Articles Tagged with IMS Securities

shutterstock_182053859-300x200Our investment attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Michael Spears (Spears) currently associated with IMS Securities, Inc. alleging negligence, failure to supervise, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty among other claims. According to BrokerCheck records Spears has been subject to two customer complaints involving direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), and other alternative investments.

The most recent claim was filed in August 2016 and alleges that, while Spears was employed at IMS Securities, acted negligently, misrepresented material facts, failed to supervise, and breached his fiduciary duty in connection to non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) causing damages of $1,667,000. The claim is currently pending.

In July 2016, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Spears breached his fiduciary duty, over-concentrated investments, and failed to supervise in correlation to real estate products and variable annuity investments causing $3,000,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_190371500-300x200The investment attorneys of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Charles Fischer (Fischer) currently associated with IMS Securities, Inc. alleging negligence, misrepresentation, and unsuitable investments among other claims. According to BrokerCheck records Fischer has been subject to two customer complaints.  The complaints appear to involve alternative investments.

The most recent complaint against Fischer was filed in August 2016, and alleged $500,000 in damages due to claims pertaining to investments that were unsuitable based on the client’s risk tolerance, investment objectives, investment knowledge, time horizon, and liquidity needs. The complaint is currently pending.

In December 2014, a customer brought a complaint against Fischer alleging that he breached the duty of suitability.  The complaint involved securities such as annuities and non-traded REITs causing $240,000 in damages. The claim settled in November 2015 for $146,500.

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shutterstock_36343294-300x225Customers have filed complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against IMS Securities, Inc. (IMS) broker Beth Debouvre – a/k/a Beth Bunnell (Debouvre).  The securities attorneys at Gana LLP are investing the allegations against Debouvre including unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentations among other claims.  According to brokercheck records Debouvre has been subject to three customer complaints.  Many of the complaints involve direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), equipment leasing funds – such as LEAF or ICON, and other alternative investments.  According to Debouvre’s disclosures she conducts business under the d/b/a Grosse Point Financial Services, LLC and Hawthorne Financial LLC.

In May 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investments and negligence involving non-traded REITs.  The customer claimed damages of $450,000.  The claim is currently pending.

Our firm has represented many clients in illiquid alternative investments products.  All of these investments come with high costs and have historically underperformed even safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds.  For example, products like oil and gas partnerships, REITs, and other alternative investments are only appropriate for a narrow band of investors under certain conditions due to the high costs, illiquidity, and huge redemption charges of the products, if they can be redeemed at all.  However, due to the high commissions brokers earn on these products they sell them to investors who cannot profit from them and have created a large market for a failed product.  Further, investor often fail to understand that they have lost money in these illiquid investments until many years after investing.  In sum, for all of their costs and risks, investors in these programs are in no way additionally compensated for the loss of liquidity, risks, or cost.

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Investors continue to suffer substantial losses from recommended investments in the Behringer Harvard REIT Funds.  The Behringer Harvard REIT Funds including the Behringer Harvard Mid-Term Value Enhancement I, Behringer Harvard Short-Term Opportunity Fund I, and the Behringer Harvard REIT I  and II (Behringer REITs) have sometimes been sold to investors as safe, stable, income producing real estate investment trusts.  While the Behringer REITs were initially sold to investors for $10 per share, currently some of these REITs trade as low as approximately $2.00 on the secondary market.  Worse still, some of the funds no longer pay a dividend or investors receive only a fraction of what their advisor initially told their clients they could expect the investment to yield.

The Behringer REITs are speculative securities, non-traded, and offered only through a Regulation D private placement.  Unlike traditional registered mutual funds or publicly traded REITs that have a published daily Net Asset Value (NAV) and trade on a national stock exchange, the Behringer REITs raised money through private placement offerings and are illiquid securities.  In recent years, increased volatility in stocks has led to an increasing number of advisor recommendations to invest in non-traded REITs as a way to invest in a stable income producing investment.  Some non-traded REITs have even claimed to offer stable returns while the real estate market has undergone extreme volatility.  Brokers are often motivated to sell non-traded REITs to clients due to the large commissions that can be earned in the selling the Behringer REITs.

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