Category Archives: Failure to Supervise

Dennis Van Patter Investigation -First Financial Services Group-Plano,TX

November 20, 2015-Plano, Texas

Dennis Van Patter , a broker with VSR FInancial Services operates his financial service business through First Financial Services Group in Plano, Texas.

Van Patter recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he violated numerous NASD and FINRA rules by recommending investments that were not suitable for the customer.

According to the AWC,  while associated with VSR Financial Services from 2008-2010, he recommended that a  customer invest $1.6 million in alternative investments such as REITs, note programs, oil & gas drilling partnerships and private placements.

Per FINRA, the investments recommended by Van Patter were all described in the offering documents as being “speculative,” “highly speculative,” “highly risky,” and/or involving a “high degree of risk.” This was contrary to the customer’s expressed desires.  The customer had ranked his top four objectives and risk tolerance on the VSR new account forms as: 1-Moderate Income, 2- Moderate Growth and Income, 3- Moderate Growth, and 4-Conservative Growth.

In addition to making recommendations that were far riskier that the customer’s expressed wishes, FINRA noted that as a result of Van Patter’s recommendations the customer had approximately 52% of his liquid net worth concentrated in high risk alternative investments.

AWC No.  2013036647401

Van Patter was suspended from association with any FINRA member for 45 days and fined $10,000.

FINRA records reveal that Van Patter has been named in 7 customer disputes that have been finalized. In May 2015 a customer filed an arbitration seeking damages of $495,000 alleging misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. The products involved were:

  • Annuity-variable
  • Direct Investments-DPP & LP Interests
  • Equipment leasing
  • Equity Listed
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate security
  • Other: Gold

That matter, FINRA Case #14-01249, was settled for $215,000.

According to FINRA records, Van Patter has been registered with VSR Financial Services since 1997.

VSR FINANCIAL’S PRIOR FINRA SANCTION FOR SALE OF ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS

In May 2013 VSR Financial was sanctioned and assessed a fine of $550,000 by FINRA in connection with the sale of alternative investments, non-conventional investments and private placements. See our prior posting on that matter. 

If you have losses in an account handled by Van Patter, you may be able to recover damages. Call to discuss your options with an experienced securities attorney.

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

Spartan Capital Securities Stock Broker Barred From Industry-Danbury, CN

October 13, 2015-Danbury, CN

Jeffrey David Snyder , entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he repeatedly refused to respond to certain questions at an on the record interview in connection with a FINRA examination concerning allegations that Snyder paid a customer compensation for investment losses without the knowledge or authorization of his employing firm.

AWC No.  2015045289901

Snyder was barred from the securities industry.

According to FINRA records, Snyder  was registered with Network 1 Financial Securities   from 3/2015-9/2015. Prior to that he was registered with Rockwell Global Capital  from 4/2012-4/2015 and Spartan Capital Securities from 8/2008-4/2012.

Snyder has been named in three customer complaints that resulted in settlements. Most recently, in 2013 a customer filed an arbitration seeking damages of $500,000 for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud and churning. That matter (Case #13-2397) was settled for $79,000.

If you have losses in an account handled by Snyder, you may be able to recover damages from the firm that employed him.

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

Reef Securities Broker Harris W. Kirk Investigation

SEE THIS FOR February 2016 Update.

November 25, 2015- Richardson, Texas 

Rex Securities Law is investigating Harris Wayne Kirk ,  a stock broker who on October 1, 2015,  rejoined  Reef Securities, Inc. According to FINRA records, Kirk was previously registered with Reef Securities from 2/1998 – 9/2013.

On Kirk’s official FINRA record, Reef Securities makes the following allegations related  to his discharge from Reef Securities in 9/2013:

“Actions inconsistent with corporate policy and management. Mr. Kirk provided inaccurate information regarding his outside business activities. “

According to FINRA the products related to the discharge were oil and gas investments.

