Wedbush Securities Bryan Gill activities subject of Nevada Secretary of State Order

securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the sales activity of Bryan Gill, a North Las Vegas based former registered representative and investment advisor formerly affiliated with Wedbush Securities, who was investigated for doing business out of an unlicensed branch office in North Las Vegas.  Gill has been the subject of at two customer complaints that went to arbitration, resulting in awards to the customers.

The administrative action that gives rise to this investigation is the NV Secretary of State (Securities Division) administrative order dated September 17, 2017: “In the matter of Wedbush Securities, Inc.”   In its findings of fact, the Securities Division found that Bryan Gill, while licensed with Wedbush Securities did business out of an unlicensed branch office in North Las Vegas.  According to the finding of fact in the order, the Secretary of State began inquiring into Gill’s activities in North Las Vegas beginning in August, 2016.  Subsequent notices were sent in October, 2016 and March, 2017 asking for information.  On May 3, 2017 investigators for the NV Secretary of State’s Securities Division attempted to conduct an on-site inspection of Gill’s unlicensed branch office but Gill refused to admit his identity to the investigators. Finally, in May, 2017 Wedbush provided the NV SOS with documents establishing that Gill was conducting securities related business out of the North Las Vegas location from July, 2016 through May 2017 while the branch was not licensed.

Former Securities America Broker Jeremy Kisner Conduct Subject of NV Secretary of State Action

The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the sales activity of Jeremy Kisner, a Phoenix based investment advisor formerly affiliated with Securities America, and formerly doing business out of an unlicensed branch office in Las Vegas.  Kisner has been the subject of at least one customer complaint that went to arbitration, resulting in an award to the customer.

The administrative action that gives rise to this investigation is the NV Secretary of State (Securities Division) administrative order dated March 5, 2018: In the matter of Securities America, Inc.”   In its findings of fact, the Securities Division found that Jeremy Kisner, while licensed with Securities America did business out of an unlicensed branch office on Hillwood Drive in Las Vegas.  According to the finding of fact in the order, the same location housed four businesses: American Dream U, Nevada Benefits (Surevest Capital and Financial Services and Investment corporation.  Mr. Kisner has been affiliated with Surevest Wealth Management since 2009, and was the subject of a separate Nevada Secretary of State regulatory action in 2009 regarding Surevest.

Activities of Ricardo Cabrera subject of Nevada Secretary of State’s Administrative Order against G.F. Investment Services.

The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the sales activity of Ricardo Cabrera, a Las Vegas based investment advisor formerly affiliated with G.F. Investment Services as well as Wittman Capital Management.  Our firm has received multiple calls from investors who were placed into illiquid investments through Cabrera and Wittman’s sales activities in Nevada.

The administrative action that gives rise to this investigation is the NV Secretary of State’s (Securities Division) administrative order dated September 4, 2018: “In the matter of G.F. Investment Services, LLC”.   In its findings of fact, the Securities Division found that Ricardo Cabrera, while licensed with G.F. Investment Services operated an unlicensed branch office in Sun City Summerlin that was a co-location with Wittman Capital Management.  The NV SOS found that Cabrera transacted business from the Sun City branch, which was never properly licensed through G.F. Investment Services.

Michael Bayliss Investigation

In August, 2019, a FINRA arbitrator panel sitting in Reno, Nevada made an award in excess of $700,000 in favor of an investor in the Michael Bayliss Wealth Strategies Fund.  The award was made against TD Ameritrade for failing to properly vet the Michael Bayliss investment.  Among the claims asserted were those for failure to supervise, breach of contract and violations of state and federal securities laws.  The award includes pre judgment interest and reimbursement for Claimant’s expert witness fees.

The case was brought against TD Ameritrade, which acted as an IRA Custodian for funds managed by Michael Bayliss and his Wealth Strategies Fund.  The investor asserted that being associated with TD Ameritrade gave Bayliss credibility, and it was this association that lead her to place her trust in him and his firm.  The investor also alleged that TD Ameritrade failed to inquire into valuations provided by the Wealth Strategies Fund, giving her a false sense of security as to the value of her investments.

Lucia Securities investigation into variable annuity and non-traded REIT sales

The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the sale of illiquid and high risk securities by a Henderson, NV based FINRA registered representative with Lucia Securities (aka Lucia Capital Croup).

The pending customer complaint  that gives rise to the investigation concerns a number of high commission variable annuities, as well as high risk, illiquid non traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) including Preferred Apartment Communities Income Fund, and Business Development Corporation of America, high commission illiquid REITs.  The registered representative with Lucia Securities recommended these illiquid, high commission investments that were supposed to provide income, liquidity and a safe return of principal for retirement purposes.  Instead, due to an over concentration into these programs, the customers have been unable to liquidate their holdings, and have suffered substantial unrealized losses.  Among the investments at issue are: Preferred Apartment Communities Income Fund, Business Development Corporation of America and Axa and Metlife variable annuities.

