Articles Tagged with DBSI

shutterstock_20354398The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP is investigating a series of complaints against broker William Sheehan (Sheehan). According to Sheehan’s BrokerCheck records the broker has been the subject of 7 investor complaints since 2010. That many claims against one broker is rare. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Thus the number of brokers receiving eight complaints is exceedingly small.

The complaints concerning Sheehan’s activities at several brokerage firms. From July 2004, through October 2007, Sheehan was associated with Investors Capital Corp. (ICC) Next, from October 2007 until January 2010, Sheehan was a registered representative of Omni Brokerage, Inc. Thereafter, Sheehan went back to ICC until October 2012. Finally, Sheehan is currently registered with DFPG Investments, Inc.

Many of the complaints against Sheehan involve allegations investment recommendations into real estate securities and limited partnership interests in tenants-in-common (TICs). TIC investments have come under fire by the customers and even within the securities industry. 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, TIC recommendations have been a major contributor to bankrupting several brokerage firms. For example, InvestmentNews found that 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.

Tenants-in-common real estate investments (“TIC”) are a more than $1-billion a year industry.  However, with all innovative investment products, TIC investments receive their share of complaints from unhappy investors who bought them through a private placement. In FINRA arbitration, these complaints materialize as suitability claims and allegations of negligent misrepresentation.  Usually, one or more of the following claims are made:

  • Investing in a TIC was not appropriate for me because of my needs, experience, or risk tolerance.
  • My broker did not perform adequate due diligence on the,offering materials of the TIC, appraisals of the underlying properties, persons promoting the TIC.
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