Japanese Investor is Requesting Up to $500K in Damages
Another investor in Japan has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Bankoh Investment Services over her Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) losses.
This time, the claimant is a small business owner who lives in Tokyo but who had accounts in the U.S. with Bankoh and Bank of Hawaii. She is seeking up to $500K in damages. Her Bankoh broker Yoko Farias is also a respondent in the case.
Our investment fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) are representing this investor in her FINRA arbitration case against Bankoh and Farias. We also represent other former customers of Farias that suffered losses from investing in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) products.
Investor Sought Low Risk & Safe Returns, But Instead Suffered Losses
The claimant was referred to broker Yoko Farias, based in Honolulu, by the Bank of Hawaii. Bankoh Investment Services is a Bank of Hawaii subsidiary, and Farias has been a financial advisor with the firm since 2001.
This investor entrusted Bankoh and Farias with her hard-earned savings. She sought minimal risk and safe returns, which they promised her. Unfortunately, the broker-dealer and its financial advisor abused her trust by overconcentrating a massive chunk of her assets in Northstar (Bermuda), which is now defunct.
Not only that, but the due diligence conducted on this investment was negligent, and the supervision of Farias by the firm was extremely poor. Unsuitability, misrepresentations, and omissions were factors. Farias has even described these products as very safe when they are unrated and lack many protections found in US-based products.
Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) products should never have been recommended to someone looking for safety and stability in the U.S. There were even better-rated offshore options that Yoko Farias and Bankoh Investment Services could have suggested to her.
At the end of 2018, the company didn’t meet statutory disclosures, and owner Greg Lindberg was later convicted of wire fraud and bribery in 2020. This made it clear that Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) was in trouble. Bankoh and Farias either didn’t know about any of this, or they did know and neglected to inform the investor.
Instead, they further placed her money at risk by continuing to reassure her that all was well with her Northstar (Bermuda) investment and no changes needed to be made.
Bankoh Investment Services and Yoko Farias Neglected Investors’ Best Interests
One can only assume that the high commissions and the other fees that broker Yoko Farias and Bankoh made from marketing and selling Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) were their incentives for recommending this risky, annuity-like offshore product.
By September 2020, Northstar (Bermuda) could report just $8M in assets and was said to have incurred an over $260M deficit. Lindberg likely funneled all of the company’s funds to special purpose vehicles he ran in the U.S. Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) filed for bankruptcy in December 2020.
Representing Many Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Investors in FINRA Arbitration
Investors’ chances to recover from the Bermuda receiver are slim, which is why it is so essential that they pursue their own financial recovery in FINRA arbitration with the help of our seasoned Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) investment lawyers.
SSEK Law Firm is working with dozens of investors against the many brokerage firms that sold Northstar (Bermuda) products to them. Watch this interview with SSEK Law Firm Attorney Kirk Smith and another former customer of Yoko Farias that we are representing:
Contact us today if you believe that your broker or brokerage firm unsuitably sold you Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) products. These products include the following:
- Global Interest Accumulator
- Global VIP Elite
- Global Advantage Select
- Global Index Product
- Global Advantage Plus Series
- P.B. Investment Holdings