Our investment attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Bryon Martinsen (Martinsen) currently associated with Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus) alleging unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations, and fraud among other claims. According to brokercheck records Martinsen has been subject to five customer complaints, one judgment or lien, and one employment termination for cause. Many of the complaints involve direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other alternative investments.
Our firm has experience representing investment fraud victims with these investments against Centaurus. See Gana LLP Wins Arbitration Award On Behalf of Client Against Centaurus Financial. In that case, the Claimant alleged that the broker involved invested over $2,000,000 in exclusively high cost products and 50% of those investments were in alternative investments such as private placements, oil and gas partnerships, and REITs. The other 50% was invested in variable and equity-indexed annuities. Award Can Be Found Here.
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.