Stoltmann Law Offices is a Chicago-based investor rights and securities fraud law firm with offices throughout the Chicago-Land area, offering representation to clients nationwide, including Texas, on a contingency fee basis. We are currently investigating allegations involving solicitations by Eric Willer to clients to invest money in private placements bonds. These allegations were made in a regulatory filing specific to Eric Willer, who accepted a nine-month suspension from the securities industry, as a result of the regulatory investigation. If you were sold bonds in a private offering by Eric Willer, you may have legal claims to pursue in FINRA arbitration against the brokerage firm he worked for at the time, Fusion Analytics out of Dallas, Texas.
According to an investigation by FINRA, which is the primary regulator over brokers and brokerage firms in the United States, while registered with Fusion Analytics, Eric Willer recommended that 13 investors purchase bonds in two private placements offerings without a having a reasonable basis to believe the bonds were suitable for any investor, in violation of FINRA Rule 2111 and 2010. FINRA also alleged that Willer negligently misrepresented and omitted material facts when distributing offering documents to investors that contained misrepresentations and omissions, in violation of FINRA Rule 2010. FINRA does not identify the offerings, but provided some details in the regulatory filing against Eric Willer. FINRA alleges that the company at issue claimed to have developed some new clean energy engine and raised $80 million from investors between 2004 and 2011. The SEC nailed this company in 2013 imposing sanctions for violating registration requirements. In 2017, this same company engaged Willer to sell bonds for another offering, through Fusion Analytics. This offering was intended to raise $6 million to build a clean energy-tech power plant, despite no one involved in the company having any experience in building or operating a power plant. FINRA alleges that Willer knew this and sold the bonds to investors anyways.
Willer failed to have a reasonable basis to recommend these bonds to any investor, according to FINRA. What this means is, in order for a financial advisor to recommend an investment, regardless of its risk profile, he/she and the brokerage firm must have performed a reasonable investigation into the security before offering it. Even if an investigation is performed, and red flags about the company are ignored and the offering is sold anyways, that too can be grounds for a claim against the firm. The claims take the form of negligence or, if the facts were material and known by the advisor or firm and were not adequately disclosed to the investors, that can lead to securities act and fraud claims.