7th Lawsuit Filed Against Cetera Advisors, LLC and Broker George Craig Merhoff Jr. by Soreide Law Group
By: Soreide Law Group PLLC
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - Sept. 4, 2018 - PRLog -- GEORGE MERHOFF (CRD# 2918171) is employed as a registered representative of CETERA ADVISORS in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Recently the State of Oregon, Department of Consumer and Business Services Division of Financial Regulation, has entered a cease and desist order against Respondents CETERA ADVISORS, LLC, and GEORGE MERHOFF. The Department found that two (unnamed) customers of Respondents were sold large concentrated positions in energy in their managed accounts to customers who did not understand the risks associated with them.
Respondents were ordered to pay a $70,000 fine and a suspended fine of $35,000 if they could prove that MERHOFF is being adequately supervised. The findings already made by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation mirror a similar pattern of misconduct in the latest lawsuit filed by attorney Lars Soreide, Esq., of Soreide Law Group on behalf of his Klamath Falls clients.
In the seven lawsuits filed by Soreide Law Group, it was alleged that many of the customers of Merhoff were completely reliant on his advice and had managed accounts. It is alleged that, MERHOFF, for some clients, made large concentrated positions in oil and gas related investments. MERHOFF concentrated many of his customer's accounts in high-risk oil and gas investments, including but not limited to: Linn Energy, PenGrowth Energy Corp, Seadrill Partners, Energplus, Cliffs Natural Resources, Teekay Partners, and Vale S.A.
MERHOFF has racked up twenty four (24) reported customer complaints on his U4. The significance of MERHOFF'S customer complaints is underscored in FINRA NOTICE to MEMBERS 03-49. In 2003, FINRA conducted a review of the CRD's of all 663,000 registered representatives, only 2,751 (.41%) had been the subject of (3) or more customer complaints. In other words MERHOFF's customer complaints rank him in the top one-hundredth percent of all registered representatives for customer complaints. The vast majority of the reported conduct all relates to similar conduct at issue here involving material misrepresentations and negligent recommendations involving deceptive trade practice allegations.
The Klamath Falls clients of Soreide Law Group allege that there was no hedging or stop loss strategy implemented in the accounts. Most of these losses were to irreplaceable retirement savings. Over-concentrated positions in risky oil and gas investments are totally unsuitable for a conservative portfolio. Many investors represented by Soreide Law Group were looking to invest instable income producing investments and not speculate with their irreplaceable life savings.
If you were former or current client of George Merhoff and suffered losses due to his actions or recommendations, call Soreide Law Group, at 888-760-
FINRA case no. 18-03059
Soreide Law Group PLLC