- November 8, 2023
- Cetera Advisors LLC
Haiguang Yin (CRD#: 3249933), known as “John Yin” was a previously registered broker and investment advisor.
He entered the securities industry in 1999 and has previously worked for a number of different brokerage firms. Most recently, from 2013-2023, John Yin worked at Cetera Investment Services, LLC and also offered services through East West Bank.
What is Beechwood Bermuda
Beechwood Bermuda, formerly known as PB Life and Old Mutual (Bermuda), is now Beechwood Omnia. The company is a division of Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) which, in 2018, was acquired by Global Bankers and billionaire owner Greg Lindberg.
Northstar Financial Services was a Segregated Accounts Company that was regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. Northstar Financial Services promoted its fixed and variable annuities products by describing them as the ability to offer segregated account protection, liquidity terms, commitment periods of varying lengths, and the benefits of a Bermuda trust structure.
Among the investment products it offered were variable- and fixed-rate annuities. Product names included Beechwood Bermuda Preferred Rate Plus, Global VIP Elite, Global Advantage Plus Series, Global Index Product, Global Advantage Select, and Global Interest Accumulator. These products were allegedly marketed to investors as low-risk investments that could offer tax benefits in excess of those typically available in the U.S., making them especially attractive to investors. According to some investors, these products were likened to money market account equivalents, which are generally considered to be relatively conservative investments with high liquidity.
Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. has pursued chapter 15 bankruptcy and liquidation proceedings and is no longer solvent. Its owner, Greg Lindberg, was sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison after his conviction on public corruption and bribery charges. Beginning in 2017, he worked to bribe an elected North Carolina insurance commissioner through contributions to the official’s political campaign. Lindberg, in collaboration with co-conspirators, intended to ensure favorable actions from the insurance commissioner toward one of the companies he owned, Global Bankers Insurance Group, through his financial influence. Even though Greg Lindberg is already serving a federal prison sentence after being convicted of wire fraud, bribery, and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.
Northstar Financial Service (Bermuda) had just $8M in assets and a deficit of more than $260M as of September 2020. Since then, investor recovery claims have been filed against the broker-dealers who sold the company’s products to investors. These include Cetera Investment Services, Bancwest Investment Services, Bankoh Investment Services, Ocean Financial Services, SunTrust Investment Services, and Truist Investment Services.
Financial Advisors, like John Yin, recommended that Chinese nationals invest in Northstar affiliated products, including Beechwood Bermuda, because they were short term investment vehicles that offered a fixed return. These recommendations were believed to have been \made without conducting any due diligence on the underlying products. Indeed, FINRA Regulatory Notice 10-22 is instructive regarding the depth of due diligence required when recommended private placements to retail securities investors on the broker-dealer side, which is a lower standard of care than the RIA side of the business. FINRA Regulatory Notice 10-22 “reminds broker-dealers of their obligation to conduct a reasonable investigation of the issuer and the securities they recommended in offerings.” “A BD ‘may not rely blindly upon the issuer for information concerning a company, nor may it rely on the information provided by the issuer and its counsel in lieu of conducting its own reasonable investigation…firms are required to exercise a ‘high degree of care’ in investigating and independently verifying an issuer’s representations and claims.” FINRA NTM 10-22 requires that “broker-dealers…conduct a reasonable investigation of the issuer and the securities they recommend…”
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