A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority panel says that National Planning Corp. must pay a $6.2 million REIT arbitration award to Minnesota investors Stacy and Ronnie Erickson. The Erickson and trusts on their behalf accused the independent brokerage firm and its ex-brokers Christopher R. Olson of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations, and industry rule violations involving real estate investment trusts.
According to the FINRA award, which doesn’t name the REITs that the Ericksons invested in, the claimants also invested in real estate investments in Waterway Holdings Group, which Olson and a Preferred Resource Group Inc. employee owned. Olson has since filed for bankruptcy and all claims against him have been halted. (Olson was allowed to resign from NPC after he failed to disclose his external business activities or the involvement of his clients in these undertakings. After he quit he registered with Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc.)
The Ericksons say that in addition to becoming the victims of broker fraud, they had to fulfill outstanding loans on mortgages on the real estate investments to avoid foreclosure. They contend that Olson manipulated them into taking on significant debt, paying millions of dollars that they cannot get back, and annuitizing, liquidating, and structuring their investment assets that were for their retirement to pay back the “staggering” debt that resulted from the real estate investment recommendations.
NPC is part of National Planning Holdings Inc., a four brokerage firm network affiliated with Jackson National Life Insurance Co.
While REITs have become popular recommendations by investment advisers and brokers-especially for clients wanting income or those who are retirees-it is unfortunate that many broker-dealers have failed to meet their duty as it pertains to REIT sales and solicitation practices. Our REIT fraud lawyers represent investors in recouping their losses. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP today.
National Planning slammed with $6.2M arbitration award, InvestmentNews, November 26, 2013
Brokerage Ordered to Pay Nearly $6.2 Million for Investment Losses, The Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2013
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