As recently reported in the San Antonio Express News, former investment firm Hill Country Wealth, based out of San Antonio, Texas, is under investigation by the State Securities Board, and has now become the subject of at least one major lawsuit.
According to the article, many individuals (mostly elderly) have allegedly been deceived and wronged by the firm.
The article states in part as follows:
According to the publicly available broker profile maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and state securities regulators, McGilvrey has worked for six financial firms since 2000, including four in San Antonio.
Long before the collapse of Hill Country Wealth, there were warning signs — including customer complaints and irregular job changes — which could have alerted wary investors.
In 2008, McGilvrey was “permitted to resign” from LPL Financial because of “failure to properly supervise,” according to the profile, and six years earlier, he had been discharged from Merrill Lynch for “job abandonment.”
Over the past seven years, a handful of customers have written to complain about McGilvrey.
Among their gripes: That he had sold them unsuitable securities based on misrepresentations, did unauthorized and excessive trading and, in one case, induced one client to buy a risky stock based on his “insider” contacts.
Two of the complaints are pending, and two others were denied after McGilvrey presented his side of the story to regulators.
George Grice of New Braunfels, who said he bought Enron stock in 2001 based on McGilvrey's recommendations, still is angry over losing money and then getting nowhere with his grievance.
“I was brand new in the market. He was gonna be my buddy. He said, ‘I've got inside information,'” recalled Grice, 63, a retired air traffic controller.
Grice said he invested $15,000 in Enron stock on McGilvrey's assurances and then saw the money almost disappear when the firm collapsed.
“I'm not used to being had like that. I hope the son of a bitch gets staked down and skinned alive. Give me the knife and I'll do the skinning,” he growled.
More recently, Roy Meredith of San Antonio said he lost money after investing with McGilvrey. Meredith, who hasn't made a written complaint, described his misfortune.
“I think I saw him on WOAI, on Channel 4. He was talking about all the interest money he could make,” recalled Meredith, 64, who is semiretired.
At the time, Meredith said he had about $50,000 invested in certificates of deposit, but wanted a better return. And, he said, McGilvrey promised to deliver.
“He said, ‘I can get you 7 percent, guaranteed.' That was 2 percent more than I was getting,” said Meredith, who invested his money with Hill Country Wealth last year in what he thought were certificates of deposit.
But he admits he didn't read the fine print, and instead the money apparently went into riskier securities. Six months later, when the market plunged, he said he had lost more than $30,000.
“He hornswoggled me. The only thing I wanted was a CD,” he said of McGilvrey.
DLG Luce LLP is a Texas based law firm, handling a wide variety of business matters including advising companies on corporate matters and litigation. We also represent individuals who have been wronged by deceptive or unethical business practices. Visit our practice areas here to learn more about the services our firm provides.