GPB Capital Holdings the subject of regulator complaints

FINRA, the securities industry regulator has opened an investigation into GPB Capital Holdings, a New York based investment firm that has raised nearly $2 billion from investors nationwide through a series of private placements.  This is in addition to an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Adding to GPB Capital Holding’s woes, in March, 2019 the firm announced that agents from the FBI made an unannounced trip to its offices as part of their own investigation.

GPB Capital Holding’s private placements were sold by reps from dozens of broker dealers to income starved investors looking to supplement their retirement income. Often omitted in the sales pitch is that these private placements provide huge commissions to the broker, while the investor is left with a high risk, illiquid  investment characterized by high fees and conflicts of interest.

Kalos Capital investigation into non-traded REIT and private placements

The securities attorneys at The Law Office of David Liebrader have opened an investigation into the private placement activity of Kalos Capital, an Alpharetta, Georgia based broker dealer with offices in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The pending customer complaint  that gives rise to the investigation concerns an over concentration into high commission, high risk private placement investments in REITs and oil and gas programs.  Among the investments are GPB Waste Management, Peachtree Hotel Fund, HPI Real Estate Fund, Waveland Resources, the Shopoff Land Fund and GPB Holdings II.  These investments were recommended to an elderly investor as a means of providing income to him in retirement.   Instead, due to an over concentration into these illiquid programs, the client has been unable to liquidate his holdings, and has suffered substantial unrealized losses.  We have previously blogged about Shopoff and GPB Capital Holdings’ issues with regulators.

FINRA suspends Waco Texas broker Michael Kamperman for 20 months

Michael Kamperman, a registered representative from Waco, Texas, formerly with H.D. Vest Investment Services and Prospera Financial Services, was suspended from FINRA membership as a result of an investigation into securities related activity conducted by regulator FINRA.  Findings made in FINRA’s “Acceptance, Waiver and Consent”  order included details of Kamperman making unsuitable investments, and over concentrating customer accounts in speculative, high risk oil and gas investments, as well as his recommendation of an inappropriate long term investment strategy involving an inverse, exchange traded note that was intended only for a short a term investment.  Kamperman entered into an acceptance waiver and consent agreement with FINRA in which he neither admitted nor denied the findings, but agreed to a suspension of 20 months and a fine of $20,000.

In June 2019, Michael Kamperman agreed to the suspension and FINRA published its findings that he made unsuitable investments in the retirement accounts of eight customers.  These unsuitable investments took the form of overconcentration in risky oil and gas industry investments, as well as the improper use of an exchange traded note that is designed for short term trading. Instead, the findings state that Kamperman recommended the note for a long term hold, thereby causing the client losses.

Nina Jessee barred for refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation.

Nina Jessee, a registered representative from Abingdon, Virginia, formerly with Cetera Advisors and Investors Capital Corp., was barred from FINRA membership as a result of her refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into her recommendation of alternative inestments, and allegations she engaged in outside business activities. After receiving notice from FINRA of the investigation Jessee, though her counsel, notified FINRA that she would not appear for an interview conducted by FINRA as part of their investigation.  As a result of her refusal to cooperate, Nina Jessee was barred from FINRA in any capacity in June, 2019.

FINRA opened the investigation in December, 2018 as a result of a series of customer complaints that had been filed alleging overconcentration and suitability.  In addition, as part of their investigation, FINRA was looking into Jessee’s sales of alternative investments, and whether she engaged in outside busieness activities.

Gurpreet Chandhoke and Stephen Shea Sued by FINRA

In a complaint filed by FINRA, and reported in October, 2019 Gurpreet Chandhoke and Stephen Shea, of Walnut Creek, California were named as Respondents alleging that they failed to disclose outside business activities and engaged in private securities transactions in violation of FINRA rules.  .

The complaint alleges that Chandhoke and Shea created securities offering materials and gave them to prospective investors in order to solicit their interest in investments.  At least three companies were created by Chandhoke for the means of engaging in securities transactions without disclosing the full extent of the outside business to his broker dealer.  Also in violation of FINRA rules, Chandhoke and Shea opened accounts at other broker dealers and failed to disclose these accounts to the member firms.  The complaint further alleges that Chandhoke and Shea engaged in nearly ten million dollars of private securities transactions without providing written notice of those transactions to their firms prior to the sales.