- October 4, 2022
- Essex Securities
Michael Lee (CRD#: 715932) is a dually registered Broker and Investment Advisor at Essex Securities, LLC in Jersey City, NJ.
He entered the securities industry in 1980 and previously worked for ES Advisory Group; SB Advisory, LLC; CL Wealth Management, LLC; Cabot Lodge Securities, LLC; IFS Securities; Financial Advisory Network; Inc.; Securities America, Inc.; McCarley and Associates, Inc.; AIMS Capital Corporation; Investor Portfolio, Inc.; Titan Capital Corporation; Merrico Investments Corporation; First Park Equities, Inc.; Bache Halsey Stuart Shields, Inc.; and Aborn Investments, 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 April 2022, a customer dispute was filed against Michael Lee. The allegation states, “I deny any allegations of wrong doing. Claimant was advised that the GMIB rider must be accepted within 30 days of his purchase anniversary and that a balance must be maintained in order to qualify for the GMIB rider. Claimant refused to timely accept the GMIB rider and to maintain an annuity balance.” The customer dispute is pending, and damages of $150,000 are requested.
In addition, Michael Lee has been the subject of nine customer complaints, including the following:
- May 2021 — “On May 19, 2021, a demand letter was emailed to me claiming losses of $240,000 and an offer to settle for $175,000, in connection with [REDACTED]s failure to annuitize his GMIB Rider on an annuity her purchase on December 14, 2007. The letter contained preposterous and blatant lies asserting that I told him to put his Ohio National paperwork “in the recycle bin __you will be receiving lots more” and that he relied on that ridiculous advice causing him to fail to annuitize his GMIB Rider. The fact is he has been receiving quarterly and annual statements since 2007. We discussed his need to annuitize early in 2019. He did receive the form and called me while I was in Washington State and was told to complete, sign and send the form to the company. If he had any question to call the companies support desk and they would assist him. He failed to do so.” The customer dispute was denied.
- December 2011 — “FAILURE TO FOLLOW FIRM POLICIES AND PROCEDURES WITH REGARD TO ADVERTISING, CORRESPONDENCE AND THE SOLICITATION OF PRIVATE PLACEMENTS.” Michael Lee was discharged from Securities America, Inc.
- October 2011 — “BEGINNING IN AUGUST 2005, CLAIMANT ALLEGES SALE OF INVESTMENTS IN MEDICAL CAPITAL. ALLEGATIONS INCLUDE BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY, NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION, MISREPRESENTATION BY OMISSION, AND NEGLIGENCE.” The customer dispute was settled for $464,194.06.
- April 2011 — “IN CONNECTION WITH THE RECOMMENDATION AND SALE OF MEDICAL CAPITAL AND PROVIDENT SHALE, CLAIMANTS ALLEGE MISREPRESENTATION AND UNSUITABILITY.” The customer dispute was settled for $215,850.24.
- January 2011 — “IN CONNECTION WITH THE RECOMMENDATION AND SALE OF MEDICAL CAPITAL, CLAIMANT ALLEGES MISREPRESENTATION, UNSUITABILITY AND VIOLATION OF DUTIES OWED TO CLAIMANT.” The customer dispute was settled for $278,516.44.
- January 2011 — “IN CONNECTION WITH THE RECOMMENDATION AND SALE OF MEDICAL CAPITAL AND PROVIDENT SHALE, CLAIMANT ALLEGES MISREPRESENTATION, UNSUITABILITY, AND BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY. CLIENT OPTED OUT OF GLOBAL SETTLEMENT.” The customer dispute was settled for $55,000.
- September 2010 — “IN CONNECTION WITH THE RECOMMENDATION AND SALE OF MEDICAL CAPITAL, PROVIDENT SHALE AND OTHER INVESTMENTS, CLAIMANT ALLEGES UNSUITABILITY, NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION, FRAUD, BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY, AND NEGLIGENCE.” The customer dispute was settled for $165,717.28.
- February 2010 — “IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF MEDICAL CAPITAL, CLAIMANTS ALLEGE FRAUD, BREACH OF CONTRACT, BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY, NEGLIGENCE, AND NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATIONS AND OMISSIONS.” The customer dispute was settled for $959,953.32.
- October 2009 — “CLAIMANTS ALLEGE RESPONDENTS RECOMMENDED AND SOLD UNSUITABLE INVESTMENTS IN PROVIDENT SHALE AND MEDICAL CAPITAL. ALLEGATIONS INCLUDE NEGLIGENCE, BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY, MISREPRESENTATION, UNSUITABILITY, AND BREACH OF CONTRACT.” The customer dispute was settled for $275,000.
- April 2003 — “CLIENT ALLEGES UNSUITABLE INVESTMENTS.” The custom was granted damages of $124,649.
For a copy of Michael Lee’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.
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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.
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