Broker Spotlight: LPL Financial Advisor Susan Moore

shutterstock_1832895The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Susan Moore (Moore). According to BrokerCheck records Moore has been the subject of at least four customer complaints. The customer complaints against Moore allege securities law violations that including unsuitable investments and misrepresentations among other claims.   Many of the most recent claims involve allegations concerning non traded real estate investment trusts (Non-Traded REITs).

As a background since the mid-2000s Non-Traded REITs became one of Wall Street’s hottest products. However, the failure of Non-Traded REITs to perform as well as their publicly traded counterparts has called into question if Non-Traded REITs should be sold at all and if so should there be a limit on the amount a broker can recommend. See Controversy Over Non-Traded REITs: Should These Products Be Sold to Investors? Part I

Non-Traded REITs are securities that invest in different types of real estate assets such as commercial, residential, or other specialty niche real estate markets such as strip malls, hotels, storage, and other industries. Non-traded REITs are sold only through broker-dealers, are illiquid, have no or limited secondary market and redemption options, and can only be liquidated on terms dictated by the issuer, which may be changed at any time and without prior warning.

Investors are also often ignorant to several other facts that would warn against investing in Non-Traded REITs. First, only 85% to 90% of investor funds actually go towards investment purposes. In other words, investors have lost up to 15% of their investment to fees and costs on day one in a Non-Traded REIT. Second, often times part or almost all of the distributions that investors receive from Non-Traded REITs include a return of capital and not actual revenue generated from the properties owned by the REIT. The return of capital distributions reduces the ability of the REIT to generate income and/or increases the investment’s debt or leverage.

Yet, despite the significant risks and draw backs to these products, according to the Wall Street Journal, in 2009 there were approximately $6 billion in Non-Traded REITs sold. Today, there was $4.2 billion raised in the first quarter of 2015 alone, a pace that could see the amount of Non-Traded REITs nearly triple since 2009 alone. However, recently Non-Traded REIT sales have come crashing to a halt as the largest Non-Traded REIT company, AR Capital went bankrupt and stopped new offerings.

Moore entered the securities industry in 1983. Since 2006 Moore has been registered with LPL Financial LLC out of the firm’s Alexander City, Alabama office location.

The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.