Charles Fischer Has Customer Complaints Over Alternative Investments

shutterstock_190371500-300x200The investment attorneys of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Charles Fischer (Fischer) currently associated with IMS Securities, Inc. alleging negligence, misrepresentation, and unsuitable investments among other claims. According to BrokerCheck records Fischer has been subject to two customer complaints.  The complaints appear to involve alternative investments.

The most recent complaint against Fischer was filed in August 2016, and alleged $500,000 in damages due to claims pertaining to investments that were unsuitable based on the client’s risk tolerance, investment objectives, investment knowledge, time horizon, and liquidity needs. The complaint is currently pending.

In December 2014, a customer brought a complaint against Fischer alleging that he breached the duty of suitability.  The complaint involved securities such as annuities and non-traded REITs causing $240,000 in damages. The claim settled in November 2015 for $146,500.

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

Fischer entered the securities industry in 1983. From July 2002 until December 2003, Fischer was associated with Metropolitan Investment Securities, Inc. Since December 2003, Fischer has been associated with IMS Securities, Inc. out of the firm’s Eugene, Oregon office location.

The number of events listed on Fischer 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 due to claims of fraud and negligence.  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.

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