Articles Tagged with real estate investments

shutterstock_89758564The investment attorneys of Gana Weinstein LLP are interested in speaking with clients of Detlef Schoeppler (Schoeppler). According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Schoeppler has been the subject of at least 10 customer complaints, one criminal matter, and three judgments or liens. The customer complaints against Schoeppler allege securities law violations that claim unsuitable investments in various investment products including REITs, variable annuities, and mutual funds. The most recent complaint was filed in August 2012, and alleged $77,569 in damages due to claims that the broker recommended a variable annuity purchase in June 2011 that was misrepresented to the customer. In addition, the customer alleged that the fees were not fully disclosed and that there were trades made without the client’s authorization.

In addition, in July 2014, two tax liens were imposed on Schoeppler. One lien is for $184,519 and the other is for $182,691. A broker with large liens are an important consideration for investors to consider when dealing with a financial advisor. An advisor may be conflicted to offer high commission investments to customers in order to satisfy liens and debts that may not be in the client’s best interests.

Schoeppler entered the securities industry in 1996. Since June 1996, Schoeppler has been associated with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. out of the firm’s Tampa, Florida branch office location.

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.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently barred broker Stephen Michael Brown (Brown) for failing to comply with FINRA’s requests for information concerning allegations that Brown engaged in the unlawful sale of securities.  Specifically, at least two customers had brought complaints against Brown alleging that Brown had solicited them to invest in private real estate investments in violation of industry rules.

Brown was formerly registered with FINRA firm LPL Financial Corporation (LPL Financial) from 1989 through May 2009.  Thereafter, Brown became associated with Brewer Financial Services, LLC until November 2010.  Finally, from November 2010, until May 2011, Brown was an associated person of Best Direct Securities, LLC (Best Direct) a currently inactive FINRA firm.  Brown’s public disclosures list Brown as the owner of Steve Brown Ent., a company engaged in real estate business.

The accusations made against Brown are consistent with a “selling away” securities violation.  Brokers are required to have their firms approve all securities transactions they participate in, even private financial transactions.  Thus, when a broker fails to notify the firm of securities activities he or she “sells away” from the firm.  Selling away is prohibited under FINRA Rule 3040, as well as other securities laws. The most common securities products solicited in selling away schemes are private placements and promissory note.

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