In the News (Part 2)
12/27/13: PIABA seeks more Capitol Hill Influence in 2014
“We’re taking a more active role in trying to impact legislation,” said Jason Doss, president of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association. “No other organization has the practical experience to talk about the real-life impact on investors when they’re given bad investment advice.”
—Mark Schoeff Jr., Investment News
12/20/13: Senators Question FINRA Broker Records Removal
“PIABA President Jason Doss praised Grassley and Reed for probing FINRA’s expungement process, saying in a statement that the group looks forward to improvements to the BrokerCheck system to better protect investors.”
—Kenneth Corbin, Financial Planning
12/19/13: Financial Brokers Could Be Hiding Past Consumer Complaints
“Jason Doss of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar association refers to this situation as the “security industry’s dirty little secret.” A new study written by Doss’ organization found stockbrokers are able to keep complaints against them from being disclosed. Brokers have the right to request a complaint be “expunged” from their record if they felt it was false.”
—Karen Anderson, CBS Boston
12/18/13: PIABA Commends Senators Grassley, Reed, and Markey for Efforts to Investors Regarding Broker Expungement
Jason Doss, president of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), issued the following statement today:
“We commend Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for taking bi-partisan action to protect investors by calling on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to clarify and strengthen standards for expungement of investor complaints against financial professionals. (http://1.usa.gov/18Rb7xt). Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) has also expressed concern with FINRA’s arbitration process and the integrity of the FINRA BrokerCheck system. Through its arbitration forum, FINRA provides its financial professionals and their firms a process to request having customer complaints permanently removed (i.e. expunged) from their public regulatory record. FINRA arbitrators decide whether to recommend granting these expungement requests. Pursuant to FINRA’s rules, expungement is supposed to be an extraordinary remedy that should only be granted by arbitrators when the information to be expunged has ‘no meaningful regulatory or investor protection value.”
12/5/13: COMPLY-Investor advocates push to see trove of arbitration records
The group wants them “as a matter of transparency,” said Jason Doss, the PIABA president. Customers must sign documents when they open brokerage accounts that require them to resolve future legal disputes with firms through FINRA arbitration. Consumers are “forced” into the process and should know how FINRA determines who hears their cases, Doss said.
—Suzanne Barlyn, Linda Stern, and Jeffrey Benoke, Reuters
11/27/13: PIABA Urges Greater Suitability Focus In Series 6
In a recent comment letter, PIABA President Jason Doss said that although the group felt the proposal was a “move in the right direction, especially as the changes pertain to an increased focus on suitability, the changes should go even further to promote investor protection. ”To underline the importance of the issue, he said suitability violations constituted 953 of the 2,809 arbitration cases filed with FINRA during 2013 through September.
—Ben Maiden, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC
11/7/13: CORRECTED-Securities watchdog fast-tracks actions on risky brokers
Lawyers for investors said the regulator should have been honing in on high-risk brokers all along. “Why hasn’t this been going on the entire time?” said Jason Doss, president of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, a group of lawyers who represent investors in securities arbitration cases. “We assumed that the bad apples always moved to the front of the line.”
—Suzanne Barlyn and Krista Hughes, Reuters
11/7/13: COMPLY-When brokerages look away from advisers’ shady pasts
“I’ve come across this fact pattern many times in the past 10 years,” said Jason Doss, president of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, a group of lawyers who represent investors in securities arbitration cases. To compound matters, investors, who typically have no idea why their brokers are moving on, follow them – usually to smaller firms that are happy to pick up the extra revenue, even from brokers who pose a risk, Doss said.
—Suzanne Barlyn, Linda Stern, and Dan Grebler, Reuters
10/22/13: When Investigating a Stock Broker, Don’t Stop at Google
”The expungement process for stockbrokers in arbitration cases is clearly broken today and needs fixing,” said Attorney Jason R. Doss, incoming president of PIABA. “We have believed for some time now that expungements are a significant investor protection issue, but this new study from PIABA now documents precisely just how bad the situation is. This situation simply cannot be allowed to go unaddressed.”
—Juliette Fairley, TheStreet.com
10/16/13: Brokers can make complaints vanish
What the association that conducted the study would like to see is “more and better training for arbitrators,” said Jason Doss, the association’s incoming president. It also wants FINRA to change its rules to prohibit brokers and their attorneys from requiring investors not to oppose expungement as part of a settlement agreement.
—Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle
10/16/13: ‘Alarming’ Number of Brokers’ Arbitration Records Wiped Clean: Study
Incoming PIABA president Jason Doss said on the call that FINRA also needs to provide “more and better training for arbitrators.” The training required by FINRA for arbitrators to be able to rule upon a motion seeking expungement relief “is limited,” he said. As it stands now, he said, arbitrators are only required to take an online training course, which takes approximately one hour, and pass a test concerning the materials included in the online training course. Doss said the issue is “systemic,” and shows a “dramatic increase” in the number of brokers asking for expungement and getting it.
