Levin Papantonio Rafferty is investigating potential customer claims involving the broker Megurditch "Mike” Patatian, formerly employed by Western International Securities.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed a complaint against Megurditch “Mike” Patatian. FINRA alleges that Patatian was making unsuitable recommendations to customers, having them purchase risky non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) with no reasonable basis to recommend REITs to clients. Further, Patatian is alleged to not have a basic understanding of these trusts and their risks and features. FINRA has also alleged that Patatian recommended his customers finance the REIT purchased with unsuitable variable annuity (VA) surrenders.
FINRA alleges that Patatian was in violation of several regulatory rules, including:
- Making 81 unsuitable recommendations to purchase over $7 million in REITs to 59 customers
- Making unsuitable recommendations to exchange variable annuities
- Impersonating a customer
- Falsifying customer account and disclosure forms
- Making unsuitable recommendations to clients to surrender variable annuities used to fund illiquid non-traded REIT purchases
According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck website, Patatian has a history of customer disputes and employment separation after allegation disclosures.
His first came in February 2004 where Patatian was discharged from WM Financial Services, INC. following “inconsistencies in statements provided to the regional sales manager.”
In March 2004, a client alleged that the investments within his account were changed without his knowledge in October of 2003. Later that same year, another client alleged that Patatian recommended investments that were inconsistent with her needs.
In March 2013, Patatian was permitted to resign from Cuso Financial Services, L.P. after allegedly failing to follow firm policy in regards to firm transaction documentation.
In March 2020, Mr. Patatian was permitted to resign from Newbridge Securities Corporation. The firm alleged that Patatian failed to disclose arrest information during the pre-hire process.
Patatian has been associated with five firms in his 21 years of experience:
- Crowell, Weeden & Co. from November 1999 – December 2001
- WM Financial Services, Inc. from January 2002 – February 2004
- Cuso Financial Services, L.P. from March 2004 – April 2014
- Western International Securities, Inc. from April 2013 – April 2020
- Supreme Alliance LLC from May 2020 – March 2001
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