Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2016
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
Commitments and Contingencies
The Company and certain of its subsidiaries are obligated under several non-cancelable lease agreements for office space, expiring in various years through January 2030. Certain leases have provisions for escalation based on specified increases in costs incurred by the landlord. The Company is a sublessor to third parties for a portion of its office space as described below. The subleases expire at various dates through August 2020. As of December 31, 2016, minimum lease payments (net of lease abatement and exclusive of escalation charges) and sublease rentals are as follows:
Deferred rent of $1,764 and $1,551 at December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively, represents lease incentives related to the value of landlord financed improvements together with the difference between rent payable calculated over the life of the leases on a straight-line basis (net of lease incentives), and rent payable on a cash basis.
Litigation and Regulatory Matters
In December 2014 and January 2015, two purported class action suits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against American Realty Capital Partners, Inc. (“ARCP”), certain affiliated entities and individuals, ARCP’s auditing firm, and the underwriters of ARCP’s May 2014 $1,656,000 common stock offering (“May 2014 Offering”) and three prior note offerings. The complaints have been consolidated. Ladenburg was named as a defendant as one of 17 underwriters of the May 2014 Offering and as one of eight underwriters of ARCP’s July 2013 offering of $300,000 in convertible notes. The complaints allege, among other things, that the offering materials were misleading based on financial reporting of expenses, improperly-calculated AFFO (adjusted funds from operations), and false and misleading Sarbanes-Oxley certifications, including statements as to ARCP’s internal controls, and that the underwriters are liable for violations of federal securities laws. The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of compensatory damages, as well as other relief. In June 2016, the court denied the underwriters’ motions to dismiss the complaint. Ladenburg intends to vigorously defend against these claims.
During the period from March 2015 to February 2016, eight arbitration claims and one lawsuit (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama) were filed against Triad and others by a total of 45 individuals concerning purported misrepresentations and unsuitability of trading in their advisory accounts. All or most of the transactions at issue were effected through an investment advisory firm not affiliated with Triad or the Company. The lawsuit was transferred to arbitration. All of the arbitration claims were settled during the period from February 2016 to February 2017; the amounts paid by Triad in connection with those settlements were not material.
In September 2015, a client of a former Triad registered representative filed an arbitration claim concerning the suitability of investments in tenant-in-common interests purchased through Section 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, and seeking compensatory damages totaling $3,714 and other relief. In April 2016, the parties entered into a settlement agreement resolving the claims; the amount paid by Triad in connection with the settlement was not material.
In September 2015, Securities America was named as a defendant in lawsuits brought by the bankruptcy trustee of a broker-dealer (U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota) and a putative class action by the shareholders of that broker-dealer (U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota). The lawsuits allege that certain of the debtor broker-dealer’s assets were transferred to Securities America in June 2015 for inadequate consideration. In October 2016, a settlement was reached with the bankruptcy trustee resolving those claims; the amount paid in connection with the settlement was not material. The remaining complaint seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory damages, and other relief. Securities America intends to vigorously defend against these claims.
Commencing in October 2013, certain states have requested that Securities America provide information concerning the suitability of purchases of non-traded REIT securities by their residents. Securities America has complied with the requests. From March to December 2016, Securities America received additional correspondence from three such states concerning sales of non-traded REIT securities to its residents. The Company does not believe that any action is warranted in connection with such state notice and believes that no material outcome would result if an action were commenced.
In November 2015, two purported class action complaints were filed in state court in Tennessee against officers and directors of Miller Energy Resources, Inc. (“Miller”), as well as Miller’s auditors and nine firms that underwrote six securities offerings in 2013 and 2014, and raised approximately $151,000. Ladenburg was one of the underwriters of two of the offerings. The complaints allege, among other things, that the offering materials were misleading based on the purportedly overstated valuation of certain assets, and that the underwriters are liable for violations of federal securities laws. The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of compensatory damages, as well as other relief. In December 2015 the defendants removed the complaints to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee; in November 2016, the cases were consolidated. Defendants' motions to dismiss are currently pending. Ladenburg intends to vigorously defend against these claims.
In January 2016, an amended complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. and related entities as well as their officers and directors. The amended complaint added Ladenburg and other underwriters of securities offerings in 2013 and 2014 that in the aggregate raised approximately $2,900,000 as defendants to the purported class action. Ladenburg was one of the underwriters of the October 2013 initial public offering. The complaints allege, among other things, that the offering materials were misleading based on representations concerning the maintenance and integrity of the issuer’s pipelines, and that the underwriters are liable for violations of federal securities laws. The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of compensatory damages, as well as other relief. Motions to dismiss are currently pending. Ladenburg intends to vigorously defend against these claims.
During the period from May to July 2016, four arbitration claims were filed against Ladenburg by former customers concerning purported unauthorized trading, excessive trading and mishandling of their accounts by a former Ladenburg registered representative. Also, in December 2016, Ladenburg received notice of an additional unfiled claim by a former customer concerning similar activity by the former Ladenburg registered representative. The total amount of compensatory damages asserted in these five claims is in excess of $5,500. Ladenburg intends to vigorously defend against these claims.
SEC examination staff reports provided to Triad and Securities America Advisors, Inc. in May and August 2016, respectively, asserted that the firms had acted inconsistently with their fiduciary duties in recommending and selecting mutual fund share classes that paid 12b-1 fees where lower cost share classes also were available in those same funds. The staff also asserted that the firms’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and compensation related to the mutual fund share classes that paid 12b-1 fees were insufficient. The firms are reviewing the reports and the underlying circumstances, including, without limitation, the amounts of such payments and the contents of the firms’ disclosures to clients, are determining appropriate remedial actions, including restitution to clients, and are in communication with the staff as the firms seek to resolve the matter.
In November 2016, a consolidated class action complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against CTI Biopharma Corp., its directors and officers, as well as the underwriters of two securities offerings in 2015 that raised approximately $105,000. Ladenburg was one of the underwriters of the offerings. The complaint alleges, among other things, that the offering materials were misleading in their descriptions of safety results of Phase 3 clinical drug trials for the issuer’s lead drug candidate for myelofibrosis, and that the underwriters are liable for violations of federal securities laws. The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of compensatory damages, as well as other relief. Motions to dismiss are currently pending. Ladenburg intends to vigorously defend against these claims.
In the ordinary course of business, in addition to the above disclosed matters, the Company's subsidiaries are defendants in other litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings and may be subject to unasserted claims primarily in connection with their activities as securities broker-dealers or as a result of services provided in connection with securities offerings. Such litigation and claims may involve substantial or indeterminate amounts and are in varying stages of legal proceedings. When the Company believes that it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated (after giving effect to any expected insurance recovery), the Company accrues such amount. Upon final resolution, amounts payable may differ materially from amounts accrued.
The Company had accrued liabilities in the amount of approximately $4,396 at December 31, 2016 and $1,358 at December 31, 2015 for certain pending matters. For other pending matters, the Company was unable to estimate a range of possible loss; however, in the opinion of management, after consultation with counsel, the ultimate resolution of these matters is not expected to have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef