Fraud, Corruption and Collusion

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FINRA calls itself the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, but it is not part of the U.S. Government; it is a non-profit company, funded by its dues-paying “members”, so whose side do you think FINRA will take in a dispute between broker and customer?

FINRA makes rules, but it doesn’t uniformly enforce them.  And even if it wanted to, it does not have the authority to tell a broker to do something like close illegal trades opened in a customer account.  And no matter how incompetent or corrupt FINRA may be, it has immunity (i.e. it cannot be sued).

"How could any of our lawmakers have possibly thought that this
was a good idea?" asked one of our readers.  

In Ron Taylor’s case, FINRA confirmed that Thinkorswim had violated FINRA Rules, but instead of sanctioning the brokerage, or ordering them to return the funds they stole out of Taylor’s accounts to finance an employee’s trading losses, FINRA issued a “cautionary action” which is equivalent to saying “bad dog!”

Westcomb Letter

But Mr. Westcomb, you’re supposed to be ENFORCING your firm’s Rules, not breaking them!  

Did you not read your firm’s Regulatory Notice 09-17 which states that a Cautionary Action is only appropriate If the violation is of a minor nature and there is an absence of customer harm.‘  Obviously this violation was not “of a minor nature”, because Thinkorswim deliberately wiped out a customer’s life’s savings and retirement funds.

Taylor spent the next four years trying to convince FINRA that Mr. Westcomb’s response was inappropriate.  But he said that the higher he went up the corporate ladder, the less these folks seemed to know about the very rules they have been commissioned to enforce.

Below is the response Taylor received to a letter he wrote to the executives at FINRA.  

While the letter appears to respond to Taylor’s  complaints, it actually reveals how little Mr. Vice President and Deputy District Director actually understands about the reason his firm even exists..

Ed Wegener Response_Redacted

“It seems to me that FINRA’s enforcement actions are inversely proportional to the size of the brokerage”, Taylor added, “And why not?  TD AMERITRADE is one of FINRA’s largest dues-paying members.  And since FINRA is a non-profit organization, it has to funnel all of that money into the pockets of its executives.  

“I’ve seen cases where FINRA barred (i.e. shut down) an entire brokerage for unauthorized trading.  Yet, Thinkorswim wipes out my life’s savings, my retirement funds, my family’s future, and even my checking account, and FINRA doesn’t even record the incident in its BrokerCheck™ database, rendering it unreliable and totally useless.” 


Taylor warns existing customers not to assume that their funds are safe in the custody and control of this brokerage.  He said, “We now know of at least one confirmed violation of FINRA Rules that does not show up in ‘BrokenCheck’, which means we have no way of knowing how many other people’s lives have been similarly destroyed as a result of unregulated corporate greed and dishonesty.”

>>Next: Thinkorswim Deletes Historical Data to Conceal Fraud

Disclaimer: None of the information contained on this site is to be construed as investment advice of any kind.  We are not licensed investment advisers.  We are a group of individuals who have been “burned” by broker fraud, and we are sharing this information in an effort to help you make more informed decisions when choosing a broker.

120 Responses to Fraud, Corruption and Collusion

  1. Steve says:

    Just found out Ameritrade literally just made over $23,000 vanish from my account with no trades. I was building up cash for over a year, deposits totaling $47,400. They basically didnt place the money in my account or made the account realize $35,000 of false debits. Just started working will accountant and authorities. When i called them the person i talked to said his name was Matt Ryan and he was going out of town for the next 3 weeks.
    Any advice? This is pitiful

  2. William P says:

    FINRA is a scam. Go to their website and take a look at all the resolved cases. About 99% of the cases are decided in favor of the brokers. If you go through the arbitration process, you will find it’s not regulated. Brokers can turn in responses late without penalty. The brokers do not have to produce discovery. TD Ameritrade avoids discovery by stating all requests are a “burden” to produce and FINRA allows it. At the end of the process, you won’t get anything but thousands of dollars in fees by FINRA. The government needs to do something about this. FINRA protects the brokers and helps them violate the investor’s rights. FINRA only adds harm to traders, the victims of the corrupt system. Investors have no rights whatsoever.

  3. William P says:

    TD Ameritrade is the most fraudulent broker you’ll find anywhere. They edit and delete trading records, they edit phone calls, they lie and cheat during arbitration. They are a fraud and dishonest. Their software is faulty which can cause you to lose your money. When you complain you get their arrogant staff that won’t do anything for you but try to blame their buggy software problems on you. If you file a claim with FINRA, it’s a waste of time. FINRA allows them to break all kinds of laws during the arbitration process; it’s a circus. Their attorneys suck, but since FINRA has no morals either, it doesn’t matter. If you are a client of TD Ameritrade, leave now before they steal your money. This is the most fraudulent company in finance. They steal homes from people too. They are criminals and soon they will pay for the lives they have destroyed. They are leaving a trace and sooner or later a good attorney will bring the jerks down.

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  5. George says:

    I would like to be part of this class action suit . Please let me know how it unfolds!!

  6. George says:

    I think is time to contact financial news reporters and report these types of abuses!! These egregious acts must stop.

  7. burger kid says:

    F*CK td ameritrade I will help anyone tht tht want me to maybe make their account look better thn it really is I can edit all htcgoldbads@gmail. com

  8. Anonymous says:

    Their thinkorswim platform is broken – it refuses to send orders after it logs you out silently. I have lost thousands this way. The charts keep updating so you watch your trade unfold. When you click the sell button then i accepts your order. But then it wants your password and after that it forgets the order it already accepted.

    Even my primitive online banking warns me with a browser alert of session expiry BEFORE logging me out.

    Another bug : It alters your order quantity. It often reverts to the default order quantity after you modified the quantity in the order entry screen. They produce so many nifty features – I wonder why they cannot get the basics right.

    There are so many ways to lose money with TD Ameritrade it makes me sick.

    • It *IS* broken. It does not display Options values correctly. Who cares how slick it looks if it is reporting false information? Follow this site and share it with all of your friends. We will likely be announcing a Class Action lawsuit this summer (2014), and the Class will be everyone who traded Options on the Thinkorswim Platform since October 2008.

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  10. Faisal UAE says:

    I am a foreign individual from Dubai, UAE. Had a long term investment through ameritrade for almost 8 years which I check from time to time. As the stocks rised in 2013 I checked my account and was surprised to see my account had been liquidated in late 2012 by ameritrade and without notice! Their response is my country is not in list of countries they want to do business with. Sure I understand the owner is a republican hate monger, but since when a broker decides when to pull out my investment? Luckily I am not near retirement age but I wish I could sue them.

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    I do NOT trust TDameritrade and their shady accounting practices. They are just like their sister bank TDbank when they reorganize debits and intentionally fail to post debits on the weekend to help create over charges when the technology exists to allow such weekend recordings. I have dealt with them for awhile and I can truly say that I would NEVER trust them with a lot of money.

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  15. Peter says:

    If you trade with TD Ameritrade / Think or Swim or any another broker, it’s best to record your account with live video each day. Also, if you call them, record the calls. They do edit or omit phone calls during discovery, so keep your own records. Also, print phone records before your phone company deletes the records online, etc. Unfortunately, this is a dirty business and arbitration is owned by the brokers. Create your records as you trade just in case something comes up.

  16. BadStuffHappens says:

    I have evidence from several years back of TDA Thinkorswim chat support directly advising that the options analysis graph is correct and the trade is very safe to do, and no chance of loss. Explaining the graph here would be too complicated. It involved several option legs and various dated options combined to create great profit with very little loss risk; according to their software. Well, pretty much the same day or the next, after the trades were executed, do not recall the timing, the graph began to change dramatically to the point it was too late to pull out without a loss. I contacted them, and their response was sorry, we did not understand our own software, as that feature is new, and we had never seen the trade pattern you were trying to do. We were incorrect and those trade lines actually are dynamic and move. Well, their incorrect validation of their graph, and advice that the trade is safe to do cost me around $5,000.00. I let the matter go, as it was not a large enough amount for me to pursue. I always win my lawsuits, and I know it will take a good $35K to $50K at least via arbitration and a good law firm and an okay attorney (meaning not a great one, otherwise more) and a ton of my time, which during those years I absolutely could not afford to consume. Currently the statue of limitations is reached, and so I cannot sue them for that anyways, regardless of the evidence.
    Note that I got the feeling from my talks with TDA that they were worried that I would take action against them. I could tell. After all, it is illegal for a brokerage person to give advice of that kind. The whole thing was logged with their own chat software. Of course I was not surprised that they wiped all those chats as if they never existed. That is why you need to save the chats to your own computer, and put the timestamp as part of the chat file name.

    I have strong suspicions and evidence that only implies wrong doing by TDA. Lets say a ThinkOrSwim person or TDA staff gets a grudge against you (maybe it was your fault for the situation or maybe not; irrelevant). Well it seems they are some how able to initiate a malware alert on your account which causes you to get locked out of your account and also locked out of doing any trades. Sometimes you are locked out of some functions and not out of others. You will not know about this until you try to do a trade. Lets say you have bought a stock or option or worse shorted one, and the trade(s) started doing okay for you, but now you are close to break even and you have been stalking the chart, and it is time for you to get out without a loss. BAM! You try to execute a trade and it fails, and you keep trying to make it work. By the time you figure out what has happened or by the time you call, and get to the right person and jump through the hoops you are in a massive loss. None of the fail safe trade triggers execute because your account is locked from doing any trades. All due to a false/fake Malware detection by TDA.

