Category Archives: Unsuitable Investments

Lisa Allen-Former VSR Financial Services Broker-Investigation-Austin, TX

December 2017–Austin, Texas

We are investigating former VSR Financial Services broker Lisa A. Allen (Lisa Ann Fowler)  in connection with the sale of various direct investments including real estate securities and limited partnership interests.

According to FINRA records in 2013 Allen was was the subject of  a FINRA arbitration by a customer alleging unsuitable investments, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the sale of various direct investments. FINRA Case #13-2256.

FINRA records  report that Allen is currently registered with Calton & Associates. She was previously registered with VSR Financial Services from 6/2002-8/2016. Lisa Allen discloses a business relationship with Smart Money Group, LLC.

VSR’s  Alternative Investment Problem & Closing of Firm

VSR Financial Services closed down its offices in the Fall of 2016.

See below for discussion of VSR’s regulatory issues related to the sale of real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil and gas partnerships and other alternative investments and how you may be able to recover damages for losses on those investments.

VSR is well known for its sales of alternative investments such as non-traded REITs, equipment leasing programs, oil & gas drilling programs, promissory notes and commodity funds. In 2013, VSR and its president Donald Beary, were sanctioned by FINRA in connection with the sale of alternative investments. VSR paid a fine of $550,000.

Recovery of Investment Losses On Limited Partnerships and Other Alternative Investments Purchased From VSR Financial

Over the past several years we have represented a number of investors, mostly retirees, who were recommended alternative investments with the promise of steady, dependable income and minimal risk.

Follow this link for other postings related to the recovery of losses on investments purchased from VSR Financial Services.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

If you have losses in an account with VSR Financial Services, contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses .

Time is of the essence, so if you have a claim, you would be wise to pursue immediately.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,  provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Mark Trewitt-Former VFG Securities Broker-Discloses 11 Pending Customer Suits-Plano, TX

November 2017-Plano, Texas

According to publicly available records Mark A. Trewitt , (CRD# 1364490) ,  a   stockbroker who formerly worked for VFG Securities discloses 11 pending customer disputes and a two prior customer disputes.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

The pending cases include:

FINRA Case 17-2010-a customer of VFG Securities seeks damages of $150,000 for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the recommendation to purchase private non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).

In March 2017 a customer of VFG Securities filed FINRA Case 17-0669 seeking damages of $300,000 alleging an over concentration of alternative investments, including limited partnerships, direct investments in equipment leasing, promissory notes and real estate investments.

In February 2017 a customer of Madison Avenue Securities and VFG Securities filed FINRA arbitration 17-0217 claiming damages of $400,000 and alleges that between 2007-2011 Trewitt sold the customer real estate investment trusts (REITs) and private placements that were misrepresented.

In June 2016 a customer of VFG Securities claimed damages of $130,000 for unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentations of investment program safety for investments made by Trewitt in limited partnerships and private placements made between December 2012-June 2015. The matter is currently pending.

In March 2016, in another matter that is currently pending, a customer of VFG Securities claimed damages of $213,000 for poor and unsuitable recommendations and advice and deceptive marketing practices by Trewitt related to direct investments, limited partnerships and private placements.

In a prior matter that was settled in 12/2014 a customer of VFG Securities alleged a misappropriation of his investment in KBR Barons Cove, a private placement. That matter was settled with Trewitt buying back the investment from the customer for the $25,000 purchase price.

Trewitt worked for  VFG Securities from 11/2010-11/2017 and  Niagara International Securities from  4/2017-6/2017. Prior to that he was employed by Madison Avenue Securities in Plano, TX, from 9/2006- 11/2010.

Mark A. Trewitt discloses numerous other business activities with other entities, including:

  • Insurance Funding Solutions
  • Integrated Financial Solutions
  • First Financial Resources
  • Stop the Wealth Leakage, LLC
  • Exceptional Risk Advisors
  • First Life Funding & Succession Capital Alliance
  • SDC Energy (Sandview Development Corp.)
  • Kosmos Management, LLC 

If you have questions about an account handled by Mark A. Trewitt, contact us to discuss your options.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures.  These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Timothy T. Gibbons-Former Morgan Stanley Broker-Ordered to Pay Former Customers $749K-New Orleans,LA

NOVEMBER 2017 UPDATE-FOLLOW THIS LINK.