—Melanie Waddell, Think Advisor
10/15/13: Study: Are Investors Being Kept In The Dark by Fast-Rising “Expungement” of Broker of Disciplinary Revords?
Jason Doss phone interview for PR Newswire
10/13/14: PIABA claims arbitrator bias; Finra lashes back, Study suggests lack of diversity in pool damages investors
The increasingly homogenous arbitrator pool has led to a reduction in the number of cases in which investors prevail, PIABA president Jason Doss said. The “win rate” for claimants dropped from about 60% in the early 1990s to 42% in 2013. —Mark Schoeff Jr., Investment News
10/21/13: Too easy to clear records?
”Finra needs to take more action to protect investors,” said Jason Doss, the incoming PIABA president. “We have the hard data to prove that point.”
—Mark Schoeff Jr., Investment News
9/2/13: Tracking Ephren Taylor
“Many of the victims have faced foreclosure and filed for bankruptcy as a result of all of this,” said Jason Doss, an Atlanta attorney representing more than a dozen of Taylor’s former investors. “Frankly, the fact that Mr. Taylor claims that he wants to live a peaceful life makes me sick. It is a little too late for that.”
—Greg Bluestein, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
8/24/13: New Details
Plaintiffs’ attorneys who fear they won’t be able to recover client investments from Taylor have expanded their lawsuits to try to recoup losses. Wells’ complaint targets Long, his church and a company called Equity Trust that it accuses of endorsing Taylor. Her attorney, Jason Doss, says church members would not have given their money to Taylor “without the support of Bishop Long, New Birth and Equity Trust.”
—Greg Bluestein, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
4/22/13: FINRA Moves to Simplify Panel Selection
According to Jason Doss, the president elect of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, the all-public panels were such a popular selection that FINRA is looking to make the option clearer and easier for a customer to select. ”This rule is an improvement,” Doss said. “It’s less confusing in that attorneys who may not practice in this area may not miss the fact that they had to ask for an all-public panel at the beginning.”
—Mason Braswell, Financial Planning
2/23/13: Atlanta’s Eddie Long again sued by former church members
After Long introduced the businessman as his “friend,” the former New Birth members lost more than $1 million investing with the self-described “social capitalist.” “If Bishop Eddie Long hadn’t endorsed this they wouldn’t have invested,” Jason Doss, attorney for the former members, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
—Adelle M. Banks, Orlando Sentinel
2/13/13: Former Church Member Sue Bishop
New Birth, Long and Taylor are all named in the suit filed by 12 former church members who say they lost more than $1 million in the alleged Ponzi scheme. ”If Bishop Eddie Long hadn’t endorsed this, they wouldn’t have invested,” plaintiffs attorney Jason Doss said.
—Christian Boone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
4/13/12: SEC complaint alleges that Ponzi scheme targeted church members
What has been uncovered so far appears to be “widespread fraud,” said attorney Jason Doss, who represents the plaintiffs. “If you speak to our clients, they were very active in their church and put a lot of weight in what Bishop Long said. He [Taylor] touted himself as a teenage entrepreneur and prodigy. The types of investments he peddled were supposed to be socially conscious. He used all the bells and whistles and terms that would attract a church-going person.”
—Shelia M. Poole, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
12/20/11: SouthStar Energy Services d/b/a Georgia Natural Gas Settles 2008 Class Action Lawsuit
“We believe that this settlement is very good for Georgia consumers, and we worked very hard to ensure that the claims process is as simple as possible,” said Jason R. Doss and Anne Lewis, lead counsel for the plaintiffs.”
10/24/11: Defendant in suit over megachurch investments
Attorneys for the church members say in a DeKalb County lawsuit that Taylor urged them to liquidate their retirement accounts, and as a result some lost their life savings. Plaintiff’s attorney Jason Doss, who filed the lawsuit, said his legal team has struggled to locate Taylor, who operated a company in Raleigh, N.C. “We don’t know where he is,” said Doss. “He’s sort of off the map.”
—Jeff Martin, Associated Press
10/20/11: Bishop Eddie Long accused in investment scam lawsuit
The most recent suit stems from a three-day investment seminar Long held at the church in October 2009, at which church members were encouraged to invest in a company named City Capital Corporation, according to the suit. The company’s then-CEO, Ephren Taylor, attended and was heralded by Long, attorney Jason Doss told the AJC. Doss, of Marietta, and attorney Quinton Seay are co-counsels in the suit.
—Alexis Stevens, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
6/3/11: Investors Urged to Review Apple REIT Holdings, According to the Doss Firm, LLC and Co-Counsel
Attorney Jason R. Doss, of the Doss Firm, LLC, said, “The FINRA complaint alleges that the Apple REITs are illiquid and heavily concentrated in extended stay hotels. Many Lerner customers may be invested in more than one Apple REIT. This fact raises questions about the suitability of Lerner’s solicitation of certain investors, particularly elderly investors, for placement of these products.”
