Update on Puerto Rico bond mess

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Puerto Rico recently attempted to reinstate a law that would allow certain agencies to file for Chapter 9 protection. The U.S. Court of Appeals resisted, instead agreeing with the San Juan judge who refused it in February.

The dispute is because the commonwealth is excluded from a part of the bankruptcy code used by municipal entities and cities, the code allows public agencies to seek protection from creditors.

Cesar Miranda Rodriguez, Puerto Rico’s attorney general, says Puerto Rico may ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case. Stating that the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals “is very disappointing” Rodriguez continued, “It’s arbitrary and inconceivable that Puerto Rico will be deprived of a tool that allows for an orderly negotiation of public debt.”

Puerto Rico’s non-voting member, Pedro Pierluisi, is also reportedly sponsoring a bill that will ask Congress to allow certain public agencies to file for Chapter 9 protection.

Having these measures turned down comes as a blow as the island falls deeper into a fiscal crisis. This decision means that agencies must continue negotiations with its creditors, and if a solution is not found, investors could sue the Puerto Rican agencies in an attempt to reclaim their investments.

Since Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced that he planned to restructure the commonwealths debt, securities have dropped in price. They are at a record low, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Puerto Rico is considered a U.S. commonwealth, and not a state. Because of this, it lacks the legal benefits that allow state municipalities and agencies to seek bankruptcy protection.

The Puerto Rico power utility, which serves most of the island’s 3.6 million residents, is attempting to negotiate for payment relief. The authority made a $415 million bond payment due July 1 and has reached an agreement to continue out-of-court discussions to restructure its $9 billion of debt. This has been widely regarded as a smart move and some investors are working with the power utility to find a “sustainable path forward.”

Others believe the islands debt is not payable and do not think things will improve without changes being made to the terms.

These issues have been ongoing for years but it is only now becoming big news nationally.  The bigger problem for U.S. based investors is that a number of bond funds hold Puerto Rican debt because of the high yields they pay.  Those assets are not in jeopardy.

The White Law Group continues to investigate the liability that brokerage firms may have for recommending Puerto Rico bonds or bond funds that invest in Puerto Rico, like Oppenheimer Rochester Fund Municipals A, Oppenheimer Rochester LtdTerm NY MunisA, Double Tax-Free Income A, Oppenheimer Rochester MD Municipal A, Oppenheimer Rochester VA Municipal A.  Brokerage firms are required to make investment recommendations that are suitable for their clients in light of their clients’ age, investment experience, net worth, income, and investment objectives.  High risk junk bonds are not appropriate for all investors.

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**Update** SEC Files Civil Complaint against Patrick Churchville

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

On June 2, 2015 the federal court in Rhode Island entered an order imposing an asset freeze against the defendants ClearPath Wealth Management, LLC, a private funds investment adviser, its president and owner, Patrick Churchville
According to the SEC’s complaint, ClearPath and Churchville ran a ponzi scheme and used investors’ funds as collateral for loans to make investments for their own benefit and stole $2.5 million of investor funds to purchase Churchville’s waterfront home in Barrington, Rhode Island.

The complaint alleges that Churchville and ClearPath lied to investors about the status, worth, and disposition of those investments.

ClearPath and Churchville consented to the entry of an asset freeze and other preliminary relief. In addition to the asset freeze, the court prohibited ClearPath and Churchville from soliciting, accepting, or depositing any client funds, or from exercising any discretionary authority over clients’ accounts. ClearPath and Churchville were also preliminarily enjoined from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 206(1), 206(2), and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rules 206(4)-2, 206(4)-7, and 206(4)-8 thereunder.
The complaint states that the SEC seeks to require ClearPath and Churchville to pay civil monetary penalties, and for all defendants and relief defendants to return their allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest. The SEC is also seeking permanent injunctions against both ClearPath and Churchville.

If you suffered losses investing in from Patrick Churchville through ClearPath Wealth Management and would like a free consultation with a securities attorney, please call The White Law Group at (312)238-9650.

The White Law Group is a national securities arbitration, securities fraud, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, visit www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

 

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Have you suffered investment losses through Patrick Churchville? If so, The White Law Group may be able to help you recover your losses through FINRA arbitration.

The White Law Group is investigating Churchville’s alleged improper use of investor funds.

The SEC is currently filing a civil complaint. The SEC filing states: “Beginning in December 2010, private fund manager Patrick Churchville, through his firm ClearPath Wealth Management, misappropriated and misused his investors’ cash and assets through a years-long fraudulent scheme involving theft, covered up by false accounting entries, shadow accounts, and misrepresentations.”

Brokers have an obligation to make investment recommendations that are consistent with their clients risk tolerance, net worth, investment objectives and experience in the market.

