IMS Securities Broker Beth Debouvre a/k/a Beth Bunnell Has Complaints Over Alternative Investments

shutterstock_36343294-300x225Customers have filed complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against IMS Securities, Inc. (IMS) broker Beth Debouvre – a/k/a Beth Bunnell (Debouvre).  The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investing the allegations against Debouvre including unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentations among other claims.  According to brokercheck records Debouvre has been subject to three customer complaints.  Many of the complaints involve direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), equipment leasing funds – such as LEAF or ICON, and other alternative investments.  According to Debouvre’s disclosures she conducts business under the d/b/a Grosse Point Financial Services, LLC and Hawthorne Financial LLC.

In May 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investments and negligence involving non-traded REITs.  The customer claimed damages of $450,000.  The claim 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.

Debouvre entered the securities industry in 1999.  Since November 2003 Debouvre has been associated with IMS Securities out of the firm’s Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan office location.

The number of events listed on Debouvre brokercheck is high relative to her  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.