May 2017-New Orleans, LA

According to FINRA records, Timothy T. Gibbons a former Morgan Stanley broker, without admitting or denying the findings, entered into an agreement with FINRA to resolve allegations that he made unsuitable investment recommendations to five elderly customers ranging in age from 72 to 90.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

According to FINRA Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2015047910601, Gibbons over concentrated the accounts of these elderly clients in a single energy sector security. The concentration level in the customer’s accounts ranged from 65% to 79%.

The recommendation to invest in such a manner was unsuitable based on the customer’s age, risk tolerance, investment objectives and financial circumstances. FINRA Rule 2111(a) requires stockbrokers to have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy is suitable for the customer taking those and other factors such as tax status, investment experience time horizon and liquidity needs, into account.

Gibbons, who was employed by Morgan Stanley from 2009-2015,  was suspended from association with any FINRA member for 18 months, fined $20,000 and ordered to pay partial restitution to the customers of $716,750.

 

If you have questions about an account handled  by Timothy Gibbons or if you believe your broker over concentrated your portfolio in energy stocks or made other unsuitable recommendations, call for a no charge consultation.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Charles Geraci Investigation-Former VSR Financial Services Broker-Woodlands, TX

November 2017-The Woodlands, Texas

According to FINRA records, Charles Geraci a former VSR FInancial Services broker who is not currently registered with any brokerage firm, discloses two pending customer disputes and 6 prior customer disputes that have been resolved .

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In currently pending FINRA Case #16-1180, a customer of VSR Financial Services alleges damages of $930,216 for negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract and unsuitable investments in equipment leasing, real estate securities, limited partnerships and other direct investments.

In currently pending FINRA case 16-2097,  a customer of VSR Financial Services alleges damages of $500,000 for unsuitable investments in private placements and alternative investments including:

  • Behringer Harvard REIT I
  • Cole Credit Property Trust II
  • United Development Funding III
  • Cypress Income Fund VII
  • FS Investment Corporation
  • Odyssey Diversified Notes IX
  • Grubb & Ellis Healthcare
  • Canadian UIT

FINRA records indicate that Geraci was employed by VSR Financial Services 6/2008-1/2013 and then again 1/2014-7/2016. From 1/2013-12/2013 he was employed by Sagepoint Financial.

 

VSR Financial Services Problems with Alternative Investments

In July 2013, FINRA fined VSR Financial $550,000 for over concentrating   customer accounts with various  alternative investments. See this for more information.

During the past three years we have represented quite a few people seeking damages from VSR Financial Services  for losses suffered on investments made  in REITs, oil and gas partnerships, equipment leasing and other alternative investments. Follow this link for more information on our investigation into the sales practices of VSR Financial Services.

Many of these investments were purchased years ago and persons suffering damages from these investments should be aware that there are statutes of limitations and regulatory rules that may make it impossible to collect damages if claims are not brought in a timely manner. Victims who wish to pursue their claims should act now without further delay or risk losing valuable legal rights.

If you have questions about an account handled  by Charles Geraci or if you have losses in an account at VSR Financial Services, call for a no charge consultation.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

RBC Capital Ordered to Pay $723K For Sale of MLPs to Senior Citizen-Tampa, FL

November 2017-Tampa, FL

A FINRA arbitration panel comprised by an all public panel of three arbitrators, ordered RBC Capital Markets and broker Bruce Cameron of Norwell, Massachusetts,  to pay a former client, an elderly lady, $723,000 for losses suffered in an over concentration of oil and gas master limited partnerships (MLPs), which included:

