Centaurus Financial Broker Cheryl Kitashima Accused of Selling Unsuitable Alternative Investments

shutterstock_174858983Our investment attorneys are interested in speaking with investors who may have been sold inappropriate alternative investments by Cheryl Kitashima (Kitashima).  Customers have filed complaints with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Kitashima alleging unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, common law fraud, and misrepresentations among other claims.  According to brokercheck records Kitashima has been subject to five customer complaints.  Some of the complaints involve direct participation products (DPPs), variable annuities, oil and gas investments, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), and other alternative investments.

Our firm has represented many clients in these types of 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.

Kitashima entered the securities industry in 1981.  Since June 2005 Kitashima has been registered with Centaurus Financial, Inc. out of the firm’s Bellevue, Washington office location.

The number of events listed on Kitashima brokercheck is high relative to his peers.  According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records.  Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints.  In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters.  However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck.  More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

Gana Weinstein LLP’s securities fraud attorneys represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts.  Our firm has experience brining cases against firms for inappropriate alternative investment recommendations.  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.