Approximately one year ago a customer lodged a dispute with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Jeanpierre Ayala (a/k/a J.P. Ayala) (CRD# 2765730) due to conduct that occurred while Ayala was employed by Laidlaw & Company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ayala is currently registered with Westpark Capital in Boca Raton, Florida.
According to Ayala’s CRD Report, published by FINRA, the customer alleged misrepresentation and recommendation of unsuitable investments over the course of 2013-2017 and now seeks $200,000. Ayala denies these allegations. The dispute arises out of private placement investments, including a real estate investment trust (REIT). The dispute is currently pending resolution.
Ayala’s customer dispute allegedly concerns a private placement. Private placements are unsuitable to most investors due to their highly complex and risky nature. Additionally, private placements are not subject to many of the laws and regulations designed to protect retail investors.
Prior to recommending a private placement, broker-dealers are obligated to conduct adequate due diligence to ensure that the investment is suitable for the customer. This includes an investigation into the company’s business prospects, executive team, financial statements, and any other red flags that may arise. Failure to investigate such red flags prior to recommending the investment could result in liability for the broker and the firm.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Ayala’s customer dispute also appears to concern at least one REIT. REITs are modeled after mutual funds. Typically, a company owns or finances income-producing real estate and in turn provides investors a revenue stream, diversification, and long-term capital appreciation. They are often advertised as sound retirement investments because they provide high dividend yields.
However, REITs are notoriously flawed. In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA issued warnings and guidance on REITs, pointing to commissions and fees as high as 15%, lack of transparency, and lack of liquidity. Investors in some REITs have ended up with significant lost value and the inability to liquidate by selling on a market because many REITs are not publicly traded.
Did You Lose Money Investing With Jeanpierre Ayala At Laidlaw & Company Or Westpark Capital?
Silver Law Group represents investors claiming unsuitability, misrepresentation, negligent portfolio management, and more. If you or someone you know lost money investing with Jeanpierre Ayala at Laidlaw & Company or Westpark Capital, please contact the Silver Law Group toll free at (800)-975-4345 or e-mail email@example.com for a confidential consultation. Our South Florida securities and investment fraud lawyers are admitted to practice in New York and Florida and represent investors nationwide.