    FYI, I have always had a margin account, but always kept my trades in cash. I can tell you that I have seen a couple odd/bad things that I do not recall the details of. Being on top of things, I had them fixed, but those things could have hurt badly if I did not notice them, which I do not expect others to notice unless they are day traders or daily traders.
    I mention this for the people who posted above, who make it sound like the bad things happen only due to people not understanding margin rules and usage.

    • SoftwareDeveloper says:

      I’m a software developer by profession, and I’ve handled “back door” and other malware programs, and I can tell you that it is highly unlikely that TOS’ servers can detect a malware program on your computer unless they placed it there.

    • Please hang on to anything you have. We may be filing a class action and we’ll need as much evidence as we can get to prove our claim.

    • George says:

      What lawyer did you use to fight them?

    • Dear BadStuff: Please send a private e-mail to cheatedinvestor “at” with your contact info. You may have stumbled upon the same “bug” that is the subject of our class action, because the “bug” is still there after five years.

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    • Cheated Investor says:

      Thank you (and Ron, below) for your encouragement. I sometimes feel that I’m wasting my time, but these brokers ripped off a lot of people and I want to expose their crimes through one investor’s true story, backed-up by audio clips and letters from FINRA, whose acronym more appropriately means “Fraud Is Now Regulator-Assisted”.

      • John says:

        Has anyone been wrongfully liquidated by Interactive Brokers? They are using a different scam than TDA. They don’t tend to do entire account liquidations, but rather, they will fraudulently change your BP when you hit expiration and do a partial liquidation. This way they probably avoid law suits since each case is so small, but they are doing this to thousands of traders, so it could be a class action law suit. They did this to me recently. I had a trade expire which should have reduced my BP since it took risk off the table, however, they increased my BP the second it expired and then did a partial liquidation costing me about $10,000 in losses plus commissions. I filed my complaint and it took them a month to respond. They never looked at the issue. They simply sent a generic response that they liquidated because I exceeded my buying power. Note, my account was in perfectly good standing. Basically, they fraudulently lowered my BP and churned my account for a $10,000 profit and a loss for me. Have they done this to others? Please post.

      • mcorreia82 says:

        Hi John,
        I was force liquidated by Interactive Brokers, I had a reply about it on the site from Oct 2012. I was trading a fixed margin option trading strategy called an iron condor with excess liquidity in my account and they force liquidated me intraday. I lost my Finra arbitration against them. Finra = “fraud is now regulator assisted;” couldn’t be more true. Seems they can impose stricter margin requirements anytime they want and change margin requirements anytime. Usually you can infer that it only applies to commodities where the exchange can change margin requirements to curb speculation. Nevermind the fact that Finra says you can’t impose stricter margin requirements if they do not reduce risk and needlessly harm clients. They blew a whole in my account greater than my max loss profile on my spreads. Idiots argued that the loss on a credit spread is not fixed, even though it clearly says it is on the website and that the margin requirement is fixed. I moved my account to Thinkorswim, I’ve been there for years now without incident doing the same thing, i’d say for almost 4 years now… makes me sick that they could do this to me as well, even though ToS swore several times in email that they would not and my trading is sound. I’ll take my chances, I’ve got nowhere else to trade and I like the platform.

  18. Ron says:

    Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would really like
    to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would appreciate
    your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

    • Jean says:

      I had several trades in y’day to buy puts on positions of stock for which I am long (simple insurance to protect considering market recently). They denied me/cancelled my orders, and failed to respond in timely manner. Now that I log in early to check on flaws in balance and position page (not showing ex div date, etc. & issues Ive already pointed out repeatedly) I see that the “System is temporarily unavailable”. This not only undermines investor confidence, but also tampers with my hard-earned money.
      Shame on them- they can keep their $US600 promos if this is how they treat their clients. So much for the marketing effort of “best platform for individual investors.” It’s time for an improvement or shakedown….this is nonsense. Is it because I live overseas part of the year- that’s no excuse; it’s discriminatory!!!
      Jean M.

      • hagred the dark one says:

        Close your accounts immediatly or you will lose everything you have. They have stolen tens of millions and have done so with complete impunity from all regulatory measures. After you have ben literally stripped. You will face a maze of dends to further delay and drain your efforts. There are no laws to support your recovery efforts as you may believe there to be. These are creatures without merit or souls WHO have only one purpose which they excercise with increasing regularity and boldness. If your losses total in exceda of millions and you have more millions to spend in pursuit of their return that is still a gamble. If however you are not in that bracket take heed: this is a game of their own devising which you cannot win as they literally OWN the system.

      • Jean says:

        Got it- so they execute if its in THEIR best interests- otherwise, the client is screwed. Nice even playing field. What would be your suggestion on where to trade? Im not that sophisticated, just trying to get the best ROI and save for my kid’s college education.

