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Archive for May, 2016

Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari Announces Investigation of Breitburn Energy and other Energy Related Master Limited Partnerships

Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari is investigating investor losses in oil and gas companies including Los Angeles-based Breitburn Energy Partners (“Breitburn”).

On May 15, 2016, Breitburn filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a continued decline in oil prices which have eroded its balance sheet.

Financial service or brokerage firms that recommended the purchase of Breitburn may have breached industry duties by:

  • failing to conduct proper due diligence on Breitburn
  • failing to disclose all material risks
  • failing to allocate properly customers’ portfolios
  • over concentrating investor assets in energy related securities
  • failing to implement risk management protocols

Many oil and gas companies raised capital through Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”). “Brokerage firms targeted retirees selling them master limited partnerships, pitching a high-yielding bond substitute with tax advantages, failed to disclose the risks associated with MLPs and the oil & gas sector,” said Ryan Bakhtiari.

“We’ve noticed that some financial service firms have over concentrated fixed income investors in oil and gas MLPs like Breitburn,” said David Harrison.

If you have suffered a loss of more than $100,000 in Breitburn or other MLPs contact an attorney below to discuss your options.

Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari is an “AV” rated law firm with a worldwide practice representing individuals and institutions in disputes with Wall Street and the financial services industry. Attorneys for the firm regularly appear before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) which was created in 2007 through the consolidation of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) enforcement and arbitration divisions, as well as in numerous state and federal courts to resolve financial disputes between customers, employees, banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and other members of the financial services industry.

Breitburn Energy Partners LP filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Oil and gas company Breitburn Energy Partners LP has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing continued declines in oil prices which have eroded its balance sheet.

Los Angeles-based Breitburn (Nasdaq: BBEP) said it expects to continue its operations without interruption, with cash from its operations, cash on hand, and a $75 million debtor-in-possession financing facility giving Breitburn “more than adequate liquidity” to operate during the restructuring process.

Breitburn said during the last 30 days, it has held “constructive discussions” with various lenders over the terms of a balance sheet restructuring and emergence financing, as well as the treatment of Breitburn’s valuable hedging assets in conjunction with its emergence from the chapter 11 process.

Breitburn said it plans complete these discussions and “evaluate other value-maximizing opportunities to facilitate an expedited balance sheet restructuring that will leave Breitburn as a stronger, deleveraged, and recapitalized enterprise.”

Breitburn in its bankruptcy court filings reported assets of $4.7 billion and debts of $3.4 billion as of March 31, according to the Wall Street Journal.

About $3 billion of Breitburn’s debts are bank and bond debt, with $1.25 billion in loans from lenders led by Wells Fargo Bank, NA. The company also has $650 million of senior secured second-lien bonds and $1.1 billion in unsecured bonds.

Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari Announces Filing of FINRA Arbitration on Behalf of Former Customers of LPL Financial Broker Karl Romero

Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari announces the filing of a FINRA arbitration and its continuing investigation of the sales practices of Karl Romero (Nasdaq:LPLA) for his management of client accounts and the overconcentration of energy and/or real estate related stocks including:

  • Gastar Exploration
  • Arbor Realty
  • Resource Capital Corp.

We are currently investigating whether all material risks of the recommended investments were disclosed to clients as well as whether Karl Romero implemented an appropriate risk management strategy.

“Karl Romero has been the subject of at least 12 customer complaints during his employment in the securities industry. His employer, LPL, knew or should have known that based on his prior complaints, Mr. Romero posed a risk to LPL customers,” said Ryan Bakhtiari.

“Mr. Romero’s transactions raise serious concerns about the level of supervision LPL chose to exercise,” added Philip Aidikoff.

Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari represents retail and institutional investors around the world in securities arbitration and litigation matters. Attorneys for the firm have appeared before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and in numerous state and federal courts to resolve financial disputes between customers, banks, brokerage firms and other financial institutions.

Updates to the FINRA Arbitration Process

The FINRA Board of Governors met this week to discuss a number of issues, including several rulemaking items. A summary of the rule proposals that relate to FINRA arbitration, as approved by the FINRA Board, are below.

Broadening Chairperson Eligibility in Arbitration

The Board authorized filing with the SEC proposed amendments to Rules 12400 and 13400 (Neutral List Selection System and Arbitrator Rosters) to revise the arbitration forum chairperson eligibility requirements. Specifically, an attorney arbitrator would be eligible for the chairperson roster if he or she completes chairperson training and serves as an arbitrator through award on at least one arbitration, instead of two arbitrations, administered by a self-regulatory organization in which hearings were held.

Motions to Dismiss in Arbitration

The Board authorized filing with the SEC proposed amendments to Rules 12504 and 13504 (Motions to Dismiss) to provide that arbitrators in its forum may act upon a motion to dismiss prior to the conclusion of a party’s case in chief if the arbitrators determine that the non-moving party previously brought the same dispute against the same party, and the dispute was fully and finally adjudicated on the merits.

Panel Selection in Customer Cases with Three Arbitrators

The Board authorized filing with the SEC proposed amendments to Rule 12403 (Cases with Three Arbitrators) to increase the number of public arbitrators on the list that FINRA sends parties during the panel selection process in customer cases. Specifically, FINRA would increase the number of public arbitrators on the list from 10 to 15. FINRA would also increase the number of strikes to the public list from four to six, to keep the proportion of strikes the same under the amended rule as it is under the current rule.

– See more at: http://www.finra.org/industry/update-finra-board-governors-meeting-17#sthash.0jLFQXOe.dpuf

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