Articles Tagged with REIT fraud attorney

shutterstock_85873471-300x200Advisor Peter Maller (Maller), currently employed by Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation (Lincoln Financial) has been subject to at least three customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and annuities.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented hundreds of investors who suffered losses caused by these types of high risk, low reward products.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Maller violated the securities laws by alleging that Maller engaged in sales practice violations related to recommending a client to invest her life savings in an unsuitable and deceptive manner, specifically concentrating her assets in annuities and illiquid, non-publicly traded investments. The claim is currently pending.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Maller violated the securities laws by alleging that Maller engaged in sales practice violations related to recommending an investment strategy in 2013 that failed to account for tax liabilities and recommended unsuitable investments. The claim is currently pending and seeks $350,394 in damages.

DDPs include products such as non-traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These alternative investments virtually never profit investors and are almost always unsuitable for investors because of their high fee and cost structure.  Brokers selling these products are paid additional commission in order to hype these inferior quality investments providing a perverse incentives to create an artificial market for the investments.

Several studies have confirmed that Non-traded REITs underperform publicly traded REITs with some showing that Non-Traded REITs cannot even beat safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds.  Brokers selling these products must disclose to the investor that non-traded REITs provide lower investment returns than treasuries while being high risk and illiquid – but almost never do.  Because investors are not compensated with additional return in exchange for higher risk and illiquidity, these kinds of alternative investment products are rarely, if ever, appropriate for investors.  Continue Reading

shutterstock_183525503-300x200Advisor Mercer Hicks (Hicks), currently employed by Southeast Investments, N.C., Inc. (Southeast Investments) has been subject to at least five liens, three employment terminations for cause, and one regulatory complaint during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented dozens of investors who suffered losses caused by these types of high risk, low reward products.

In December 2019 Hicks was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he recommended unsuitable investments to five senior customers to purchase speculative REITs and non-traded business development companies (BDCs). FINRA alleges that the prospectuses and subscription agreements for these non-traded REITs and non-traded BDCs stated that investing in these securities involved a high degree of risk, was speculative, was not suitable for persons who require immediate liquidity, guaranteed income, or seek short-term investments, and was only appropriate for those investors who could afford a complete loss of their investments.

FINRA claims that the five senior customers at issue were not seeking to make speculative, high-risk investments.  The customers’ account documents indicated that they were seeking to preserve their capital or capital appreciation. In addition, FINRA claims that some of these customers have encountered difficulties liquidating the investments to obtain funds that they needed to pay for medical care.  FINRA alleged that Hicks recommended purchases of unsuitable non-traded REITs and non-traded BDCs to the five senior customers totaling approximately $665,000 while Hicks received a seven percent commission from each sale totaling $46,550.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_103476707-300x212Advisor William Sines (Sines), currently employed by Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. (Berthel Fisher) has been subject to at least four customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented dozens of investors who suffered losses caused by these types of high risk, low reward products.

In July 2019 a customer complained that Sines violated the securities laws by alleging that Sines pressured her into liquidating an annuity which cost her thousands of dollars in surrender penalties and lost interest credit in order to invest her into a REIT which she feels was an inappropriate investment.  The claim alleged $38,651 in damages and was closed.

In November 2017 a customer complained that Sines violated the securities laws by alleging that Sines recommended unsuitable investments.  The claim settled for $19,737.

DDPs include products such as non-traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These alternative investments virtually never profit investors and are almost always unsuitable for investors because of their high fee and cost structure.  Brokers selling these products are paid additional commission in order to hype these inferior quality investments providing a perverse incentives to create an artificial market for the investments.

Several studies have confirmed that Non-traded REITs underperform publicly traded REITs with some showing that Non-Traded REITs cannot even beat safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds.  Brokers selling these products must disclose to the investor that non-traded REITs provide lower investment returns than treasuries while being high risk and illiquid – but almost never do.  Because investors are not compensated with additional return in exchange for higher risk and illiquidity, these kinds of alternative investment products are rarely, if ever, appropriate for investors.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_132317306-300x200Advisor David Miller (Miller), currently employed by PeachCap Securities, Inc. (PeachCap Securities) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concerns alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented dozens of investors who suffered losses caused by these types of high risk, low reward products.

In October 2019 a customer complained that Miller violated the securities laws by alleging that Miller engaged in sales practice violations related to mismanagement of her accounts from October 2015 to October 2016. The claim alleges $43,541 in damages and is currently pending.

In August 2019 a customer complained that Miller violated the securities laws by alleging that Miller made investment recommendations that the investor was unhappy with. The claim alleges $1.2 million in damages and is currently pending.

