Articles Posted in Private Placements / Direct Investments

The below referenced FINRA Enforcement Action provides examples of what would constitute a negligent misrepresentations and omissions in any offering.  In this particular circumstance, it related to the offering of notes of the parent company of WestPark Capital.

WestPark Capital, Inc. (CRD #39914, Los Angeles, California) and Richard Alyn Rappaport (CRD #1885122, Los Angeles, California) November 22, 2021 – An AWC was issued in which the firm was censured, fined $250,000, ordered to offer rescission to customers who invested in notes of the firm’s parent company and have not yet been repaid the full amount of their outstanding principal investment that totaled $1,777,316, required to review and revise, as necessary, its policies, procedures, processes, controls and systems concerning FINRA Rule 3170, and required to extend the time during which it will comply with the requirements of FINRA Rule 3170 for an additional six months. Rappaport was fined $30,000, suspended from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities for four months and suspended from associating with any FINRA in any principal capacity for 15 months. The suspensions are to run concurrently.  Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm and Rappaport consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that they made negligent misrepresentations and omissions of material facts in offering documents provided to customers in connection with the sale of promissory notes issued by the firm’s parent company. The findings stated that the offering documents failed to disclose that the parent company had defaulted on a $1 million line of credit and had defaulted on successive forbearance agreements with a bank, or that the bank had sued the parent company and Rappaport. Similarly, the offering documents failed to disclose that the parent company had net operating losses each year from 2012 through 2016. In addition, the firm sent prospective investors a misleading historical analysis document, created by Rappaport, that claimed to show investors what they would have received as a return on the notes if the notes had been purchased in 2006 and held through 2010. In fact, the return displayed did not explain that the calculation was based upon hypothetical returns from distinct investments and not any actual return from the notes. The firm, through Rappaport and other firm representatives, also represented to prospective investors that they would be entitled to share in pro-rata distributions of equity and profits from the firm. In fact, the noteholders were entitled to share in pro-rata distributions of equity and profits from the parent company, not the firm, which at times had higher profits and greater equity producing opportunities than the parent company. Moreover, the firm, through Rappaport and other firm representatives, failed to disclose material conflicts of interest. The firm and Rappaport failed to disclose to prospective investors that Rappaport had sole discretion as to whether the parent company’s subsidiaries would make distributions to the parent. By virtue of the foregoing, the firm acted in contravention of Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933. The findings also stated that the firm and Rappaport failed to supervise the parent company offerings. The firm, acting through Rappaport, failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that firm representatives who solicited investments in the notes understood the terms of the notes. The firm and Rappaport did not provide reasonable training to registered representatives about the notes and did not respond reasonably to questions from customers that raised red flags that customers lacked accurate information about the notes. The findings also included that the firm violated FINRA Rule 3170 (the “Taping Rule”). The firm’s recording system allowed representatives, at their discretion, to end recording at any time, including before a call was complete.  The firm became aware that a representative who sold the parent company offerings terminated at least three recordings before the calls were completed, including a recording of a call with a noteholder, yet the firm did not take any action to ensure that the representative at issue, or other firm representatives, recorded future calls in their entirety. In addition, the firm’s special written procedures concerning the Taping Rule were not reasonably designed. The special written procedures for supervisory review of calls provided no meaningful guidance regarding the review process, frequency of review, or methods of escalating information identified during review. The firm also failed to enforce the provision in its special written procedures requiring the firm to test its taping system to ensure that recordings were properly made and retained. As a result, the firm failed to detect that recordings were deleted prematurely.  The suspension in all capacities is in effect from December 20, 2021, through April19, 2022, and the suspension in any principal capacity is in effect from December 20, 2021, through March 19, 2023. (FINRA Case #2017054381603)


Securities and Exchange Act Rules 10-b9 and 15c2-4 contain requirements that must be satisfied in “Contingency” or “Best Efforts” offerings.  FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) has provided guidance to broker/dealers regarding the requirements of these rules and to remind broker-dealers of their responsibility to have procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with these rules.

Broker-dealers that participate in best efforts public and private securities offerings that have a contingency (i.e., an underlying condition or qualification that must take place by a specified date prior to the issuer taking possession of the offering proceeds) must safeguard investors’ funds they receive until the contingency is satisfied. If the contingency is not met, broker-dealers must ensure that investors’ funds are promptly refunded.  There are various contingencies that might need to be satisfied in addition to meeting a subscription amount.