Broker dealers are also required to perform adequate due diligence on any investment they recommend and to ensure that all recommendations are suitable for the investor. Firms that fail to do so, may be held responsible for any losses in a FINRA arbitration claim.

If you suffered losses investing in from Patrick Churchville through ClearPath Wealth Management and would like a free consultation with a securities attorney, please call The White Law Group at (312)238-9650.

The White Law Group is a national securities arbitration, securities fraud, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, visit www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

 

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Recovery of Oppenheimer Rochester CA Municipal A

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Have you suffered investment losses in Oppenheimer Rochester CA Municipal A? If so, The White Law Group may be able to help you recover your losses through FINRA arbitration.

The White Law Group is investigating potential securities fraud claims involving broker-dealers’ improper recommendation that investors purchase Oppenheimer Rochester CA Municipal A.

Our firm is paying close attention to Oppenheimer Rochester CA Municipal A and other funds with high involvement in Puerto Rico, in particular, the ways in which broker/dealers marketed and sold the products to investors. In many cases, broker-dealers marketed these investments as safe and secure when in reality these funds were overexposed to the risk of a Puerto Rico default on debt.

Investors were likely attracted to the Oppenheimer Rochester CA Municipal A due to the relatively high interest or dividend offered.  Unfortunately, it appears that certain financial advisors failed to adequately disclose the risks of the fund to their clients (particularly in light of the funds overconcentration of investments in Puerto Rico).  According to reports, the Oppenheimer Rochester CA Municipal A has approximately 11.4%  of its investable assets invested in Puerto Rico debt.

This is obviously a big problem for the Oppenheimer Rochester CA Municipal A fund with Puerto Rico threatening to restructure debt and postpone bond payments.

To determine whether you may be able to recover investment losses incurred as a result of your purchase of the Oppenheimer Rochester CA Municipal A fund, please contact The White Law Group at 312-238-9650 for a free consultation.

The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

 

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Recovery of MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond A

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Have you suffered investment losses in MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond A? If so, The White Law Group may be able to help you recover your losses through FINRA arbitration.

The White Law Group is investigating potential securities fraud claims involving broker-dealers’ improper recommendation that investors purchase MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond A.

Our firm is paying close attention to MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond A and other funds with high involvement in Puerto Rico, in particular, the ways in which broker/dealers marketed and sold the products to investors. In many cases, broker-dealers marketed these investments as safe and secure when in reality these funds were overexposed to the risk of a Puerto Rico default on debt.

Investors were likely attracted to the MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond A due to the relatively high interest or dividend offered.  Unfortunately, it appears that certain financial advisors failed to adequately disclose the risks of the fund to their clients (particularly in light of the funds overconcentration of investments in Puerto Rico).  According to reports, the MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond A has approximately12.9% of its investable assets invested in Puerto Rico debt.

This is obviously a big problem for the MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond A fund with Puerto Rico threatening to restructure debt and postpone bond payments.

To determine whether you may be able to recover investment losses incurred as a result of your purchase of MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond A fund, please contact The White Law Group at 312-238-9650 for a free consultation.

The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

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Recovery of Oppenheimer Rochester Ltd Term CA MuniA

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Have you suffered investment losses in Oppenheimer Rochester Ltd Term CA MuniA? If so, The White Law Group may be able to help you recover your losses through FINRA arbitration.

The White Law Group is investigating potential securities fraud claims involving broker-dealers’ improper recommendation that investors purchase Oppenheimer Rochester Ltd Term CA MuniA.

Our firm is paying close attention to Oppenheimer Rochester Ltd Term CA MuniA and other funds with high involvement in Puerto Rico, in particular, the ways in which broker/dealers marketed and sold the products to investors. In many cases, broker-dealers marketed these investments as safe and secure when in reality these funds were overexposed to the risk of a Puerto Rico default on debt.

Investors were likely attracted to the Oppenheimer Rochester Ltd Term CA MuniA due to the relatively high interest or dividend offered.  Unfortunately, it appears that certain financial advisors failed to adequately disclose the risks of the fund to their clients (particularly in light of the funds overconcentration of investments in Puerto Rico).  According to reports, the Oppenheimer Rochester Ltd Term CA MuniA has approximately 12.9%  of its investable assets invested in Puerto Rico debt.

This is obviously a big problem for the Oppenheimer Rochester Ltd Term CA MuniA fund with Puerto Rico threatening to restructure debt and postpone bond payments.

To determine whether you may be able to recover investment losses incurred as a result of your purchase of the Oppenheimer Rochester Ltd Term CA MuniA fund, please contact The White Law Group at 312-238-9650 for a free consultation.

The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

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