Articles Tagged with Reef Securities

shutterstock_168478292The investment lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints against broker Harris Kirk (Kirk). There are at least 3 customer complaints against Kirk. In addition, there is one employment separation disclosed and a FINRA investigation. Some of the customer complaints appear to be related to recommendation of oil and gas private placements and investments likely offered by Reef Oil and Gas Companies.   The investment attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP continue to report on investor losses and unsuitable investments in oil and gas related investments, like Reef Oil and Gas.

The employment termination from Reef Securities, Inc. (Reef) came in September 2013 after the firm alleged that Kirk engaged in actions inconsistent with the firm’s policies in that Kirk provided inaccurate information concerning his outside business activities. Thereafter, Kirk was employed by Chestnut Exploration Partners, Inc. until February 2015 at which time he was once again associated with Reef.

Investors often do not appreciate the risks when investing in oil and gas private placements. Even before the collapse of oil prices it was rare for investors to make money on oil deals. According to Reuters, of 34 deals Reef Oil and Gas has issued since 1996, only 12 have paid out more cash to investors than they initially contributed. Reuters also found that Reef sold an additional 31 smaller deals between 1996 and 2010 taking $146 million from investors and only paying out just $55 million.

shutterstock_180412949The investment lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints against broker Garland Benton (Benton). There are at least 3 customer complaints against Benton, one of which appears to be filed in connection with the solicitation of private securities transactions. In addition, there is one employment separations disclosed. One customer complaint alleges that Benton caused $946,670 in damages by failing to conduct due diligence on an investment while the firm has responded that the Benton was not a representative of the customer. In April 2015, Reef Securities Inc. (Reef) terminated Benton stating that the broker was permitted to resign after allegations were made that Benton failed to follow firm policies and procedures regarding private securities transactions from 2008. The conduct allegedly engaged in by Benton is also referred to as “selling away” in the industry.

Benton entered the securities industry in 2002. Between October 2002 and April 2015, Benton was associated with Reef.

In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. However, even though when these incidents occur the brokerage firm claims ignorance of their advisor’s activities the firm is obligated under the FINRA rules to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering investments in this fashion. In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public. Selling away misconduct often occurs where brokerage firms either fail to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fail to actually implement that system. Supervisory failures allow brokers to engage in unsupervised misconduct that can include all manner improper conduct including selling away.

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