Advisor Kenneth Barroga (Barroga), currently employed by Crown Capital Securities, L.P. (Crown Capital) has been subject to at least five customer complaints during the course of his career. According to a BrokerCheck report most of these customer complaints appears to concern unsuitable investments in alternative investments. These allegations may also concern investments in GPB Capital Holdings (GPB Capital) related investments. Crown Capital is known to have approved their brokers to sell GPB Capital to their clients.
GPB Capital is facing multiple accusations of being a Ponzi scheme, an ongoing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FBI investigations, and even GPB’s chief compliance officer being indicted for illegally obtaining information on the SEC’s investigation. Now even Volkswagen and Toyota are threatening to pull the plug on GPB Capital auto dealerships. While advisors have been telling investors to do absolutely nothing and just hang in there – this is nothing more than just additional poor advice. In November 2019 GPB Capital’s admitted that no financial audit would occur anytime in the near future. The firm has admitted that it has never been profitable and has merely returned investor capital in the past in order to fake a successful business model. In sum, investors now know there is nothing to hang onto. By the day, advisor recommendations to do nothing appear to be completely self-serving, out of the loop, and not in the interest of the investor.
In June 2020 a customer complained that Barroga violated the securities laws by alleging that Barroga engaged in sales practice violations related to lack of suitability, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and omissions of material facts and lack of due diligence in connection with transactions in alternative investment products. The claim alleges $180,000 in damages and is currently pending.
In November 2018 a customer complained that Barroga violated the securities laws by alleging that Barroga engaged in sales practice violations related to misrepresentations concerning REITs and unsuitable investments in alternative investments. The claim alleges $250,000 in damages and resolved for $160,097.69 with another party settling for $40,000.
Our firm has analyzed the GPB Capital offerings and believe that brokerage firms did not review GPB Capital offerings in any significant detail. Any serious due diligence would have revealed that GPB Capital was a dubious offering destined to fail. In complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) our clients have alleged that GPB Capital’s scam was highly predictable and easy to spot. Nearly every aspect of the offering raised unanswerable questions from GPB Capital’s senior management, fantastical business claims, and intra-fund lending practices.
GPB Capital Holding’s funds include:
GPB Cold Storage
GPB Automotive Fund
GPB Automotive Income
GPB Holdings II and III
GPB Waste Management
GPB NY Development
DDPs include products such as non-traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments. These alternative investments virtually never profit investors and are almost always unsuitable for investors because of their high fee and cost structure. Brokers selling these products are paid additional commission in order to hype these inferior quality investments providing a perverse incentives to create an artificial market for the investments.
Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client after conducting due diligence. Due diligence includes an investigation into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, issuer, history, and other relevant factors. Appropriate due diligence would identify that an alternative investment’s high costs, illiquidity, and conflicts of interests that would make the investment not suitable for investors. Investors often fail to understand that they have lost money until many years after agreeing to the investment. 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.
Barroga entered the securities industry in 1992. Since July 2011 Barroga has been registered with Crown Capital out of the firm’s Watsonville, California office location.
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.