Articles Posted in GPB Capital

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. 

GPB Capital News: Michael Cohn Facing Obstruction Charges 

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed criminal charges against Michael Cohn, the Chief Compliance Officer and Managing Director of GPB Capital Holdings. Cohn is a former US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) examiner. 

The obstruction of justice charge is related to the regulator’s probe into the alternative asset firm, which is accused of operating a $1.5B Ponzi scam. Now, Cohn is accused of stealing information from the Commission before leaving the regulator last October to start his employment at GPB Holdings

Kalos Capital And GPB Capital: What Is Their Connection? 

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) is continuing to investigate and file cases against Kalos Capital and its financial advisors in relation to GPB Capital investments. Kalos Capital is a FINRA licensed broker-dealer which is a subsidiary of Kalos Financial. Both are based our of the same address in Alpharetta, Georgia. 

According to Kalos’s BrokerCheck Report (FINRA’s official record of firms and brokers), Kalos Financial owns 75% or more of Kalos Capital. According to its website, Kalos Financial was founded by David and Carol Wildermuth in 2004. 

GPB Capital Sales: SSEK Files Investor Fraud Lawsuit Against Money Concepts Capital

Two investors in Alabama are pursuing a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) claim against Money Concepts Capital Corp. These investors sustained losses after one of the independent brokerage firm’s longtime registered representatives recommended that they purchase GPB Capital private placements. 

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) is representing both claimants in their investor fraud claim. 

After more than two years without disclosing any audited financial statements to investors or regulators, GPB Capital Holdings has once again missed the deadline for providing a required update to shareholders. This time, the lapsed due date was one it had set for itself. This is just the latest bad news headline plaguing the beleaguered alternative asset firm, which is accused of running a $1.5B Ponzi scam. It is also facing a slew of investor claims for losses sustained after its GPB private placements funds saw a huge drop in value, in some cases by more than 73%.

Once boasting $1.8B in assets involving auto dealerships and waste management, the private placement issuer is now under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and multiple state regulators. Two of its former business partners are accusing the company of operating like a Ponzi fraud.

Prime Automotive Group CEO Fired After Suing GPB Capital

A Tennessee investor is pursuing a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Kalos Capital, Inc. and its broker Martin Hunter McFarlin for the more than $100K in losses that he sustained from investing in non-traded real estate investment trusts (non-traded REITs) and the GPB Capital Automotive Portfolio. Now, the claimant is alleging omissions, misrepresentations, gross lack of supervision, unsuitable recommendations, and due diligence failures. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) is representing this individual in his case against Kalos and McFarlin.

Our client is a divorced dad, a small business owner, and an unsophisticated investor, which is why he turned to McFarlin and Kalos several years ago to help him invest his retirement money for him and his family. During seminars and company Christmas parties, the claimant was told that private placements were safe alternative investments.

Private Placements Are Risky Investments

An investor who filed an arbitration claim against Arkadios Capital for selling her GPB Capital Holdings private placements now has a hearing date set before a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) panel: April 20, 2020. This is one of the first GPB investor fraud case brought against a brokerage firm to get a hearing scheduled before one of the self-regulatory authority’s (SRO) arbitrators. Our broker fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) are representing this claimant.

The investor, who is a woman from the greater Atlanta, Georgia area, is claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement fund losses after her financial adviser, an Arkadios broker, recommended the GPB securities to her. While with the broker-dealer, her portfolio became especially concentrated in private placements, including the GPB Holdings II Limited Partnership. Now, the claimant is contending that this GPB investment, in particular, was an extremely unsuitable recommendation for her, especially since it involved her IRA from which no losses can be offset.

Our client maintains that she was not aware of the risks involved in the investment strategy used by her Arkadios broker. She is alleging unsuitable recommendations, omissions, misrepresentations, gross negligence, due diligence failures, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and inadequate supervision. The investor is seeking damages, interest, and costs.

With already $1.8B in investor funds, GPB Capital Holdings is now placing a pause on raising more funds while it concentrates on putting in order the accounting and financial statements of two of its biggest funds, the GPB Automotive Portfolio and the GPB Holdings II. Both, collectively have raised nearly $1.3B in investor money. To date, the two funds have paid brokers $100.1M in sales commissions.

The halt comes after GPB Capital, which is a top seller of risky private placements and concentrates on purchasing auto dealerships, missed its April deadline to file financial statements for the two funds with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. According to GPB Capital CEO David Gentile, in a letter that InvestmentNews was able to get a copy of, the delay in filing is a result of having to deal with accounting standards that mandate the two funds generate yearly audited financial statements that must be in compliance with SEC regulations, as well as with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s standards.

Gentile, who headed up his own accounting and advisory firm before launching GPB in 2013, said that “best practices and efficient reporting are a top priority”— hence the temporary halt in accepting money from new investors. Meantime, fund redemptions have been suspended and reportedly will resume after the financial statements and public filings are submitted.

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