      • hagred the dark one says:

        I wish I had money in excess of what I need. I am far below the poverty level as defined by the federal and state government. The system is rigged and not in your favor. Good luck to you sir.

      • sa says:

        I’ve been trading with TDA now for about 3 months. As long as you maintain your margin account, if you have one, you’re fine. They can sell your assets off to maintain your margin anytime they want, as can any broker. People got pissed because they didn’t maintain their margins. If you have a cash account, there is no margin and no problem.

      • hagred the dark one says:

        Prepare yourself for the truly bizarre. They have done it before and they will do it again. They obviously haven’t gotten around to you yet. Cheers!

      • Cheated Investor says:

        Jean, in response to your May 16 message (sorry for the delay) we have only heard stories about TDA and TOS brokers tampering in customer accounts. Others in the “Top Ten” list try to call you first, or alert you via the trading platform, and then systematically close only enough to cover the margin call rather than “burn and churn” your entire account.

  19. Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but
    I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin
    for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems
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  20. Tampering says:

    If you have filed an arbitration case and TD Ameritrade and or Think or Swim tampered with your phone calls or other items produced in discovery, please post a response. We are interested in locating ALL CASES WHERE TD AMERITRADE TAMPERED WITH EVIDENCE.

    Thank you!

    • Ron says:

      Count me in! I have tampered reports AND edited telephone calls, but the FINRA Arbitrators didn’t care (they likely decided the case even before the hearings began).

      • william buirge says:

        Yes, they just disappeared me. On top of which they sent me a bill for 30k for the pleasure of taking my entire account at tos AND td.

      • What do you means they just disappeared you?

      • william buirge says:

        After receiving my margin call and upon conferring with an authorized floor trader of tos; I instructed him to sell all shares, take out what ever the full margin amount was and place me in all cash. This was agreed to but never executed. I had an account with td. The froze that account citing that I owed tos. I was robbed. I was instructed to call the “presidents office” of td. I called and was literally yelled at for a half hour. They claim that there never was ANY communication and that because of that I clearly forfeited my accounts. May I forward the singular idea, WTF! I have called Daxton White, but I did not lose millions, only my entire inheritance. What to do?

      • call your phone company, get the phone record for that month. Then request for the audio conversation for that call. email me from your email.

    • hagred the dark one says:

      They told me that they do not keep phone records and if they did they would only be for training purposes.

  21. hydra72 says:

    I have a FINRA suite against TD Ameritrade regarding margin account problems. It is for $3 million. Anyone who would like to comment, or join this suit. My blog on is marginmadness. Just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you asap.

  22. Doug says:

    Have these problems been limited to margin trading? I was a bout to send money to my new TOS account, but now I’m scared. I plan only to make cash buys and limit orders. Really sorry this has happened to you all. Horrible.

    • If I were you, I’d stay away from these crooks. There are other broker-dealers with decent software (OptionsHouse, TradeKing, TradeMonster to name a few) at half TD AmeriFraud’s rates, and having Customer Service people who actually want to see you do well, instead of exploiting you.

  23. boohoo. You trade on margin and can’t meet the call. get real and get an education on trading. 99% of this site is pure fantasy. Make your lawyers rich and get black listed. woohoo.

    • Annu Naakki says:

      My desire is that those WHO are patently allowed to continue this heresy be made immortal. That way I will be able to torture them, FOREVER.

    • Regardless of market conditions or whether a margin call existed or not, the broker is NEVER allowed to OPEN new positions in a customer account without permission, and we have now confirmed that an employee of ThinkorSwim did in fact open new, naked short positions in the customer’s accounts.

    • Arthur, Please be sensitive. I don’t know you, and you don’t know our situation. I would never wish this happens to you even if you were my worse enemy because this affect everyone, my friends, my family, many will lose their house, their retirement and everything they have worked so hard for all their life.

    • kvalenti says:

      spoken like a true CROOK.

  24. Rod says:

    I have had trading accounts with both TD Ameritrade and Thinkorswim for over 3 years. In November, I opened my accounts to find all my existing stocks and options sold. Thinking it was a security breach, I contacted customer service for both accounts. I was told TD Ameritrade made a business decision not to deal with customers in my countries anymore (I have residency in two countries). So they arbitrarily reached into my account (after the election drop) and sold everything, including options two months away from expiration!

    I contacted the SEC and they said they would send my complaint to TD Ameritrade but I would need to seek legal redress if I wanted to pursue the matter. This was to be expected as the SEC has shown over and over it will not regulate or prevent fraud in the markets. Neither company contacted me about their intention to close my accounts. They claim to have sent me an email but they did not and seeing as this is a rather serious matter, there should have been some kind of due process. After MF Global’s theft of customer money, HSBC laundering money for crooks, and a myriad of other crimes and misdemeanors in the financial services industry, I would strongly urge you to take quick action to protect your money.

