Scam victims sue Rose’s family

By Susan K. Schmeichel
Published by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on December 28, 2001.

Several victims of an investment scam that cost them their life savings have filed a civil suit against three children of the man who pleaded guilty to the crime and also against the brokerage house that employed them.

Vicki Kuftic Horne, attorney for 30 of the 51 victims of Robert Rose, said the civil suit against Richard R. Rose, Rodger T. Rose, Kevin Rose and Advantage Capital Corp., was filed Wednesday in Allegheny County Court.

Richard and Rodger Rose are the sons of Robert Rose. Kevin Rose is Richard’s son.

Horne said Thursday that she intends to have the case against Kevin Rose dismissed for lack of evidence but said she intends to include Barbara Rose, a daughter of Robert Rose, as a defendant.

The civil suit alleges that the members of the Rose family – who worked with their father at Rose Associates, his financial investment firm – knew about the scam. The suit also says Advantage Capital is responsible for the actions of the three younger Roses, all of whom were licensed brokers with that firm.

“It’s a scenario where people are handling your money – whether it’s a broker or brokerage firm – they simply have a greater responsibility,” Horne said. “And the mechanisms exist to make sure they abide by their responsibility. [The Roses and Advantage Capital] clearly ignored and seemed to purposely ignore those responsibilities.”

Horne said she will seek damages in the amount the victims invested, plus interest that would have been accrued on those investments – about $8 million – as well as punitive damages for her clients. The exact amount will be determined at the time of trial, she said.

John Eddy, an attorney who represents Richard, Rodger and Barbara Rose, said the lawsuit is baseless.

“There is no merit to this at all, and we thoroughly intend to defend it,” he said.

Eddy said he had known the lawsuit would be filed but saw the document for the first time yesterday afternoon.

Attorneys for Advantage Capital were not available for comment.

In December 2000, Robert Rose pleaded guilty to 235 criminal counts in connection with the scam, which was run out of his Bethel Park woodworking business. On April 17, Common Pleas Judge Lawrence O’Toole sentence Rose to 15 to 30 years in prison on charges related to the investment scam which authorities said spanned 27 years and deprived more than 50 investors of $5 million and the security they wanted for their retirements.

Rose, 67, who had Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer, died in the State Correctional Institute at Pittsburgh after having served slightly more than a month of his sentence.

Rose’s scam began in 1974 when he represented himself to prospective investors as an attorney, financial adviser and friend, said investigators. Many victims were 70 to 90 years old, and the others were family members or close friends of investors. Individual losses – including savings from pensions, inheritances and life insurance policies – ranged from $11,000 to $807,000, authorities said.

Rose issued uninsured certificates to the investors through Rose Associates Financial Service. He also owned another business, Rose Associates Woodworking.

Rose declared bankruptcy in September 1999 after the criminal charges were filed against him. He claimed assets of $318,491 and liabilities of $5.67 million. The case was settled late last year after Rose’s seven children agreed to pay $1,000 each to the creditors. Other assets, including more than $20,000 from the sale of his house will go toward legal fees and other expenses.

William McQuillan Sr., one of the defendants in the civil suit, said he is optimistic that he and the other victims may finally be able to recover some of their investments.

“It’s going to be pretty hard for them to wiggle out of this,” said McQuillan, who said he invested more than $118,000 with Rose and like the other investors, received worthless Rose Certificates.

Lawsuit claims gender discrimination at SCI-Pittsburgh

By Rich Lord
Published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on November 28, 2011.

Two former employees of the State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh filed a lawsuit today in federal court accusing the prison’s former leadership of discriminating against women.

Kathleen Troy, 61, of Freedom and Nancy Orr, 55, of Richland, said in their complaint in U.S. District court that former Deputy Superintendent Martin Kovacs undermined their authority and that of other female supervisors at the North Side prison by making false accusations against them and failing to give them needed information. They said former Superintendent Melvin Lockett berated Ms. Orr in front of peers and mocked her hearing problems.

The lawsuit by attorney Vicki Kuftic Horne said they were driven from their jobs and demanded that they be compensated for lost wages, pain and suffering.

Mr. Kovacs and Mr. Lockett are among four top prison administrators who were dismissed in May. Since then, seven SCI-Pittsburgh guards have been indicted on [accusations] that they abused inmates or helped others to abuse inmates.

3 Ex-BNY Mellon Employees Win Arbitration Award

By Jen Zimmerman
Published by The Legal Intelligencer & PA Law Weekly on July 19, 2011.

v. BNY Mellon Capital Markets

Date of Verdict: June 14.
Court and Case No.: FINRA Case No. 10-02363.
Arbitrators: Roger W. Van Deusen, Charles B. Jarrett Jr., Timothy Shay Davis.
Type of Action: FINRA – Associated Persons v. Member.
Injuries: Wrongful discharge and defamation.
Plaintiffs’ Attorney: Vicki Kuftic Horne, Pittsburgh.
Plaintiffs’ Expert: David Kaplan, accounting.
Defense Counsel: Catherine S. Ryan, Reed Smith, Pittsburgh.

On Feb. 14, 2009, BNY MCM terminated the employment of [Client 1] and [Client 2] after the company asserted that the employees had engaged in misconduct, according to the respondents’ answer to the statement of claims. [Client 3] resigned in anticipation of termination.

Vicki Kuftic Horne, the claimants’ attorney, argued that the former employees, who were FINRA member firm registered representatives, had engaged in trading activities that BNY MCM had supervised and approved.

“BNY knew of [the claimants’ actions] and permitted them to undertake the trading activities in the ARS transactions,” Horne stated. However, “when market conditions resulted in the public and regulators questioning whether or not customers’ repurchase of their own ARS was appropriate,” BNY MCM became concerned, Horne said.

 

A FINRA arbitration panel composed of Roger W. Van Deusen, presiding chair; Charles B. Jarrett, Jr., public arbitrator; and Timothy shay Davis, a nonpublic arbitrator, heard the case.

On June 14, the Arbitrators determined that BNY MCM was liable. The panel members wrote that they had “found no basis for any discharge for cause, no basis for an allegation of non-compliance with State and Federal Securities Laws and Regulations, and no basis for negative and/or defamatory statement[s] concerning [the claimants’] conduct while employee[s] of BNY Mellon.”

The panel awarded [Client 1], [Client 2], and [Client 3] with $697,363.18, $432,264.96, and $379,981.36, respectively. The damages total just over $1.5 million and they are to be paid by BNY MCM.