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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. 

Owners Accused of Misappropriating Nearly $2.7M from Investors

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a civil fraud lawsuit accusing APEG Energy, GP, LLC (APEG) and its owners Paul W. Haarman and Patrick E. Duke of fraudulently raising over $17.4M from 115 investors of an oil and gas investment fund. 

These investors purchased limited partnership securities in APEG Energy, LP, a fund concentrated in the oil and gas industry. Now, the SEC is alleging misrepresentations and omissions, breach of fiduciary duty, and a deceptive scam that allowed the Fund and its owners to take almost $2.7M from investors.

Florida Arbitration Panel Refuses To Expunge Advisors’ Record of Options Overlay Case

In December, a  Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel in Boca Raton, Florida awarded a UBS Wealth management client and retiree $89,675 in his UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) claim over significant losses he sustained in the brokerage firm’s options overlay strategy. 

The award was for his unsuitability claim against UBS Financial Services. He also alleged negligence, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, omissions, failure to supervise, and breach of contract.

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies Can Lead To Losses, High Fees

If you are an investor whose broker recommended that you invest in a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and you have suffered losses on your investment, you should contact our investment fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com). 

SPACs grew even more popular in 2020 in the wake of COVID-19. Although they can be profitable for those who start one, they’ve also proven to be risky and can result in losses for investors. Contact SSEK Law Firm today to request your free, no-obligation consultation.

New York Investment Advisor Has Several Customer Disputes on His BrokerCheck Record 

Brian Wurdemann, an RBC Capital Markets registered representative, is named in a still-pending customer dispute in which the customer is seeking $1M in damages. The claimant contends that Wurdemann misrepresented three mutual funds, first while he was a UBS broker up through when he went to work at RBC Capital Markets.  

This is one of several customer disputes involving Wurdemann, including one from 2004 that appears to still be pending. 

Inversionista Latinoamericano alega Abuso y Fraude Financiero contra Ancianos 

En una reclamación de arbitraje ante la Autoridad Reguladora de la Industria Financiera (FINRA) contra Truist Investment Services, Inc. (t/c/c SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.), un jubilado de América Latina reclama hasta $500 mil en daños. La reclamante sostiene que su corredora le recomendó inadecuadamente invertir dicha cantidad de dinero en Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. La compañía solicitó protección por quiebra el año pasado.

Truist es la unidad de corredores/agentes de bolsa de SunTrust Bank. La compañía está registrada con FINRA. Los agentes de ambas entidades promovieron fuertemente los productos de inversión y anualidades de renta fija y variable de Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda), los cuales pagaban comisiones, bonos y otros incentivos que eran mayores que los ofrecidos por los productos más típicos de SunTrust Bank.

Lincoln, Nebraska Stockbroker Named In Multiple Six-Figure Options Overlay Claims 

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel has awarded two claimants over $1M in their UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) claim against respondent UBS Financial Services (UBS). 

Their broker, Jason Mathew Dworak, was not a respondent in the customer dispute. However, according to the FINRA award, the panel did not grant the broker-dealer’s request that the case be expunged from his CRD records. Dworak also is named in other pending options overlay claims involving UBS YES.

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. 

SSEK Law Firm Is Representing Arkansas Retiree In $500K Customer Dispute 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has barred ex-LPL Financial stockbroker, Rhett Douglas Bedwell after he refused to provide key documents into the self-regulatory organization’s probe into allegations that he invested funds from a client’s IRA in a Ponzi scheme. According to LinkedIn, Bedwell, who is based in Bentonville, Arkansas, is president and a financial advisor at Homestead Wealth Management.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) is representing this customer, an Arkansas retiree, in his $500K broker-dealer negligence case against the brokerage firm. If you are another investor who lost money while working with ex-LPL Financial broker Rhett Bedwell or another registered representative from that firm, contact us today to request your free, no-obligation case assessment. 

Latin American Investor Alleges Elder Financial Fraud And Abuse 

In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Truist Investment Services, Inc. (aka SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.), a retiree in Latin America is seeking up to $500K in damages. The claimant contends that her broker unsuitably recommended that she invest that amount in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. The company filed for bankruptcy protection last year. 

Truist is SunTrust Bank’s broker-dealer unit. The firm is registered with FINRA. Both entities’ agents heavily promoted Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda)’s fixed- and variable-rate annuity and investment products, which paid commissions, bonuses and other incentives that were greater than what the more typical SunTrust bank products offered. 

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