CMD Investigating Claims Against First American Securities, Inc. for Unsuitable Recommendations of Private Placements

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against First American Securities, Inc. for recommending unsuitable private placements, failure to supervise, inadequate due diligence, and investor offering documents (PPM) that contained misleading and unwarranted statements, omissions of material information and material misrepresentations.

According to FINRA, First American Securities, Inc. was censured, fined $150,000, and ordered to disgorge commissions of $190,000, plus interest in connection with private placements.  In addition, according to FINRA, First American Securities, Inc. failed to follow its written supervisory procedures (WSPs) relating to due diligence requirements for private placements.  As well as supervisory deficiencies and inadequate due diligence which caused the firm to lack a reasonable basis to recommend one of the offerings to customers. First American Securities, Inc. distributed offering documents to investors which negligently made untrue statements of material facts or omitted to state material facts necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, and made statements which were not fair and balanced, and were misleading, exaggerated and unwarranted.

In order to invest in a private placement, the investor must be an accredited investor.  For a person to to be an accredited investor, the investor must be any natural person who had an individual income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with that person’s spouse in excess of $300,000 in each of those years and has a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year; or any natural person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with that person’s spouse, exceeds $1,000,000.

If you or someone you know lost money investing in private placements with First American Securities, Inc. or was not an accredited investor at the time of the private placement, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD is Investigating Claims Against Ari Financial Services, Inc. and broker William Candler for Suitability

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (“CMD”) is investigating claims against brokerage firm Ari Financial Services, Inc. and broker William Candler for suitability and failure to supervise.

In August 2016, Ari Financial Services, Inc. and broker William Candler entered into an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) with FINRA.  Ari Financial Services, Inc. and broker William Candler consented to FINRA sanctions and to the entry of findings that William Candler failed to conduct reasonable due diligence regarding a private placement that the firm sold directly to retail investors.  The findings stated that as a result, Ari Financial Services, Inc. lacked a reasonable basis to believe that the private placement was suitable for any investor.  The offering was later discovered to be a Ponzi scheme, and customers who purchased interests lost their collective investment principal of approximately $560,000.  The findings also stated that as a result of deficiencies in its supervisory system, the Ari Financial Services, Inc. failed to identify and prevent the dissemination of misleading and imbalanced advertising and sales materials by registered brokers, and failed to ensure that the offering materials prepared and distributed contained sufficient and accurate disclosures. The findings also included that Ari Financial Services, Inc. failed to document the written approval of the advertising and sales material it used, and the first and last dates of use.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Ari Financial Services, Inc. and/or William Candler , you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Complaints Against Portfolio Advisors Alliance, LLC and Broker Howard J. Allen

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating complaints against broker-dealer Portfolio Advisors Alliance, LLC and Howard J. Allen (CRD# 2033586).

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), New York based brokerage firm Portfolio Advisors Alliance, LLC (CRD# 101680) has been the subject of at least 3 regulatory events, and Portfolio Advisors Alliance and Mr. Allen have been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with repeatedly lying purchasing high yield securities.  In addition, Howard J. Allen 4 regulatory events, 5 customer complaints, and the aforementioned SEC action.

On February 3, 2016, the SEC charged Portfolio Advisors Alliance and Howard J. Allen with repeatedly lying to investors purchasing high-yield securities.  The SEC alleges that Portfolio Advisors Alliance and its owner Howard J. Allen and President Kerri Wasserman allegedly knew the offering documents were inaccurate yet continued using them to solicit sales of American Growth Funding II LLC.  According to the SEC, Howard J. Allen became aware by no later than June 2012 that American Growth Funding II LLC’s offering documents were not accurate, but he continued using them to solicit investors.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Portfolio Advisors Alliance, LLC and/or Howard J. Allen, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Against Ridgeway & Conger, Inc., And Securities Brokers Kenley Brisard, Philip Brisard and Leigh McCobb Garber

Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating potential claims against Ridgeway & Conger, Inc., and securities brokers Kenley Brisard, Philip Brisard and Leigh McCobb Garber.

FINRA’s Department of Enforcement filed a complaint alleging that Ridgeway & Conger, Inc., Kenley Brisard and Philip Brisard sold an unregistered security that consisted of interest-only strips from loans issued by the United States Small Business Association (SBA) meant only for Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) to individual retail investors at undisclosed markups using general solicitation emails that fraudulently misrepresented the product and their role in its development.