    TD Ameritrade absolutely cannot be trusted. They will do what they want with your account at a moment’s notice. It really does seem as though hard assets (gold, silver, property, and the means to protect them) is the prudent course of action. I’ve repatriated what money I have left and will no longer be dealing with the financial services sector. This may lead to a class action suit in normal circumstances but none of the public institutions can be trusted anymore. Don’t wait until something happens to your money before you wake up!

    • andrew says:

      The very same thing has happened to me and I am trying to pursue some form of action against TDAmeritrade.

      If at all possible please drop me an email or call me as I would like to touch base with you to see if anything can be done.

      thanks in advance Andrew millar

  25. Joseph says:

    I was liquidated by TD Ameritrade. The account value was approximately USD40,000, some of that on margin. I called them multiple times and scrambled to open a new account but was unable to do so in time. Not a lot of money for them but a lot for me. Their poorly timed sale also gave me a capital gains tax liability which I would not have otherwise had.

  26. Derick Lyle says:

    I have just been liquidated by TD Ameritrade, because the account is held under a foreign address. They claim to have sent one written notice. However, I received no e-mail notification, nor within their own site’s messaging system.
    All my positions have been liquidated, resulting in the realization of losses.
    I am extremely angry about this.

  27. mcorreia82 says:

    Hi friends. I trade credit spreads/iron condors on the Russell2000 and SPY etf and had a similar situation with Interactive Brokers on 8/19 & 8/22/2011. These knuckleheads force liquated my spreads in the mini crash saying I violated their intraday leverage threshold. If you know about this option strategy you know its fixed risk/fixed margin, and to force liquidate someone’s spreads when they have more than enough cash in their account to meet the fixed margin requirement is ridiculous. Im arbitrating against them in FINRA and should have a resolution to my case in the next few months. They lost me $137,655! This is a loss greater than what my previous max / worst case scenario loss would have been. In haste i transferred my account and open option positions to think or swim, in which i had another option trading account using the same strategy and didnt have any margin issues in that same period. Now that i’ve read your warnings i feel sick to my stomach that this could happen again. I’ve been trading with thinkorswim for almost 2 years condors and spreads and have never had an issue with them. Is there any broker out there we can trust?

    • denny says:

      I was wondering how your arbitration hearing ended up? Very interested as we have just filed a claim of very similar charges.

      • Denny, Mr. Taylor lost in arbitration because TD Ameritrade suppressed critical evidence from its transaction logs, and FINRA has no provision for handling fraud in arbitration. You need to do two things: (1) IMMEDIATELY DOWNLOAD EVERY DETAIL ABOUT YOUR ACCOUNT AND TRANSACTION HISTORY, because the broker can, and likely will, alter that data; and (2) Get a lawyer who has experience in FINRA arbitration (and has won cases against brokers). This is important, because FINRA rules are different than Court rules: FINRA arbitrators are not judges, some are not even lawyers; they don’t have to explain their reasoning; they don’t have to follow the law; and their decision is final and cannot be appealed. On top of this, if a FINRA arbitrator rules against a broker, that essentially ends their career as a FINRA arbitrator, because brokers will likely strike that person from future arbitrator lists.

        Even if you have a lawyer, have him or her consult with a FINRA-experienced attorney who has won cases against brokers.

  28. Name says:

    The agreements state that they may liquidate your positions in certain situations, particularly in the cases of substantial losses. This looks to be reasonable, and is there to protect the brokerage in cases where clients loose more than they should. Have people been reading the agreements closely, so that there are no surprises? Also make sure to have a trading strategy, and stick to it. Paper trade first; if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re likely to loose all your money fast.

    • Yes, but in Liz Kaplan’s case ThinkOrSwim OPENED NEW SHORT OPTION POSITIONS in her account on the Volatility Index (VIX), at a time when volatility was at its highest point in history. They said they were “hedging” but never could explain how, and they refused to close their short options even as the value of the options were plummeting far below zero.

      To conceal their activities, ThinkOrSwim produced modified transaction reports and edited phone recordings. And when FINRA found them guilty of violating its Rules, FINRA issued a “cautionary [statement] as a warning against the inappropriate nature of this activity.”

      This is wrong. VERY wrong. I wonder how much TD Ameritrade paid FINRA for that verdict? Or how many other crimes they bought their way out of.

      • Matt says:

        I’m a little confused by the screenshot. OP says ToS opened a bunch of short VIX calls. Screenshot shows theta bleed, from SHORT options. If you’ve ever traded options, you’ll understand that short options don’t lose money from theta, they gain money from theta. Period. Long VIX calls would have lost from theta, but short VIX calls would have profited from time, not lost. Furthermore, depending on timing, after a crash, VIX should be dropping like a stone, having already spiked to insane levels during the selloff. Anyone in short VIX calls after a crash should have made out like a bandit. Just a bit confused as to the timing of the ToS trades and the theta issue. Clarification?

