A recent article by Bruce Kelly of the investmentnews.com reported the opinion of Gordon Yale, a forensic accountant, who has served as an expert for dozens of investors who have brought claims against brokerage firms related to the sale of failed private placement investments issued by companies like DBSI, Inc., Medical Capital Financial Corp., and Shale (Provident) Royalties. In Mr. Yale’s expert opinion, “Broker-dealers that sold billions of dollars in allegedly fraudulent private placements failed massively in their due-diligence responsibilities to investors.”
Yale likened the due diligence failures of firms that sold these private placements to the failures of large banks to perform due diligence on bad mortgage backed securities that led to the mortgage crisis. He said, “It was basically the same recklessness…but it was done by middle- or lower-tier firms and [with] a different set of products.”
Certainly, firms that sold these investments contend that they did do adequate due diligence. However, recent arbitration awards as well as fines and sanctions issued by securities regulators like the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA) indicate that they are at least skeptical of the due diligence work performed. Kelly notes that FINRA recently fined the former president of Capital Financial Services $10,000 related to the sale of Medical Capital and Provident Royalties. He also noted that only one of the cases that Yale has worked on necessitated his testimony in arbitration (many settled in advance of arbitration) and in that case a $1.2 million award was ordered to be given to an investor by Securities America Inc. and a broker.
In the investmentnews.com piece Yale indicated his opinion that firms too often relied on 3rd party due diligence reports, he said, “They viewed those reports as the end of the process, rather than the beginning. There’s a notice to [Finra] members, 05-48, that basically says you can outsource any function, but you can’t outsource your responsibility for compliance with federal securities laws or regulations.” Yale feels like firms, especially one’s like Securities America who sold $700 million in Medical Capital notes, should have hired an independent CPA to conduct financial due diligence on the investments.
The White Law Group is all too familiar with the difficulties investors have had over the last several years with failed private placements. The firm has represented and currently represents many investors who have suffered damages as a result of the recommendation of their financial professional to purchase private placement investments from companies like DBSI, Medical Capital, and Shale (Provident) Royalties. We have found that in many cases the FINRA registered firms failed in their fiduciary duty to perform adequate due diligence and to disclose the risks involved with these investments. Brokerage firms that fail in this fiduciary duty may be liable in FINRA dispute resolution claims to recover investment losses.
If you are concerned about an investment you made in a private placement like those from DBSI, Medical Capital, and Shale (Provident) Royalties and would like to speak to an attorney about your potential to recover investment losses through a FINRA claim please call out Chicago office at 312-238-9650.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, please visit our website at http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.