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Articles Posted in Broker-Dealers

LPL Blocks Sales of Nontraded Real Estate Investment Trusts and Publicly Traded Property Interval Funds 

This week, LPL Financial (LPLA) announced that it had suspended its sales of several nontraded REITs, as well as a number of publicly traded property interval funds. This is because the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was placing these investments at a higher risk of losses. 

In an email to InvestmentNews, LPL EVP of Products and Platforms, Rob Pettman, wouldn’t offer the names of the funds but did note that the broker-dealer hoped to offer them to investors again once the markets had calmed.

Elderly Investor Claims $250K in GPB Fraud Losses

In yet another GPB private placement fraud case, our broker fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) have filed a claim on behalf of an investor. 

This time, the respondents are Pruco Securities and Kalos Capital, which the firm has gone after in previous private placements claims over the same investments and broker, Christopher Shaw. The claimant, who is an elderly woman from North Carolina is reporting over $250K in losses. She is seeking up to $500K in damages plus interests and other costs. 

Broker-Dealers Accused of Not Properly Supervising Custodial Accounts

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it has fined five major firms $1.4M in total for not reasonably supervising custodial accounts. The broker-dealers are:

  • Citigroup (C), which will pay $300K.

Merrill Lynch Fined For Involvement In Puerto Rico Bond Fraud Case

In a recent award, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel has decided that Merrill Lynch must pay a former professional baseball player and his wife $1.7 million in compensatory damages, plus $88,758 in costs, for losses they sustained from investing in Puerto Rico bonds and closed-end bond funds.

The retired MLB player is Angel Pagan and his wife is Windy Pagan, a former Ms. Puerto Rico. Angel was an outfielder for the NY Mets, the Chicago Cubs, and the San Francisco Giants before retiring to live on the island.

National Planning Ordered to pay $2.6M to Older Investor

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) panel is ordering National Planning Corp. to pay a customer, who is in her eighties, $2.6M after her former stockbroker, William August Glaser, sold her unsuitable investments. The investments including fraudulent promissory notes and non-traded REITs (real estate investment trusts). $1M of the award is for punitive damages.

William Glaser, who was fired by National Planning and barred by FINRA in 2017, is currently in prison for wire fraud.

Collateral Yield Enhancement Strategy (CYES) Damages: SSEK Investigating Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor 

Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas (SSEK), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors is looking into allegations against Gordon Harper, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch out of Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Prior to that, he worked at Banc of America and Edward Jones. 

According to allegations in a recent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) claim, Gordon Harper recommended something called Harvest Volatility Management CYES (also known as collateral yield enhancement strategy). Harvest is a money manager which, as the name implies, attempts to manage volatility. 

Michael Sievert is Now an Arkadios Capital Broker

If you were an investor who suffered losses from GPB Capital Holdings investments that were sold to you by broker Michael Sievert, please contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) today. 

Sievert is currently an Arkadios Capital broker. Already, he is the subject of two customer disputes involving GPB private placements from his time when he was a Triad Advisors broker. 

SSEK Investigating Ladenburg Thalmann & Triad Advisors Over GPB Capital Investor Claims 

In its quarterly report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services notes that one of its brokerage firms, Triad Advisors, is the subject of six Financial Industry Regulatory Advisory (FINRA) arbitration complaints by customers seeking $1.65M in damages after the firm’s brokers sold them GPB private placements. 

GPB Capital Holdings is accused of operating a $1.8B Ponzi scam. Many investors are claiming massive losses in the wake of the various GPB funds plunging in value, the suspension of investor redemptions, and the regulatory and criminal probes swirling around the alternative asset firm. 

New Class Action Offers Details Into Alleged GPB Ponzi Scam

This week in Austin, Texas, another proposed class securities case was filed on behalf of investors of GPB Capital Holdings and its many funds. This latest investor lawsuit directly accuses the alternative asset firm and its executives of running an alleged $1.8B Ponzi scam and provides new details into the fraud.  

Filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas by the lead plaintiff and GPB investor Millicent Barasch, the class action securities fraud case was announced at a press conference. Toni Caiazzo Neff, an ex-Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) examiner, spoke about how she’d previously tried to blow the whistle on GPB Capital Holdings. 

Cetera Advisors Fraud Case Rises To $21M

Two months after suing Cetera Advisors for more than $10M for allegedly defrauding retail clients, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has amended its complaint, adding another Cetera Financial Group firm as a defendant. The regulator is now seeking $21M.

According to the amended complaint, Cetera Advisors Network, also a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, made over $10M in undisclosed compensation that retail advisory clients paid for in fees, mark-ups, administrative fees, and revenue sharing. 

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