Articles Tagged with Inc.

Dawn Bennett, an ex-financial advisor and broker, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for operating a $20M Ponzi scam that involved 46 investors. She also must pay $14.5M in restitution and forfeit another $14M.

Many of Bennett’s victims were retirees who heard about her because she hosted a radio show. In 2018, Bennett was convicted by a jury on federal charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements on a loan application.

According to evidence given at trial, Bennett solicited investors for her online clothing business DJB Holdings, LLC, also known as, touting a 15% yearly interest rate through promissory and convertible notes.

Many investors of Retail Properties of America, Inc. (RPAI) suffered huge losses after the real estate investment trust’s IPO opened with an $8 offering price. Formerly known as Inland Western REIT, Retail Properties not only made its public debut at an offering price below the expected $10-$12 pre-offering price, but also some reverse-stock-split engineering had to happen for the price to even hit $8. Also, for investors that originally bought the REIT at $10/share almost 10 years ago, the split-adjusted value of the stock was under $3. These results could cause nontraded REITs that have been thinking of going public to have second doubts about making such a move. Real Properties is the third biggest shopping center REIT in the United States.

An IPO is usually good news for an nontraded REIT. Unfortunately, in this case, Retail Properties’ longtime investors will need a lot of assistance from the public markets in order to get a good return on their original investment. Our stockbroker fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP are currently investigating claims involving Retail Properties Inc./Inland Western REIT.

Although Real Properties saw its shares leap 9% soon after trading started on April 5, a huge rally will have to happen for original investors to break even. This can be attributed in part to the complicated formula of reverse stock splits for this IPO. That same day, the stock closed at $8.76.

The Real Properties IPO had gone for a 10-for-1 reverse stock split plus a recapitalization of existing common stock that created a 2.5-for-1 reverse stock split. The company also offered just a quarter of the shares during the initial offering. Three follow-up stock sales are to take place over the next year and a half.

Following the IPO, Real Properties CEO and president Steven Grimes sent a letter to shareholders talking about how the economy has done damage to the real estate market and he doesn’t know when/if recovery will happen. According to Investment News, problems with this particular REIT started to come up as early as 2005, when the fund stopped bringing in capital. The subsequent market crash didn’t help, which was when Real Properties discovered that there were properties in the portfolio were overpriced and overvalued. Debt maturity problems and legacy issues were also matters of concern.

Investors of the illiquid nontraded REIT had no choice but to stay the course—even two years ago when dividend yields were reduced to 1% from 6.4% down. That figure is now at 2.5%.

Last September, Real Properties, then known as Inland Western, submitted its filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the filing, the company said its share value was $6.95. This is 140% more than its IPO’s split-adjusted value and 30.5% under its original $10 price.

Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LLP Investigating Claims Involving Inland Western REIT, Now Known as Retail Properties of America, Inc., Yahoo Finance, April 16, 2012

REIT’s market debut a big dud, Investment News, April 8, 2012

More Blog Posts:
Private REITs: The Need for Tougher Oversight?, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, February 25, 2012

Investor Complains to FINRA About Behringer Harvard Holdings, LLC-Related Real Estate Investment Losses, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, January 24, 2012

David Lerner & Associates Ignored Suitability of REITs When Recommending to Investors, Claims FINRA, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, June 8, 2011

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