Justia Lawyer Rating for Adam Julien Gana
Super Lawyers
The National Trial Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell
AVVO
BBB Accredited Business

shutterstock_143685652-300x300Our firm represents multiple clients who have collectively lost millions in the sale of fraudulent GPB Capital Holdings (GPB Capital) related investments.  Our firm has analyzed the GPB Capital offerings and believe that brokerage firms did not review these offerings in any significant detail.  Any serious due diligence would have revealed that GPB Capital was an investment fraud scheme.

Advisor Luke Johnson (Johnson), according to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), has been accused of selling GPB Capital.  Johnson is currently registered with member firm Coastal Equities, Inc. (Coastal Equities).  In addition, Johnson disclosed seven total customer complaints. If you have been a victim of Johnson’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

Our firm’s investigation has found that brokerage firms failed to conduct due diligence and investigate multiple aspects of GPB Capital’s business including its senior management, fantastical business claims, and intra-fund lending practices.  For instance, with respect to GPB Capital’s senior management the company was founded by David Gentile (Gentile).  Had brokerage firms investigated GPB Capital’s senior manager it would have found that prior to founding GPB Capital, Gentile’s experience was as a CPA and company advisor with the accounting practice his family ran at Gentile Pismeny & Brengel, LLP (GP&B) in New York.  Nonetheless, GPB’s PPMs claimed expertise in these areas.   GPB Holdings II, LP, PPM, pg. 9 (Apr. 13, 2015) (“GPB’s senior management have a great deal of experience investing in the Automotive Retail, Managed IT Services and Life Sciences sectors.”).

Continue Reading

shutterstock_176283941-300x200Advisor Steven Case (Case), currently employed by LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concerns alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have witnessed a spike in clients needing representations concerning these alternative investment programs that produce profits only for broker-dealers at the expense of their clients.

 

In May 2019 a customer complained that Case violated the securities laws by alleging poor investment advice concerning the purchase of three alternative investment products. The is currently pending.

 

In October 2012 a customer complained that Case violated the securities laws by alleging that Case made unsuitable investment recommendations in non-traded REITs. The claim was settled by the firm for $20,000.

 

DDPs include products such as non-traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These alternative investments virtually never profit investors and are almost always unsuitable for investors because of their high fee and cost structure.  Brokers selling these products are paid additional commission in order to hype these inferior quality investments providing a perverse incentives to create an artificial market for the investments. Continue Reading

shutterstock_112866430-300x199The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Timothy Johnson (Johnson) was discharged by his employer after being accused of diverting client funds.  According to BrokerCheck records, Johnson is formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm MML Investors Services, LLC (MML).  In addition, Johnson disclosed one regulatory complaint. If you have been a victim of Johnson’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

In July 2019 MML discharged Johnson after alleging that he was terminated in connection with an investigation into the registered representative’s diversion of customer funds for his own use.

In September 2019 FINRA filed a regulatory action alleging that Johnson consented to the sanction and findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation into the allegations made concerning his termination.  FINRA’s suspension will automatically become a bar if Johnson fails to respond.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_188874428-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Christopher Watkins (Watkins), currently employed by Silver Oak Securities, Incorporated (Silver Oak Securities) has been subject to at least one employment termination for cause and one customer complaint during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Watkins’ customer complaint alleges that Watkin recommended unsuitable investments among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In November 2018 Watkins’ then employer, LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial), discharged Watkins claiming that he facilitated the distribution of advisory fee monies to an unregistered person.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Watkins violated the securities laws by alleging violations of the securities laws including unsuitable investments involving REITs and energy investments. The claim alleges $115,000 in damages and is currently pending.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_120556300-300x300The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Michael Carter (Carter) was discharged by his employer after being accused of misappropriating client funds.  According to BrokerCheck records, Carter is formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm Morgan Stanley.  In addition, Carter disclosed three customer complaints related to misappropriating funds. If you have been a victim of Carter’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

In July 2019 Morgan Stanley discharged Carter after alleging that he was terminated after allegations of misappropriation of funds occurred.

In September 2019 FINRA filed a regulatory action alleging that Carter consented to the sanction and findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation after FINRA received a tip relating to allegations of misconduct made by Morgan Stanley.

Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in receiving loans from clients or selling fraudulent securities sales through OBAs.  The sale of unapproved investment products – is a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – a serious violation of the securities laws.  In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm.  Sometimes those investments have some legitimacy but often times these types of investments can end up being Ponzi schemes or the advisor can be engaging in the conversion of funds.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_21147109-300x234The investment fraud lawyers at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating reports and accusations that health start-up uBiome routinely billed patients multiple times without consent and pressured doctors to approve tests.  According to a CNBC report in May 2019, the FBI raided the company’s offices its co-CEOs and founders Jessica Richman and Zac Apte went on administrative leave.  Our firm is analyzing private placement offerings by uBiome and believe that brokerage firms that sold this investment may have done so unsuitably and otherwise failed to conduct due diligence would have revealed problems with the company.

The company’s product, the SmartGut test, promised users to provide new insights into the bacterial makeup so that they can make improvements to their health. However, according to users and CNBC report when patients one one test uBiome sends multiple kits in the mail.  uBiome then charges insurance companies for these tests which are reported to be up to $2,970 per test. According to CNBC’s investigation uBiome was routinely billing patients multiple times without their consent causing insurance plans to start rejecting claims. In addition, uBiome has been accused of pressuring doctors to approve tests with minimal oversight.

