Category Archives: Coastal Equities

Luke M. Johnson-Coastal Equities Broker-Discloses Customer Suits-Scottsdale, AZ

September 2019-Scottsdale, AZ

We are investigating Coastal Equities Inc. broker Luke Michael Johnson on behalf of an Arizona resident who alleges that she was sold an unsuitable investment in GPB Capital Holdings. GPB Capital Holdings is currently under investigation by the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

GPB Capital Holdings‘ affiliates include:

  • GPB Holdings LP
  • GPB Holdings I
  • GPB Holdings II
  • GPB Automotive Portfolio LP
  • GPB Waste Management LP
  • Armada Waste Management
  • GPB NYC Development LP

GPB Holdings II and GPB Automotive have both seen substantial declines in value over recent months.

According to publicly available records Luke M. Johnson, discloses a pending customer dispute, 3 prior customer disputes and a termination 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 FINRA Case 18-4125 a customer of Coastal Equities/ Coastal Investment Advisors alleged that Johnson made unsuitable recommendations of alternative investments and limited partnerships. That case was settled for $225,000.

In FINRA Case 18-2266 a customer of Coastal Equities alleged that Johnson recommended unsuitable real estate securities causing losses. That case was settled for $140,000.

In pending FINRA Case 19-1548, a customer of Coastal Equities is seeking damages of $700,000 and alleges that Johnson made misrepresentations and omissions in  soliciting the sale of private placement investments.

Luke Johnson has been employed by Coastal Equities since 4/2012, and does business under the name of Legend Capital Group in Scottsdale, AZ.

If you have an account handled by Luke M. Johnson that you believe has been mishandled, contact us to learn how you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

Bill Downing-Former J.W. Cole Financial Broker-Discloses Customer Dispute & Bar From Securities Industry-Wimberley, Texas

February 2019-Wimberley, Texas

The FINRA records of  William (Bill) Glenn Downing ,  a  former stock broker who was last employed by Coastal Equities Inc.  disclose  a prior regulator event, a pending customer dispute, 3  prior customer disputes and 2 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 8/2018 FINRA permanently barred Downing from the securities industry to resolve allegations that Downing failed to cooperate with a FINRA investigation.

IN 10/2018 a customer of J.W. Cole Financial was paid $385,000 to resolve allegations that Downing made unauthorized and unsuitable trades in their account.

In FINRA Case 11-03772, a customer of Downing’s prior employer, Wells Fargo Advisors, alleged that he was sold unsuitable investments. That matter was settled for $162,500.

Downing was employed by Coastal Equities (dba The Hill Country Advisor)  from 8/2017-3/2018 Prior to that he was with J.W. Cole Financial 12/2012-6/2017.

In 7/2012, Downing was discharged from Merrill Lynch who made the following allegation on Downing’s FINRA record: “(1) Mismarking solicited trades as unsolicited (2) Exercising discretion in certain client accounts and (3) Communicating with an unauthorized third party.”

In 12/2000 Downing was discharged from Morgan Keegan for writing checks on his wife’s account.

If you have questions about an account handled by Bill Downing call for a no charge consultation to learn about 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

Neil Pecker of Deerfield Beach, FL, Ordered to Pay Millions in Fines/Restitution

UPDATE MARCH 2017-Deerfield Beach, FL

Public records disclose that on March 8, 2017, in an action filed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, a consent order was entered against Neil D. Pecker and his company Vision Financial Partners , who were charged with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation in connection with off-exchange binary options. Restitution of $2.7 million and a civil monetary penalty of $3..7 million were ordered. Case# 16-cv-60297. 

Pecker was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA in 12/2016.

ORIGINAL POST-July 2016-Longwood, Florida

The FINRA records of Neil D. Pecker  , a stockbroker who was last  employed by  Coastal Equities  disclose a pending civil event and a 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.

In February 2016 the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a civil action against Pecker and his company Vision Financial Partners, of Deerfield, FL,  charging them with fraud in connection with off-exchange binary options and registration violations. Pecker and his company are alleged to have diverted $2 million of client funds to bank accounts for their own use.

Pecker was employed by a number of broker dealers over the recent years, including Coastal Equities, Westpark Capital, Newport Coast Securities and First Midwest Securities.

Investors who suffered losses in an account handled by Neil D. Pecker may be entitled to recover damages from his former employer through FINRA arbitration. Call for 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

Rushton L. Ardrey-Former Newport Coast Securities Broker-Discloses Customer Disputes

July 2016-Boston, MA

The FINRA records of Rushton L. Ardrey, III  , a former stock broker employed by  Newport Coast Securities  disclose 3 prior final regulatory events, a prior customer dispute, 3 currently pending customer disputes and a termination 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 September 2015, without admitting or denying the findings, Ardrey entered into an agreement with FINRA to resolve allegations that he sent a wire of $33,000 from his personal bank account to that of a customer in order to reimburse the customer for losses sustained in her account without prior written authorization from his then member firm, Wells Fargo Advisors. Ardrey was suspended for 10 days.

Ardrey’s FINRA disclosure reports that in FINRA Case 12-4352, a customer while Ardrey was employed by UBS Financial Services and Wells Fargo Advisors alleged damages in excess of $1 million for unsuitable and excessive trading. That case was settled for $455,000.

In the three pending cases customers allege unsuitable, unauthorized and excessive trading. No damages are specified.

Ardrey was employed by Newport Coast Securities  from 10/2014-8/2015. Prior to that he was with White, Weld & Co. from 12/2013-10/2014, Coastal Equities from 12/2013-12/2013 and with Wells Fargo Advisors from 9/2009-11/2013.

Ardrey was discharged by Wells Fargo Advisors in 11/2013. Wells Fargo Advisors alleged that Ardrey “admitted to making a payment to a client to compensate for account losses’, in connection with the discharge.

Investors who suffered losses in an account handled by Rushton L. Ardrey, III, may be entitled to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

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

Michael Donnelly Investigation-Coastal Equities Broker Admits Theft From Elderly Clients

October 19, 2015

Former Coastal Equities broker Michael Donnelly of Lecanto, Florida, admitting defrauding his clients and to disgorge over $2.2 million. In addition he consented to an SEC order permanently barring him from the securities industry.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal district court in Philadelphia, Donnelly took funds from elderly and unsophisticated investors and instead of investing it as promised, used it to pay for his own expenses, including rent, car payments, golf club membership dues, and his children’s private school tuition.  Donnelly concealed his scheme by providing investors with false account statements, trade confirmations, and other bogus information that purportedly reflected their investment holdings and repeatedly told investors that their fictitious “investments” were performing well.  The scheme ran from 2007 through August 2014.

Donnelly’s victims were primarily elderly persons, many of whom were in their mid to late 80’s. One couple, age 81 and 83, lost $800,000.

If you have questions about the way your brokerage account is being handled or about losses in your account, call to speak 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