Articles Tagged with Concorde Investment Services

shutterstock_140321293-200x300Advisor Robert Lorente (Lorente), formerly employed by brokerage firm Aurora Securities (Aurora), has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like business development companies (BDCs), non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, and private placements.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented hundreds of investors who suffered losses caused by these types of high risk, low reward products.

In October 2023 a customer complained that Lorente violated the securities laws by alleging that Lorente made unsuitable investments on three REITs purchased in 2019 (February through April). The complaint alleges various claims including negligence, misrepresentation/omission, common law fraud, breach of contract and fiduciary duty. The claim involves a real estate security and alleges $250,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In April 2021 a customer complained that Lorente violated the securities laws by alleging that Lorente engaged in negligence, gross negligence, misrepresentations and omissions, breach of contract relating to investment made in July 2016. The claim involves a real estate security and alleged $35,000 in damages and settled for $12,000.

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.

Several studies have confirmed that Non-traded REITs underperform publicly traded REITs with some showing that Non-Traded REITs cannot even beat 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.

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shutterstock_102242143-300x169Advisor Marc Linsky (Linsky), currently employed by ProEquities, Inc. (ProEquities) has been subject to at least one customer complaint during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report one of the customer complaints appears to concern fraudulent GPB Capital Holdings (GPB Capital) related investments.

GPB Capital is facing multiple accusations of being a Ponzi scheme, an ongoing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FBI investigations, and even GPB’s chief compliance officier being indicted for illegally obtaining information on the SEC’s investigation.  Now even Volkswagen and Toyota are threatening to pull the plug on GPB Capital auto dealerships.  While advisors have been telling investors to do absolutely nothing and just hang in there – this is nothing more than just additional poor advice.  In November 2019 GPB Capital’s admitted that no financial audit would occur anytime in the near future.  The firm has admitted that it has never been profitable and has merely returned investor capital in the past in order to fake a successful business model.  In sum, investors now know there is nothing to hang onto.  By the day, advisor recommendations to do nothing appear to be completely self-serving, out of the loop, and not in the interest of the investor.

In January 2020 a customer complained that Linsky violated the securities laws by alleging that Linsky engaged in sales practice violations related to negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of Pennsylvania Securities Act, violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and breach of contract in relation to investment recommendation in GPB Auto made by representative in October of 2016.  The claim alleges $80,000 in damages and is currently pending.

Our firm has analyzed the GPB Capital offerings and believe that brokerage firms did not review GPB Capital offerings in any significant detail.  Any serious due diligence would have revealed that GPB Capital was a dubious offering destined to fail.  In complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) our clients have alleged that GPB Capital’s scam was highly predictable and easy to spot.  Nearly every aspect of the offering raised unanswerable questions from GPB Capital’s senior management, fantastical business claims, and intra-fund lending practices.

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shutterstock_24531604-200x300Our firm is investigating claims made by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) against broker Richard Cody (Cody) that involves potentially millions in either stolen client funds or misrepresentations concerning the state of their accounts.  Cody is a formerly associated broker with brokerage firms Westminster Financial Securities, Inc. (Westminster), Concorde Investment Services, LLC (Concorde Investment), and IFS Securities (IFS).  Cody conducted his business through his advisory firm Boston Investment Partners.  According to brokercheck, Cody has been subject to three regulatory events, two investigations, and 15 customer disputes among other disclosures.

The SEC’s complaint lays out an astonishing scheme to defraud investors.  The SEC alleged that Cody would tell retired clients that their accounts were flourishing and making money when in fact they were dwindling to near-zero balances.  The SEC tells the tale of three clients who were lied to by Cody about their rapidly depleting retirement accounts through monthly deductions that were unsustainable.

Further, to make the scheme work Cody fabricated account statements, told clients they were withdrawing investment gains rather than depleting their principal, and sent a doctored document to indicate that a financial firm was holding an annuity on behalf of one client.  Cody’s conduct occurred over a 12 year period in which Cody was registered as a broker with five different independent firms.

shutterstock_176534375-300x198Our securities fraud attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Michael Siegel (Siegel) formerly associated with National Securities Corporation – d/b/a HudsonPoint Capital – alleging Siegel engaged in a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and churning (excessive trading) among other claims.  The claim filed in July 2016 seeks $2,016,064 in damages.

Thereafter, FINRA barred Siegel from the securities industry alleging that the broker failed to respond to the regulator’s requests for documents and information.

When brokers engage in excessive trading, sometimes referred to as churning, the broker will typical trade in and out of securities, sometimes even the same stock, many times over a short period of time.  Often times the account will completely “turnover” every month with different securities.  This type of investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is engaged in only to profit the broker through the generation of commissions created by the trades.  Churning is considered a species of securities fraud.  The elements of the claim are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions.  A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements.  Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim.  These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.

shutterstock_177577832According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Mark Kosanke (Kosanke) has been the subject of at least two customer complaints. The customer complaints against Kosanke allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments and misrepresentations and false statements among other claims. The securities involved in the customer disputes are tenants-in-common (TICs).

Kosanke entered the securities industry in 1994. From 2000, until July 2006, Kosanke was registered with Questar Capital Corporation. From July 2006, until August 2010, Kosanke was associated with Professional Asset Management, Inc. Thereafter, from August 2010, Kosanke was registered with brokerage firm Concorde Investment Services, LLC.

As a background, TICs largely been sold unfairly as tax advantaged products that allow customers to defer capital gains taxes on appreciated real estate. TICs are private placements that have no secondary trading market and are therefore illiquid investments. In a typical TIC, the investor receives a fractional interest in the property along with other stakeholders and the profits are generated mostly through the efforts of the sponsor and the management company that manages and leases the property. The sponsor typically structures the TIC investment with up-front fees and expenses charged to the TIC and negotiates the sale price and loan for the acquired property. Because these fees are often higher than 15%, there is often no way for the investment to be profitable for the investor.

shutterstock_178801082According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Robert “Rusty” Tweed (Tweed) has been the subject of at least 8 customer complaints and one termination from a brokerage firm for cause. The customer complaints against Tweed allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations and false statements, and securities fraud, among other claims. The securities involved in the customer disputes include private placements, tenants-in-common (TICs), and variable annuities.

Tweed entered the securities industry in 1993. From February 2005, until February 2007, Tweed was registered with United Securities Alliance, Inc. From February 2007, until October 2010, Tweed was associated with CapWest Securities, Inc. (CapWest) Thereafter, from August 2010, until April 2011, Tweed was registered with brokerage firm MAM Securities, LLC. Tweed went back to CapWest from April 2011, until August 2011. Finally, Tweed has been registered with Concorde Investment Services, LLC since August 2011.

In addition to Tweed’s registrations, his BrokerCheck records reveal a number of other business ventures that Tweed is involved with including Tweed Financial Services, the Exeter Group LLC, Athenian Fund, LLC, Waterloo LLC, TFS Properties, Inc., Starpoint Energy, LLC, Tweed Marketing Services, LLC, and Tax Guard 1031.

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