Independent Financial Broker Hit For $488,260

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel in San Diego, California has found Peter Ivan Michael Shusterman liable to a Claimant and ordered him to pay $488,260 in compensatory damages.

The case was initiated with the filing of the Statement of Claim in June 2009, asserting various causes of action including breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, negligent misrepresentation and elder abuse, among other things. All of the causes of action related to the Claimant’s purchase of bonds issued by DBSI Guaranteed Capital Corporation for unregistered real estate securities. The claim requested compensatory damages in the amount of $632,000. At the close of the evidentiary hearing, the Claimant asked the panel to award damages as follows: Well managed portfolio damages of $1,003,674; emotional distress damages in the amount of $50,000; punitive damages in the amount of $2,007,348 and attorneys’ fees in the amount of $340,000. It should be noted that it was agreed that any award should be reduced by the amount of a prior settlement with Independent Financial and one of the named brokers, Joshua Cory Koehnen. According to FINRA BrokerCheck Records, the amount of that settlement was $125,000.

The case came to an end after six days of evidentiary hearings, at which time the panel took the case under advisement to consider all of the oral and documentary evidence presented prior to rendering their decision. Thereafter, the panel concluded that Shusterman was liable to and ordered to pay the Claimant $488,260 in compensatory damages; that Shusterman was liable to and ordered to pay Claimant interest on the $488,260 at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of the award until it is paid in full; that Shusterman was ordered to reimburse the Claimant for the $600 non-refundable portion of the filing fee. In its final decision regarding the assessment of the forum fees of the arbitration, the panel split the $16,950 in forum fees, as follows: $4,237.50 to the Claimant and $12,712.50 to Peter Ivan Michael Shusterman. (FINRA# 09-03839; Donald Needham v. Independent Financial Group LLC, Joshua Cory Koehnen and Peter Ivan Michael Shusterman).

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