Advisor Christopher Ortiz (Ortiz), currently employed by National Securities (National Securities) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career. According to a BrokerCheck report the complaints appear to concern unsuitable investments in private placements investments. These allegations may concern investments in GPB Capital Holdings (GPB Capital) related investments. National Securities is known to have approved their brokers to sell GPB Capital to their clients.
On February 4, 2021 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (DOJ), and seven states filed separate simultaneous actions against GPB Capital and other defendants connected to the firm accusing it of being a Ponzi-like scheme. In a press release the SEC stated that it “charged three individuals and their affiliated entities with running a Ponzi-like scheme that raised over $1.7 billion…”
As reported by Bloomberg “If proved, [GPB] would be one of the largest such schemes to target individual investors since the massive frauds of Bernard Madoff and Robert Allen Stanford came to light.” The DOJ indicted David Gentile, the founder of GPB, Jeffry Schneider, the owner and CEO of Ascendant Capital LLC, and Jeffrey Lash, a former managing partner of GPB relating to the fraud. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
New York Attorney General Letitia James accused GPB of “defrauding investors across the country out of more than $700 million through a Ponzi-like scheme that offered to pay investors generous monthly distributions they could never deliver.” Further, “Investors put in more than $1.8 billion into GPB funds but were left without a single cent of profit,” said Attorney General James. Investor funds are alleged to have been spent to subsidize expensive toys like private planes, Ferrari sports cars, and luxury travel for the three defendants.
What’s GPB Worth Now? “According to court papers, GPB claimed to manage just $239 million as of December, despite raising the $1.8 billion.” If true, this would reflect approximately 13% of investors’ total investments across all GPB funds.
Our law firm has represented over 150 investors in claims against broker-dealers for failing in their obligations to avoid selling clients Ponzi-scheme investments like GPB. Many of the claims made by regulators and law enforcement echo claims that our firms have been alleging on behalf of clients for nearly two years.
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
Ortiz entered the securities industry in 1997. Since January 2004 Ortiz has been registered with Naitonal Securities out of the firm’s Melville, New York office location.
In July 2020 a customer complained that Ortiz violated the securities laws by alleging that Ortiz made unsuitable investments recommendations in private placements. The claim alleged $350,000 in damages and is currently pending.
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.
 GPB Capital Founder and CEO Among Three Individuals Indicted in Private Equity Investment Fraud (available at: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/gpb-capital-founder-and-ceo-among-three-individuals-indicted-private-equity-investment)
 Attorney General James Sues Private Equity Fund Manager for Ponzi-Like Investment Scheme that Defrauded Investors Out of More Than $700 Million (available at: https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/2021/attorney-general-james-sues-private-equity-fund-manager-ponzi-investment-scheme)
 NY money manager charged in $1.8 billion Ponzi-like fraud, Reuters (available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/new-york-gpb-capital-lawsuit/update-2-ny-money-manager-charged-in-18-billion-ponzi-like-fraud-idUSL1N2KA1UV)