Category Archives: Oil & Gas Royalty Trusts

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

SEC Files Action vs. FL and TN Oil and Gas Deal Scammers

August 2017-Ft. Lauderdale, FL/ Gallatin, TN

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two men from Tennessee and a man from Florida with allegedly defrauding investors by false promises of high returns from an oil drilling investment.

The SEC Complaint, filed in Savannah, GA, alleges that David R. Greenlee and David A. Stewart, Jr. orchestrated a $15 million scheme through a network of salesmen who raised money from investors who were promised profits of 15-55% per year for decades on wells that would use enhanced recovery techniques to boost production.

Neither Greenlee nor Stewart was registered to sell investments and they routinely used fake names , like “Dave Johnson”, when speaking with investors in order to hide their past criminal records. According to the SEC, only a small fraction of the money raised was actually used as intended.

The SEC alleges that Richard “Ric” Underwood helped draft brochures and oversaw a boiler room sales team of telemarketers in Florida who solicited victims nationwide.

The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Georgia has instituted criminal charges in a parallel action.

Companies listed by the SEC as being used in the scam include:

  • Tennstar Energy
  • Black Gold Resources (BRG)
  • Southern Energy Group

Other individuals involved, but not named defendants, per the SEC complaint are Robert Dorrance, 60, of Gallatin, TN, and Jared G. Forrester, 33, of Glasgow, KY.

If you invested in this scheme at the suggestion of a licensed stock broker , you may be able to recover damages from the broker’s employer. Call for details.

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.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Couple Awarded $550,000 For Losses on Breitburn Energy Investments-St. Louis

September 2017-St. Louis, MO

A FINRA arbitration panel ordered J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons to pay a couple $450,000 in compensatory damages, $100,000 in punitive damages and costs of over $18,000. The couple alleged that the firm and broker sold all of their blue chip stocks and invested all of the funds in a highly speculative oil and gas company, Breitburn Energy Partners Limited.

The couple contended that the lack of diversification exposed them to massive risk which was contrary to their conservative investment objectives and risk tolerance. Benitone, et al vs. J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC, FINRA Case 16-01819. 

Stockbrokers have a duty to make recommendations that are suitable in light of your age, health and level of financial sophistication. Brokers are required to make recommendations that comply with your stated investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Many investors have suffered significant losses in oil and gas and other energy related investments over recent years. If you have questions about losses on energy investments, 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.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

John S. Simpson – Former RBC Capital Markets Broker-Discloses $11M Customer Suit- Hunt Valley, MD

June 2017- Hunt Valley, MD

According to publicly available records John Scott Simpson  (CRD#719367) ,  a  former stockbroker who was last employed by  RBC Capital Markets,   discloses one regulatory event, a currently pending customer dispute, five prior customer disputes and two terminations from employment.

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 12/2016 to resolve allegations that Simpson refused to appear for on the record testimony in connection with FINRA’s investigation of the conduct giving rise to his discharge from RBC Capital Markets, Simpson was permanently barred from the securities industry.

In   2016 four customers of  RBC Capital Markets settled customer complaints against Simpson citing allegations of unsuitability, unauthorized trading, not monitoring accounts, over concentration in the oil sector,  and ignoring requests to reduce exposure to the oil and gas sector in portfolio. Those cases were settled for various cash amounts.

In currently pending FINRA case 16-02205 a customer of RBC Capital Markets alleges that his portfolio was concentrated in the energy and metals sectors and was unsuitable for people of that age and risk tolerance.   The alleged damages are $11,000,000.

In 1/2016, Simpson  was discharged from RBC Capital Markets who made the following allegation on his FINRA record: “violation of firm policy regarding use of discretion in clients accounts“.

In 2003 Simpson, employed by UBS PaineWebber,  was discharged after allegations of “unauthorized trading, violation of the firm’s solicitation policy and management’s loss of confidence“.

John Scott Simpson was employed by RBC Capital Markets from 3/2009 to2/2016, with Ferris, Baker, Watts 5/2003 – 3/2009 and PaineWebber 11/1980 until 5/2003.

