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“E*Trade, Can You Hear Us Now?”

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 2, 2010 1:58 PM |

Keep punchin’!!

These words to live by resonate in my ears. How so? My Dad has ended almost every conversation — and certainly every meaningful conversation — in my close to 50 years with those words of wisdom and encouragement. When times are challenging or I find myself encountering a particular hurdle, the little voice in the back of my head whispers those two little words.

I find myself thinking of my Dad’s motivation when I read of specific cases of financial malfeasance. In fact, I have told many people that I write so often about the travesty surrounding the auction-rate securities debacle because I feel these investors have been largely disenfranchised. I welcome speaking up on their behalf. In the process of speaking up and continuing to punch, I have met some amazing people who continue to keep punching themselves. One particular ARS holder stands out for his own determination. He was integral to the complaint filed by Colorado State Securities Commissioner Fred Joseph against E*Trade. 

This individual sent me a message which I requested he leave in the Comments section here at Sense on  Cents. I do not think he will mind if I bring further attention to it by drafting it into a separate commentary. He kept punching and punching.

America can learn real lessons from this individual’s determination.  I think you might be able to take a measure of this person in reading and pondering his comments. Sense on Cents is happy to provide him a forum for airing his thoughts. Sense on Cents is also happy to keep punching right along with him.

MY SAGA OF HOW PERSISTENCE FINALLY PAID OFF IN COLORADO in the auction rate security sales fraud by E*Trade.

“I never surrendered nor gave up. The Empire struck back vs the Evil Dark Side of the Sith on this one, it only took me since June of 2008 to get the Colo AG to do this! Sort of like Luke Skywalker finding that one small vunerable spot on the Death Star. A lot of credit has to go to my Congressman an Ed Perlmutter (D) 7th Dist CO. Yes, I know he is a Dem., however he made himslef available to me to meet him in person in mid-May this year  regarding this matter, and he said he would “get on it” ! This gentleman is the ONLY ONE in “power” who would EVER listen. I will campaign for him this fall. ( I would not care if he was TEA Party or a communist, he works for the little people here in Colorado.)  He actually interceeded and prodded the AG’s office in CO to finally act! Of course they had documentaion from me and 39 others to support this. E*Trade fought it and fought it, and denied, and fought it again, I understand, finally Fred Joseph did the right thing! Kudos to him as well.

Persistence…….I have invested probably over 1000 man hours in 30 months on this matter, I started by writing Prez. Bush to Obama and all in between, (Regulators etc, FINRA, SEC )that you could imagine. It almost cost me a divorce, and I had to get treated for anxiety and high blood pressure from this stress. Half of my life saving are at stake, and I have a son who is going to college next year. I worked 20 years for this money and E*Trade effectively stole it. I could go on and on, and describe the direct abuse I had to endure from them, but you get the idea. Can you image in April 2008 some E*Trade rep. called me at home at 3:00am from a blocked cell number and told me I would be sorry if I proceeded and continued to file my complaints!!?? What kind of thugs are they?! Fortunately, I am a strong 62 year old, as many would have given up!  I made this a crusade for a just cause! I have a deep thanks to give you ( ref : Larry Doyle ), as it was/is your site that at times gave me the courage to go on, when I saw there were voices out there like you with courage to expose this. A Million Thanks for all of your efforts L.D.!!!  You are a hero in my mind! (LD’s edit: No, I’m not!!)

I hope the other 39 victims in Colorado appreciate it, some had 10X more at stake than I, unbelievable how they just rolled over.


Thanks, Dad. We will definitely ‘keep punchin’!!


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  • Kathy

    Between threats in the middle of the nights from E*Trade and Oppenheimer & Co’s ongoing abuse of its ARS victims, it seems like criminal charges against some of these financial firms are in order, as well as securities investigations. Seriously!

  • Matt

    Hi Larry –

    This is a very inspiring story for all of us ARS victims. It is sad though at the same time. Sad how E*Trade handled everything from day one, sad how difficult it was for this man (and for virtually all of us) to make something happen (let alone get his money back), and it is also sad how there is still to this today very little media coverage of this story. It is just incredible to me how quiet this whole story has been kept and the lack of media attention. I’m looking forward to reading the book “Ruthless” that you advertise on this site when it comes out – it’s the only thing I can find that really has been written on this whole thing. Major kudos to this individual and I sincerely hope he is able to get all of his money back.


    • John W

      Exactly Matt !
      Also, it just “burns my biscuits” since the start of this whole financial meltdown ALL the government “assistance” has gone to either bailout the fat cat bankers and financial firms responsible for this whole mess, and deadbeats and debtors at the other end who borrowed and speculated in real estate to get free money in forclosure assistance now, ANOTHER 600 million just handed out today no less, I see !!! Illegal aliens from Mexico notwithstanding getting all the free social services and immunity for almost every crime they commit, notwithstanding.
      Those of of who actually saved and kept risk to a minimum, or thought we were, but were lied to by these broker scum, are the ones suffering the most! Goes to show you, you have to be a either rich banker fat cat type or “too big to fail”, or a bum.. only then will the Federal calvary come running to help you. Nows thats incentive!
      Where’s our assistance.. in the shrinking middle?? Go figure, we have to fight just to get our own money back!
      What a Country, eh?

