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Articles Posted in Current Investigations

Colombian Claimants Allege Negligence, Misrepresentations, and Failure to Supervise

Two investors from Bogota, Colombia are pursuing a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Truist Investment Services for the losses they suffered in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda). The claimants, who are from the same family, had looked to the brokerage firm, which is affiliated with SunTrust Bank, to keep their assets safe. 

As longtime SunTrust Bank clients with an account in Florida, the investors were not interested in taking on any undue risk and were mostly invested in bank products, including money markets. Yet, Truist Investment Services recommended that the claimants invest more than $125K in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda). 

Japanese Investor’s Savings Were Overconcentrated in Offshore CD

An investor who lives in Japan has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Unionbanc Investment Services and its California-based broker, Asako Kanekiyo Thompson.

The claimant suffered losses in an offshore certificate of deposit (CD) from Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) that was recommended to him by Thompson. BrokerCheck reports that Thompson has been a Unionbanc Investment Services investment advisor and broker for 16 years. 

Central American Retiree Worked with Louisiana-based Financial Advisor Robin Platt

In his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Hancock Whitney Investment Services, Inc., a senior investor in Central America is seeking up to $5M in damages. The senior investor suffered losses when he invested $1.25M in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) at the recommendation of Hancock Whitney Investment Services broker, Robin Platt

The claimant, a longtime Hancock Whitney Bank client, had mostly invested in bank products and kept his money in checking/savings accounts. In 2016, Platt recommended the Bermuda-based investment, which would go on to make up the majority of the retiree’s portfolio. 

FINRA Arbitration Claim Was Brought by Mexican Investors Who Trusted US Broker-Dealer To Keep Their Assets Safe

A retired couple from Mexico is requesting up to $500K plus interest and costs from J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC over losses they suffered from investing in a Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) variable annuity. 

Because the carrier, Northstar Bermuda, is located off-shore in Bermuda, the policy that the investors purchased was not protected in the same way as those sold by US-based carriers. Now, the claimants are alleging the following: 

Investors Can Still Pursue Damages from Bankoh, Truist, and Ocean Financial Services

The Bermuda Supreme Court has turned down a request by Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd.’s management asking for more time to pursue restructuring. Northstar had filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy last year.

The Court’s ruling means that the company will be liquidated, with the proceeds going to creditors. Specifically, what this means for Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) investors is that the Bermuda Supreme Court must approve such payments before they can be issued to them.

Brokerage-Dealer Accused of Unsuitable Investment Recommendation In Three GPB Funds

Geneos Wealth Management, a Denver, Colorado-based brokerage firm, is accused of inappropriately recommending that a customer invest in three GPB Capital funds: The GPB Holdings II LP, the GPB Automotive Portfolio, and GPB Waste Management. The investment fraud claim contends that the broker-dealer invited GPB Capital Holdings employees to give a presentation in order to get investors on board.

GPB Capital Holdings, a New York-based alternative assets firm, is now accused of operating a more than $1.8 billion Ponzi scam that enriched not just the company’s executives but also the dozens of brokerage firms and their registered representatives. These firms failed to carry out the proper due diligence when they unsuitably recommended and sold GPB private placements to customers. 

Investors That Bought NYC Stock When it Was a Non-Traded REIT Hit Especially Hard After NYSE Listing

Our real estate investment fraud attorneys (REIT) at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) are investigating the broker-dealers and investment advisors that sold New York City REIT (NYC)  to customers. 

Now available on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and open to any investor with a brokerage account, this real estate investment trust used to be a non-traded REIT and it is the investors that purchased this non-traded real estate trust that have sustained the most significant losses after it went public in August 2020. 

Former Customer of Florida Broker is Seeking $245K In Damages

Maria Florencia Calcena, currently an Infinex Investments broker in Palm Beach, Florida, is named in a $245K investor claim in which the customer invested in a product from Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. 

The investor is alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and violation of Florida’s Investor Protection Act during Calcena’s time as an Ocean Financial Services registered representative. 

SEC Requested Monitor to Protect GPB Fund Investors 

In a letter dated March 3rd, 2021, to all investors of its limited partnerships, CFO and interim CEO of GPB Capital Holdings, Rob Chmiel, notified investors that the firm has consented to a court-appointed independent monitor by the SEC to run the company and oversee its assets.

The regulator said it wanted to protect GPB Fund investors from further financial harm in the wake of the Ponzi fraud charges. 

Former David Lerner Associate Broker May Have Sold Spirit of America Energy Fund Among Others to Customers  

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has suspended Florida-based broker, Charles Bonilla, for six months. The action comes over allegations that he unsuitably recommended two energy investments to customers while he was a David Lerner Associates stockbroker without having enough knowledge about them.  

Bonilla agreed to the FINRA suspension. He will pay both a $5K penalty and more than $22,400 in disgorgement plus interest. However, he is not denying or admitting to the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO’s) findings. 

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