Bedrocks Coffee, LLC Investigation

Selling Away Claims Under Investigation

When a financial adviser sells an investment to a client that has not been investigated and approved for sale by his brokerage firm, it is called “selling away” in the financial services industry. Financial advisers and stock brokers who engage in selling away are effectively paid a commission under the table, since their stock broker firm is not aware of the sale. Selling away is illegal, and the investor is normally entitled to get their money back from the adviser and/or his brokerage firm.

Banks Law represents investors in selling away cases in FINRA arbitration, which is where these claims are normally resolved. Selling away claims often involve securities fraud, because the investors are not told about the level of risk involved in the investment, and because the financial adviser never tells the investor that the product has not been approved for sale. Oftentimes, these investments are not registered with the SEC, which can be another violation. They are often sold as promissory notes or LLC interests, or tenant in common (TIC) investments. One warning sign that you might have been a selling away victim is if your financial adviser or stock broker sold you an investment that does not appear on your brokerage account statements. There are some approved investments that do not appear on your regular monthly or quarterly statement from your brokerage firm, but not many.

Banks Law is currently investigating a number of selling away violations. Our earlier blog mentioned investments in Uptown Development and Charlie Plan. We can now add Bedrocks Coffee, LLC, to that list. All of these companies are based in Oregon. All investments were sold by an Oregon financial adviser without the approval of his firm. We have been contacted by several parties who have asked for representation and information about these investments, which were sold by a financial adviser in Eugene, Oregon. If you invested in these companies and have questions, please contact us.

Former LPL Financial and Berthel Fisher Broker Under Investigation

Banks Law Office, PC is conducting an investigation of former LPL Financial and Berthel Fisher & Co. broker Scott McKee and his company, Quality Financial Group for fraud, negligence, and misuse of his customers’ accounts. We have reason to believe that for years, Mr. McKee recommended high risk, and sometimes fraudulent investments to his customers. Many of those customers are now demanding their money back, but Mr. McKee has either refused or is unable to return his customers’ investments. One of Mr. McKee’s recommended investment vehicles was a complicated Defined Benefit Pension plan called the “Charlie Plan.” The “Charlie Plan” utilized large whole life insurance policy premiums and other complicated investment tools as a way of avoiding taxes, providing a death benefit, and accumulating wealth. This plan is extremely complex and requires a significant up-front investment. Banks Law believes that Mr. McKee did not adequately explain the details of the “Charlie Plan” to his customers and that even if it was explained, it was not a suitable investment for most, if not all of the customers who purchased it. In addition to the unsuitable “Charlie Plan,” Mr. McKee’s also recommended that several of his customers purchase non-recourse promissory notes in the UpTown Development project in Eugene, OR. These notes were sold without adequate disclosure documents, and provided the customers with no recourse if the project failed. Perhaps most concerning is that money appears to have simply disappeared from some of Mr. McKee’s customers’ accounts, and to our knowledge Mr. McKee has not provided a valid explanation for the missing funds. Banks Law Office is a nationally recognized law firm with a focus on representing clients whose investments have been lost due to mismanagement and fraud. Our firm has already successfully settled a case against Mr. McKee on behalf of one former customer, and we believe there are several other victims who are trying to recoup their investments, but have thus far been unsuccessful. If you believe that you are a victim of investment fraud or negligence by Scott McKee, we may be able to help. Please call us at 1-(888) 291-7956 or (503) 226-2966.