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shutterstock_89758564-300x200Current Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. (Geneos Wealth) broker Kenneth Ancell (Ancell) has been subject to two customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report many of the complaints concern alternative investments, private placements, and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).  Our firm has experience handling investor losses caused by these products.

In June 2017 customers filed a complaint alleging that in or around 2011, Ancell made unsuitable investment recommendations in REITs and alternative investments causing $744,038 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products, private placements, Non-Traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipement leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for middle class investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments providing perverse incentives for brokers to sell high risk and low reward investments.

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shutterstock_143685652-300x300The securities attorneys at Gana LLP are investigating potential claims against former Capital Securities Management Inc. broker Teryl Trenchard (Trenchard). According to Trenchard’s BrokerCheck records, he was identified in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigation on March 10, 2017. FINRA is examining alleged fraudulent activities of Trenchard.

Trenchard was terminated by Capital Securities Management on March 10, 2017 based upon the FINRA investigation for fraud.

In a pending customer complaint, it has been alleged that Trenchard engaged in misappropriation, forgery, fraud and unauthorized trading in unsuitable transactions between 2005 and 2017. The alleged damages are $1,800,000.

In another pending complaint, a customer is alleging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, conversion, and unsuitable investment recommendations. The customer is alleging damages of $700,000.

In 2000, a customer alleged that Trenchard made several unauthorized trades in her account. This complaint settled for $28,049.49.

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shutterstock_112866430-300x199According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Jay Shah (Shah) has been subject to five customer complaints.  Shah is currently registered with National Securities Corporation (National Securities).  In May 2017 a customer filed a complaint alleging a number of securities law violations including that the broker engaged in churning (excessive trading), material misrepresentations and omissions, and unsuitable recommendations, among other claims.  The claim alleged $213,085 in damages and is currently pending.

In August 2015 another customer complained that Shah rendered poor investment advice claiming $100,000 in damages.  The claim was closed.  In March 2012 another customer claimed that Shah engaged in unauthorized trading in the customer’s account  The claim was closed.

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shutterstock_160304408-300x199The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the regulatory action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Broker Tommy Mai (Mai).

According to Mai’s Brokercheck records, he has been sanctioned by FINRA because he allegedly “forged or caused to be forged customers’ signatures on various types of customer account documents including his member firm’s new account forms and non-firm insurance applications. In total, 53 customer account forms were forged, altered, or otherwise improperly signed (i.e., signed when partially completed or blank). The findings also stated that Mai paid to air a television program, on two Los Angeles Vietnamese-language television stations, appeared in every episode of the program and discussed a range of insurance and investment-related topics, without obtaining prior approval from the firm or FINRA prior to airing the program. In addition, the content of the program was, at times, misleading, promissory, and/or unbalanced.” Mai was suspended from FINRA for four months and fined $10,000.

The term “securities fraud” relates to inappropriate and illegal activities. Principally, it relates to investor deception and market maipulation. Fraud can sometimes include the unauthorized trading, false or misleading representations and of course, Ponzi schemes. Many laws protect investors.

shutterstock_57938968-200x300According to BrokerCheck records the CEO and Chief Compliance Officer of Firm Financial West, Gene Valentine (Valentine) has been subject to one customer complaint, three tax liens, and one regulatory action.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Valentine has been accused by FINRA of failing to have supervisory procedures for due diligence on private placement offerings.

FINRA alleged that from October 1, 2008, through June 30, 2015, Financial West’s written supervisory procedures failed to address the firm’s due diligence process for private placements. FINRA found that Financial West’s written supervisory procedures did not describe the process for approving private placement offerings and did not describe how or when to evaluate private placement offerings.  FINRA also found that the firm failed to consistently follow the written procedures that did exist such as failing to document the review as described in the procedures.

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shutterstock_171397469-300x228The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the regulatory action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against former Morgan Stanley broker Peter Doyle (Doyle).

According to BrokerCheck records, Doyle was terminated from Morgan Stanley in June 2016 for failing to adhere to industry rules and/or firm policies including with regard to the use of trading discretion. Doyle’s failure to appear for FINRA requested on-the-record testimony in connection with its investigation into the conduct that led to his termination led to his bar from the industry. Without admitting or denying the findings, Doyle consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear.

Before Doyle’s termination, Morgan Stanley was ordered by a FINRA arbitration panel to pay over $8 million in damages in a customer dispute concerning allegations that Doyle made unauthorized trades, failed to disclose fees, and engaged in the financial abuse of an elderly customer.

shutterstock_168853424-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating investor losses in Summit Healthcare REIT a non-traded real estate investment trust (Non-Traded REIT).  According to the firm’s website, Summit Healthcare REIT is headquartered in Lake Forest, California and its objective is to provide investors with a diversified, income-producing portfolio of assets in the healthcare sector. Summit Healthcare acquires, leases, and manages healthcare real estate and invests in the healthcare sector and diversifies by property type, location, and tenant.  Summit Healthcare REIT focuses on senior housing operators throughout the United States.  The types of facilities the REIT works on are assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities.

Recently, MacKenzie Realty Capital offered to purchase up to 330,000 shares of Summit Healthcare for only $1.34 per share – a significant loss on the original purchase price.

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shutterstock_39128059-300x174According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisors Clement Chichester (Chichester) and Brittney Sias (Sias), in October 2017, were terminated by their firm, Western International Securities, Inc. (Western International) based on allegations that they accepted a FINRA sanction.  Chichester and Sias were barred from the industry by FINRA after FINRA requested documents and information and they failed to provide FINRA with the requested documents and information after initially providing partial responses to a previous request in connection with FINRA’s investigation of their alleged receipt of funds from a customer of the firm.

At this time it is unclear the extent and scope of Chichester’s and Sias’ private securities activities.  Chichester CRD lists that he is engaged in insurance as an outside business activity.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.

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shutterstock_64859686-300x300The investment lawyers at Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints against Pennsylvania Broker/Investment Advisor Nadav Baum (Baum). According to BrokerCheck records, Baum has been subject to fourteen customer complaints and two regulatory sanctions. The customer complaints allege that Baum engaged in securities law violations, including making unsuitable investments in client’s accounts.

In March 2017, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities sanctioned Baum after he allegedly failed to comply with the terms of a supervisory agreement. He was ordered to cease and desist and to pay a fine of $6,000.

In August 2009, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctioned Baum following allegations he executed discretionary trades without written authorization in the account of a deceased customer and executed discretionary trades in other accounts without authorization. He was issued a 30-day suspension and a fine of $15,000.

shutterstock_20354401-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Patrick Maddren (Maddren) has been subject to two customer complaints and two tax liens.  Maddren is currently registered with WestPark Capital, Inc. (WestPark Capital).  In March 2016 a customer filed a complaint alleging a number of securities law violations including that the broker engaged in churning (excessive trading), material misrepresentations and omissions, unauthorized trading, unsuitable recommendations, and breach of contract among other claims.  The claim alleged $1,000,000 in damages and is now settled.

In 2012 several tax liens were filed against Maddren in amounts totaling over $300,000.  Large tax liens on a broker’s CRD can be a red flag that the broker may be influenced to engage in high commission activity in order to satisfy personal debts.  In addition, a broker’s inability to manage their own finances is relevant in a customer’s decision to use their services.

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