Articles Posted in REITs

shutterstock_103079882-300x239Previously, the securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP reported on the decline in value of Healthcare Trust, Inc. a non-traded real estate investment trust (Non-Traded REIT).  However, recent news reveals the health of Healthcare Trust may be in further decline.  A tender offer on Healthcare Trust shares was recently made at only $12.11 per share – a significant loss on the original purchase price of $25.00.  In more bad news for investors, the company lowered its annual distribution rate from $1.45 to $0.85 per share or a cut of over 40%.  Had the company continued to pay the higher dividends those payments would have exceeded the cash flows from operations.

According to the firm’s website, Healthcare Trust is an investment trust which seeks to acquire a diversified portfolio of real estate properties focusing primarily on healthcare-related assets including medical office buildings, seniors housing, and other healthcare-related facilities.

Our firm handles where brokers recommend investments in direct participation products (DPPs), private placements, Non-Traded REITs, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for middle class investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments providing perverse incentives for brokers to sell high risk and low reward investments.

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shutterstock_186471755-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investor losses in The Parking REIT (formerly known as the MVP REIT II) a non-traded real estate investment trust (Non-Traded REIT). According to the firm’s website, the REIT owns parking lots and claims that Americans own more than 253 million passenger vehicles and that an investment in the REIT provides benefits including, low operating and maintenance costs, potential for long-term capital appreciation, redevelopment opportunities, a fragmented Industry, and heavy demand.

However, the board of The Parking REIT announced that it would be suspending the company’s distributions.  The Board claims that the move is intended to focus on preserving capital in order to maintain sufficient liquidity to continue to operate the business and maintain compliance with debt covenants, including minimum liquidity covenants, and to seek to enhance the value of the company for stockholders through potential future acquisitions.  The elimination of dividends is never a good sign for a REIT.

Because The Parking REIT in non-traded there are no market pricing for the value of the securities. Secondary market sources for non-traded REITs are currently pricing the REIT at $12.17 per share based on a tender offer.  This is a far drop from the sale price of $25 per share when the REIT issued shares to investors.

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shutterstock_112866430-300x199Former IFS Securities, Inc. (IFS) and Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (Voya) broker James Flynn (Flynn) has been subject to at least ten customer complaints, two employment terminations for cause, three tax or civil judgment liens, and one bankruptcy proceeding.  According to a BrokerCheck report many of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In February 2017 Voya discharged Flynn accusing the broker of providing misleading information to the firm during a complaint investigation.  Despite numerous customer complaints and financial troubles IFS hired Flynn anyway only to also discharge him a year later in February 2018.  IFS claims that Flynn was terminated because he executed unauthorized trades.

In addition, Flynn was subject to large tax liens totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In April 2005 Flynn disclosed a tax lien of over $256,000.  Thereafter, Flynn declared bankruptcy in April 2013.  The fact that a broker cannot manage his own personal finances is material information for a client to consider.  In addition, the types of products clients have alleged were unsuitable are high commission products that may be recommended to generate high profits for the advisor at the expense of the client.

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shutterstock_64859686-300x300The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc. (Ausdal Financial) broker Gerald Repasz (Repasz). According to BrokerCheck records, Repasz has been subject to 5 customer disputes, one of which still pending. The majority of these investments concern the unsuitable recommendation of alternative investments.

Most recently, in October 2017, a customer alleged that Repasz placed customers into UDF III, UDF IV, and Behringer Harvard REIT investments which were unsuitable to the customer’s investment objectives. The customer is requesting $62,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In September 2016, a customer alleged that from 2005 to 2010, Repasz placed the customer in alternative investments that were unsuitable for the customer and misrepresented the material facts of the investments. The dispute was settled at $20,000. Continue Reading

shutterstock_172034843-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating claims against Next Financial Group Inc. (Next Financial) broker Stephen Williams (Williams). According to BrokerCheck records, Williams has been subject to six customer complaints, one of which is still pending. The majority of these claims involve the misrepresentation of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

Most recently, in February 2018, a customer alleged that Williams misrepresented the nature  of various non-traded REITs and didn’t properly disclose the high risk associated with private investments. The customer has requested damages of $350,000. This dispute is currently still pending.

In February 2018, a customer alleged that Williams recommended the customer to invest $50,000 in United Development Funding III (UDF lll) while misrepresenting and failing to disclose UDF III’s highly risky and illiquid nature.  The customer requested $50,000 for damages.