In June 2019 a customer complained that Miller violated the securities laws by alleging that Miller made investment recommendations that the investor was unhappy with. The claim alleges $550,000 in damages and was denied by the firm.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_836360-300x225Advisor Adam Lunceford (Lunceford), currently employed by LPL Financial LLC. (LPL Financial) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report one customer complaint concerns alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have represented investors who suffered losses caused by these types of products.

In June 2019 a customer complained that Lunceford violated the securities laws by alleging that Lunceford disregarded the Claimant’s objectives by recommending that he invest more than half his portfolio in illiquid non-traded REITS. The claim alleges $250,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In September 2014 a customer complained that Lunceford violated the securities laws by alleging that Lunceford changed the investment objective for their accounts which resulted in unsuitable trading. The claim was denied by the firm.

DDPs include products such as non-traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These alternative investments virtually never profit investors and are almost always unsuitable for investors because of their high fee and cost structure.  Brokers selling these products are paid additional commission in order to hype these inferior quality investments providing a perverse incentives to create an artificial market for the investments.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_187083428-300x198Advisor Craig Sherrer (Sherrer), currently employed by Janney Montgomery Scott LLC (Janney Montgomery) and formerly with Newbridge Securities Corporation (Newbridge Securities) has been subject to at least one customer complaint during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaint concerns alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Sherrer violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor breached their fiduciary duty, negligence, and breach of contract among other allegations associated non-traded REITs causing $1,500,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.

Our firm often handles cases involving annuities and direct participation products, Non-Traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipement leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments which provides a perverse incentives by brokers to create an artificial market for products that no honest advisor would sell.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_26813263-300x199The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating recommendations by brokerage firms for their clients to invest in NorthStar Healthcare Income Inc., (NorthStar Healthcare) – a non-traded real estate investment trust (Non-Traded REIT).  According to newsources, NorthStar Healthcare has suffered massive losses and may only be worth less than 30 cents for every dollar purchased.  In addition, NorthStar Healthcare no longer distributes a dividend – which previously had only been a return of investor principal and not funds from any business operations.  As is too common in the brokerage industry, firms fail to understand the flawed Non-Traded REIT business model and only recommend these products for their 7% commissions – not because they benefit investors.

According to the NorthStar Healthcare’s website, the investment formed to originate, acquire and asset manage equity and debt investments in healthcare real estate. NorthStar Healthcare claims that it is focused on making investments in the needs-driven senior housing sector including independent living facilities, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities.  NorthStar Healthcare launched in February 2013 and raised total gross proceeds of $2 billion, including $225.3 million through its distribution reinvestment plan.  The company claims to have a $2.4 billion portfolio of 652 properties as of the third quarter of 2018.

According to The DI Wire, in December 2017, NorthStar Healthcare reduced its distribution rate from 6.67% to 3.31%.  One year later NorthStar Healthcare lowered the net asset value of its common stock from $8.50 per share to $7.10 per share. In addition, in October 2018, NorthStar Healthcare told shareholders that it was suspending its repurchase program – unless the shareholder was dead or had a qualifying disability.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_93851422-300x240Advisor Kurt Jackson (Jackson), currently employed by Commonwealth Financial Network (Commonwealth Financial) has been subject to at least three customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In March 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Jackson violated the securities laws by alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and other causes of action related to the sale of several alternative investments.  The claim alleges $500,000 in damages and is currently pending.

Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products, Non-Traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments which provides a perverse incentives by brokers to create an artificial market for products that no honest advisor would sell.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_20354398-300x200Advisor Thomas Burns (Burns), formerly employed by Crown Capital Securities, L.P. (Crown Capital) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints and two regulatory actions.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In February 2019 FINRA settled a regulatory dispute with Burns where Burns consented to sanctions and an entry of findings that he negligently made numerous mistakes causing errors and inaccuracies in identifying customer assets on alternative investment forms causing his firm to have inaccurate books and records. For instance, FINRA found that Burns mistakenly double counted assets held away from his firm in direct pension benefit plans by placing the individual holdings in their individual categories and by counting them again in the other assets category. FINRA found that Burns made computational errors in adding up holdings when calculating net worth.  In addition, FINRA alleged that Burns erroneously understated the amount of existing alternative investment holdings by either unintentionally understating the value of existing tenants in common or rental holdings or by misclassifying those existing holdings as personal real estate, instead of as alternative investments.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_187083428-300x198Advisor William Burks (Burks), currently employed by Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints and one criminal matter.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In May 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Burks violated the securities laws by making unsuitable recommendations and the associated liquidity risks were not fully explained.  The claim alleges $415,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In January 2016 a customer complained that Burks violated the securities laws by making unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentations.  The claim alleges $32,000 in damages and was denied by the firm.

Continue Reading