UBS JUGANDO PELOTA DURA PT1 2013 10 17 0
FEMALE SPEAKER: Here we are in "Playing hard ball". Now we will switch to financial issues. Many Puerto Ricans and retired persons have lost millions or thousands of dollars, with investments that they have made on referral by brokerage firms in a fraudulent manner, as long as they have wrongfully counseled them. Here we have today two experts on this. This is Lic. Jacob Zamansky, arbitration lawyer from New York, and the Lic. Marie Elsie López Adames, also a lawyer, specialized in arbitration. Thank you for coming and welcome.
FEMALE SPEAKER: I want to know why are you here in Puerto Rico and how did you find the scenario?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: I am an investment fraud attorney. I help out investors who have been taken advantage of by lawsuit firms. I've been getting calls from people in Puerto Rico to come here and help out. I'm here to help the investors who are taken advantage of.
FEMALE SPEAKER: How serious is the situation? There are many people, retired people, who have lost all they had, the few money they had.
MARIE ELSIE: That's just so. We have gathered in 3 occasions with people from the public, and most clients that come to find us are aged persons, retired people, widows, persons with disabilities, who relied upon this only income for their livelihood.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Give me an example of one case.
MARIE ELSIE: To quote a case that's already going on...
FEMALE SPEAKER: You filed a cased last Tuesday.
MARIE ELSIE: Yes, that was the first lawsuit I've brought. This is a man who has two bypasses in his heart. When he decides to invest, it was because he had sold the stocks of his business. He sold them because he couldn't work anymore for health reasons. So he has this amount of money. He invests it, but the broker concentrates it all in the same product, a low quality product, he's told that this is a safe business, with no risk, and that will always provide an income [Crosstalk]
FEMALE SPEAKER: So the consultant says to this person: "You won't lose money here".
MARIE ELSIE LÓPEZ: Right.
FEMALE SPEAKER: So how much did this person lose?
MARIE ELSIE LÓPEZ: \$870,000 according to our calculations, which was the first deposit he made. Not only that, but they also lead him to get some loans, using this investment as collateral [Crosstalk]
FEMALE SPEAKER: From the same brokerage firm?
MARIE ELSIE LÓPEZ: From the same brokerage firm.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Most of the cases are against UBS Financial Services. They say, their executives say, Carlos Ubiñas said, that you are taking advantage of the people of Puerto Rico, that you're taking advantage of the situation. What is your answer to this person?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: UBS, we believe, had made unsuitable recommendations to retirees, conservative investors. They wanted what they saved all their lives for their money. They wanted a safe and secure retirement. They were sold risky junk bonds.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Did they know about it, Jacob?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: UBS knew about it. These products were [graded] one notch above junk bonds. They knew it was risky, and they sold it to this retirees to generate fees and commissions for themselves. Now, I'm not to take advantage of anybody. I'm here to fight for people, I'm here to help these people to get their retirement and their dignity back. It's a shame that UBS could say something like that, because I'm here to help.
FEMALE SPEAKER: So what's going to happen from now on? The case starts, and how long are you going to be here in Puerto Rico?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: I'm going to be here in Puerto Rico next week, the week after and the week after that. I'm going to be spending the next two years trying to get the money back to the people...
FEMALE SPEAKER: Two years? You'll have to be here two years? That's how long these cases take?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: First of all, I love it here.
FEMALE SPEAKER: That's great. Did you learn [some] Spanish?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: I've learnt a little bit of Spanish, "un poquito". I am committed to the people of Puerto Rico. I'm going to fight UBS, I'm going to get the money back for these people...
FEMALE SPEAKER: You can promise that you can get the money back?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: I can't promise anything. The only promise is that I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can. My people in New York, her people in Puerto Rico, we're going to fight, we've got a very good track record, and we're going to try and make justice for people here. Because it was a tremendous misconduct here.
FEMALE SPEAKER: You compared this to the hurricane Katrina, which was a [Indiscernible] hurricane that hit the United States and other places. Why?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: Hurricane Katrina devastated people all across the Gulf of Mexico and the United States. UBS, by encouraging these risky investments, have destroyed the retirement and life savings of thousands of people. I met with hundreds of people already, night after night after night the same story. Risky investments, borrowing [Indiscernible] risky investments. People have lost everything. I'm here to give them hope.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Marie. Is it a hard process, is it easy? How can people get in touch with you? Let them know how the process is, and if it can last up to 2 years, and we don't know if these retirees' investments can be recovered.
MARIE ELSIE LÓPEZ: We must file a lawsuit, the other part responds. Then an arbitration panel is gathered, with three arbiters, a discovery of evidence is performed, and lastly there's a period that can last, in the best case, some 9 months. We may file in November, and around September of the next year we have a hearing. In the worst case scenario, it may be delayed up to 2 years, 2 years and a half. Because there are suspensions, sick leaves, unexpected events that suspend the hearings. We can't guarantee anything to the plaintiffs. But we can ensure that we'll do our best so they try to recover the largest possible amount.
FEMALE SPEAKER: It's a costly process, it's long and expensive. How could people... because there are people who have lost almost everything. Where do they get the money to pay for counseling attorneys as you? Because you are experts in this issue, you are lawyers with experience in this issue.
MARIE ELSIE LÓPEZ: The process is expensive. But in these case, given that these persons have suffered so much this "Katrina hurricane" and have lost so much money, we pay in advance the arbitration expenses, and we intend to recover it if we are the prevailing part at the end of the case. The person does not have to spend a single penny by now.
FEMALE SPEAKER: So, you start the case and at the end of the day, if you win the case, then...
MARIE ELSIE LÓPEZ: Then, yes, fees and expenses are paid.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Okay. Well, I'd like to thank you for being here with us. Remember that you can come back and give us more information. Also, before we go, should the government and so UBS...?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: I have to look at the government situation. I'm here to help the people. Retirees, people they saved, made the American dream, and they've lost everything. So I'm here for... [Crosstalk]
FEMALE SPEAKER: This is similar. A lot of retirees, you know, lost their investments, specially the government invested in bonds and affected the retirees. [Crosstalk] So should the government sue them?
JACOB ZAMANSKY: I think that the government should take action, I think they should look carefully at this situation. I'm here to spread my knowledge and help out, but yes, I think the government should step in.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Marie, give us a phone number where people can call you, or where could them go to talk to you and receive consulting?
MARIE ELSIE LÓPEZ: Well, we'll be tomorrow in Aguadilla, offering an orientation, at El Faro Hotel. Next week we'll be probably making another orientation at the Ponce Hilton. Our phone numbers appeared in the papers, in the classifieds, along with our email addresses. Our phone number here in Puerto Rico is 787 7248212. And the phone number of your office is...
JACOB ZAMANSKY: Our phone number is 212 7421414. Our website is zamansky.com. Ask for me, Jake.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Okay. Thank you Jake, thank you Marie for sharing this with us. We go on with "Playing hard ball".