INVESTOR ALERT: Claims Against Michael Fitzgerald For Unsuitable Equity Investments

Michael Edward Fitzgerald (CRD#: 209062, San Francisco, California) is a prior Morgan Stanley registered representative who worked at the firm’s San Francisco offices from June 1, 2009 to June 1, 2018. Apparently, Fitzgerald has sold investors equities including LINN Energy, Inc. (OTC: LNGG) and Seadrill (OTC: SDRL). According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck Profile for Fitzgerald, at least six customers have filed disputes about his sales practices. Specifically, take a look at Fitzgerald’s disclosures regarding his alleged unsuitable trading practices:

June 6, 2018 FINRA Arbitration Concerning Fitzgerald’s Unsuitable Sales Practices

 

Apparently, customers of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joined together in the filing of FINRA Arbitration #18-02113 on June 6, 2018. Mainly, customers contended that between 2014 and 2015, Fitzgerald made unsuitable trades in their accounts. Apparently, Fitzgerald put the customers in stocks that were not appropriate for their investment objectives or risk tolerances. Because of this, the customers alleged $240,000 in damages in this pending matter.

February 14, 2017 Complaint About Fitzgerald’s Failure To Diversify Investments

 

A Morgan Stanley customer filed a dispute on February 14, 2017 in regard to Fitzgerald’s sales practices. Allegedly, between 2012 and 2016, Fitzgerald did not adequately allocate the customer’s funds to achieve diversification. As a result, the customer’s assets were apparently over-concentrated in stock positions. Apparently, Fitzgerald caused the customer to incur substantial losses. Because of this, Morgan Stanley and the customer agreed for the firm to pay the customer $185,000 Accordingly, this matter settled on November 20, 2017.

February 11, 2016 Complaint Regarding Lack Of Diversification

 

Evidently, another customer of Morgan Stanley brought a complaint to the firm’s attention on February 11, 2016 concerning Fitzgerald. Specifically, the customer claimed that from 2010 to 2015, Fitzgerald did not sufficiently diversify the customer’s investment account assets. Notably, this lack of diversification apparently caused the customer to be over-weighted in stocks. Eventually, Morgan Stanley opted to settle the customer’s allegations of unsuitability by paying the customer $50,000 on March 8, 2016.

Notably, FINRA BrokerCheck shows that in three prior disputes filed between February 4, 1987 and December 10, 1996, customers of Fitzgerald’s prior employer, PaineWebber, Inc. (now known as UBS Financial Services Inc.) have alleged that Fitzgerald engaged in serious misconduct. First, Fitzgerald allegedly failed to advise a customer about the risks of trading on margin. Second, a customer claimed Fitzgerald failed to advise the customer about the risks of non-diversification. Third, he allegedly breached a fiduciary duty to customers regarding common stock investments. Fourth, a customer claimed Fitzgerald misrepresented common stock investments. Apparently, two of the three disputes involving Fitzgerald’s alleged sales practice violations settled for a total of $307,500; the third produced a customer award of $37,250.

Lars Soreide Highest Ethical Standard Award 2018

Lars Soreide Highest Ethical Standard Award 2018

If you have experienced losses from Michael Fitzgerald or another registered representative who made unsuitable trades in your account or facilitated purchases of LINN Energy, Inc. (OTC: LNGG) and Seadrill (OTC: SDRL), contact Soreide Law Group at (888) 760-6552 and speak with our qualified counsel about a possible recovery of your losses. Soreide Law Group represents clients nationwide and only charges a fee upon recovery of losses.