The below FINRA Enforcement Action provides a summary of certain issues that broker/dealers must take into consideration when involved in a contingency or best efforts offering.

Newbridge Securities Corporation (CRD #104065, Boca Raton, Florida) and Bruce Howard Jordan (CRD #1223556, Boca Raton, Florida):

Recently, FINRA announced that a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) was issued in which the Newbridge Securities Corporation was censured and fined $30,000 and Mr. Jordan was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for one month.

Do anti-fraud provisions apply?

All securities transactions, even exempt transactions, are subject to the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. This means that you and your company will be responsible for false or misleading statements that you or others on your behalf make regarding your company, the securities offered, or the offering. You and your company are responsible for any such statements, whether made by your company or on behalf of the company, and regardless of whether they are made orally or in writing.

The government enforces the federal securities laws through criminal, civil and administrative proceedings. Private parties also can bring actions under certain securities laws. Also, if all conditions of the exemptions are not met, purchasers may be able to return their securities and obtain a refund of their purchase price.

EB5 Asset Manager, LLC. – South Florida Private Placement Fraud Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. EB5 Asset Manager, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 0:15-CV-62323 (S.D. Fla., filed November 3, 2015)

Assets Frozen in Alleged Immigration Scam:

Christopher Brogdon – Municipal Bond and Private Placement Offering Fraud.  South Florida, including Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami Litigaiton and Arbitration Attorney.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze obtained against an Atlanta-based businessman accused of misusing investor funds raised to purchase and renovate senior living facilities.

The SEC alleges that Christopher F. Brogdon amassed nearly $190 million through dozens of municipal bond and private placement offerings in which investors supposedly earn interest from revenues generated by the nursing home, assisted living facility, or other retirement community project supported by their investment. But Brogdon secretly commingled investor funds instead of using the money to finance the project described to investors in the disclosure documents for each offering. From the commingled accounts, he has diverted investor money to other business ventures and personal expenses.

Veros Partners, Inc., Jeffrey B. Risinger and Tobin J. Senefeld – Boca Raton, Florida Investment Adviser and Private Offering Fraud and Misrepresentation Attorney

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Veros Partners, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 15-cv-000659-JMS-MJD (S.D.Ind., filed April 22, 2015)

SEC Halts Fraudulent Farm Loan Scheme by Indianapolis Investment Adviser

Boca Raton, Florida Private Placement and Regulation D Fraud and Misrepresentation Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced that it has ordered Brookville Capital Partners LLC, based in Uniondale, NY, to pay full restitution of more than $1 million to the victims and fined the firm $500,000 for fraud in connection with sales of a private placement offering. FINRA also barred Brookville President Anthony Lodati from the securities industry.

FINRA found in its settlement and alleged in a May 2014 complaint that Brookville and Lodati defrauded Brookville customers in connection with the sale of a private placement offering called Wilshire Capital Partners Group LLC, through which investors would purportedly have an indirect interest in pre-initial public offering shares of Fisker Automotive. The conduct took place from January 2011 to October 2011.

SEC Order Approving FINRA Rule Change Relative to How Member Firms are Required to Calculate the Value of Unlisted Real Estate Investment Trusts and Direct-Participation Programs:

The Sec has approved FINRA’s plan to overhaul how member firms calculate the value of unlised real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and direct-participation programs (“DPPs”).  Under the new rules – specifically FINRA Rule 2310 – the firms will be required to include on customer account statements a per-share estimated value for any unlisted REIT and DPP securities that they have reason to believe is reliable.  

Firms also will need to make new disclsoures about the nature of the investment, including that they are not traded on a public securities exchange and that the price that the investor receives may be less than the estimated per-shre value.  

Boca Raton, Florida Investment and Advertising Fraud and Misrepresentation FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

SEC Charges Staten Island Man With Conducting Fraudulent Offerings and Stealing Investor Funds

The Securities and Exchange Commission trecently charged the operator of an online stock recommendation business with conducting several fraudulent securities offerings and siphoning some of the money raised from investors for a Caribbean vacation and plastic surgery.

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