Bice’s publicly-available FINRA BrokerCheck report includes five disclosures, four customer disputes and one employment separation after allegations.
The first disclosure on Bice’s BrokerCheck report is from 2002 and involves his termination from UBS Paine Webber. It’s alleged that he “directed an employee to sign client’s name to a new account form.” Bice’s statement says this was done to protect the client’s account.
In August 2016, a customer alleged that Bice made an unsuitable investment in a real estate security and requested $57,000 in damages. The case settled for $10,000 and Bice “maintains that he did not engage in any wrongdoing.”
In February 2018 a customer of Christopher Bice alleged “unsuitable investment recommendations, investment over-concentration, misrepresentation, and failure to supervise.” The complaint is related to a variable annuity and real estate security. The customer requested $750,000 in damages. The case is pending.
In November 2018 another customer alleged the exact same thing as the customer in the February complaint, related to a variable annuity product, and is requesting $1,000,000 in damages. This case is also pending.
SagePoint and GPB Capital Holdings
All four customer disputes against Christopher Bice were made during his time at SagePoint Financial, who he still works for. In 2019, Silver Law Group filed claims against SagePoint Financial for losses related to GPB Capital Holdings.
GPB Capital Holdings, a New York-based “alternative asset investment firm” that invests in car dealerships and trash hauling companies, has been the subject of a lot of bad news lately. In February 2019, the FBI raided its New York offices. The company is being investigated by the state of Massachusetts, FINRA, the SEC, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, and the New York City Business Integrity Commission.
GPB used broker-dealers like SagePoint to raise $1.8 billion for its private placement funds. In 2018 GPB announced it would stop raising new money to focus on fixing accounting and financial statements for its two largest funds, GPB Automotive Portfolio and GPB Holdings II.
Silver Law Group’s clients allege that SagePoint failed to conduct adequate due diligence and overconcentrated their accounts in GPB Capital. Further claims allege that SagePoint was motivated by high commissions and revenue.
Fortunately, investors who’ve lost money may have an opportunity to recover some of their losses. FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, requires broker dealers to make suitable recommendations to their customers and to do due diligence into investments they recommend. Also, brokerage firms are obligated to supervise their brokers to ensure they make suitable recommendations to their clients.
A failure in those obligations, such as a broker recommending risky private placement investments in GPB for an unsophisticated client who wants to be conservative with their money, can be grounds to recover losses through a FINRA dispute resolution claim.
Silver Law Group represents investors in securities and investment fraud cases against investment firms such as SagePoint Financial. Our lawyers are admitted to practice in New York and Florida and represent investors nationwide to help recover investment losses due to stockbroker misconduct. If you have any questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. Most cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you won’t owe us until we recover your money for you. Contact us today and let us know how we can help.