Articles Tagged with REIT fraud attorney

shutterstock_177082523-243x300The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating recommendations by brokerage firms for their clients to invest in RW Holdings NNN REIT Inc., formerly known as Rich Uncles NNN REIT Inc.,- a non-traded real estate investment trust (non-traded REIT).  RW Holdings originally sold shares for $10.00.  The fund claims to have an estimated net asset value per share of $6.00.  However, secondary market trading would likely value this REIT substantially lower in value.

As a background, RW Holdings NNN REIT’s real estate portfolio totals 2.4 million square feet, 45 properties divided into 19 retail properties, 14 office properties, and 12 industrial properties located in 14 states. The portfolio also includes approximate 72.7 percent tenant-in-common interest in an office property in Santa Clara, California.

In May 2020 The REIT said that it was suspended its offering and its plans to declare a revised net asset value per share later that month, as well as a revised distribution rate. RW Holdings expected that both will be lower due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement the REIT claimed “Given our inability to collect 100 percent of contractual rents, we are re-evaluating our current distribution rate…,”

More recently, the REIT published the new share valuation showing substantial losses and write downs and reduced its dividend ratio from $0.7 shares per ordinary share to $0.35 shares – a substantial decline.

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shutterstock_39128059-300x174Advisor Gary Barth (Barth), currently employed by Ameritas Investment Company, LLC (Ameritas) has been subject to at least four 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 business development companies (BDCs), non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and private placements.  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 November 2019 a customer complained that Barth violated the securities laws by alleging that Robare engaged in sales practice violations related to an misrepresentation in the sale of REITs. The claim alleges $600,000 and is currently pending.

According to BrokerCheck, Barth operates through several d/b/a entities including Barth Financial Wealth Management Group and Barth Financial.  Barth also engages in other businesses including Kaufmann Building LLC, BAB Properties LLC, and Kearney Hub among other business related disclosures.

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shutterstock_123928846-300x268Advisor Mark Robare (Robare), currently employed by Triad Advisors LLC (Triad Advisors) has been subject to at least one customer complaint and one regulatory matter during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report one customer complaint concerns alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like business development companies (BDCs), non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and private placements.  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 March 2020 a customer complained that Robare violated the securities laws by alleging that Robare engaged in sales practice violations related to an unsuitable investment strategy beginning in 2014. The claim alleges $500,000 and is currently pending.

In September 2014 the SEC alleged that Robare used Fidelity Investments for clearing services for its advisory clients whereby Robare entered into a revenue sharing arrangement with Fidelity Investments in 2004.  In this arrangement, Fidelity paid Robare to invest in certain mutual funds offered on Fidelity’s platform and Robare received nearly $400,000 from Fidelity from 2005 to 2013 as a result of the arrangement.  The SEC claimed that Robare modified its Form ADV disclosures in December 2011 after Fidelity advised Robare that it would cease making payments if the arrangements were not disclosed. The SEC fined Robare $50,000.

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shutterstock_20354401-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating recommendations by brokerage firms for their clients to invest in Moody National REIT II (Moody REIT) – a non-traded real estate investment trust (non-traded REIT).  According to secondary market quotes, Moody National REIT II has suffered massive losses and may only be worth less than 50 cents for every dollar purchased.  In addition, Moody National REIT II no longer distributes a dividend.  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.

Moody REIT has been particularly hard hit in the recent recession due to the nature of its investments properties.  Moody National REIT II, Inc. was formed in July 2014 to acquire a portfolio of hospitality properties (a/k/a hotels and resorts) focusing primarily on the select-service segment of the hospitality sector with premier brands including, but not limited to, Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt.

According to the investments’ Fact Sheet, Moody REIT’s objectives are to “Preserve, protect and return stockholders’ capital contributions. Pay regular cash distributions to stockholders. Realize capital appreciation upon the ultimate sale of the real estate assets acquired by Moody National REIT II, Inc.”

However, according to filings with the SEC, on March 24, 2020, the Company’s board of directors approved the suspension of: (1) the sale of shares in Moody REIT; (2) the payment of distributions to the company’s stockholders; (3) reinvestments; and (4) the operation of the share redemption program.

Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products (DPPs), private placements, Non-Traded REITs, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for middle class investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments providing perverse incentives for brokers to sell high risk and low reward investments.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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