Articles Tagged with Crown Capital Securities

shutterstock_103610648-300x212Advisor Frederick Atiyeh (Atiyeh), currently employed by brokerage firm Crown Capital Securities, L.P. (Crown Capital) has been subject to at least four disclosures and customer complaints.  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, annuities, 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 and have recovered in excess of $50 million in investor losses.

In August 2021 a customer complained that Atiyeh violated the securities laws by alleging that Atiyeh made misrepresentation of the risk factors in regards to the purchase of several alternative investments.  The claim is currently pending and the investor seeks $50,000 in damages.

In February 2021 a customer complained that Atiyeh violated the securities laws by alleging that Atiyeh engaged in a lack of proper due diligence, lack of suitability and over concentration in regards to investments in alternative and variable annuity products.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_1081038-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that former broker Martin Batstone (Batstone), barred from acting as a broker from FINRA, has been subject to at least six customer complaints and two regulatory actions during the course of his career. Batstone was most recently associated with Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge). According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Batstone’s customer complaints alleges that Batstone recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations involving private securities, annuities, mutual funds, and REITs, among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In October 2019, FINRA filed a regulatory action finding that Batstone consented to sanctions. Batstone was a respondent in a FINRA complaint. The complaint alleged that Batstone willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5(a)-(c), and FINRA Rule 2010, by transferring client funds into his personal bank accounts. FINRA has barred Batstone from acting as a broker or otherwise being associated with a broker-dealer firm, starting February 2020.

In October 2017, a customer complained that Batstone violated the securities laws by alleging that Batstone engaged in unsuitable investment advice, due to the purchase of two annuities unsuitable for the client based on her risk tolerance.  The claim settled in the amount of $5,000.

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shutterstock_85873471-300x200Advisor Kenneth Barroga (Barroga), currently employed by Crown Capital Securities, L.P. (Crown Capital) has been subject to at least five customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report most of these customer complaints appears to concern unsuitable investments in alternative investments.  These allegations may also concern investments in GPB Capital Holdings (GPB Capital) related investments.  Crown Capital is known to have approved their brokers to sell GPB Capital to their clients.

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 officer 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 June 2020 a customer complained that Barroga violated the securities laws by alleging that Barroga engaged in sales practice violations related to lack of suitability, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and omissions of material facts and lack of due diligence in connection with transactions in alternative investment products. The claim alleges $180,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Barroga violated the securities laws by alleging that Barroga engaged in sales practice violations related to misrepresentations concerning REITs and unsuitable investments in alternative investments.  The claim alleges $250,000 in damages and resolved for $160,097.69 with another party settling for $40,000.

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shutterstock_20354398-300x200Advisor Thomas Burns (Burns), formerly employed by Crown Capital Securities, L.P. (Crown Capital) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints and two regulatory actions.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In February 2019 FINRA settled a regulatory dispute with Burns where Burns consented to sanctions and an entry of findings that he negligently made numerous mistakes causing errors and inaccuracies in identifying customer assets on alternative investment forms causing his firm to have inaccurate books and records. For instance, FINRA found that Burns mistakenly double counted assets held away from his firm in direct pension benefit plans by placing the individual holdings in their individual categories and by counting them again in the other assets category. FINRA found that Burns made computational errors in adding up holdings when calculating net worth.  In addition, FINRA alleged that Burns erroneously understated the amount of existing alternative investment holdings by either unintentionally understating the value of existing tenants in common or rental holdings or by misclassifying those existing holdings as personal real estate, instead of as alternative investments.

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shutterstock_173509961According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Kenneth McDonald (McDonald) has been the subject of at least three customer complaints and one regulatory action. Customers have filed complaints against McDonald alleging a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, misrepresentations and false statements in connection with recommendations to invest in private placements such as tenants-in-common (TICs) interests.

McDonald was a registered representative with Crown Capital Securities, L.P. from June 2003 through February 2013. Thereafter, McDonald has been registered with Newport Coast Securities, Inc.

TIC investments have come under fire by many investors. Indeed, due to the failure of the TIC investment strategy as a whole across the securities industry, TIC investments have virtually disappeared as offered investments.   According to InvestmentNews “At the height of the TIC market in 2006, 71 sponsors raised $3.65 billion in equity from TICs and DSTs…TICs now are all but extinct because of the fallout from the credit crisis.” In fact, TICs recommendations have been a major contributor to bankrupting brokerage firms. For example, 43 of the 92 broker-dealers that sold TICs sponsored by DBSI Inc., a company whose executives were later charged with running a Ponzi scheme, a staggering 47% of firms that sold DBSI are no longer in business.

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