Brokerage Firm Alert: Our Investment Fraud Attorneys Are Investigating Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.

Did You Lose Money Because of Cambridge Investment Research? Are You Aware of Complaints and Fines Against Cambridge Investment Research?

Updated on: December 14, 2023

Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (“Cambridge Investment Research”) (CRD # 39543) is a broker-dealer and has been the subject of at least ten(10) complaints filed by regulatory organizations like FINRA and many more by investors like yourself.  At Patil Law, we have investigated Cambridge Investment Research, its regulatory complaints and fines, and its customer complaints.  If you’ve invested your hard-earned money with Cambridge Investment Research, you should be very concerned about any regulatory actions, regulatory fines, or customer complaints against your brokerage firm.

Our team of attorneys specialize in representing investors with claims of fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty against this organization and its financial advisors.  As an investor, you may be entitled to compensation for losses accrued due to mismanagement of your investments.

If you believe you have a claim against Cambridge Investment Research, you should strongly consider hiring an investment fraud lawyer and not wait until it’s too late to file a claim. Reach out to our legal team via the secure and private online form or call our firm directly toll-free at 1-800-950-6553 for a free consultation so that we can discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.  We do not charge anything for the ability to discuss your matter and evaluate your potential case.

Jump to Topic

Do I Have an Investment Fraud Case Against Cambridge Investment Research?

Who is Cambridge Investment Research?

How To File a Claim Against Cambridge Investment Research To Get Your Money Back

Client Complaints – Is Your Financial Advisor on This List?

Did Misconduct By a Cambridge Investment Research Advisor Impact Your Investments? What Can You Do?

Cambridge Investment Research Has Many Regulatory Complaints and Fines

A Closer Look Into Cambridge Investment Research’s Regulatory Issues

Next Steps and Free Consultation with Our Legal Team

Do I Have an Investment Fraud Case Against Cambridge Investment Research?

YES, if you’ve experienced financial losses due to the actions or misconduct of Cambridge Investment Research or its staff, you have the right to pursue legal action against them. You can sue Cambridge Investment Research but the odds are you signed away your right to sue in court and agreed to resolve your dispute in a FINRA arbitration proceeding.

FINRA arbitration proceedings are generally private proceedings that can last anywhere from a few months to approximately a year. Our attorneys have personal experience in representing clients in FINRA arbitration proceedings and know very well how you can not only sue Cambridge Investment Research in FINRA arbitration proceedings, but WIN that arbitration. The easiest way to know if you have a case against Cambridge Investment Research is to reach out to our legal team at Patil Law via the secure and private online form or call us toll-free at 1-800-950-6553 for a complimentary consultation.

Who is Cambridge Investment Research?

Cambridge Investment Research (CRD # 39543) is a registered broker-dealer. It operates as a full-service independent broker-dealer, providing a range of financial products and services to individual investors and financial advisors.  As a registered broker-dealer, Cambridge Investment Research is subject to regulations and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

It is required to comply with industry standards and regulations to ensure the protection of its clients’ interests. A failure to comply with industry standards by either its brokers or the firm itself can result in disciplinary actions, fines, or other penalties imposed by regulatory authorities.

How To File A Claim Against Cambridge Investment Research To Get Your Money Back

If you have questions about Cambridge Investment Research, its advisors, or the management or performance of your accounts, please contact our legal team at Patil Law via the secure and private online form or call us toll-free at 1-800-950-6553 for a free and complimentary initial consultation. Our attorneys have experience handling well over a thousand securities arbitration claims, and our law firm has successfully recovered over $25 million for our clients to date.

We understand the stress that comes along with realizing that your financial advisor or brokerage firm has made poor decisions with your money. We can help you, as we have helped hundreds of other clients in the past.

Client Complaints – Is Your Financial Advisor on This List?

There have been scores of customer complaints filed against Cambridge Investment Research stockbrokers and investment advisors over the years. Many of these complaints deal with financial advisor misconduct, poor or unsuitable investment recommendations, failure by these brokerage firms to supervise their employees (the financial advisors), and general fraud against consumers. We have launched many investigations of current and former Cambridge Investment Research advisors:

