Texas-Based Broker Sold GPB Private Placements To Retiree Couple
Once again, Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) has filed an investor fraud claim against a broker-dealer after its financial advisor sold investments in GPB Capital Holding’s funds to customers.
This time, the brokerage firm is International Assets Advisory (IAA), LLC and the broker involved is Williams Keen Butcher who is based in Houston.
The claimants, a couple in their 70s who are also from Texas, are retail investors whom Butcher, also known as Keen Butcher, persuaded to invest nearly 100% of their portfolio in private placements. This included $150K in GPB investments. The money was for their retirement and they are claiming $150K in losses.
GPB Capital Holdings, which invests in car dealerships and waste management, is accused of operating a $1.8B Ponzi scam. While the alternative asset firm’s executives enriched themselves through the sales of private placements in several GPB funds – broker-dealers and their registered representatives made more than $160M in commissions from the transactions – it’s the investors that have suffered losses with redemptions suspended over a year ago. GPB funds continue to plunge in value and the firm continues to promise but not provide financial statements.
GPB Capital Holdings remains embroiled in Ponzi fraud allegations, ongoing investigations by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and others.
It is also the subject of a slew of lawsuits by former business partners and GPB investors, including this one.
International Assets Advisory Broker Contacted Couple Through Mailer
In this latest GPB investor fraud case, the claimants contend that Williams Butcher presented himself as someone who specialized in income strategies who could help them avoid unnecessary risk. He had introduced himself to the couple through a mailer that offered them a free meal in return for hearing this pitch.
He and International Assets Advisory promised them a solid financial plan, low risk, the chance to make money, and a return of principal. Unfortunately, instead, the International Assets Advisory broker placed the retirees’ funds in an aggressive portfolio of private placements that were unsuitable for them and not properly allocated.
Two of those investments included the GPB Automotive Portfolio Limited Partnerships, which is one of the largest GPB funds, and the GPB Arvada Waste Management fund. These are not the types of investments that should have been recommended to older retirees. All GPB funds have dropped dramatically in value since then.
Misrepresentations, Unsuitable Recommendations and Poor Supervision
The couple was unaware they’d taken on too much risk. Now, after losing their entire GPB investment, they are alleging the following:
- Breach of contract
- Unsuitable recommendations
- Failures of due diligence
- Gross lack of supervision
Our GPB investment fraud lawyers at SSEK Law Firm have found the inadequate supervision of Keen Butcher by International Assets Advisory to be simply inexcusable.
Poor oversight of a broker where investor losses result is most certainly grounds for a brokerage firm negligence case – especially when insufficient communication with the financial advisor, lack of onsite management, and inadequate monitoring to ensure suitability and compliance were factors. A reasonable supervisor should have never approved trades that placed so much of a moderate investor’s funds in private placements.
Broker Investigation: Williams Keen Butcher
During his 21 years in the industry, Butcher has worked for 11 broker-dealers. Aside from continuing to work as an International Assets Advisory broker, he has been a registered representative with a number of other firms including:
- Courtlandt Securities
- Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co
- JMP Securities
- Banc of America Securities
- CMS Investment Resources
- Foley Mufson Howe & Co
- Rauscher Pierce Refsnes
- SW Ryan & Co (which FINRA expelled in 2015) and others
Butcher’s BrokerCheck record shows one other pending customer dispute brought earlier this month. The claimant is seeking $100K in damages.
GPB Investor Fraud Lawyers
Over 60 broker-dealers have sold GPB investments to their customers. SSEK Law Firm is pursuing GPB investment fraud cases on behalf of many of these investors including claims against International Assets Advisory, Kalos Capital, Arkadios Capital, Ameriprise and others.
Contact us today to request your free, no-obligation case assessment so that we can help you explore your legal options.