1/18/11: If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…
“The Lowe’s notes converted into stock at a $4,000 loss,” said Jason Doss, the Conklins’ lawyer at Doss Firm LLC in Marietta, Georgia. The couple lost more than $130,000 on reverse convertibles overall, Doss said.
—Larry Doyle, Sense on Cents
3/17/10: Georgia Supreme Court rules against SouthStar in overcharge case
Jason Doss, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said SouthStar has 200,000 customers and it has “done nothing to fix the problems” that resulted in the plaintiffs filing suit in 2008. The plaintiffs, Charles Ellison and Susan Bresler, claimed SouthStar had overcharged them for both natural gas and for customer service.
—Rodney White, Platts Gas Daily
1/13/10: Georgia Supreme Court hears case of alleged overcharging of customers
“If the justices rule in the plaintiffs’ favor, it could pave the way for a class-action lawsuit in which all 200,000 Georgia Natural customers could seek damages, potentially costing the company millions of dollars,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jason Doss.
—Rodney White, Platts Gas Daily
6/4/09: Georgia Gas lawsuit may still get class-action status
More than 300,000 customers could be included in the class, said Jason Doss and Anne Lewis, the Atlanta attorneys representing the plaintiffs. ”It affirms what we’ve said from the beginning,” Doss said. “The burden is not on consumers to figure out they’ve been overcharged; the burden is on the natural gas companies to provide accurate and truthful information.”
—Peralte C. Paul, Atlanta Journal Constitution
3/9/09: Money Gone? Here’s Action You Can take, Candice Choi the Associated Press
Title: “The Retirement Challenge: Will You Sink or Swim?” (paperback, 266 pages, FT Press, $21.99).
Authors: Frank Armstrong III, independent financial adviser, with Jason R. Doss, consumer lawyer.
Synopsis: The authors offer practical strategies for retirement planning. A companion Web site has calculators, sample plans and budget spreadsheets.
2/29/08: Gas Sellers Face Suits over Prices
Jason Doss, who brought two suits on behalf of three utility customers, said the litigation would go forward unless the marketers offer what the lawsuit seeks: A 300 percent reimbursement of all alleged overcharges on affected variable-rate plans.
—Margaret Newkirk, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Mooney et al. v. Allianz Life Ins. of N. America
Federal Judge Denies Motion To Decertify and Summary Judgment on national class action on behalf of over 400,000 class members.
11/27/06: Insurers brace for scandal over bid rigging with GICs Muni investigation may filter down to other contracts
“Individuals may have pooled exposure to GICs through defined contribution retirement plans such as 401(k),” said Jason Doss
—Gary S. Mogel, Investment News
10/2/06: John Hancock to replace 44 outside VA mutual finds substitution with proprietary offerings irks advisers
“Insurers want to use their own funds because they want to get paid twice: once for the VA and once for the underlying mutual funds,’’ said Jason Doss.
—Gary S. Mogel, Investment News
Former church members sue bishop: New Birth leader vows to cooperate. A dozen people allege they lost more than $1M.
“New Birth, Long and Taylor are all named in the suit filed by 12 former church members who say they lost more than $1 million in the alleged Ponzi scheme. “If Bishop Eddie Long hadn’t endorsed this, they wouldn’t have invested,” plaintiffs’ attorney Jason Doss said. According to the lawsuit, Long did not invest himself, but urged his parishioners to invest with Taylor, whom he introduced as his “friend (and) brother” prior to his pitch before the church.”
—Christian Boone, the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Public Safety: SEC: Scam targeted churchgoers: City Capital’s CEO ran Ponzi scheme, fed say. SEC complaint follows lawsuit filed last year by members of New Birth .
What has been uncovered so far appears to be “widespread fraud,” said attorney Jason Doss, who represents the plaintiffs. “If you speak to our clients, they were very active in their church and put a lot of weight in what Bishop Long said. He [Taylor] touted himself as a teenage entrepreneur and prodigy. The types of investments he peddled were supposed to be socially conscious. He used all the bells and whistles and terms that would attract a churchgoing person.”
—Shelia M. Poole, the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Stockbroker Requests to Scrub Complaints Are Often Granted; Study Shows Brokers’ Requests to Strike Complaints
Finra has tweaked “expungement” rules a number of times in recent years, but the report said that, for settled arbitration cases, “Finra’s attempts to mandate narrow grounds for granting expungement relief…have failed.” Jason Doss, incoming president of the bar association, said: “Very simply, Finra needs to take more action to protect investors, and we have the hard data to prove that point.” —Jean Eaglesham, the Wall Street Journal