Did your adviser sell you investments related to or sponsored by Aequitas Management? Many registered investment advisors actively sold the home-cooked, high-yield alternatives investments related to the firm. In many instances, the advisers failed to do the proper due diligence on these investments and breached clear fiduciary duties to their clients. Investors can sue the RIA’s who sold these investments to recover their losses on a contingency fee basis. More than $300 million in alternative asset notes owed to some 1,500 investors were peddled to investors. The losses stem from a massive bet on student loan debt incurred by students at Corinthian Colleges, a network of for-profit colleges in the Northwest and Canada. Aequitas thought it was getting the loans on the cheap but found out they were, in fact, nearly worthless.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Portland, Oregon-based Aequitas Investment Management and three of its top executives with hiding the rapidly deteriorating financial condition of its enterprise while raising more than $350 million from investors. Allegedly, Aequitas and its executives defrauded more than 1,500 investors nationwide into believing they were making health care, education and transportation-related investments when their money was really being used in a last-ditch effort to save the firm. Some of the money from new investors was used to pay earlier investors in a ponzi scheme. The individuals named in the charge were CEO Robert J. Jesenik and executive vice president Brian A. Oliver, and it was alleged that they were well aware of the firm’s precarious financial situation, yet continued to solicit millions of dollars from investors. N. Scott Gillis, the former CFO for the company, allegedly concealed the firm’s insolvency from investors and was aware that Jesenik and Oliver continued to solicit investors in the hopes that the funds could stave off the company’s impending bankruptcy.
The men issued promissory notes to investors with high rates of return, ranging from 8.5 to 10 percent. Most of the investor’s money was concentrated in student loan receivables of for-profit education provider Corinthian Colleges. Corinthian defaulted on its recourse obligations to Aequitas in mid-2014. During this time, the executives continued to give themselves large salaries and bonuses, use a private jet, attend nice dinners and golf outings, and used investor money to do so. They also dismissed two-thirds of the firm’s employees and hired a chief restructuring officer.
Please call our securities law offices in Chicago, Illinois today if you suffered losses with Aequitas Investment Management. We are attorneys who help investors recover their financial losses on a contingency fee basis, which means we only make money if you recover yours. The call to us is free with no obligation. 312–332–4200. We may be able to help you bring a claim against the firm in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration forum. We have sued hundreds of firms in this capacity, and have recovered millions of dollars for investors in financial losses. Summit Advisor Solutions LLC, which manages $1.8 billion AUM, another firm in the network, as well as AUM Elite Wealth Management of Kirkland, Washington, Integrity Bank & Trust of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Fieldstone Financial in Foxborough, Massachusetts, also independently purchased Aequitas notes without accepting financing or selling ownership in themselves.