In August 2017, a customer alleged that Williams executed unsuitable sales of non-traded REITS in 2007. The dispute settled at $3,900.

In August 2017, a customer alleged that Williams executed unsuitable sales of five on-traded REITs prior to Williams registration at NEXT Financial Group, LLC. This case settled at $37,500. Continue Reading

shutterstock_159036452-257x300Former First Allied Securities, Inc. (First Allied) broker Sean Brady (Brady) has been subject to at least six customer complaints, one employment termination for cause, and one regulatory action resulting in a bar from the industry.  According to a BrokerCheck report many of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In October 2017 First Allied terminated Brady on allegations that he violated the firm’s policies pertaining to client falsification of signature on documents, text messaging, and consolidated account reports.  Thereafter, Brady was subject to a FINRA investigation concerning his sales practices.  FINRA found that Brady failed to provide the regulator with information and documents requested resulting in a automatic industry bar.

The most recent customer complaint alleges Brady misrepresented her net worth, made an unsuitable recommendation, and made misrepresentations and omissions with respect to her investment from 2017 causing $265,000.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_150746-300x199The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investor losses in American Realty Capital New York City REIT (ARC New York REIT) a non-traded real estate investment trust (Non-Traded REIT). According to the firm’s website, seeks to provide its investors with a combination of current income and capital appreciation through strategic investments in high-quality commercial real estate located within the five boroughs of New York City, particularly Manhattan.  The funds’ three primary objectives are stated as to preserve and protect capital, pay monthly stable cash distributions; and increase the value of assets in order to generate capital appreciation.

However, according to secondary market sources for non-traded REITs, shares of ARC New York REIT are currently listed for $11.02 per share a far drop from the sale price of $25 per share when the REIT issued shares to investors.

Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products (DPPs), private placements, Non-Traded REITs, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for middle class investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments providing perverse incentives for brokers to sell high risk and low reward investments.

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shutterstock_178801067-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investor losses in Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust (Benefit Street) a non-traded real estate investment trust (Non-Traded REIT).  Benefit Street was formerly known as Realty Finance Trust.  However, in September 2016 Realty Finance Trust appointed Benefit Street as its new advisor replacing AR Global Investments.

According to the firm’s website, Benefit Street originates, acquires, and manages a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate debt secured by properties located in the United States.   The funds manager is a leading credit-focused alternative asset management firm with over $20 billion of assets under management. The manager claims it has an experienced real estate team and lends against all commercial property types across the United States.  The REIT invests throughout the capital structure with a focus on generating attractive risk-adjusted returns.

However, according to secondary market sources for non-traded REITs, shares of Benefit Street are currently listed for $12.99 per share a far drop from the sale price of $25 per share.

Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products (DPPs), private placements, Non-Traded REITs, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for middle class investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments providing perverse incentives for brokers to sell high risk and low reward investments.

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shutterstock_168853424-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investor losses in Summit Healthcare REIT a non-traded real estate investment trust (Non-Traded REIT).  According to the firm’s website, Summit Healthcare REIT is headquartered in Lake Forest, California and its objective is to provide investors with a diversified, income-producing portfolio of assets in the healthcare sector. Summit Healthcare acquires, leases, and manages healthcare real estate and invests in the healthcare sector and diversifies by property type, location, and tenant.  Summit Healthcare REIT focuses on senior housing operators throughout the United States.  The types of facilities the REIT works on are assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities.

Recently, MacKenzie Realty Capital offered to purchase up to 330,000 shares of Summit Healthcare for only $1.34 per share – a significant loss on the original purchase price.

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shutterstock_54642700-300x200The investment fraud attorneys with Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Joseph Sterling (Sterling) currently associated with Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. (Geneos Wealth).  According to brokercheck records Sterling has been subject to three customer complaints.  Two of the most recent complaints involve his conduct concerning direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and potentially other alternative investments.

In August 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Sterling made unsuitable recommendations of real estate securities in 2012 and 2013 and other causes of action.  The customer alleges $290,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.  Another customer filed a complaint in July 2017 alleging that in 2013 and 2014, Sterling made unsuitable recommendations of real estate securities and other direct investments and other causes of action.  The claim alleged $500,000 in damages and 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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