Chicago-based Stoltmann Law Offices is representing investors who’ve suffered losses from investments in GPB Capital Holdings. The company, named in civil and criminal complaints, is alleged to be part of a massive Ponzi scam. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently filed a $1.7 billion civil complaint against GPB Capital, its owners, officers, and affiliates, alleging a massive multi-year securities fraud, which will likely be devastating to investor fund holdings.
In recent years, GPB and the brokerage firms sold it to about 17,000 retail investors nationwide. The company told clients to “wait it out” and that “GPB will be fine.” Investors have been told repeatedly that the only issue with GPB was its inability to produce audited financial statements. GPB is now alleged to be a massive securities fraud scheme by the SEC. Criminal charges have also been filed.
According to the SEC complaint, filed on Feb. 4, “David Gentile, the owner and CEO of GPB Capital, and Jeffry Schneider, the owner of GPB Capital’s placement agent Ascendant Capital, lied to investors about the source of money used to make an 8% annualized distribution payment to investors. These defendants, along with Ascendant Alternative Strategies, which marketed GPB Capital’s investments, told investors that the distribution payments were paid exclusively with monies generated by GPB Capital’s portfolio companies. As alleged, GPB Capital actually used investor money to pay portions of the annualized 8% distribution payments.”
The SEC’s complaint further alleges that “GPB Capital and Ascendant Capital made misrepresentations to investors about millions of dollars in fees and other compensation received by Gentile and Schneider. As alleged, the fraudulent scheme continued for more than four years in part because GPB Capital kept investors in the dark about the limited partnership funds’ true financial condition, failing to deliver financial statements and register two of its funds with the SEC.”
Ponzi schemes operate when older investors are paid with money supplied by newer investors until the scheme collapses. These frauds are illuminated when independent, audited financial statements show that unusually high returns can’t be sustained and were propped up with false claims and a stream of money from uninformed investors.
Has a broker-advisor recommended you invest in GPB Holdings? Brokerage firms have a legal obligation to supervise their broker-advisors, who are supposed to put their clients’ interests above those of their firm. Yet brokers can run afoul of this industry rule, pitching investments that turn out to be scams. Brokerage firms also have a legal obligation to perform due diligence on the investments they sell to ensure that are not fraudulent.
If you invested with a broker-advisor and lost money as a result, you may have a claim to pursue through FINRA Arbitration. Please contact Stoltmann Law Offices, P.C. at 312-332-4200 for a free, no obligation consultation with a securities attorney. Stoltmann Law Offices is a contingency fee law firm which means we do not get paid until you do!