Scott Mass of David Lerner Associates has been subject to five customer complaints

According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Scott Mass (Mass), currently employed by David Lerner Associates, Inc. (David Lerner) has been subject to five customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most of Mass’ customer complaints allege that Mass made unsuitable recommendations in a variety of investments including REITs, Puerto Rico bonds, and mutual funds.

In July 2018 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud and breach of contract in connection with the sale of Puerto Rico Bonds.  The customer alleges $500,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In December 2016 a customer complained that Mass violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments from June 2007 through July 2015 causing $90,000 in damages.  The claim settled for $15,000.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Scott Mass and/or David Lerner Associates 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.

Advisor Wenjinn Chang subject to complaints over alternative investments and REITs

Advisor Wenjinn Chang (Chang), currently employed by Independent Financial Group, LLC (Independent Financial) has been subject to at least two customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.

In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Chang violated the securities laws by alleging over-concentration of non-traded REITs that were not suitable and that resulted in losses. The claim alleged $50,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.

In September 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Chang violated the securities laws by Alleging that the broker failed to advise of the risks of the investments made and that the Claimant has suffered losses as a result of the investments made.  The claim alleged $75,000 in damages and the claim settled for $10,000.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Wenjinn Chang and/or Independent Financial Group, LLC 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 VFG Securities and Jason Bryce Vanclef for Over-Concentration in Illiquid Alternative Investments

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against VFG Securities and securities broker Jason Bryce Vanclef for over-concentration and failure to supervise in in connection with the recommendation and sale of illiquid alternative investments, such as non-traded direct participation programs (DPPs) and non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).  According to Mr. Vanclef’s FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of at least six (6) customer complaints.

VFG Securities and Jason Bryce Vanclef allegedly falsely claimed that non-traded direct participation programs (DPPs) and non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) provided both solid returns and capital preservation, according to the regulator. Vanclef allegedly promoted these illiquid alternative investments through a book he had written and peddled at company events. In the book, Vanclef allegedly claimed that investors could “reasonably achieve 8-12% results” with non-traded DPPs and non-traded REITs.

VFG also allegedly lacked any supervisory system from November 2009 to June 2013 to ensure that clients weren’t overly concentrated in such alternative investments, with at least two customers holding 90% of their net worth in just five non-traded DPP and non-traded REIT investments.  From November 2010 to June 2012, VFG allegedly received around 95% of its revenue from the sales of the two instruments. The regulator fined VFG $50,000 and suspended Vanclef from the industry for 10 days.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with VFG Securities and/or Jason Vanclef , 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 On Behalf of Investors Who Purchased Shares of United Development Funding IV (Symbol: UDF)

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims on behalf of investors who own or purchased shares of United Development Funding IV (Nasdaq: UDF).

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a Wells notice against UDF, an indication that SEC staff has made a preliminary determination to possibly recommend an enforcement action against the company.  Further, the Nasdaq stock market has delisted UDF IV shares.

The UDF family of REITs have been in turmoil for almost a year.  A hedge fund with a short position in UDF IV shares last December said the company had been operating for years like a Ponzi scheme.  Then, the FBI in February raided the REIT’s offices in suburban Dallas.  At the time, Nasdaq halted trading of UDF IV shares at $3.20, down 81% over the prior 12 months.

UDF IV, with $684 million in assets according to SEC filings, is a mortgage and development REIT.  UDF branded REITs and private deals were high yield offerings, promising investors returns of 8% to 10%.  Various UDF REITs, including UDF IV, have halted paying investors distributions over the past year.  UDF IV was a nontraded REIT that listed on Nasdaq in June 2014.  It was sold to investors from 2009 to 2013 at $20 per share.

During the last few months, UDF IV has publicly claimed that it was working to file its 2015 annual reports and its last three quarterly reports with the SEC in order to begin trading again. However, this never happened.

If you or someone you know lost money investing in shares of United Development Fund IV , UDF IV or any of the UDF REITs , 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 Clams Arising from Investments in REITs of Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc., now known as InvenTrust Properties Corp.

Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating potential claims arising from investments in REITs of Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc. (Inland American), now known as InvenTrust Properties Corp.  Inland American has been the largest issuer of non-traded REITs in the United States.

Generally, a non-traded Real Estate Investment Trust, or “REIT”, is a company that owns and operates income producing real estate, such as apartment buildings, office buildings and shopping centers.  The company sells shares to investors to raise capital to purchase the underlying assets and operate the company.  Non-traded REITs are not traded on any stock exchange, and are generally, illiquid.  Non-traded REITs are often marketed by brokers to older investors as providing high yields, price stability and a steady income stream through periodic distributions.  What brokers often gloss over when selling these products to clients are the high commissions they receive, the lack of liquidity, high fees and other substantial risks.  Among the risks that are often not adequately disclosed is the fact that a REIT may suspend its shareholders’ ability to redeem his or her shares, or reduce, or entirely suspend distributions – the income stream that many brokers use to entice retirees to invest in a REIT.

Many non-traded REITs, including Inland American Real Estate Trust, have fallen short of brokers’ rosy promises and representations of price stability and a steady income stream.

If you or someone you know lost money or were misled about a non-traded REIT, such as Inland American Real Estate Trust, now known as IvenTrust Properties Corp., you may be entitled to recover your 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.