      • Matt, in a normal market, futures and options contracts trade for higher prices than the spot price of the underlying commodity or index. That premium (also called “time value”) is represented by theta, and it diminishes or “decays” over time, so that when the contracts expire their value is equal to the spot value of the underlying.

        Now if the price of the underlying commodity (ex: coffee prices after crops are destroyed by flooding) or index (in this case, the VIX) spikes upward, the futures and options contracts will lag behind, causing theta to become positive in order to reach the spot price at expiration. See Wikipedia definition of Backwardation. This is the time to be BUYING futures contracts and options, NOT selling, or worse, selling short.

        When our victim tried to explain this concept to ToS, they ridiculed him and told him he did not know what he was talking about, even though their own trading platform was proving the concept on a daily basis.

        TD Ameritrade is a multi-billion dollar company, and disk space costs about $100 per terabyte. So why do you think ToS deleted that historical data from their ThinkBack system?

  29. Duke Tran says:

    TD Ameritrade/Think or Swim’s victim need to WARN to every one by CNN,MSNBC,ABC ,CBS Television chanel . Who is know how’s contact to them ? Please help.

  30. Alex Tzenov says:

    My TD Ameritrade was liquidated at will in 2011, & during August 2011 my computer crashed, now pointing to an admitted default in HP Pavillion model’s boards. Also, there also seems to be evidence of hacking. The behavior of TD Ameritrade’s TOS platform is sketchy @ best.

  31. Alex says:

    I have also filed a FINRA arbitration filing against TD Ameritrade during this timeframe. I was liquidated at will. Please reply to make a stronger case.

  32. John says:

    Have these issues been resolved? While I am fully empathetic with all of your situations, I am asking more towards the likes of these issues occurring again. I recently opened a TD ameritrade account and signed up for thinkorswim. I don’t do any margin trading, and although I have options trading ability, I have yet to do so. And are these issues solely related to using the Thinkorswim platform? Or the TD Ameritrade website itself? I hope the best for all of your cases, these companies make enough money as is, they have no reason other than greed to screw over their customers like this.

    • Option Trader says:

      No, these issues have not been resolved. Their software does not know how to calculate risk properly, especially with Portfolio Margin accounts. It doesn’t recognize risk on some trades so you can put on millions of dollars in leverage, but then when you want to exit the trades, you cannot do it. Also, they continue to give false margin calls on T Margin accounts.

  33. Keith C says:

    Same issue here, Laged or frozen quotes for weeks in 2010. Promises to offer free trades, & admission on chat that they are experiencing issues with the TOS transition .Contact me as well to pursue this further .My case is finally going to arbitration after months & months of delay tactics by TD’s 5 dollar lawyers .

    • Deb says:

      They just issued me a false margin call on 5/21/12. I have a T Margin account and they locked my BP and said I had to send in $33K! My account was just fine and it was a software error. Support in chat told me to ignore it and they had it fixed in 2 days. Fortunately, I didn’t need to make any trades at the time because I would not have been able to because of the false margin call status they put my account in.

      • This is an example of what I’m advising, Deb. When that crap pops up on your screen, the first thing to do is “Alt/PrtSc” then paste the image into Word, WordPad, MsPaint, or anything that will accept a pasted image. Then call those crooks to find out what’s going on.

      • u says:

        They don’t really care if you catch them .. The best thing to do is just move to a different broker

      • NA says:

        TDA just liquidated my account on accident! My account was not in a margin call status and when I called them, they said they thought it was owned by someone else because of the name match, but they didn’t have an ssn or middle name match. This company is out of control. Stay away from Think or Swim and TD Ameritrade.

      • Deb says:

        Hi, thanks for that info, but don’t worry, I have screen shots and live video of what they did. I asked them in chat why their software issued a false margin call, and all they said was “just ignore it.” They didn’t want to admit their software is messing up, but they immediately added about 35K to my buying power manually to demonstrate that yes, their software was messing up. I know people that got margin calls and liquidated due to this type of software glitch.

      • u says:

        All you have to do is look at the message board to get an idea

    • TO EVERYONE IN ARBITRATION, A LAWSUIT, or ABOUT TO BEGIN ONE AGAINST TOS OR TDA: Look very carefully at each and every document TOS and TDA produce in discovery, especially if you no longer have access to your accounts. Their systems appear to “forget” certain transactions, even going so far as to deleting them from monthly statements (why do you think they are so anxious for us to receive statements electronically?)

      Disk space is cheap, so download every detail about every trade, order, and entry you (or anyone else) made on your accounts.

