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The attorneys at Eppenstein and Eppenstein, securities, commodities and hedge fund fraud lawyers, have extensive experience representing investors in actions against securities and commodities brokers and broker dealers. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in assets for investors. We are qualified to represent your interests whether you are national or international investors or creditors in securities fraud and commodities fraud matters.

Eppenstein and Eppenstein is a respected New York-based securities fraud and commercial litigation law firm with a global practice, widely known nationally and in the international community for protecting the rights of defrauded investors and businesses, as well as for obtaining record-setting arbitration awards for our clients. The firm's Securities Law Arbitration website traces our 25 year history of successful representation of investors. Contact us today to discuss your potential claims.

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Senior Investment Protections Enhancement Act: Penalties for Securities Violations?

July 8th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

Congress may be onto something, but can they make it stick? Reflecting legislators’ concern over rampant cases of investment fraud perpetrated against seniors, the June 30 “Senior Investment Protections Enhancement Act of 2008,” Bill S. 3219, would provide for assessment of a $50,000 monetary penalty in cases of securities violations against investors 62 years of age and over.
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Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

Investor Protection: The ARS Blame Game

May 16th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

It’s not easy being an ordinary investor in these cynical times. Compliance Week’s May 13, 2008 article by Tammy Whitehouse quotes former SEC commissioner–now Washington lawyer–Roel Campos’ view of the purported “culpability” of investors who are stuck with illiquid auction rate securities which were sold to them as “cash equivalents”:

The SEC issued a cease-and-desist order in 2006 against a number of broker-dealers to clear up claims of bid rigging and flush out new disclosures, so ‘investors will have a hard time saying they didn’t understand the mechanics.’”

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Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

Investor Protection: State Securities Regulators to the Rescue?

April 30th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

“accurate reporting of risk actually may not have been a high enough priority in the mortgage-backed securities business, not when there was so much to be made off unsuspecting investors induced to buy into this hyped market.”

Securities Fraud Hotline Post, March 15, 2008.

Questionable business practices that have wreaked havoc in the credit markets has led to a series of probes in addition to the sub-prime investigation by New York state’s attorney general. As reported in the Wall Street Journal recently by Liz Rappaport, New York’s AG Andrew Cuomo’s latest target is, not surprisingly, the marketing of auction-rate securities. The AG has turned up the heat with subpoenas to Wall Street’s big players such as Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, UBS, and Citigroup. It was also reported that Bryan Latagne, director of Massachusetts’ aggressive Securities Division, will spearhead a task force of state securities regulators investigating the auction-rate market debacle.*

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Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

Securities Market Reform and Investor Protection: Return of the Regulatory Paradigm

March 13th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

As advocates for the rights of investors, we have long been proponents goals-based regulation in previous posts here and elsewhere. In a stunning admission today that deregulation has failed, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG) reported on important first steps that must be taken to restore economic stability and investor confidence, though much damage has already been done to undermine the global financial system. The report identifies the following as some of the central underlying causes: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

Auction-Rate Securities: Market Implosion Puts Investors In Limbo

March 12th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

The $13 million penalty assessed by the SEC in 2006 in a settlement against the 15 largest financial firms over the bidding process for auction-rate securities can now be seen as a portentous footnote to the current breakdown of the auction-rate business. Afterwards it was business as usual until the sub-prime liquidity crisis cast its long shadow across numerous markets including ARS. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

SICA Study: The Industry Arbitrator Bias

February 28th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

“What is the reason we have the securities industry. . . trying to get everything into arbitration? I think it is simple. The reason is, they feel they have a leg up when they go to arbitration and the reason for that mainly is because they have a member of their industry sitting on each panel.” *

Theodore G. Eppenstein, March 3, 1987 at U.S. Supreme Court in Shearson v. McMahon.

Our last post here covered our subsequent statements to Congress over the twenty years since the McMahon case in the Supreme Court, and we have noted Ted’s proposals on behalf of investors as a member of the SICA committee to eliminate the requirement of an industry arbitrator in securities arbitrations. We are not alone in this effort. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

SRO Securities Arbitration: The Backstory to Current Efforts at Reform

February 15th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

In one of the Securities Arbitration Commentator’s current publications, reference is made to the letter of Richard Ketchum, Chief of the SEC’s Division of Market Regulation at the time, dated September 10, 1987 and the SICA Public Members’ response dated October 9, 1987. There’s a fascinating backstory to these documents, which didn’t just come to light now, more than twenty years later. Indeed, these letters have been in circulation for quite some time in the follow-up to the McMahon decision in June 1987 and to the SEC’s amicus posture in that case backing the brokerage industry. Key aspects of their subject matter were also the focus of our extensive testimony at two hearings in the U.S. Congress in December 1987 and March 1988. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

Fairness for Investors–NOW!

February 7th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

“Anyone with a sense of history can look at the declining, dismal results that [NASD and NYSE] arbitration has yielded to the investor over the past 20 years to see that the system is not a level playing field. NASD stats show the investor “win rate” has steadily declined. And when the customer does win something, the award is often only a small portion of the loss.”

That’s Ted Eppenstein’s well known view on why investors are now fed up with SRO arbitration, as expressed in an online debate with an industry representative entitled “Out-of-Court Fight, Two Decades After Mandatory Arbitration Took Effect for Investors’ Disputes, Debate over it Gains Renewed Momentum” [article by Jaime Levy Pessin, Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2007, see the Arbitration Alert on our Web site]. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

Securities Arbitration Study Shows Investors Don’t Believe It’s Fair

February 6th, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

For literally decades we’ve made recommendations for securities arbitration reform and lobbied strenuously for:

  • the end to mandatory securities arbitration,
  • the formation of an alternative to self-regulatory organization (SRO) arbitration that’s fair for public investors and outside of the brokerage industry, and
  • the end to the appointment of so-called “industry arbitrators” to hear customer cases.

Confirming what we and others have been hearing from investors for years, an independent Study just released today by its authors and by the Chair of the Securities Industry Conference on Arbitration (SICA, chaired by Professor Constantine Katsoris of Fordham University School of Law) demonstrates that most customers of the brokerage industry believe SRO securities arbitration is unfair. This important study, “Perceptions of Fairness of Securities Arbitration: An Empirical Study,” was commissioned by SICA and authored by Professor Jill I. Gross of Pace University School of Law and Professor Barbara Black of Cincinnati School of Law, with the assistance of Yasamin Miller, Director of Cornell University’s Survey Research Institute (SRI). Ted Eppenstein of our Firm, Eppenstein and Eppenstein, is a Public Member of SICA, the committee that initiated the Study. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

Subprime Fallout: Charges of Securities Fraud

February 2nd, 2008 by Madelaine Eppenstein

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin’s administrative fraud claim against Merrill Lynch, for unauthorized trading, failure to disclose risk and unsuitable investments in collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) involving a city of Springfield account, is arguably the tip of the iceberg in terms of municipal and other investor losses (involving many other brokerages and banks) tied to a risky CDO market that has all but collapsed. These investments also appear to have been peddled by the financial services community at a time last year when the underlying mortgage and real estate markets were already weakening substantially. Part of an apparently ongoing statewide investigation, the claim on behalf of the city of Springfield was filed despite Merrill Lynch’s deal with Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley to make full restitution of the city’s original $13.9 million investment plus the city’s outside-counsel legal fees. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Securities Arbitration & Litigation

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