Kirk’s FINRA record indicates that he has been named in 3 customer disputes. The most recent,  a FINRA arbitration filed  in 2015,  seeks damages of over $61,000 on oil and gas investments that were made while Kirk was employed by Reef Securities. The investor makes the following allegations in the  currently pending arbitration:

  • failure to supervise
  • failure to conduct independent due diligence
  • failure to adequately disclose risks of investment
  • breach of contract

Following his discharge from Reef Securities in 9/2013, Kirk was registered with Chestnut Exploration Partners, also located in Richardson, TX. According to FINRA, Kirk left Chestnut Exploration Partners in 2/ 2015.

Reef Securities, Inc. has been registered with FINRA since 1993 and has about 15 financial advisors operating from their office in Richardson, Texas.

Reef Securities, along with various other broker dealers, has sold to investors numerous oil and gas investments sponsored by the Reef Oil and Gas Companies, including the following:

  • Reef 2015 Oil & Gas Opportunity Fund
  • Reef 2015 Income Fund
  • Reef Bakken Bear Cat Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2012-A Private Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2011 Private Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2010 Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2009 Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2007-2009 Drilling Program
  • Reef Oil & Gas Drilling & Income Fund
  • Reef Oil & Gas Income & Development Fund III
  • Reef Oil & Gas Income & Development Fund IV

If you have losses in an account handled by Harris Kirk you may be entitled to recover damages from his former employer. Call 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

 

Update on Recovery of Reef Oil & Gas Investment Losses

Reef Oil and Gas of Richardson, Texas, has been sponsoring energy related investments for many years.   These investments are marketed by many different brokerage firms nationwide.

Investors who have suffered losses  on any of the offerings sponsored by the Reef Oil and Gas Companies  may be able to recover damages from the brokerage firm who sold the investment.

Brokers have a duty to make suitable recommendations to investors.  Brokers are also required to perform an independent due diligence investigation of the proposed investment before making a recommendation. The investigation is intended to help determine not only if the investment is suitable taking into account the investor’s age, health and level of financial sophistication, but also to determine if the proposed investment is being fully and truthfully represented by the sponsor.

Here is a partial list of recent Reef offerings:

  • Reef 2015 Oil & Gas Opportunity Fund
  • Reef 2015 Income Fund
  • Reef Bakken Bear Cat Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2012-A Private Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2011 Private Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2010 Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2009 Drilling Fund
  • Reef 2007-2009 Drilling Program
  • Reef Oil & Gas Drilling & Income Fund
  • Reef Oil & Gas Income & Development Fund III
  • Reef Oil & Gas Income & Development Fund IV

If you have suffered losses on any of the Reef Oil and Gas offerings, contact us to learn about your options for recovery.

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

 

Garrett “Drew” Ahrens- Former LPL Financial Broker-Discloses Sanction and Settlements Over REIT Investments-Lafayette, LA

May 2017- Lafayette, Louisiana

Garrett A. Ahrens  (aka Drew Ahrens) , entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that between January 2011 and June 2013, Ahrens prepared about 65 consolidated reports for at least four customers. The consolidated reports reflected the current value of investments including private placements and non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).

According to the AWC, the values of some of the investments were inaccurate and overstated the actual value of the accounts.

AWC No.  2013036001201

Ahrens was fined $5,000 and suspended for one month.

According to FINRA recordsAhrens  was registered with LPL Financial  from 6/1998 until 9/2015. He is not currently registered.

Ahrens discloses two prior customer disputes involving REITs that were settled.

In FINRA case 13-0316 a customer of LPL Financial alleged that limited partnerships and REIT investments were not suitable and that risks were not explained. That case was settled for $97,500.

In FINRA case 10-3678 a customer of LPL Financial alleged unsuitable investments in REITs (real estate investment trusts) , breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and other claims. That case was settled for $875,000.

If you have losses in an account handled by Ahrens, call for a no charge consultation to discuss your options with an experienced securities lawyer.

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