FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 13, 2009 -- Securities Fraud Attorney Mark Tepper has filed claim against UBS Financial Services on behalf of a widow who lost irreplaceable capital after placing settlement money from her husband's accidental death, under management of the financial services firm.
The claim alleges that UBS Financial Services misled a widow who was caring for her elderly mother and her son who was suffering from cystic fibrosis.
The claim contends that the widow, a high school graduate who never attended college and married at 19 years old, was incapable of independently evaluating investment recommendations. "She had retired after working in a bowling alley for 23 years and had a financial situation and needs that required an income portfolio providing safety of principal. UBS placed her irreplaceable capital in an unsuitable aggressive/speculative growth portfolio which exceeded her risk tolerance, apparently to increase its compensation," the claim alleges.
"UBS enticed her to pay it a lot of money and then abused her trust. Without prior discussion or explanation, UBS dramatically and unsuitably changed her investment objective to 'growth' and her risk tolerance to 'aggressive/speculation.' She blindly followed instructions to 'sign here' because she trusted UBS to act professionally," the claim alleges.
"By using an aggressive speculative growth standard and allocating her accounts nearly 80% in stocks, ETFs and hedge funds and 20% in bonds; By failing to maintain cash reserves for her monthly income by converting her cash account to a speculative hedge fund investment; By selling investments in each account to meet her monthly cash requirement; and By charging excessive fees on her municipal bond account;" the claim contends UBS victimized the widow causing her to lose in excess of $400,000.
I'll have more commentary on this later, but this is clearly a case where a structured settlement for this type of client would have been so much more approriate and this family wouldn't be facing a disaster such as this.