Advisor Steven Case (Case), currently employed by LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career. According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concerns alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have witnessed a spike in clients needing representations concerning these alternative investment programs that produce profits only for broker-dealers at the expense of their clients.
In May 2019 a customer complained that Case violated the securities laws by alleging poor investment advice concerning the purchase of three alternative investment products. The is currently pending.
In October 2012 a customer complained that Case violated the securities laws by alleging that Case made unsuitable investment recommendations in non-traded REITs. The claim was settled by the firm for $20,000.
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.
According to studies, non-traded REITs have historically have underperformed even safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds. Brokers selling these products must disclose to the investor that non-traded REITs provide lower investment returns than treasuries while being high risk and illiquid – but almost never do. Because investors are not compensated with additional return in exchange for higher risk and illiquidity, these kinds of alternative investment products are rarely, if ever, appropriate for investors. In addition, these products often continue to deceive investors for years through their control over their own prices, returning investor capital as a false distribution from operations, high fees on their redemption programs, and control of pertinent investor information. Investors often fail to understand that they have lost money until many years after agreeing to the investment in these products.
These types of alternative investment products have become so popular among brokers without providing any benefit to investors that many states now limit investors from investing more than 10% of their liquid assets in Non-Traded REITs and BDCs. Many states impose these limitations because no rational person can come up with an argument to support the continued sale of these products. Unfortunately for investors there is no regulatory authority in the United States with the ability to analyze investments in order to ban flawed investment products.
Case entered the securities industry in 1989. From January 2004 until March 2017 Case was registered with National Planning Corporation. From March 2017 until May 2019 Case was associated with FSC Securities Corporation. Finally, since May 2019 Case has been registered with LPL Financial out of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 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.