Articles Tagged with Metricstream

shutterstock_103681238The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP recently filed a securities arbitration case on behalf of a family of four investors against First Allied Securities, Inc. (First Allied) and Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus) concerning allegations that their financial advisor Seyed Ahmad Hashemian (Hashemian) made unsuitable and inappropriate investment recommendations to claimants’ by recommending a near 100% concentration in illiquid, speculative, and high commission investments including variable annuities, equity-indexed annuities (EIAs), private placements, oil and gas ventures, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), and Advanced Equities private placements.

Our law offices have represented over a dozen investors who alleged that they were sold the Advanced Equities private placements through the use of false and misleading advertising materials. In addition, to customer complaints both FINRA and the SEC have sanctioned Advanced Equities concerning the misleading nature of their sales practices. Customers have alleged that the products were misrepresented as “late stage equities” that were a mere 12-36 months from going public. The complaint also alleged that the investments were sold as providing “Higher near-term investment returns than the public equity markets” while providing “Greater short-term liquidity and lower risk profiles.” The complaint alleged that these representations were false and that First Allied failed to conduct even basic due diligence to verify the accuracy of these statements.

In the case of the recent complaint filed, claimants’ investments were alleged to have been made using money that was supposed to be used to replace the earnings the untimely passing of a family member. As a result, the complaint alleged that over a nearly nine year period where the broader market indexes have hit all-time highs, claimants have lost significant sums their investments. The claimants alleged that they have been deprived of the ability to generate reasonable returns by being trapped in illiquid and unsuitable investments.

shutterstock_26269225As we recently posted, our firm has covered the failures concerning the sale and recommendation of Advanced Equities private placement since the SEC brought charges against the firm. We also represent numerous clients who have unfortunately invested in these products that were alleged to have been sold as “late-stage private equities” by First Allied Securities brokers among others.

Recently, FINRA fined Advanced Equities $250,000 concerning allegations that between approximately November 1, and December 1, 2011, AEI, failed to identify material information and correct omissions of material facts made by the issuer in connection with a private placement offering.

As a background, Fisker Auto was an American automobile maker that manufactured hybrid electric vehicles. Shares in the company were sold through limited liability companies to accredited investors. In or around September 2009, Fisker Auto obtained a “loan facility” in the approximate amount of $529 million, which was overseen by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Under the terms of the loan facility agreement, Fisker Auto could seek reimbursement costs associated with the production of two cars if the company was in compliance with certain financial covenants and project milestones. Those covenants generally included milestones requiring that Fisker Auto to achieve a certain level of earnings, sell a particular number of automobiles, and complete certification requirements related to safety and environmental matters.

shutterstock_24531604Our firm has covered the supervisory and due diligence failures concerning the sale and recommendation of Advanced Equities private placement since the SEC brought charges against the firm and its principals for selling one of its products by making material misrepresentations to investors. We also represent numerous clients who have unfortunately invested in these products that were alleged to have been sold as “late-stage private equities” by First Allied Securities brokers among others. Below are posts with additional information concerning these products.

The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP filed a complaint with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on behalf of four investors against First Allied Securities, Inc. (First Allied) concerning broker Amram a/k/a Rami Yahalom’s solicitation and sale of Advanced Equities private placements. According to the complaint, First Allied and Yahalom sold the investors AE Luxtera Investments II, LLC (Luxtera), a private placement in a technology start-up company by misrepresenting Luxtera’s prospects and failing to conduct even basic due diligence on the company before recommending the investment to clients.

shutterstock_140321293In the context of a Regulation D offering, FINRA requires broker-dealers to conduct a reasonable investigation of the issuer and the securities they recommend in offerings. The investors alleged that First Allied failed to meet FINRA’s due diligence requirements and made representations that were misleading. The investors alleged that Yahalom and First Allied marketed Luxtera and other private placements as “late stage equities” that were a mere 12-36 months from going public through an IPO. Luxtera was also allegedly sold to customers under the false premise that the company would provide “Higher near-term investment returns than the public equity markets” while providing “Greater short-term liquidity and lower risk profiles.”

However, according to the complaint, these representations were misleading and false. The complaint alleged that First Allied sought to raise $43 million for Luxtera based on a $175 million valuation that was 22 times Luxtera’s projected 2008 revenues. In addition, the investors alleged that while First Allied knew that Luxtera had only achieved $1 million in sales as of November 30, 2008, their broker provided them with a slide-show presentation that projected 2009 sales as high as $89,447,500 and 2010 sales could reach $341,883,000. The complaint alleged that First Allied lacked a good faith basis to believe that Luxtera would experience 8,945% sales growth in one year and 34,188% sales growth over the next two years when the company was then suffering losses in excess of $30 million a year.