Firm completes settlement by funding restitution fund
WASHINGTON (March 31, 2000) — D.H. Blair & Co., Inc., a New York-based brokerage firm with a lengthy regulatory history, has funded a $2.25 million escrow account to be used for consumer refunds. This restitution fund for investors was established under a 1998 agreement with state securities regulators.
Under the settlement agreement, D.H. Blair investors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia may be entitled to a portion of the $2.25 million. In order to be eligible for a pro-rata share of the fund, a D.H. Blair customer must make a complaint based on trades executed between January 1, 1996 and June 30, 1998 that the customer believes were somehow inappropriate. Consumers who had invested with D.H. Blair will be contacted by the firm shortly and told how and when to file a claim. Claimants will then have 90 days from the date of the notice to file their claims.
Under the terms of the agreement, the claims will be submitted to an expedited mediation/arbitration process run by the regulatory arm of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASDR).
The settlement with D.H. Blair was reached by a multi-state task force of securities regulators from Indiana, Connecticut and Missouri, who had investigated sales practice abuses allegedly committed by the firm. D.H. Blair specialized in the sale of high-risk microcap stocks.
D.H. Blair has a lengthy regulatory history. In August 1997 Blair was censured and fined $2 million by NASDR. As part of its agreement with the NASDR, the firm agreed to pay restitution to retail customers of $2.3 million for alleged excessive markups in connection with several public offerings. In February 1997, Blair was censured by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and fined $250,000. In April 1998, Blair ceased retail sales operations.
Customers who do not receive a notification letter may contact their own state securities regulator for information. A listing of all state securities regulators may found on the NASAA (North American Securities Administrators Association) website: www.nasaa.orgor by calling 202-737-0900.