Friday, December 24, 2004

First Command Update 
From the Stars and Stripes:

Lawyers handling refunds in the First Command Financial Planning case have received hundreds of e-mails in the past week regarding the payouts, mainly from troops serving overseas.

Wayne M. Secore, the attorney administering the restitution program, said his staff is working to respond to those soldiers and other affected by the case as quickly as possible. But troops have until March 15 to recoup their losses, which he said leaves plenty of time for officials to handle the requests. In addition, that deadline can be extended if troops can’t file in time because of unusual hardship, such as serving in a combat zone, he said.

The refunds will be available only to customers who bought and sold their systematic investment plans between 1999 and this year, Secore said. Eligible individuals should be receiving letters detailing how to obtain the payouts in the next few weeks.

Secore said troops with additional questions can contact him at secore@secorewaller.com.

Investors who still hold their First Command plans may be eligible for arbitration to recover certain service fees. Those claims will be handled through the National Association of Securities Dealers, the brokerage industry’s self-policing organization.

Well, no. The fact is that ALL First Command clients are eligible for arbitration.

In fact, if I were a securities lawyer, I'd be looking real hard at what percentage of First Command clients were in Destiny and Destiny II. If First Command agents were signing EVERYONE up for the same funds, there may be some chance for an unsuitability claim.

It would be a long shot.

More plausible, though, would be "failure to disclose." Which is a pretty common NASD arbitration claim. That's not a First Command issue, really. Every broker has a responsibility to know his customers, recommend suitable investments, and disclose all relevant expenses, fees, and risks.

Each case would be unique, but you don't have to still hold First Command plans, or be a member of the affected class, to file an NASD arbitration claim.

Splash, out


Hey Jason! Nice blog. Good to hear from another soldier on the front lines.

Anyways, I noticed that on your blog the "comments" section is hidden. Unless you click on "link" then no body will know that they can comment on your page. Your comments may be inbetween the "ItemPage" tags so you may need to put them outside of that.

Just trying to help out. Selah!
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