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Articles Posted in Private Placements

Scottsdale, Arizona Investment Advisor Was Fired By Broker-Dealer Coastal Securities

Luke Michael Johnson, currently Managing Director for Prime Capital Investment Advisors in Paradise Valley in the Scottsdale area, is named in over a dozen pending disputes by investors seeking damages for losses they allegedly suffered while working with him. Johnson was also the president of Legend Capital Group and a former Capital Securities broker where he worked for seven years. 

There are 19 disclosures on his BrokerCheck record. The majority of these are investor claims, with a number of them requesting damages that are in the six- or seven-figures.

Ex-Concorde Investment Services Broker Allegedly Made Negligent Recommendations 

Robert Scott Smith, the President of Peregrine Private Capital in Newberg, Oregon, and a former Concorde Investment Services, is named in multiple Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims by former customers that invested in GPB private placement funds at his recommendation. 

GPB Capital Holdings is accused of running a $1.8B Ponzi scam. Smith is one of a number of Concorde Investment Services brokers who sold this alternative asset firm’s private placements to customers. 

Former Customers of Boca Raton, Florida Financial Advisor Request $700K in Damages

Two investors have filed separate Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims against Noble Capital Markets registered representative, Joseph Menachem Hain, also known as Joey Hain. Based in Boca Raton, Hain is the broker-dealer’s investment banking director. He also is the co-founder of the advisory firm, Intrinsic Value Partners

Hain has worked in the industry for 14 years. Other firms where he used to be a broker include Paulson Investment Company, Aegis Capital Corp., Westpark Capital, Tejas Securities Group, Wynston Hill Capital, and Robotti & Co. 

Three Pending FINRA Arbitration Claims Accuse Triad Advisors Broker of Unsuitability

Lee Duckworth, the CEO of investment advisory firm Capital Wealth Management and a Triad Advisors stockbroker, was recently named in three Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims accusing him of making unsuitable investment recommendations to customers. 

At least one of the disputes involves private placements from GPB Capital Holdings, an alternative asset firm accused of running a more than $1.5B Ponzi scam. Duckworth is a West Warwick, Rhode Island broker and investment advisor.

Investor’s FINRA Arbitration Claim Seeks Damages of Up to $100K

A Florida retiree has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against the brokerage firm, National Securities Corp. 

The claimant contends that agents of National Securities Corp overconcentrated his account in real estate investment trusts (REITs), privately traded securities, and private placements. This included a large position in GPB Capital Holdings, which is accused of operating an over $1.5B Ponzi scam.

Michael Cohn Allegedly Stole Information About SEC Probe Into GPB Ponzi Scam Allegations

Nearly a year after he was charged with obstruction of justice, Michael Cohn, the former Chief Compliance Officer of GPB Capital Holdings, has pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor crime of theft of government property. 

The initial charges against him had been classified as federal crimes and included obstruction of justice, unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, and unauthorized computer access.

Delayed Filing with the SEC Shows 45.2% Drop in AUM Over 18 Months 

Last month, GPB Capital Holdings finally filed its Form ADV with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) after requesting an extension from the regulator in 2019.  

In the form, the alternative asset firm, which is already under siege in the wake of numerous federal and state regulator investigations, an FBI probe, and lawsuits accusing it of operating a massive Ponzi scam, reported a $196.3M decline in assets under management (AUM) over 18 months from the end of 2017 to the end of June 2019. That’s a 45.2% drop from $434.3M in AUM to $238.6M. 

Alternative Asset Firm Gets Federal Aid While Its Investors Fight To Recover Their Losses

Even as the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the FBI, state regulators and others have continued to investigate GPB Capital Holdings over allegations that it ran an up to $1.8B Ponzi scam, the alternative asset firm and its affiliated companies were able to secure between $3M and $7M in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans following the outbreak of COVID-19. 

News of the loans was disclosed by the Small Business Administration.  GPB is one of over 660,000 small businesses that received loans under the PPP program, which is part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Watch Out for Brokers Looking to Make High Commissions During COVID-19

With the market crashing in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), many investors are suffering from massive losses in their portfolio and are looking to their brokers for investment advice.

Unfortunately, not all stockbrokers work with their customers’ best interests at heart, breaching their fiduciary duty in the process. There are also unscrupulous registered representatives who may even seek to take advantage of these hard times and try to persuade investors to buy into risky investments that charge high commissions. Such fraudulent and negligent behavior will lead to even more investment losses and ultimately, acts of stockbroker misconduct. 

Preferred Apartment Communities Investors Pay High Commissions

Throughout the United States, our non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) are speaking to investors whose registered brokers or investment advisors persuaded them to invest in Preferred Apartment Communities, which is a non-traded REIT. 

This investment has paid stockbrokers up to 7% commission and comes with additional fees, including around 4-5% in brokerage firm fees and offering costs. 

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