  • Breitburn Energy Partners
  • Enable Midstream Partners
  • Enterprise Products
  • Ferrellgas Partners
  • Gramercy Property Trust, 
  • JP Energy Energy Partners
  • Mid Con Energy Partners
  • Southcross Energy Partners
  • Summit Midstream Partners
  • Tallgrass Energy Partners
  • CrossAmerica Partners
  • Enlink Midstream Partners

The panel found RBC and Cameron liable on the claims of negligence, negligent supervision and breach of fiduciary duty. FINRA Case #17-0305, Nourie, et al v RBC Capital Markets

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. When a customer seeks to recover damages for losses incurred in a stock brokerage account, cases are typically filed as arbitrations with FINRA dispute resolution. Arbitration is generally must quicker and more efficient than court litigation. Cases are often resolved in 12 months or so.

Brokers have a duty to make suitable recommendations to customers, taking into account their age, health, net worth and risk tolerance.

If you have losses in your account that you believe are the result of the negligence or improper advice of a broker, call to learn about how you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

The Law Office of Robert H. Rex, P.C.  , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Mickey Long-Former VSR Financial Broker-DIscloses Numerous Customer Complaints Over Alternative Investments-Plano, TX

November  2017-Plano, Texas

According to public records former VSR Financial Services broker M. F. (Mickey) Long discloses a prior final regulatory event, 10 prior customer disputes that are final and 4 pending customer disputes. In addition Long discloses a prior regulatory matter that is final.

Three of the prior customer disputes were brought by Long’s customers while he was employed by VSR Financial Services and allege damages related to investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil and gas, equipment leasing and promissory notes (alternative investments). Settlements paid by VSR Financial in those three cases are $196,500, $82,500 and $235,000.

The three pending cases against Long are all brought by customers of VSR Financial and relate to alternative investments such as REITs, oil and gas and equipment leasing. Damages sought in the four pending cases range from  $94,438 to $838,389. Claims alleged are highly unsuitable investments that are illiquid and that were overly concentrated.

In October 2016, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) entered a Disciplinary Order against M. F. (Mickey) Long II. 

The TSSB Order made certain findings with regard to Mr. Long’s business practices during the time he was employed by VSR Financial Services (6/2002-6/2016), including the following:

  • Long routinely recommended that VSR Financial clients invest in non-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and interests in exploratory drilling programs sold through private offerings (Alternative Investments)
  • Long recommended that a client of VSR Financial who was over 70 years of age invest in Alternative Investments at risk tolerance levels that were excessive.
  • Long did not have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendations he made to invest in the Alternative Investments were suitable for this elderly client.

Long and and his new employer Calton & Associates agreed that so long as Mr. Long is registered with Calton he will not sell or recommend the purchase of any Alternative Investments.  In addition, Long and Calton agreed that Calton will establish a heightened supervision plan for the supervision of Mr. Long’s practice for two years. Mr Long’s registration with TSSB was suspended for 45 days as a part of the Order.

See this for prior posts on Mickey Long. 

VSR Financial’s Prior Issues with Alternative Investments

VSR Financial Services was fined $550,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in May 2013 in connection with the sale of alternative investments. In their findings, FINRA criticised VSR Financial for recommending high concentration levels of alternative investments in customer accounts and for its lack of supervision over the use of consolidated reports prepared by brokers and provided to customers. VSR Financial announced that they were winding down their brokerage business and transferring many of their brokers and customer accounts  to an affiliated entity Summit Brokerage Services in the fall of 2016.

See this for prior posts on VSR Financial Services.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , hedge funds, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts and, managed futures. It may also include art, wine, antiques, coins or stamps. These investments tend to be complex, illiquid, nontransparent, hard to value and expensive. Many of the alternative investments sold over recent years are not traded on any public market making them difficult to value and even more difficult to liquidate if cash is needed.

Long was employed by VSR FInancial  Services from 6/2002-7/2016. He has been registered with Calton & Associates since 6/2016. Long discloses a business affiliation with Wealth Preservation Consultants and  First FInancial Services Group.

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Mickey Long or  another VSR Financial Services broker, contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

The Law Offices of Robert H. Rex, P.C.  , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870