      And whenever you think their system is screwing up, hit Alt/PrtSc (screen copy) and paste it into Wordpad or your favorite graphics program. Even better, get a screen capture utility or session recorder and capture evidence that you may need in the future.

    • Alex says:

      I was also destroyed by TD Ameritrade during this period. I have a FINRA case filed, and would like to help too.

  34. Erick Garske says:

    I had an issue with some of my accounts being inaccessible for for a number of weeks. I was told that the TOS accounts migrated to TD Ameritrade needed to be repapered. This is unacceptable, as the accounts needed to be available to make trades during all trading hours.

  35. William Buirge says:

    Hello, I am a totally and permanently disabled USMC Vet. TOS called me on margin. I instructed the floor trader to liquidate and go to all cash. Several months later I receive a bill for over 10,ooo. My account was 250,000. TOS zeroed my account and did not discharge their fudicairy responsibilities. I had an account concurrently with TD Ameritrade and this was established well before the merger. That account in excess of 40,ooo was straight up zeroed. No call, no letter, no explanation just plain theft. Now that they have literally all of my money, I have no means by which to bring them to task and they damn well know it. WTF. I would be most appreciative if anyone could even point me in the right direction. Respectfully, is this how my country repays me? Thanks…

    • terrible says:

      Mr Buirge,

      After dealing with Think or Swim, it is no surprise that you were treated this way Mr. Buirge. You can read my experience above. This company must be shut down from a regulatory standpoint, and is unacceptable that they are left to stay in business running a unregulated, unethical, untrained, irresponsible business. TD and Think or Swim are ruthless, greedy, and have no interest in the customer, only making money, and throwing customers to the curb. Call your states office of financial regulation, and SEC and file a complaint against them. Also call local securities attorney’s and speak to them about your situation.


    • na says:

      Here is the attorney working on this case.

      Contact him asap if you are serious. We already have the arbitration date set.

  36. Trey Layden says:

    need an attorney to contact me

  37. JT says:

    There is a forum on this topic, so everyone can share their experiences with this issue. See to read the stories.

  38. JT says:

    HI Chris, yes, we are filing a claim as a group. Please contact our attorney at the website mentioned above and tell him JT referred you so you can get a discount and be part of our group. We are putting all of our evidence together. The same thing happened to us.

  39. Chris Hartley says:

    I have a lot of trades rejected from August 3 2011 on due to this software problem. These trades were done to close position and it denied saying it was to open. Can we do class action?

  40. Private Poster says:

    Our group found an attorney to take our case on contingency. Anyone who was affected by the recent TD Ameritrade takeover can join our group and save. The advantage of being part of our claim is that you can use our evidence to win your case. Also, the more that join our group, the better price we get. If you experienced a questionable liquidation or order rejections that would have reduced your risk, or improper margin calls over the recent transition from ThinkorSwim to TD Ameritrade, then please contact our attorney. Tell him JT sent you, so you can be part of our group and get a discount.

    His website is here:

  41. terrible says:

    LISTEN!! Think or swim/td is the most unethical, irresponsible, disorganized, deregulated company in the WORLD—DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE Just WON a arbitration award, our RIA was stealing and giving us Fraud statements and swindled us to invest our life savings which disappeared and was stolen in 4 MONTHS!! This RIA went on years prior to us opening our accounts with think or swim, and they did no due diligence to protect their customer and had NO CLUE. I was denied access to my accounts from think or swim when I called them to access my account, and told me to get with my RIA to get my statements(I COULDN’T ACCESS MY ACCOUNTS)!!!!!!!!! they NEVER sent us any communication or Statements as required, ALLOWED THE RIA to take 50,000 in management fee’s the 1st two weeks the account was open without even questioning them???!!! Ann Grady is a LIAR, HAS NO INTEGRITY, UNETHICAL,IRRESPONSIBLE and CLUELESS!!!!! She didn’t know what a qualified investor was, but was allowing this RIA to charge performance fees 100k in 4 months on my accounts, as my accounts dropped 90% in value????? She shouldn’t be in charge of emptying the rubbish, never mind the HEAD OF COMPLIANCE ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY KIDDING ME?????????????????????????? Don Roberts, wow get a CLUE!! The RIA made up the information on the account opening document. Don roberts with his rubber stamp approvals never even questioned or even looked at this document. NO CUSTOMER SIGNATURES ON ALL 4 OF OUR ACCOUNTS? WE ARE EMPLOYED WITH BANKS, BUT BANK EMPLOYEE IS CHECKED NO??? You call the RIA who is stealing your customers blind and ask him if he is providing statements to the customers, HEY DON, IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY THAT YOUR CUSTOMERS GET STATEMENTS FROM think or swim, WAKE UP AND LEARN YOUR REGULATORY POLICY. AND THEN YOU ASK HIM TO SEND THE STATEMENTS THAT HE IS GIVING HIS CUSTOMERS???? REALLY, DID YOU THINK A THIEF WAS GOING TO SEND YOU THE FRAUD STATEMENTS HE WAS PROVIDING HIS CUSTOMERS????? WHY DIDN’T YOU SEND YOUR CUSTOMERS STATEMENTS?????? YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    And then we get to the defense counsel, 3 attorneys, 2 assistants, and 1 expert. I applaud you think or swim td for a job well done. You found a team just like your company. They have no conscious, have no soul, will lie, spin, twist the truth, want to throw the responsibility on someone else and do anything to get your mismanaged company out of arbitration with as little a loss as possible. Even, badger and aggressively attack the victims as if we are responsible, and we are the idiots that didn’t catch this RIA thief quicker.


