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Complaint Filed Against Peter Bakalis Regarding Sale Of Illiquid Investments

Peter Bakalis (CRD#: 4587325) is a dually registered Broker and Investment Advisor at D.H. Hill Securities, LLLP in Trenton, MI.

Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 2002 and previously worked for SPC; Sigma Financial Corporation; Brokers International Financial Services, LLC; Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.; and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

Current And Past Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in October 2021, a customer dispute was filed against Peter Bakalis. The allegation states, “Client alleges in August of 2014 – 2016, he was sold illiquid investments that were unsuitable given his investment objectives and financial goals.” The customer dispute was denied.

In addition, Peter Bakalis has been the subject of two customer complaints, a regulatory disclosure and employment disclosure, including the following:

  • March 2020 — “Mr. Bakalis violated Section 1239(1)(h) of the Code, MCL 500.1239(1)(h). He represented himself as a customer on a telephone call to American Equity. During the call, he identified himself as his customer rather than as an authorized agent and specifically requested information necessary to process a surrender for a contract held by his customer. He provided his customer’s DOB and the last 4 digits of the SSN to the AE representative. He also provided the fax number for his agency to the AE representative and requested that AE fax the applicable surrender form to that number. During the call Mr. Bakalis acknowledged his customer was working with a financial advisor but at no point let the representative know that he was the financial advisor being referenced in the call.” The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services initiated a regulatory action against Peter Bakalis, ordering him to cease and desist and fining him $2,500.
  • October 2018 — “The Firm has reason to believe that the representative forged, or instructed/caused others to forge, client signatures on account opening and account transfer paperwork.” Peter Bakalis was discharged from Sigma Financial Corporation.
  • October 2018 — “Client alleges that the representative forged, or instructed/caused others to forge, client signatures on account opening and account transfer paperwork.” The customer dispute was closed with no action.
  • September 2015 — “Client alleges that in February of 2015, he was not made aware that his existing non-traded REIT was to be merged into an existing trade REIT.” The customer dispute was settled for $5,702.02.

For a copy of Peter Bakalis’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.

Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.

Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions – even if suitable when viewed in isolation – is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation.

Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s age, tax status, time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance; a client’s other investments, financial situation and needs, investment objectives, and any other information disclosed by the customer should also be considered.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis.  Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at (800) 931-8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

Attorney Matthew Wolper

Attorney Matthew WolperMatt Wolper is a trial lawyer who focuses exclusively on securities litigation and arbitration. Mr. Wolper has handled hundreds of securities matters nationwide before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), JAMS, and in state and federal court. Mr. Wolper has handled and tried cases involving complex financial products and strategies ranging from traditional stocks and bonds to options, margin and other securities-based lending products, closed/open-end mutual funds, structured products, hedge funds, and penny stocks. [Attorney Bio]