On February 4, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it charged three people and their affiliated entities with running a “Ponzi-like scheme” that raised more than $1.7 billion by selling private placements issued by alternative asset management firm GPB Capital Holdings. Continue reading ›
GPB Capital investors are suffering catastrophic losses on their investments. GPB has reduced the valuations of their portfolio and investor complaints against selling brokers continue to pile up.
GPB Capital includes the following funds:
- GPB Cold Storage
- GPB Automotive Fund
- GPB Automotive Income
- GPB Holdings II and III
- GPB Waste Management
- GPB NY Development
The claim requests compensatory damages for our clients, and alleges that Voya failed to supervise Flynn’s conduct while he was working for them relating to the sale of Phillip Edison REIT, Business Development Corp of America (BDC), and other investments. Continue reading ›
UBS has marketed a so-called “Yield Enhancement Strategy” (YES) to certain of its clients as a safe way to increase the return on their money. Unfortunately, though marketed as low-risk, their Yield Enhancement Strategy was quite risky and ended up causing some investors to lose money. What was supposed to increase wealth ended up destroying it.
Investors may have been steered into this strategy without understanding the risks involved, and could be eligible to recover some of their losses through FINRA arbitration. Continue reading ›
On May 1, 2018, FINRA Department of Enforcement entered into a settlement via Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) with Respondent Laidlaw & Company. Without admitting or denying any wrongful acts, Laidlaw consented to a public censure by FINRA, the imposition of a $25,000 fine, as well as agreeing to give FINRA a written statement saying that systems mentioned in the AWC are designed to achieve compliance with “applicable securities laws, regulations, and rules.
FINRA Enforcement alleged that from April 2014 through December 2015, Laidlaw did not establish and maintain a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures (WSPs) designed to ensure that recommendations of leveraged and inverse exchange traded funds (Non-Traditional ETFs) complied with applicable securities laws and FINRA rules.
Non-Traditional ETFs are risky financial products because they are designed to return a multiple of an underlying benchmark or index over the course of a trading session. They are not intended to be held for more than a single trading session. FINRA Regulatory Notice 009-31 states “The performance of Non-Traditional ETFs over periods of time longer than a single trading session can differ significantly from the performance of their underlying or benchmark during the same period of time.”
John William Cutshall (CRD #874352) is a registered broker and former registered investment advisor currently employed with Lombard Securities Incorporated (CRD #27954) of Woodsboro, MD. His previous employers include Morgan Stanley (CRD #149777), RBC Capital Markets, LLC (CRD #31194) and Ferris, Baker Watts, LLC (CRD #285), also of Frederick, MD. He has been in the industry since 1979.
Cutshall has four recent disclosures in his record. The most recent is a pending FINRA disciplinary complaint filed by their Department of Enforcement on 8/10/2018 (the full complaint is available here.) His actions are described in detail regarding the misappropriation of trusts that he was administering for three individuals. Between 2012 and 2014, Custshall abused his position for these trusts (for one elderly woman and a now-deceased married couple), converting and improperly using funds from the trusts.
The trust provided for the couple’s disabled daughter, who was in a residential facility for intellectually disabled individuals. When the daughter died in 2012, Cutshall used his position as a trustee to write 34 checks from the trust for a total of $400,000. These checks were deposited into his own bank account. Cutshall then presented an unwitnessed handwritten note that was allegedly written by the deceased husband, but not the wife. The note named Cutshall as a 50% beneficiary, defending his converting of funds from the trust. He took a total of $463,000, which was more than he was entitled to, assuming the note was genuine. Cutshall never disclosed this note until 2013, and failed to disclose to two firms that he was a client’s trustee.
Leon Vaccarelli allegedly defrauded a total of nine clients out of more than $1 million
In May, former financial advisor Leon Vaccarelli was charged with 12 counts of fraud and money laundering in a federal court in Connecticut. If convicted on all of them, he could receive a maximum penalty of 210 years in prison. After pleading not guilty, Vaccarelli was released on a $100,000 bond.
Vaccarelli is alleged to have stolen money from several clients between 2011 and 2017. During that time, he reportedly informed his clients that their money would be invested in different places, including money market accounts and retirement products. What Vaccarelli actually did, according to investigators, was put the money into his own account and use it to pay his own expenses. In addition, federal prosecutors also say that he also used client money to make interest payments to other investors.
Silver Law Group is investigating brokers and brokerage firms that sold American Finance Trust, Inc. Recently, the American Finance Trust (Stock Ticker: AFIN) begins trading on the Nasdaq Exchange 40% less than what investors initially paid.
American Finance Trust went public and was listed on the Nasdaq Exchange in July 2018. American Finance Trust began trading on the exchange at $15-per-share, which is $10 less per share than what many investors paid when they initially purchased the investment, making it a collective billion-dollar disaster for investors.
Silver Law Group is investigating claims on behalf of investors who purchased American Finance Trust, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFIN) – a real estate investment trust (REIT) sponsored by AR Global with a focus on the management and acquisition of a service-focused tenant portfolio.
AFIN REIT LOSSES?
According to a report from investment bank, Robert A. Stranger & Co. Inc., AFIN American Finance Trust’s listing has been described as a “belly flop,” and has “eroded approximately $1,000,000,000.00 of the company’s equity value.”
As many brokers and other investment professionals know, investing in a REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust, is something that’s best left to experienced, sophisticated investors. There’s a reason for that, and some recent activities have proven, once again, that illiquid REITs are definitely not for amateurs.
There are two types—publicly traded and nontraded. While both file papers with the SEC, file regular reports and must return 90% to shareholders, there are obvious differences. Of course, one is traded publicly, and the other isn’t. The idea is that eventual dividends come from the real estate that it’s invested in.