    • Cheated Investor says:

      They are also masters at concealing evidence, altering telephone records, and describing events out of sequence.

  42. You all might like to read my three-part blog from last year, Capital Punishment: Markets Through the Looking Glass

    I stopped this (already very popular) blog upon the unexpected death of my father.

    But I am now more furious at Ameritrade than ever and will be restarting the blog very soon.

    I think you will find it funny, interesting, and very germane to your complaints about Ameritrade.

    Anyone who’d like to is welcome to call me at (631) 758-0491.

    I have been very active at Seeking Alpha, so you find my bio there under the name Venerability.

    Thank you.

    (Dr.) Ellen Brandt

  43. na says:

    It’s interesting to see some cases getting resolved. I sent them a letter to see if they respond in my favor before I proceed with an attorney. Their software refused orders that would have minimized my risk, then they sold off my positions and lost over $200,000. That money was pocketed by the market makers in just a matter of minutes.

  44. Private Poster says:

    Think or Swim liquidated my account and lost a quarter of a million dollars in doing so. I’m seeking an attorney to work on my case. Their support staff has no clue on how to exit trades properly and then they try to pass the losses on to the customer. Anyone else affected by this please respond.

    • So, what happened ? Was it a Margin Call ?

    • Travis says:

      Something very similar happened to me during the same week. Are you joining the class action?

    • I agree that they have no clue (see We Know More Than You and And You’re The President). Unfortunately they have very deep pockets and can hire expensive lawyers (like the ones who defended Bernard Madoff associates) to twist their story and make it appear as if YOU were some how at fault.

    • badtrader says:

      I’m out about $50k this week. The options were all hedged and should have been exited together, then as underlying securities dropped, the positions were liquidated separately and the long side left open as they continued to drop significantly. Also, site would not allow me to exit positions causing the broker to liquidate. Had all positions been liquidated when they called for margin on Monday morning, I would have recovered more than $25k. Pretty sick over this…

      • JT says:

        It appears this is common practice by them. I had a 5 million dollar portfolio in which they liquidated by legging out and lost over $200K during their exit. We are suing them for the negligence in our case. Call the attorney listed here if you have a similar case. Save all your evidence, including chats, etc.

  45. Frederic says:

    Please contact me about improper account liquidation by thinkorswim & TD Ameritrade. Thanks, Frederic – Happened: 9 August 2011

    • na says:

      I don’t see anyway to contact each other on this site. Maybe the web site owner can create a message board or a way for us to contact each other. I have a lot of good evidence to fight this case and can help a lot of people.

      • Chris says:

        If anyone wants to get together and discuss about what Thinkorswim did from 8/1/2011 to 8/9/2011 and what we need to do to get our money back, please cal me ,Chris at 408 526 1806. I am gathering iinformation and evidence against them If you have suggestion on an attorney that would also greatly appreciated.

      • William Buirge says:

        YES, please help me! As you can read they took everything. Joining some collective is out of the question because I do not have enough money to buy grocieries (currently I fast for 1 to 2 weeks just to make it) let alone pitching in for legal fees… Any help would most certainly be appreciated. Respectfully, William Buirge.

      • JT says:

        Hi William, we have already filed a claim against TOs and TD Ameritrade. Contact the White Law Group for help. The website is here:

        You can also post your story here for more publicity:

  46. Frederic Bien says:

    I’ve experienced an improper handling of a margin call from ThinkOrSwim last Tuesday 9 August 2011. I wonder if you know anyone who also received a call from ToS forcing them to sell an option position that was not at strike level causing an actual loss. They also changed on us without warning the amount of time they gave us to add funds to the account. ToS used a strange metric they call Option Buying Power to say we HAD TO sell. They could not explain clearly how they compute it at the time… Please post here if you feel ToS improperly handled your portfolio margin calls. Thanks!

  47. Michael says:

    Hi, I am interested in this law suit. I have a group of traders that have experienced the same exact thing. Please contact me asap.

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