  • Brian

    My story is verbatim to the one in Colorado. I even had the same *!? E*trade broker–Geoff Greenfield–using the same sales pitch. How is this guy still allowed to practice?
    This story gives me new energy and ideas on how to get the State of Texas to do the same thing.

    • raccoon


      It looks like Geoff Greenfield and the broker that defrauded me a.. Stuart Allan Torrey…. named in the Colorado complaint were active in TX and CO.
      And FINRA allows them to still be “soliciting”? !! Of course FINRA is the mother bear just protecting her little pups, and probably tipped them all off in the summer of 2007, and they all sold together and dumped the junk on people like you and me.

      Have your TX Attorney General office contact Fred Joseph in the Colorado AG office, as the CO AG has documentation on E*Trade and their role in this scandal, I am sure they would “share” info. and then sit on the TX AG’s doorstep until they file charges.
      Maybe we got the ball really rolling against these dirt-balls.

      That UBS news is BIG!!!

  • LD


    Sorry to hear that you also experienced the same pain and anxiety as this Colorado individual but in regard to your last statement of new energy and ideas, THAT”S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT!!

    “Welcome to Sense on Cents!!”

    You want a treasure trove of information?? You may be busy but here goes,

    Sense on Cents/Auction Rate Securities

  • raccoon

    E*Trade loses another ARS case, this time a GROUP

  • raccoon

    E*trade loses another ARS FINRA case

    see case # 0902855

  • John W

    E*Trade had its initial Administrative Colorado Court hearing regrading its Fraud in Auction Rate Security sales yesterday 08/17/10, at 11:00am. I will try to find out what happened; if they asked for a postponement, were slapped with a “cease doing business in Colorado order” by the CO AG, or had a new hearing date scheduled, or agreed to a proposed settlement to pay back thier Colorado victims.

    This info is always hard to get.. like it is some big secret thing, and they don’t want the bad press.

  • John W

    E*TRADE HAD A COMPULSORY COURT HEARING on Aug 17th, 2010 in the Office of Colorado Administrative Courts regarding their fraud in selling Auction Rate Securities, and I cannot seem to get information out of the Court or the Colorado AG’s office as to what happened.. like there is a gag order. I am going into Denver and file a “Freedom of Information Act” form, and get the information next week.

    Was it postponed, did CO revoke their license, or other, or are they trying to settle tp pay back the defrauded CO investors.???

    E*Trade is trying to cover up what should be public proceedings!!1 What are they hiding, and what are the attornys trying to hide. Really fishy stuff.

  • Goat

    Here is a quote from E*trade’s August 4, 2010 10-Q filing with the SEC located at: Two States filed, 48 to go…

    “Beginning in approximately August 2008, representatives of various states attorneys general and FINRA initiated inquiries regarding the purchase of auction rate securities by E*TRADE Securities LLC’s customers. E*TRADE Securities LLC is cooperating with these inquiries. As of June 30, 2010, the total amount of auction rate securities held by all E*TRADE Securities LLC customers was approximately $153.5 million.

    On January 19, 2010, the North Carolina Securities Division filed an administrative petition before the North Carolina Secretary of State against E*TRADE Securities LLC seeking to revoke the North Carolina securities dealer registration of E*TRADE Securities LLC or, alternatively, to suspend that registration until all North Carolina residents are made whole for their investments in auction rate securities purchased through E*TRADE Securities LLC. E*TRADE Securities LLC is defending that action. As of June 30, 2010, the total amount of auction rate securities held by North Carolina customers was approximately $1.3 million.

    On July 21, 2010, the Colorado Division of Securities filed an administrative complaint in the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts against E*TRADE Securities LLC based upon purchases of auction rate securities through E*TRADE Securities LLC by Colorado residents. The complaint seeks to revoke, suspend, or otherwise impose conditions upon the Colorado broker-dealer license of E*TRADE Securities LLC. E*TRADE Securities LLC is defending that action. As of June 30, 2010, the total amount of auction rate securities held by Colorado customers was approximately $4.7 million.”

    Going back through the 10Q/10K filings, I notice that the amount of ARPS held by E*trade accounts is gradually going down–and seems to go down faster in NC after the suit was filed). It is not clear if this is due to the actions of E*trade or others. Here is the data from those filings:
    Date Total ARPS Amount at E*trade
    2/19/2010 $169.7 million ($2.2M in NC)
    3/31/2010 $167.3 million ($2.1M in NC)
    6/30/2010 $153.5 million ($1.3M in NC; $4.7 in CO)

  • John W

    Diane Nygaard Clients Awarded $400,000 in Auction Rate Securities Arbitration against E*Trade dirt balls

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