Bad News for Strategic Realty Trust Investors

Monday, July 21st, 2014

According to reports, Strategic Realty Trust Inc., formerly the TNP Strategic Realty Trust Inc., recently told investors that the REIT’s valuation had been reduced to $7.11 per share from $10, a decline of 29%. The decrease in the REIT’s estimated value comes after an appraisal and review of its financial statements from Robert A. Stanger & Co. Inc., an investment bank.

According to a letter reportedly sent to shareholders, Strategic Realty Trust, which owns a portfolio of 16 shopping centers, has seen property appreciation of $1.65 per share since its inception. Over the past five years those gains were offset by transactions costs of $1.54 per share, offering and organization costs of $1.23 per share, return of capital to investors through distributions of $1.04 per share, and a per-share loss of 52 cents on a property in Hawaii. It also had per-share losses of 21 cents for other, unnamed reasons and marking debt to market.

The REIT, which began raising money in August 2009, was sold at $10 per share by representatives at independent broker-dealers.

The decline in Strategic Realty Trust’s share value is surprising given that the REIT was started after the 2008 financial crisis and should have benefited from acquiring depreciated assets.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common story for nontraded REIT investors.  The cost structure of these investments makes it difficult for the investments to succeed even in the best of investing climates.

The White Law Group continues to investigate the liability that brokerage firms may have for improperly recommending Strategic Realty Trust (formerly TNP Strategic Realty Trust) to its clients.

Brokerage firms are required to perform adequate due diligence on any investment they recommend and to ensure that all recommendations made are suitable for their clients in light of the clients’ age, income, net worth, tax status, investment experience, and investment objectives.

Given what has happened with Strategic Realty Trust since its inception, it appears that some firms may have failed in these duties to their clients.

For more on The White Law Group’s Strategic Realty Trust investigation, please visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com/tag/strategic-realty-trust-losses/.

To discuss your litigation options with a securities attorney, please call The White Law Group at 312/238-9650 for a free consultation.

The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

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Two Brokers Indicted in $300 Million Scam

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, two registered brokers, Matthew Bell and Craig Josephberg, along with four other individuals were indited on charges of securities fraud in connection with an alleged $300 million market manipulation scheme in four publicly traded companies.

Bell and Josephberg worked as independent brokers, however, they were both affiliated with registered brokerage firms. According to BrokerCheck, Bell worked briefly with Securities America from 08/2013 – 10/2013. He previously worked with WFG investments from 07/2009 – 06/2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

Josephberg’s BrokerCheck indicates he has been affiliated with New York brokerage firm Meyers Associates since 10/25/2013. From 11/2010 – 10/2013, he was employed by Halcyon Cabot Partners.

According to the press release, the indictment alleges that between October 2012 and July 2014 that the defendants and others orchestrated two “pump and dump” schemes, defrauding investors in the public companies: CodeSmart, Cubed, StarStream and Staffing Group. In order to artificially control the price and volume of shares in those companies, they coordinated their trading activity and concealed their own ownership interests in those companies.

Furthermore, it’s alleged that company press releases and SEC filings containing false and misleading information were issued, and that company shares were sold to clients of Bell and Josephberg without their clients’ knowledge or consent.

In the press release, U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch stated, “They took companies with essentially no assets or activity and deceived the market into believing they were worth hundreds of millions of dollars through a dizzying round of insider and unauthorized trades. When the defendants stopped their criminal game of musical shares it was the unsuspecting investors who were left holding the bag.”

In some cases, the the brokerage firms that employed Bell and Josephberg may be liable for investment losses. Brokerage firms have a legal responsibility to adequately supervise the business activities of their employees. If a broker engages in a scheme that misleads clients the brokerage firm that employs them may be liable for negligent supervision.

If you were a client of Matthew Bell or Craig Josephberg and would like to discuss your litigation options, please call the securities attorneys of The White Law Group at 312-238-9650 for a free consultation.

The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm dedicated to the representation of investors in FINRA arbitration claims against brokerage firms throughout the United States. Our offices are located in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, please visit the firm’s website at www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.

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Recovery of Guardian Oil & Gas Investment Losses

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Have you suffered losses as a result of your investment in Guardian Oil & Gas, Inc.? If so, the White Law Group may be able to help you recoup your losses.

According to records filed with the SEC, Guardian Oil & Gas was incorporated in 2008 with headquarters in Southlake, Texas.

Oil and gas investments are speculative investments that carry a high degree of risk and are not appropriate for many investors. They are typically sold as unregistered private placement offerings, and therefore lack the same regulatory oversight as more traditional investments.

Broker dealers are required to make suitable investment recommendations that are in line with a client’s age, investment experience, net worth, and investment objectives. To the extent that some brokerage firm failed to make appropriate investment recommendations, they may be held liable for any resulting losses in a FINRA arbitration claim.

If you suffered losses investing in Guardian Oil & Gas and would like to speak to a securities attorney to discuss your litigation options, please call the securities attorneys of The White Law Group at (312)238.9650 for a free consultation.

The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.

For more information on the firm, visit www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.

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Investigation into Hedge Gateway Fund Investment Losses

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Did you invest in Hedge Gateway Fund, LLC? If, so The White Law group may be able to help recover your investment losses.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s, Hedge Gateway Fund is a limited liability company launched in 2004. The company was formed “To provide a platform on which sophisticated investors may customize their own hedge fund ‘funds-of-funds’ portfolio by allocating among a group of funds made available and monitored by the managing members of the Issuer.”

Hedge Gateway Fund appears to have been sold to investors as a private placement offering. In general, private placements are complex high risk products intended for sophisticated and institutional investors. In addition, private placements are unregistered securities products and therefore lack the same regulatory oversight as more traditional securities such as bonds or mutual funds.

Brokers are required by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to make investment recommendations that are in line with the investor’s age, risk tolerance, net worth, and investment experience, among other factors. If a broker overlooks FINRA’s suitability requirements or mislead investors regarding the risks associated with a private placement investment, they can be liable for losses through FINRA arbitration.

To determine whether you may be able to recover investment losses incurred as a result of your purchase of Hedge Gateway Fund, please contact The White Law Group at (312) 238-9650 for a free consultation.

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, visit www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.

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Claus Foerster Accused of $3 Million Investment Scam

Monday, July 7th, 2014

According to reports, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has barred Claus Foerster from the industry in connection with an alleged Ponzi Scheme. Authorities have accused Foerster of stealing nearly $3 million from clients since 2000. Allegedly Claus told investors that their funds would be invested in a fund known as S.G. Investments but instead the funds were placed in a bank account controlled by Foerster.

The reports allege that Foerster provided clients with fictitious account statements and two clients were provided purported dividend payments each month. At least 13 known clients fell victim to Foerster’s alleged scheme.

According to Foerster’s FINRA Broker Report, he was employed by Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. beginning in 2008 and came to Raymond James last February. Foerster’s employment at Raymond James appears to have been terminated by on on June 4.

The report also indicates that Raymond James is in the process of attempting to make restitution to the clients involved. Given the seriousness of these allegations, it is recommended that victims of Foerster’s scheme seek legal counsel to ensure that their legal rights are protected.

The White Law Group is investigating what liability Foresters employer may have for client’s losses. When a FINRA registered representative conducts business outside the scope of the brokerage firm where they are registered, the act can be considered “selling away.” If proven, the brokerage firm may be liable for negligent supervision of their broker representative and held responsible for investment losses in a FINRA dispute resolution claim.

If you were a client of Claus Forester and would like to discuss your litigation options to recover investment losses, please call the firm at (312) 238-9650 for a free consultation.

The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida. For more information on the firm, visit www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.

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