Ashville VFW Attorney Speaks to WJAC TV in Pennsylvania, Regarding Next Financial Group and Doug Simanski Alleged Fraud
Attorney David Neuman was quoted in an article recently posted by WJAC TV in Pennsylvania, regarding legal claims filed by the Ashville VFW against Next Financial Group and Doug Simanski. The article was written by Katie O’Toole. The article is about a VFW Post from Ashville, Pennsylvania that was victimized by former financial advisor Douglas Simanski. Simanski previously worked with Next Financial Group between 1999 and June 2016.
The story also appeared on WJAC TV’s news broadcasts on the afternoon and evening of November 1, 2016, as one of the top stories of the day.
Simanski defrauded a number of Pennsylvania investors, including the Ashville VFW, and many others. Israels & Neuman, PLC represents the Ashville VFW, as well as several other victims who lost money with Douglas Simanski and Next Financial Group.
A link to the article can be found here:
The article states:
$120,000 allegedly stolen from Ashville VFW
By Katie O’Toole Tuesday, November 1st 2016
ASHVILLE – The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4315 is dealing with the financial loss of $120,000 that was allegedly stolen by one of their social members who was also a trusted financial adviser.
Members said they feel betrayed.
“You have a person sitting next to you who you thought was a good, honorable person (who) turned out not to be,” said the post’s quartermaster, Dave Seymore.
The VFW focuses on the interests of veterans and their families, and also donates to local organizations and schools.
Leaders entrusted social member Doug Simanski, an employee of Next Financial Group Inc., a brokerage firm based out of Houston, Texas, with $120,000 in 2008.
Simanski agreed to manage the funds in a Next Financial account, and advised the post how the money should be spent.
Seymore said they now know the account was “bogus.”
The funds were later discovered to be associated with an E-Trade account in Simanski’s name, but never Next Financial.
Simanski regularly sent documents confirming the safety of the account with Next, but the VFW’s attorney Dave Neuman said those are believed to be all fake, fabricated by Simanski.
The post is suing Next for multiple negligence claims, including vicarious liability and failure to supervise, according to Neuman.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that the U.S. Attorney General’s Office is also investigating.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority broker check reports show Next Financial has a history of accused negligence.
In November 2010, FINRA fined Next Financial $1 million for failing to supervise its OSJ branch managers that led to churning of customer accounts and excessive commissions. In November 2011, FINRA fined Next Financial $50,000 and ordered it to pay restitution of $2 million to investors of Provident Royalties, an oil and gas private placement. In November 2015, the State of Virginia fined Next $10,000 for failing to adequately supervise another representative who was selling unregistered investments, according to FINRA reports.
Simanski worked at Next Financial from 1999 until June of this year, when FINRA barred him from the securities industry. He was barred after he failed to respond to allegations that he sold fictitious investments to customers and misappropriated their money, according to the legal complaint.
The VFW is not alone.
Neuman said Simanski is accused of stealing roughly $3 million from at least 25 other people.
Seymore said the VFW is still struggling with the after-effects, months after discovering the loss.
He said they had planned to use much of the money not only to help veterans, but to contribute to a scholarship and support local charity.
“In fact, the Ashville borough sent us a list of items they would like us to look into helping them with. There’s like 25 items on there, which wouldn’t be any problem normally if we had the funds,” Seymore said.
As the VFW plans for the rest of the year Seymore asks, “Next (Financial) hasn’t responded to us. Where are our funds?”
Simanski is barred from the VFW.
Next Financial has not returned any calls.
If you have lost money with Doug Simanski or Next Financial, please CONTACT ISRAELS & NEUMAN, PLC at (206) 795-5798 for a Free Case Evaluation.