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Articles Posted in GPB Capital

Boutique Broker-Dealer Pays Another 7-Figures to Resolve Customer Disputes 

Independent brokerage firm Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, Inc. has agreed to settle another Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim with investors.  This time, 50 customers had pursued financial recovery from the firm. 

According to the broker-dealer’s yearly audited financial statement that it recently submitted with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the settlement amount is $1.6M. Wentworth Management Services, which owns the firm, will pay $1.2M while its insurer will cover the rest.

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. 

Customers of Sagepoint Financial, Royal Alliance Associates, and FSC Securities Have Suffered Losses in the GPB Funds 

According to InvestmentNews, three Advisor Group brokerage firms raised their reserves for expected “legal and regulatory matters” by up to three times last year. The firms disclosed this information in their 2020 Focus Reports, which are financial statements that they recently submitted with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Although the broker-dealers did not explain what they needed these added legal reserves for, they are among the dozens of financial firms that collectively earned over $160M in commissions from selling GPB private placements to investors. 

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. 

States Allege Self-Dealing: Key GPB Capital Parties Used Investors’ Money to Fund Luxury Expenses 

In separate lawsuits suing GPB Capital Holdings and other key parties for defrauding investors in a more than $1.8B Ponzi scam,  Missouri and Illinois regulators are accusing former GPB Capital Holdings CEO, David Gentile, and Ascendant Capital owner, Jeffry Schneider, of illicitly collecting over $40M from the alternative asset firm’s operations. 

The two men, along with ex-GPB Managing Partner, Jeffrey Lash, were recently arrested in a related federal criminal case that was brought parallel to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s own civil lawsuit. GPB Capital Holdings is an alternative asset firm that is accused of operating like a Ponzi scam that defrauded over 17,000 investors. 

Regulator Wants to Prevent Alternative Asset Firm From Causing Investors More Financial Harm

In U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has submitted a court filing asking that a monitor be appointed to prevent GPB Capital Holdings, LLC from committing more alleged misconduct and disposing of any assets that could be used to recover investors’ money. The regulator is suing the alternative asset firm for allegedly defrauding more than 17,000 investors in an over $1.7B Ponzi scam.

The SEC contends that having a monitor is warranted and needed. The Commission wants to give this person broad powers over “non-privileged books, records, and account statements for the entities and assets” related to GPB Capital Holdings’ portfolio companies and funds. 

State Lawsuits Come After SEC Complaint and FBI Arrests

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing GPB Capital Holdings along with five co-defendants for running a mass Ponzi scam.

The NY AG contends that the alternative asset firm and private equity fund manager, which is based in the state, defrauded investors throughout the US of over $700M. The complaint said that more than 1,400 of those victims were New Yorkers who invested over $150M.

Claimants Had Alleged Negligence, Poor Supervision, and Other Charges 

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel has awarded one customer and his trust $515K in their GPB private placement fraud claim against Arete Wealth Management. The Chicago-based brokerage firm also has been ordered to pay all of the claimant’s legal fees. The award is more than twice what was sought by the claimants, who had requested $225K in damages. 

This is just one of the thousands of broker-dealer negligence claims brought against the financial firms and their registered representatives that marketed and sold GPB investments to their customers. GPB Capital Holdings, which invests primarily in waste management and auto dealerships, has allegedly been running an over $1.5B Ponzi scam. 

Justice Department Files Parallel Criminal Charges Against GPB Capital’s David Gentile and Others

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed civil charges against GPB Capital Holdings CEO and owner David Gentile, ex-GPB managing partner Jeffrey Lash, Ascendant Capital owner Jeffry Schneider, and affiliated entities, including Ascendant Alternative Strategies, of defrauding 17,000 retail investors in a more than $1.7B in a Ponzi-like scam.

GPB Capital Holdings, an alternative asset firm that invests in auto dealerships and waste management, has been under investigation over Ponzi fraud allegations by the SEC, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and others for more than two years. Now, in a parallel case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York has filed criminal charges indicting Gentile, Lash, and Schneider. If convicted, they could each spend up to two decades in prison.

Jeffry Schneider, David Gentile, and Jeffrey Lash, GPB Capital Principals Indicted

Our firm has written extensively about GPB Capital and allegations that the “investments” were a massive Ponzi scheme. The U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has indicted several of the principals of GPB Capital, and the indictment was unsealed today, February 4, 2021.

Specifically, the district attorney incited Jeffry Schneider, David Gentile, and Jeffrey Lash. These individuals were also all arrested today and will appear before local courts for initial appearances in Austin, Texas, Fort Myers, Florida, and Boston, Massachusetts. According to the indictment, Jeffry Schneider, David Gentile, and Jeffrey Lash misrepresented the GPB Capital investments to investors about “the source of funds used to pay monthly distribution payments to investors in several of the GPB Funds, including Holdings I, Automotive Portfolio and Holdings II, and (b) the revenue generated by Holdings I in 2014 and Automotive Portfolio in 2015.” These allegations are also non-exclusive, meaning the prosecuting attorneys are leaving open-ended the totality of misrepresentations that are at issue.

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