Articles Tagged with IMS Securities

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.

Investors continue to suffer substantial losses from recommended investments in the Behringer Harvard REIT Funds.  The Behringer Harvard REIT Funds including the Behringer Harvard Mid-Term Value Enhancement I, Behringer Harvard Short-Term Opportunity Fund I, and the Behringer Harvard REIT I  and II (Behringer REITs) have sometimes been sold to investors as safe, stable, income producing real estate investment trusts.  While the Behringer REITs were initially sold to investors for $10 per share, currently some of these REITs trade as low as approximately $2.00 on the secondary market.  Worse still, some of the funds no longer pay a dividend or investors receive only a fraction of what their advisor initially told their clients they could expect the investment to yield.

The Behringer REITs are speculative securities, non-traded, and offered only through a Regulation D private placement.  Unlike traditional registered mutual funds or publicly traded REITs that have a published daily Net Asset Value (NAV) and trade on a national stock exchange, the Behringer REITs raised money through private placement offerings and are illiquid securities.  In recent years, increased volatility in stocks has led to an increasing number of advisor recommendations to invest in non-traded REITs as a way to invest in a stable income producing investment.  Some non-traded REITs have even claimed to offer stable returns while the real estate market has undergone extreme volatility.  Brokers are often motivated to sell non-traded REITs to clients due to the large commissions that can be earned in the selling the Behringer REITs.

Investors are now bringing claims against the brokerage firms that sold them the Behringer REITs alleging that their advisor failed to disclose important risks of the REITs.  Some common risks that customers have alleged were not disclosed include failing to explain that Behringer REITs may not be liquidated for up to 8 to 12 years or more, that the redemption policy can be eliminated at any time, and that investor returns may not come from funds generated through operations but can include a return of investor capital.

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