  1. James Vandenburg, currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Voya Financial Advisors)
  2. Akhil Kumar, with Cadaret Grant and Arch Global Advisors (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Voya Financial Advisors)
  3. James Joly, with Cambridge Investment Research (previously Cantella & Co. and Voya Financial Advisors)
  4. Amy Seltzer, with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with QA3 Financial Corp. and Sanders Morris Harris)
  5. Phillip Smelser with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Householder Group, Estate & Retirement Specialists and AIG Financial Advisors, Inc.)
  6. Eladio Santiago with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with UBS Financial Services and Morgan Stanley)
  7. David Neumann with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Morgan Stanley)
  8. Deborah Shuster currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Sanders Morris Harris)
  9. Berrie Coble with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with FTB Advisors and NBC Securities)
  10. Jay Weil currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research)
  11. David Melilli currently barred (previously with Sagepoint Financial, LPL Financial, and Cambridge Investment Research)
  12. John Pronovost with Infinex Investments (previously with MML Investors Services and Cambridge Investment Research)
  13. Scott Ferguson with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Morgan Stanley and FSC Securities)
  14. Michael Francoeur currently barred (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Edward Jones)
  15. Joshua Beitel with Osaic Wealth (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Signature Equity Partners)
  16. Molly Grubb currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Key Investment Services)
  17. Harold Hellen with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Harbour Investments and American General Securities)
  18. Alexia Ball with Cambridge Investment Research
  19. Michael Medford currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and FSC Securities)
  20. William Randall with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Wachovia Securities and LPL Financial)
  21. Leo Goodin with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with PFS Investments and H.D. Vest Advisory Services)
  22. John Grillo with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with NYLIFE Securities and Eagle Strategies)
  23. Kelly Hoff with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Transamerica Financial Advisors)
  24. William Mathews currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Financial Network Investment Corporation)
  25. Timothy Owens with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Investacorp and FSC Securities)
  26. Barbra Shaffer with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with National Asset Management and National Securities Corporation)
  27. Erin Willis with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Raymond James Financial Services Advisors and LPL Financial)
  28. Eric Wegner with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Capstone Advisory Group and Meric Capital Management)
  29. Diane Weyrick with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with SCF Investment Advisors and SCF Securities)
  30. Derek Coffren with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with CCF Investments and Ameritas Investment)
  31. Carolyn Valentine with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with H. Beck and Franklin Financial Services Corporation)
  32. Curtis Harris with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with HFG Advisors and MML Investors Services)
  33. Cyrus Dhatigara currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and New England Securities)
  34. David Llewellyn with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Edward Jones)
  35. David White with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Securities America and First Western Advisors)
  36. James Docster with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Waddell & Reed and          LPL Financial)
  37. James Ellis with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with AQ3 Financial Corp. and Sanders Morris Harris)
  38. John Naegele with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with National Asset Management and National Securities Corporation)
  39. Michael Mills with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Pioneer Institutional Asset Management and Pioneer Funds Distributor)
  40. Michael Speer currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Presidential Brokerage)
  41. Nestor Montoya with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services and TIAA-CREF Advice and Planning Services)
  42. Robert Blake currently unaffiliated (previously with Presidential Brokerage, Inc., and Auerbach, Pollak & Richardson Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research)
  43. Ronald Williams with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Investacorp and FSC Securities)
  44. Shanna Tingom with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Edward Jones)
  45. Steven Nelson with Private Client Services (previously with Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. and Prime Capital Investment Advisors)
  46. Thomas Shay with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Gunnallen Financial and RBC Dain Rauscher Inc.)
  47. William Fochi, Jr. with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Northwestern Mutual Investment Services and Cantella & Co.)
  48. Paul Freitag with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Securities America, Inc.)
  49. Brian Hooks currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research)
  50. Deborah Birch with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with H&R Block Financial Advisors and Avantax Advisory Services)
  51. Louis Desepoli with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with H.D. Vest Investment Services)
  52. Steven Gessner currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and United Planners’ Financial Services of America)
  53. Brian Lee with LPL Financial (previously with MML Investors Services and Cambridge Investment Research)
  54. Don Kowalsky with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Symetra Investment Services and Questar Asset Management)
  55. Christopher Gordon with Centaurus Financial (previously with Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation and Cambridge Investment Research)
  56. Michael Petyak with Calton & Associates (previously with Advisory Services Network, LPL Financial LLC, and Cambridge Investment Research)
  57. Greg Koalska currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and KCD Financial)
  58. Annetta Marie Box currently barred (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Royal Alliance Associates)
  59. Corrie Ann Mitchell currently barred (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Royal Alliance Associates)
  60. Michael Valenta with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with RMIN Securities and Valenta Capital Management)
  61. Lynn Cawthorne currently barred (previously with Investment Professionals, Axa Advisors, and Cambridge Investment Research)
  62. Frank Snyder with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Pan-American Financial Advisers and Transamerica Financial Advisors)
  63. Vince Mastrovito currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. and J.W. Cole)
  64. Matthew King with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with Ameriprise Financial Services)
  65. Anselmo Contreras, Jr. currently barred (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and IFS Securities)
  66. Stephanie Abee with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with NFP Securities and Transamerica Financial Advisors)
  67. Matthew Kocsis with Cambridge Investment Research (previously with ESI Financial Advisors and Valic Financial Advisors)
  68. Charles McInnis currently unaffiliated (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and Client One Securities)
  69. James Maurice Farmer with LPL Financial (previously with Cambridge Investment Research and MML Investors Services)
  70. Ryan Malloch with Cetera Advisors LLC (previously with M1 Capital Management, United Securities Alliance, and Cambridge Investment Research)

Did Misconduct By a Cambridge Investment Research Advisor Impact Your Investments? What Can You Do?