If you have losses  in an account handled by John Simpson contact us to discuss your legal options.

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

Brian K. Hardwick-Former Red River Securities Broker-Discloses Sanctions Over Oil & Gas Deals

May 2017 – Carrollton, TX

According to publicly available records Brian K. Hardwick  (CRD#4522460) ,  a  former stockbroker who was barred by FINRA from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public discloses 2 final regulatory events and two pending 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.

In February 2017 Hardwick was fined $16,214, ordered to pay restitution of over $24 million and barred from the securities industry.  A FINRA hearing panel found that Hardwick violated securities laws by making material misrepresentations and omissions related to joint venture offerings that were set up as general partnerships for the purpose of engaging in oil and gas drilling. The findings stated that Hardwick did not provide authorizations for expenditures (AFEs) to investors and wildly inflated income distributions on prior wells and failed to disclose conflicts of interest.

A petition pending in Nueces County, Texas, seeks damages of $5.8 million and alleges misrepresentations in connection with an oil and gas investment. 2011-PR-00490-4

Hardwick’s registration history includes:

  • Red River Securities of Plano, TX                12/2009-2/2014
  • Sethi Financial Investments, Plano, TX    2/2009-3/2009
  • Texas Securities Inc, Carrollton, TX            11/2002-3/2007

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

John Carolyn-UBS Financial Broker-Subject of Numerous Customer Arbitrations Involving Oil & Gas Investments-Houston, TX

May 2017-Houston, TX

The FINRA records of John Carolyn,  a  stockbroker who is employed by  UBS Financial Services  disclose 5 pending customer disputes involving oil and gas securities  and one prior customer dispute.

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 disputes include:

  • FINRA case 17-0513- a UBS customer seeks damages of $70,000 for unsuitable concentration of oil and gas investments.
  • FINRA case 16-2280- a UBS customer seeks damages of $450,000 for unsuitable concentration of oil and gas investments.
  • FINRA case 16-1941- a UBS customer seeks damages of $100,000 for unsuitable concentration of oil and gas investments.
  • FINRA case 16-1731- a UBS customer seeks damages of $750,000 for unsuitable concentration of energy securities.

 

John Carolyn has been employed by UBS Financial Services since 4/2002.

If you have questions about an account  handled by John Carolyn , contact us to discuss your options.

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

Jonathan T. Pyne-Berthel Fisher Broker-Discloses Settlements Over Alternative Investments-Minneapolis, MN

May 2017-Minneapolis, MN

The FINRA records of  Jonathan T. Pyne (aka Jon Pyne )  ,  a  stockbroker who is currently registered with Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services disclose a pending customer dispute and 3 prior final 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.

In the currently pending  a customer of Berthel Fisher alleges damages in an unstated amount due to poor performance of the overall account. The investments at issue include oil & gas, real estate securities and business development companies. This complaint was received by Berthel Fisher in September 2016.

In September 2016 Berthel Fisher settled a complaint brought by one of Pyne’s customers alleging that oil and gas and real estate securities purchased in 2008 and 2009 were unsuitable and misrepresented. That matter was settled for $48,175.

In FINRA arbitration 14-0952 a customer of Pyne’s alleged damages of $250,000 in connection with the sale of unsuitable investments sold to her in 2007 and 2008 in equipment leasing, oil and gas and real estate securities. That case was settled in 11/2015 for $110,000.

Pyne has been employed by Berthel Fisher & Co.   since 2/2007. Pyne discloses a business affiliation with Evergreen Financial Group.

See this for our prior investigation of Jonathan T. Pyne over the sale of the following alternative investments:

  • Gulf Coast Rig & Equipment
  • Reef Income & Development
  • Leaf Equipment Leasing Fund
  • Inland American
  • Cornerstone Properties (now Summit Health Care)
  • Columbia Properties

If you have questions about an account  handled by Jonathan T. Pyne , contact us to discuss your options.

Alternative investments include non publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) , equipment leasing, oil and gas, 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