unique facts and circumstances that brokers need to know and understand before investment related advice can be provided to a potential investor." In the case of many Puerto Rico investors, the team has learned that false and misleading information was provided to the investors which may have caused significant loss or risk of loss.
The former prosecutors created a website to provide information to investors: www.ubsbondfundrecovery.com. If you sustained significant losses as a result of the Bond fund Crisis in Puerto Rico you may want to discuss your unique facts with a former SEC prosecutor such as Messrs. Mathews, Sallah and Hunter.
Alternatively, you may have suffered losses as a result of other improper conduct concerning investments sold to you by UBS Puerto Rico, Popular Securities, Inc., Wells Fargo, Santander Securities, LLC, Oppenheimer, etc. If so, please call Ramon "Ray" Dapena at 787-723-1233 or call 888-SEC-ATTY. The team of attorneys working on this matter can schedule meetings in Puerto Rico, New York, Washington, D.C. and Florida.
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