The complaint alleges that Kenley Brisard and Philip Brisard willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder when they engaged in fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions of material fact in connection with customer purchases of securities with respect to the emails they sent to customers.  The misrepresentations and omissions in Kenley Brisards’ statements to customers were material because a reasonable investor would consider them important in making investment decisions, because they significantly altered the total mix of information made available to the solicited customers, and because they denied the investors the opportunity to make an informed decision about whether to invest in the SBA interest-only security. The complaint also alleges that Kenley Brisard and Philip Brisard, in connection with offers of the SBA interest-only security, sent false and fraudulent emails containing similar misrepresentations and omissions to additional customers and prospects, and failed to comply with Section 17(a)(1) of the Securities Act of 1933.   FINRA alleges that Kenley Brisard and Philip Brisard knowingly, willfully and/or recklessly ignored and/or contradicted the PPM for the SBA interest-only security to which they had ready access, and they made statements that had no underlying factual basis.  Kenley Brisard and Philip Brisard failed to reasonably and/or independently investigate and understand the SBA interest-only security before they recommended the investment to customers and failed to reasonably consider the information contained in the PPM.

The complaint further alleges that Ridgeway & Conger, Inc. charged excessive markups on customers’ unregistered securities transactions. In each of the transactions, the firm purchased the SBA interest-only security for its own account from a placement agent, and shortly thereafter sold it to individual retail customers. In each of these transactions, the firm already had the order from the customer in hand before it purchased the security from the placement agent. In each instance Leigh McCobb Garber, on the firm’s behalf, signed the trade tickets approving the markup. In total, the firm charged approximately $112,408 in markups for a security which the firm purchased for a total of about $548,722 and sold to customers for a total of about $661,131. Nothing in the nature of the Ridgeway & Conger, Inc.’s or Kenly Brisard or Philip Brisard’s business or the identified purchases of the SBA interest-only security justified the size of the markups on the purchases by the firm’s customers.  In addition, the complaint alleges that the firm fraudulently failed to disclose the excessive markups on trade confirmations or otherwise to purchasers of the SBA interest-only security, thereby willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and violated FINRA Rule 2020. Ridgeway & Conger, Inc.’s misrepresentations and omissions were material because a reasonable investor would consider them important in making investment decisions.

Furthermore, the complaint alleges that Ridgeway & Conger, Inc. and Leigh McCobb Garber failed to establish and maintain proper supervisory systems and procedures for the firm’s sales of Securities Act of 1933 Rule 144A securities, markup and Section 5 activities related to the sales of the interest-only unregistered security.

If you or someone you know has a complaint or lost money investing with Ridgeway & Conger, Inc., and/or securities brokers Kenley Brisard, Philip Brisard and Leigh McCobb Garber, you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at CMD are experienced in representing investors in fraud, suitability, private placements, and failure to supervise actions against brokers and brokerage firms. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid. Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating losses In ICON Leasing Fund Twelve

Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating investors who sustained losses in ICON Leasing Fund Twelve (“ICON”).

Investors who purchased ICON may not have been aware of the risks and lack of liquidity of the ICON Leasing Fund Twelve. ICON’s registration statement, Form S-1, filed with the SEC warns that ICON involves a high degree of risk and you should purchase shares only if you can afford complete loss of your investment. In addition, the registration statement states that the ability to sell shares will be limited because their is no public trading market, as the shares are illiquid.

Brokerage firms that sold ICON had a fiduciary duty to make investment recommendations that were suitable with an investor’s risk tolerance, investment objectives and financial needs. Further, brokerage firms are required to adequately disclose the risks associated with the investment and perform the necessary due diligence to determine whether the investment had a reasonable likelihood of success.

According to LPsales.com, a secondary marketplace for limited partnerships, units of ICON Leasing Fund Twelve selling for $145.00 as of February 2016. That’s nearly 85% less than the original purchase price of $1,000.00 per unit.

If you or someone you know lost money investing in ICON Leasing Fund Twelve, you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration.  Brokerage firms that fail to perform adequate due diligence, or that make unsuitable recommendations, can be held responsible for losses in a FINRA arbitration claim. The attorneys at CMD are experienced in representing investors in suitability, fraud, private placements and failure to supervise actions against brokers and brokerage firms. CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.