Articles Tagged with LLC

shutterstock_94632238The attorneys with the offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints and The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently filed complaint alleging that Oregon-based investment firm Aequitas Management, LLC (Aequitas Management) and its subsidiaries operated a Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded its 1,500 customers of approximately $350 million.

Upon information and belief, the following firms sold Aequitas notes to clients: CONCERT Wealth Management, Summit Advisor Solutions, LLC, Private Advisory Group, Elite Wealth Management, Integrity Bank & Trust, CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors (CLA Wealth Advisors), and Innovator Management LLC.

The SEC also alleged that the top three executives of Aequitas Management – CEO Robert Jesenik (Jesenik), executive vice president Brian Oliver (Oliver) and chief operating officer N. Scott Gillis (Gillis) were aware as early as 2014 that constraints in the company’s cash flow would make it difficult to meet existing obligations but continued to raise money anyway based on false premises in order to prop up the company.

shutterstock_94632238The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought an enforcement action against broker Gary Arford (Arford) resulting in a monetary sanctions of $4,226,684. In addition, according to the BrokerCheck records kept by FINRA, Arford has been the subject of at least 10 customer complaints. The customer complaints against Arford allege unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, and fraud among other claims. Many of the complaints involve products such as oil and gas and penny stocks. Arford was also permitted to resign from Comprehensive Wealth Management, LLC (Comprehensive Wealth Management) after allegations were made that Arford attempted to directly settle a customer complaint. In March 2014, Arford was also terminated from Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG) after allegations were made that Arford was the subject of customer complaints.

The most recent complaint against Arford alleged $560,000 in damages concerning allegations that Arford as an owner of Comprehensive Wealth Management breach his fiduciary duty by recommending unsuitable oil and gas products from 2011 through 2014 and misrepresented the investments. Another customer complaint filed in September 2014 alleges similar issues with oil and gas and penny stock investment made between 2012 and 2013 which resulted in $500,000 in alleged damages.

In the SEC action, the regulator alleged that between approximately December 2010 and October 2013, Arford acted as an investment adviser to a private fund (Fund) and provided advice for real estate-related investments. The SEC alleged that Arford defrauded the Fund and its investors in at least four ways by: 1) inducing the Fund to commit a total of $4 million to an investment in a company, referred to as Suburban Hotel, that was purportedly planning to build and operate a hotel on undeveloped land in Seattle by misrepresenting and concealing material facts about the company’s debt and the encumbrances; 2) after obtaining the Fund’s investment commitment Respondent took personal ownership of the company’s undeveloped property, and then pledged it as collateral for personal debts; 3) inducing the Fund to continue fulfilling its investment commitment by concealing his personal ownership and use of the company’s undeveloped property and by misrepresenting and hiding material facts about the use of Fund assets; and 4) by misappropriating Fund assets for unrelated purposes.

Christopher Veale, a broker who worked at Stratton Oakmont Inc., was accused by Massachusetts securities regulators of excessive trading in the account of an 81-year-old person from 2010 to 2012.

The regulators said today in a statement that they’re seeking to bar Veale from the securities business in Massachusetts, along with his former colleague, Ali Habib Mayar, and their firm Brookville Capital Partners LLC, the brokerage where they worked at the time.

Martin Scorsese depicted Stratton Oakmont, Inc. in the  film The Wolf of Wall Street. Prosecutors said that Stratton Oakmont generated millions of dollars in illicit profits by aggressively selling penny stocks and manipulating their prices from its offices in Lake Success, New York, before being shut down by regulators in 1996.

September 18, 2013 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Shadron Stastney, a partner at a New York based hedge fund, Vicis Capital, LLC with breaching his fiduciary duties by engaging in undisclosed principal transactions in which he had a personal financial interest.

A principal transaction occurs when a registered investment adviser (RIA) acts as a principal for its own account and knowingly and intentionally buys securities from, or sells securities to a client. sells securities to, or buys securities from, a client. A principal transaction may also occur in situations where a controlling owner or an affiliate of the RIA engages in trades with the adviser’s clients. These transactions may lead to abuses, such as price manipulation, and the placement of unwanted securities in clients’ accounts—a practice known as “dumping.”

In passing Section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act, Congress recognized that principal transactions are potentially very harmful to investors and advisory clients. Principal transactions create the opportunity for RIAs to engage in self-dealing. Principal trading with clients is a clear conflict of interest that must be adequately disclosed to customers.

Contact Information