Japanese Couple Files FINRA Arbitration Case for Up to $500K in Damages
Two older investors from Japan have filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Bankoh Investment Services and its broker Yoko K. Farias in Honolulu, Hawaii, over Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) losses. This offshore entity is now in liquidation proceedings.
Yoko Farias is also with the firm Pacific Century Investment Services. She has been named by other investors who worked with Bankoh as their registered representative of record that unsuitably recommended and sold Northstar (Bermuda) products to them.
Our Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) securities lawyers represent these two claimants in FINRA arbitration against Bankoh and Farias. There are dozens of investors for whom we are fighting to help recover the losses they sustained after being marketed and sold Northstar (Bermuda) annuity-like investments.
Bankoh and Farias Allegedly Concentrated Claimants in Risky, Offshore Company
While the claimants are citizens of Japan, they had a Bank of Hawaii account. Through this financial institution, they were introduced to subsidiary Bankoh Investment Services. Now, the brokerage firm is accused of taking their savings and overconcentrating a considerable chunk of their assets in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda). This firm has since become defunct.
It is unclear why Bankoh Investment Services did not recommend that the couple invests in US-based products with better protections. Or even in other offshore investments that were better rated or rated at all. Even after Northstar (Bermuda) neglected to fulfill statutory disclosures at the end of 2018 and 2019, its owner, billionaire Greg Lindberg was indicted for crimes in 2019.
Bankoh Investment Services ceased to market the company’s products to customers. The broker-dealer and its financial advisor allegedly never informed these Japanese investors of the latest developments. Instead, they purportedly reassured them that all was well and no changes needed to be made to their investments.
Inexperienced Investors Wanted Safety. Instead Got High Risks While Bankoh Earned High Commissions
These were two investors inexperienced in working with a US-based financial firm. They claim that Bankoh and Yoko Farias allegedly promised them that their accounts would be structured for principal protection. Instead, the couple had reportedly been concentrated in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) investments, which were highly risky and unsuitable for them.
More than $300K of this annuity-like investment was allegedly recommended to these customers even as they remained oblivious to the perils. Not only that but misrepresentations and omissions were allegedly made. Meanwhile, Bankoh and Faris earned high commissions and fees.
This FINRA arbitration claim is not a hindsight complaint about an investment that went bad. This is a suitability case allegedly involving undue concentration in an unsuitable product and gross lack of supervision during the entire of the claimants’ account. As far back as 2011, credit rating agency Moody’s had issued a “very negative” outlook for Bermuda as a place for making investments.
As Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) was an unrated entity, this was like investing these customers in an unrated bond. It made no sense to place all of the couple’s assets in this investment. Not only that, but Northstar (Bermuda) owner Lindberg was known for overleveraging his acquisitions. He is now serving time in prison. Also, the US Department of Justice was already investigating him in 2018.
Read more about Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda), its products, and related entities.
Seasoned Northstar (Bermuda) Investor Law Firm
SSEK Law Firm represents dozens of investors, including foreign nationals, in FINRA arbitration in the US over Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) losses. This includes customers who worked with Bankoh Investment Services and broker Yoko Farias. If you are a Northstar (Bermuda) investor who would like to explore your legal options with SSEK Law Firm:
In the US, call: (800) 259-9010
International Via WhatsApp (text only): 713-227-2400