It is possible that uBiome sought to over bill in order to increase the valuation of the company to investors.  uBiome was founded in 2012.  The company raised more than $100 million in venture funding and was valued at about $300 million at its most recent round of financing last September.  The company reported used used billable samples, rather than reimbursement rates, as the key growth metric for the company and routinely shared these figures with investors.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_130706948-300x199According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Peter Monson (Monson), currently associated with Van Clemens & Co. Incorporated (Van Clemens), has been subject to a regulatory investigation by FINRA.  The focus of the regulatory investigation is for potential violations of NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b) – Authorization and Acceptance of Account, FINRA Rules 2111 – Suitability, and 2010 – Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade.  This investigation appears to be related to a regulator action FINRA took against his firm Van Clemens concerning allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning or excessive trading.

FINRA alleged that Van Clemens, from June 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system reasonably designed to ensure that the firm reviewed transactions in customer accounts for potentially unsuitable excessive trading in order to achieve compliance with FINRA’s suitability rule.  FINRA found that the firm’s procedures did not directly address quantitative suitability and, as such, did not set forth a process or identify personnel responsible for reviewing customer accounts for potentially excessive trading.

Accordingly, FINRA determined that Van Clemens did not instruct its supervisors to review account activity for potential excessive trading nor did it train its supervisors to do so.  In addition, FINRA found that the firm lacked the necessary tools to even make a determination that excessive trading occurred such as reports for turnover rates or cost-to-equity ratios.  FINRA found that a registered representative referred to by the initials “PM”, believed to be Monson, recommended transactions to a firm customer that resulted in the customer’s account having an annualized turnover rate above 9.0 and an annualized cost-equity ratio of 32.3%.  FINRA found this activity was excessive, given the customer’s investment objectives and financial situation, and coincided with losses in the account of more than $100,000 during the 13-month period

Continue Reading

shutterstock_168478292-300x222Our firm represents multiple clients who have collectively lost millions in the sale of fraudulent GPB Capital Holdings (GPB Capital) related investments.  Our firm has analyzed the GPB Capital offerings and believe that brokerage firms did not review these offerings in any significant detail.  Any serious due diligence would have revealed that GPB Capital was an investment fraud scheme.

Advisor Robert Smith (Smith), according to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), has been accused of selling GPB Capital.  Smith is currently registered with member firm Concorde Investment Services, LLC (Concorde Investment).  In addition, Smith disclosed four total customer complaints. If you have been a victim of Smith’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

Our firm’s investigation has found that brokerage firms failed to conduct due diligence and investigate multiple aspects of GPB Capital’s business including its senior management, fantastical business claims, and intra-fund lending practices.  For instance, with respect to GPB Capital’s senior management the company was founded by David Gentile (Gentile).  Had brokerage firms investigated GPB Capital’s senior manager it would have found that prior to founding GPB Capital, Gentile’s experience was as a CPA and company advisor with the accounting practice his family ran at Gentile Pismeny & Brengel, LLP (GP&B) in New York.  Nonetheless, GPB’s PPMs claimed expertise in these areas.   GPB Holdings II, LP, PPM, pg. 9 (Apr. 13, 2015) (“GPB’s senior management have a great deal of experience investing in the Automotive Retail, Managed IT Services and Life Sciences sectors.”).

Continue Reading

shutterstock_188383739-300x300The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Bobby Coburn (Coburn) engaged in undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs) and private securities transactions that were not approved by the brokerage firm.  Coburn, formerly registered with Securities America, Inc. (Securities America) was subject to a regulatory investigation and barred form the industry according to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  In addition, Coburn disclosed one employment termaintion for cause and two customer complaints.

In August 2019, FINRA alleged that Coburn accepted a bar from the financial industry, after consenting to sanctions and to the entry of findings that he refused to provide FINRA with requested information and documents. FINRA stated that Coburn’s member firm had terminated his association and stated on his Form U5 that he was involved in the solicitation of multiple clients to invest in an unapproved private securities transaction and engaged in the settlement of a related customer’s complaint without the firm’s knowledge or consent.

In March 2019 Securities America discharged Coburn and accused him of misconduct.

At this time it is unclear what the activity was that was the focus of FINRA’s investigation or the scope of Coburn’s activities.  Coburn’s publicly available BrokerCheck information discloses one OBA called Born to Retire which appears to be an insurance sales business.  It is unknown whether the activity investigated by FINRA involves any of these entities.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_76996033-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor David Rockwell (Rockwell) was discharged by his employer after being accused of misappropriating client funds.  According to BrokerCheck records, Rockwell is formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (Cetera).  In addition, Rockwell disclosed two customer complaints related to misappropriating funds. If you have been a victim of Rockwell’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

Rockwell also discloses multiple criminal events, firm terminations, and one regulatory event.  In May 2013 Rockwell discloses a guilty plea for assault and battery along with operating while intoxicated.  Then in November 2018 Rockwell was accused of aggravated stalking.

In July 2015 the State of Florida accused Rockwell of making material false statement on the application for registration and denied his securities registration in the state.

In June 2019 a customer complained that Rockwell violated the securities laws by alleging that Rockwell misappropriated money from his investment accounts to invest in a private security related to a company owned by Rockwell. The claim alleges $500,000 in damages and settled for $215,000.

In July 2019 a customer complained that Rockwell violated the securities laws by alleging that Rockwell was involved in forgery and fraud regarding their accounts.  The claim alleges $700,000 in damages and is currently pending.

Continue Reading