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Articles Tagged with Berthel Fisher

Suspended Broker Accused of Making Unsuitable Recommendations to Retiree

If you sustained investment losses while working with ex-Berthel Fisher broker Mason Gann, contact our stockbroker fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) today. Gann, who is not a registered broker at this time, is serving a three-month suspension imposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The self-regulatory organization (SRO) found that he made unsuitable recommendations in the account of an elderly retiree.

According to the self-regulatory organization (SRO), between 8/2015 and 1/2018, Gann recommended that this investor employ a high-risk options trading strategy. This retiree, who was in his 70’s at the time, not only had “modest retirement savings” and “limited income,” but he was also an inexperienced investor. FINRA contends that Gann did not have reasonable grounds for making such recommendations to this particular customer.

Berthel Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. and its affiliate, Securities Management & Research, Inc. are going to pay the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority a combined $775,000 for purported supervisory deficiencies related to leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds and non-traded real estate investment trusts. The firm settled without deny or admitting to the allegations.

FINRA claims that from January 2008 to December 2012 Berthel Fisher had inadequate written procedures and supervisory systems to deal with the sale of alternative investment products, such as managed futures, non-traded REITs, oil and gas programs, managed futures, business development companies, and equipment leasing programs. The SRO says that the brokerage firm’s staff were improperly trained with regard to state suitability standards, and criteria wasn’t properly enforced in a number of alternative investment sales because the firm did not figure out the correct concentration levels of certain financial instruments.

FINRA also said that from 4/09 to 4/12, Berthel Fisher lacked a reasonable basis for certain ETF sales, resulting from numerous reasons, including a failure to properly review or research non-traditional ETFs before letting registered representatives make recommendations to customers. Inadequate sales training was not provided and some customers suffered losses because the brokerage firm did not monitor investment holding periods.

Investor Jon Hanson is suing Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. for allegedly not conducting the necessary due diligence on the TNP 2008 Participating Notes Program or making the proper disclosures to parties like him that backed the high-risk investment. The private placement went into default in 2012.

The independent brokerage firm, which not so long ago settled the majority of investor claims over real estate deals involving Diversified Business Services and Investments Inc., (a real estate manager that is now bankrupt), could be facing a class action securities case involving a failed deal with Tony Thompson, the real estate investor. This would be the first time that a broker-could be hit with a class action over a Thompson National Properties LLC-sponsored product.

According to Hanson’s securities fraud lawsuit, Berthel Fisher allegedly know there were misrepresentations and omission in the TNP 2008 Participating Notes Program memorandum yet did not probe further into the red flags. Instead, the financial firm used the “misleading TNP 2008 PPM” to help collect about $26.2M from more than 200 investors. Although the independent broker-dealer did not sell all of the TNP 2008 Notes Program and not all of the $26M was sold to its clients, it is a defendant of this private placement case because it was the underwriter of the deal.

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