Articles Tagged with REIT investment lawyer

shutterstock_32215765-300x200Recently, Steven Orr’s (Orr) attorney reached out to our firm to inform us our posts on Orr was inaccurate.  The post detailed that Orr had been subject to five customer complaints concerning allegations of securities law violations including unsuitable investments and misrepresentations among other claims.   Many of the complaints involve direct participation products (DPPs) and private placements including oil and gas partnerships, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), and other alternative investments.

Orr’s attorney has brought it to our attention that Orr has succeeded in using The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) flawed expungement process system to remove all five complaints from his BrokerCheck record.  As shown in Orr’s expungement “award”, Orr sued his own employer, H. Beck, Inc. (H. Beck) for damages of $1.00 due to the placement on his record of five customer complaints.  The “hearing” that took place appears to have been perfunctory at best.  The hearing concerning five customer complaints took only one hearing session to complete.  Usually there are two hearing sessions a day – meaning in this case five cases were probably decided in time for the arbitrator to catch lunch.  The total cost to Mr. Orr by FINRA to expunge five customer complaints from his record was $100 – excluding any fees he privately paid his counsel.

During this less than four hour hearing to decide five cases, H. Beck did not contest the request for expungement.  In FINRA expungement cases, brokerage firms like H. Beck profit from being sued by their own brokers to clean their records.  Of the five investors that complained concerning Orr’s investment recommendations – four of which resulted in documented settlements and compensation for the victims – none of the investors participated in the short hearing.  Only one investor submitted a letter to the arbitrator opposing expungement.  In sum, there was no meaningful opposition to Orr’s expungement request.

Without any significant opposition, the arbitrator found that there was “credible evidence presented demonstrated that Claimant made suitable recommendations to each of the Customers, fully and accurately representing the recommended investments including, but not limited to, any associated risks.”  Further, “public disclosure of the false and clearly erroneous allegations made by the Customers does not offer any public protection and has no regulatory value.”   In other words, the arbitrator found that Orr was the subject of lies by five of his clients – all of which astonishingly appear to have told the same or similar lie concerning Orr’s investment advice.  From the record, it appears the arbitrator made this determination without ever speaking to a single client.

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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_186471755-300x200The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investor losses in The Parking REIT (formerly known as the MVP REIT II) a non-traded real estate investment trust (Non-Traded REIT). According to the firm’s website, the REIT owns parking lots and claims that Americans own more than 253 million passenger vehicles and that an investment in the REIT provides benefits including, low operating and maintenance costs, potential for long-term capital appreciation, redevelopment opportunities, a fragmented Industry, and heavy demand.

However, the board of The Parking REIT announced that it would be suspending the company’s distributions.  The Board claims that the move is intended to focus on preserving capital in order to maintain sufficient liquidity to continue to operate the business and maintain compliance with debt covenants, including minimum liquidity covenants, and to seek to enhance the value of the company for stockholders through potential future acquisitions.  The elimination of dividends is never a good sign for a REIT.

Because The Parking REIT in non-traded there are no market pricing for the value of the securities. Secondary market sources for non-traded REITs are currently pricing the REIT at $12.17 per share based on a tender offer.  This is a far drop from the sale price of $25 per share when the REIT issued shares to investors.