If you have lost money investing with any of these Cambridge Investment Research advisors or others within this brokerage firm, it’s important that you reach out to an investment loss attorney quickly because the statutes of limitations can bar your claims. Call our legal team at Patil Law toll-free at 1-800-950-6553 or reach out to us via the secure and private online form for a free initial consultation.

Cambridge Investment Research Has Many Regulatory Complaints and Fines

There have been approximately ten (10) state and self-regulatory body disclosure events against Cambridge Investment Research; that is, final and formal proceedings initiated by a regulatory authority like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or self-regulatory body like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for a violation(s) of investment-related rules or regulations. In addition, there have been countless customer complaints filed against Cambridge Investment Research for misconduct by its securities sales and investment advisory representatives that are not reported by the firm on its Central Depository Record.

Our legal team at Patil Law has reported and written about these regulatory problems and customer complaints over many years.  A few of the notable FINRA Sanctions for its Supervisory Failures are below.

A Closer Look Into Cambridge Investment Research’s Regulatory Issues

Cambridge Investment Research has been repeatedly censured, warned, and fined for its own misconduct and failure to supervise its army of financial advisors.  Details of ten (10) regulatory issues are listed below:

Fined $250,000 for Alleged Supervisory Failures In Protecting Customer Records And Information (Docket/Case Number: 3-20496)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

The Securities and Exchange Commission (The “Commission”) deems it appropriate and in the public interest that the public administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to sections 15(b) and 21c of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (The “Exchange Act”) and sections 203(e) and 203(k) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (The “Advisers Act”), against Cambridge Investment Research Inc. and Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc. (Together, “Cambridge” or “respondents”).

The Commission finds that these proceedings arise out of Cambridge’s failure to adopt written policies and procedures reasonably designed to protect customer records and information, in violation of Rule 30(a) of regulation S-P (The “Safeguards Rule”).

The Safeguards Rule requires every broker-dealer and every investment adviser registered with the commission to adopt written policies and procedures reasonably designed to: (1) ensure the security and confidentiality of customer records and information; (2) protect against any anticipated threats of hazards to the security or integrity of customer records and information; and (3) protect against unauthorized access to or use of customer records or information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any customer.

Respondents are registered with the commission as a broker dealer and an investment adviser. From January 2018 through July 1, 2021 (The “relevant period”), cloud-based email accounts of over 121 Cambridge independent contractor representatives were taken over by third parties resulting in the exposure of at least 2,177 customers’ personally identifiable information (“PII”) stored in the compromised email accounts and potential exposure of another 3,800 customers’ PII. Although Cambridge discovered the first email account takeover in January 2018, it failed to adopt and implement firm wide enhanced security measures for cloud-based email accounts of its independent representatives in its written policies and procedures, such as the use of multi-factor authentication (“MFA”), for all Cambridge users until 2021. This resulted in the exposure of sensitive customer records and information, including PII, of Cambridge customers and the potential exposure of additional customer records and information.

Click to read more.

Fined $250 for Alleged Supervisory Failures In Promptly Reporting Administrative Action (Docket/Case Number: 17-0289)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to timely report an administrative action imposed upon the firm to the State of Washington Insurance Commissioner.

Click to read more.

Fined $400,000 for Alleged Supervisory Failures In Overseeing Representatives’ Recommendations of an Alternative Mutual Fund (AWC No. 2018056443801)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

Cambridge failed to reasonably supervise representatives’ recommendations of an alternative mutual fund—the LJM Preservation & Growth Fund (LJM).1 Cambridge permitted the sale of LJM on its platform without conducting reasonable due diligence and without a sufficient understanding of its risks and features, including the fact that the fund pursued a risky strategy that relied, in part, on purchasing uncovered options. Cambridge also lacked a reasonable supervisory system to review representatives’ LJM recommendations. Cambridge representatives sold more than $18 million in LJM to customers. LJM’s value dropped 80% during an extreme volatility event in February 2018 and the fund ultimately liquidated and closed, resulting in millions of dollars in losses for Cambridge’s customers. By virtue of the foregoing, Cambridge violated NASD Rule 3010 and FINRA Rules 3110 and 2010.

Click to read more.

