Articles Tagged with alternative investments

shutterstock_177792281-300x198The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. (Woodbury Financial) broker Richard Ginsberg (Ginsberg). According to BrokerCheck Records kept by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Ginsberg has been subject to two pending customer disputes concerning unsuitable alternative investments.

Most recently, in December 2017, Ginsberg was subject to a customer complaint in which the customer alleged that Ginsberg had placed the customer in unsuitable investments. This dispute is currently still pending.

In addition, in November 2017, a customer alleged that Ginsberg had placed the customer in unsuitable Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). The REITs were unsuitable for the customer in terms of the customer’s investment objectives and risk tolerance. The customer has requested $1,000,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

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shutterstock_189302954-300x203The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Securities America, Inc. (Securities America) broker Randy Schneider (Schneider). According to BrokerCheck Records kept by the Financial Industry Regulative Authority (FINRA), Schneider has been subject to nine customer disputes. The majority of these customer disputes revolve around the unsuitable recommendation of alternative investments, annuities and REITs.

Most recently, in February 2015, a customer alleged that Schneider stole and misappropriated funds in the customer account and also misrepresented the nature of the AXA annuities by providing misleading information. The customer requested $160,000 in damages.

In June 2013, a customer alleged that from November 2007 to June 2008, Shneider misrepresented the nature of certain alternative investments that were unsuitable for the customer. The case was settled at $250,000.

In September 2011, a customer alleged that Schneider unsuitably recommended an alternative investment and misrepresented the facts of the investment. This dispute was settled at $38,750.

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shutterstock_66745735-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) broker Michael Morrissett (Morrissett). According to BrokerCheck Records kept by the Financial Industry Regulative Authority, Morrissett has been subject to 4 disputes, one of which is still pending. The majority of these concern unsuitable alternative investments.

Most recently, in April 2018, a customer alleged that from 2013 to 2015, Morrissett misrepresented two hedge funds by providing misleading information to the customer about the suitability of the funds, when in fact the hedge funds were unsuitable to the customer’s investment objectives. The customer has requested $2,300,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

in January 2014, a customer alleged that in 2000, Morrissett placed the customer into an unsuitable investment strategy that made the customer suffer vast losses in the global financial crisis. The case settled for $85,000.

shutterstock_63635611-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating NEXT Financial Group, Inc. (Next Financial) broker Stephen Dellelo (Dellelo).

According to BrokerCheck records, Dellelo is subject to one pending customer complaint concerning unsuitable placements in illiquid investments.

 

In November 2017, a customer alleged that from 2007 to 2017, Dellelo placed the customer into private and illiquid investments that were unsuitable to the customer and resulted in losses of $900,000. This dispute is currently still pending.

shutterstock_188141822-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating claims against CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CUNA Brokerage) broker Matthew Paolucci (Paolucci). According to BrokerCheck records, Paolucci has been subject to three customer complaints, one of which is still pending. The majority of these complaints concern recommendations of unsuitable investments.

Most recently, in September 2017, a customer alleged that from 2008 to 2015, Paolucci recommended unsuitable investments from a wide range of securities. The customer has requested $200,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.

In July 2016, a customer alleged that in 2012, Paolucci recommended unsuitable recommendations in oil and gas securities. The customer requested $18,829.27 in damages.

shutterstock_140186524-300x298The investment lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating the regulatory action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against George Oldoerp (Oldoerp).  According to BrokerCheck records, Oldoerp was suspended by FINRA in May 2018. In addition, Oldoerp has been subject to one pending customer complaint and a tax lien.

In November 2017, a customer alleged that from August 2003 to November 2017, Oldoerp recommended the customer to invest in illiquid securities in oil and gas, equipment leasing, Business Development Companies(BDCs), and non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which were unsuitable investments for the customer. The customer is requesting $500,000 in damages. This complaint is currently still pending.

In April 2018, Oldoerp refused to respond to information requested by FINRA regarding the pending customer dispute. Thus, Oldoerp is undergoing suspension indefinitely until he requests termination of the suspension. If he does not respond by July 16 to FINRA’s Notice of Suspension, he will automatically be barred from the industry.

shutterstock_172034843-300x200The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating claims against Next Financial Group Inc. (Next Financial) broker Stephen Williams (Williams). According to BrokerCheck records, Williams has been subject to six customer complaints, one of which is still pending. The majority of these claims involve the misrepresentation of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

Most recently, in February 2018, a customer alleged that Williams misrepresented the nature  of various non-traded REITs and didn’t properly disclose the high risk associated with private investments. The customer has requested damages of $350,000. This dispute is currently still pending.

In February 2018, a customer alleged that Williams recommended the customer to invest $50,000 in United Development Funding III (UDF lll) while misrepresenting and failing to disclose UDF III’s highly risky and illiquid nature.  The customer requested $50,000 for damages.

shutterstock_78835723-300x198The investment fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating regulatory complaints of broker Thomas Edward Gackle (Gackle). According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Thomas Edward Gackle was permanently barred in July 2016 from the securities industry for failing to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation. In addition, the broker has been subject to at least one customer complaint and one employment separation for cause among other claims. The customer complaint against Gackle involve direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).

In April 2015, a customer filed a complaint alleging that the amount of income ($100,000.00) stated on the suitability form was invalid and an investment purchased March 2015 caused $1,000,000.00 in damages. This complaint is currently pending.

This customer complaint resulted in Gackle to resign from his position at Lowell & Company in April 2015. This was based on allegations of failure to disclose material levents prior to association with Lowell & Company, which was an order issued by the Kansas Bar for the indefinite suspension from practicing law in the state of Kansas. Gackle’s resignation preceded FINRA’s sanctions, barring him from securities industry.

shutterstock_182053859-300x200Our investment attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Michael Spears (Spears) currently associated with IMS Securities, Inc. alleging negligence, failure to supervise, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty among other claims. According to BrokerCheck records Spears has been subject to two customer complaints involving direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), and other alternative investments.

The most recent claim was filed in August 2016 and alleges that, while Spears was employed at IMS Securities, acted negligently, misrepresented material facts, failed to supervise, and breached his fiduciary duty in connection to non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) causing damages of $1,667,000. The claim is currently pending.

In July 2016, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Spears breached his fiduciary duty, over-concentrated investments, and failed to supervise in correlation to real estate products and variable annuity investments causing $3,000,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

shutterstock_178801067Our investment attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Paul Neves (Neves) currently associated with Securities America, Inc. (Securities America) alleging unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, common law fraud, and elder abuse among other claims.  According to brokercheck records Neves has been subject to five 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.

In November 2015 a customer filed a complaint alleging unsuitable investments and elder abuse.  The customer claimed damages of $800,000.  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.