CMD Investigating Claims Against Foothill Securities, Inc. for Unsuitable, Over-Concentration of Customer Accounts in REITs

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against Foothill Securities, Inc. for failure to supervise and for  over-concentrating and recommending unsuitable REITs in customer accounts.

FINRA’s findings stated that Foothill Securities, Inc. maintained written guidelines for limiting customers’ investments in non-exchange-traded REITs and other non-liquid investments that stated that no single order in one non-liquid product should equal more than 10 percent of a customer’s investable net worth as of the time the order is placed, and that no order should cause a customer to have more than 20 percent of his or her investable net worth in non-liquid investments.  FINRA found that Foothill Securities, Inc.’s registered representatives recommended these illiquid, non-traded REITs to its customers that exceeded these concentration guidelines.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Foothill Securities, Inc. 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 is Investigating Claims Against IMS Securities, Inc. and Jackie Wadsworth Over the Sale of Variable Annuities and Real Estate Securities

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating claims against IMS Securities, Inc. and Jackie Wadsworth for unsuitable recommendations, over-concentration and failure to supervise.

According to FINRA, Ms. Wadsworth faces allegations of negligence, over-concentration, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations and failure to supervise.  The product types in the complaint are variable annuities and real estate securities, such as REITs.

IMS Securities, Inc. is a small Houston, Texas based firm that posted $11.5 million in revenue last year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its balance sheet is tilted heavily in the direction of high-commission products like variable annuities and non-traded REITs; close to 86% of its revenue in 2015 came from commissions, according to the SEC filing.

IMS Securities was one of the four leading sellers of real estate investment trusts sponsored by United Development Funding (UDF).  The bottom fell out of those REITs last December, after an investor website posted a report that alleged that UDF IV, which was a non-traded REIT that later listed as a publicly traded REIT, operated for years like a Ponzi scheme.  Management at UDF has denied those allegations.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with IMS Securities, Inc. and/or Jackie Wadsworth, 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 Securities America, Inc. (CRD# 10205)

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating complaints against broker-dealer Securities America, Inc., a a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Inc.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Nebraska based brokerage firm Securities America, Inc. (CRD# 10205) has been the subject of at least 29 customer complaints and 46 regulatory events, including sanctions.

In 2015, Securities America entered into an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with FINRA and consented to sanctions and findings that it failed to identify and apply sales charge discounts to certain customers’ eligible purchases of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs). As a result, the firm was censured, fined $275,000 and ordered to pay $477,686.88 in restitution.

In 2015, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, sanctioned Securities America following allegations of unsuitability, failure to supervise, and failure to enforce its written supervisory procedures.  Securities America was fined $70,000.

In 2005, a customer alleged that Securities America made misrepresentations, breach its fiduciary duty, breached its contract and was negligent in the handling of the customers account.  A FINRA arbitration panel awarded the customer $7,284,439.01.

In 2010, a customer alleged that Securities America made misrepresentations and/or omitted facts, breached its fiduciary duty, was negligent and failed to supervise the customer’s account.  A FINRA arbitration panel awarded the customer $1,155,466.01.

In 2012, a customer alleged that Securities America breached its fiduciary duty and made misrepresentations concerning Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).  A FINRA arbitration panel awarded the customer $573,316.29.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Securities America, Inc., 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.