Fined $150,000 for Alleged Supervisory Failures in Complying With Applicable Securities Laws, and Regulations, and NASD and FINRA Rules (AWC No. 2017052543601)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

At various times between July 2013 and January 2017, Cambridge failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations, and with applicable NASD and FINRA Rules, in three principal areas of the Firm’s business:

  • Between July 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014, the Firm failed to reasonably supervise short-term trading of UITs and mutual fund Class A Shares;
  • Between February 1, 2014 and September 21, 2014, the Firm failed to reasonably supervise compliance with NASD Rule 2440 (for conduct before May 9, 2014) and FINRA Rule 2121 (Fair Prices and Commissions), which resulted in the Firm charging excess commissions on approximately 30 transactions; and,
  • Between February 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, the Firm failed to reasonably ensure that customers received available mutual fund breakpoint discounts.

Through this conduct, the Firm violated NASD Rule 3010 (for conduct before December 1, 2014), and FINRA Rules 3110 and 2010.

Click to read more.

Fined $150,000 for Alleged Supervisory Failures In Supervising and Recording Customers’ Redemptions of Variable Annuities (AWC No. 2016048934301)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

For more than two years, Cambridge did not supervise and record approximately one hundred of its customers’ redemptions of variable annuities. Additionally, for three years, Cambridge failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures reasonably designed to supervise representatives’ sales of leveraged, inverse, and inverse-leveraged exchange traded funds (“Non-Traditional ETFs”). As a result, Cambridge violated Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Rule 17a-3, NASD Rule 3010, and FINRA Rules 2010, 3110, and 4511.

Click to read more.

Fined $5,000 for Alleged Supervisory Failures In Complying with Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) Reporting Requirements for Securitized Products (SPs) (AWC No. 2016049834901)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

In connection with STAR No. 20160498349, the TRACE Agency/SP Team of the Market Regulation Department (the “Staff’) reviewed the firm’s compliance with Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (“TRACE”) reporting requirements for Securitized Products (“SPs”) during the period January 1, 2016 through March 31, 2016 (the “Review Period”).

As a result of its review, the Staff found that the firm violated FINRA Rules 6730(a) and 2010, as described below.

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Fined for Alleged Failure to Identify and Apply Available Sales Charge Waivers to Eligible Retirement Accounts and Charitable Organizations (AWC No. 2015046952401)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

Between July 1, 2009, and July 1, 2015 (the “Relevant Period”), Cambridge disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase Class A shares in certain mutual funds without a frontend sales charge (‘Eligible Customers’). These Eligible Customers were instead sold Class A shares with a front-end sales charge or Class B or C shares with back-end sales charges and higher ongoing fees and expenses. During this period, Cambridge failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that Eligible Customers who purchased mutual fund shares received the benefit of applicable sales charge waivers. As a result, Cambridge violated NASD Conduct Rule 3010 (for misconduct before December 1, 2014), FlNRA Rule 3110 (for misconduct on or after December 1, 2014), and FINRA Rule 2010.

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Fined $250,000 for Alleged Supervisory Failures In Applying “Rollover” and Exchange Discounts to Eligible Unit Investment Trust Customers (AWC No. 2013038730901)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

From January 4, 2008 to November 29, 2013 (the “Relevant Period”), CIR failed to apply “rollover” and exchange discounts (collectively “sales charge discounts”) 10 certain customers with eligible purchases of unit investment trusts (”UlTs”) in violation of NASD Rule 21 10 and FINRA Rule 2010. In addition, CIR failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures (”WSPs”) reasonably designed to ensure that customers received sales charge discounts on all eligible UIT purchases in violation of NASD Rules 3010 and 21 10 and FINRA Rule 2010.

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Fined $12,500 for Alleged Supervisory Failures In Preserving, Maintaining, and Reviewing Business Emails of Representatives (AWC No. 2010023826301)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

From January 2009 to July 2010 (the “Relevant Period”), Cambridge failed to ensure that the firm preserved, maintained and reviewed the business emails of two of its registered representatives. In that time frame, Cambridge was relying upon its representatives to forward copies of their emails for archiving and review by a principal, but did not have effective procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the representatives actually forwarded emails, in violation of NASD Rule 3010(d) and FINRA Rule 2010.

Click to read more.

Fined for Alleged Supervisory Failures In (AWC No. 2005000178601)

Overview from FINRA’s Disciplinary Office:

Click to read more.

If you have questions about Cambridge Investment Research, its advisors, or the management or performance of your accounts, please contact our team at Patil Law toll-free at 1-800-950-6553 for a free initial consultation. Or please reach out to us through our secure and private contact form and we will call you back quickly to discuss your case.

Our attorneys have experience handling well over a thousand securities arbitration claims, and our law firm has successfully recovered over $25 million for our clients to date. We understand the stress that comes along with realizing that your financial advisor or brokerage firm has made poor decisions with your money.

We can help you, as we have helped hundreds of other clients in the past. We are happy to serve you as well as to provide you with a custom report of your advisor’s and your brokerage firm’s complaints.