The Wolper Law Firm is currently investigating claims against Pinnacle Plus Financial a/k/a Pinnacle Plus Wealth Management, LLC in Overland Park, Kansas. The Wolper Law Firm has been contacted by investors of Pinnacle Plus Financial a/k/a Pinnacle Plus Wealth Management, LLC, who were sold unregistered promissory notes issued by 1st Global Capital, LLC and 1st West Capital, LLC.
On August 13, 2018, the Wolper Law Firm announced that it was investigating potential securities fraud violations perpetrated by 1st Global Capital and 1st West Capital, which filed for bankruptcy protection on July 27, 2018 in the Southern District of Florida. It was revealed in bankruptcy court filings that the “Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opened an investigation into the companies’ activities related to alleged possible securities law violations, including the alleged offer and sale of unregistered securities, the alleged sale of securities by unregistered brokers, and the alleged commission of fraud in connection with the offer, purchase and sale of securities.”
The United States Attorney has since opened a parallel investigation into the business practices of the companies.
On August 23, 2018, the SEC filed a Complaint for Injunctive Relief against 1st Global Capital, 1st West Capital, Carl Ruderman and various entities controlled by Carl Ruderman. The SEC’s Complaint was originally filed under seal but, on August 29, 2018, was released to the public. The ten count Complaint alleges securities fraud.
The SEC alleges “1st Global, a private South Florida firm, fraudulently raised more than $287 million from more than 3,400 investors to fund its business of offering short-term financing to small and medium-sized businesses. 1st Global used a network of bared brokers, registered and unregistered investment advisers, and other sales agents—to whom they paid millions in commissions—to offer and sell unregistered securities to investors in no fewer than 25 states.”
During the course of the SEC’s investigation, it found that 1st Global and its principal, Carl Ruderman, “misappropriated at least $35 million of investor money, at least $28 million of which was paid (1) directly to Ruderman…to fund Ruderman’s lavish expenses such as a luxury vacation to Greece and monthly payments for his Mercedes Benz. 1st Global and its sales representatives also made numerous other material misrepresentations and omissions to investors…and violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933…and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Exchange Act.”
The SEC also alleges that 1st Global falsely represented to customers that its books and records were audited by an accounting firm when, in actuality, the accounting firm ceased working with 1st Global in 2016.
Investments advisers, like Pinnacle Plus Financial a/k/a Pinnacle Plus Wealth Management, LLC, sold 1st Global Capital promissory notes to individual investors and marketed them as safe, conservative, income producing securities. It was not disclosed that the 1st Global Promissory notes required registration under federal and/or state law. Violation of the registration provisions of federal and state securities laws may entitle investors to a full return of principal, plus interest, from the investment advisor who unlawfully recommended the unregistered securities.
Some of the key principals of Pinnacle Plus Financial a/k/a Pinnacle Plus Wealth Management, LLC have reported regulatory events on their Investment Adviser Public Disclosure forms maintained by the SEC. Matt Walker, the CEO, and Jeff Tupper, the Regional President, were both terminated from their previous employers after it was alleged they participated in unauthorized outside business activities. This practice is referred to as “selling away” and is strictly prohibited in the securities industry.
If you or someone you know was a customer of Pinnacle Plus Financial a/k/a Pinnacle Plus Wealth Management, LLC, or were sold promissory notes issued by 1st Global Capital or 1st West Capital, and you experienced investment losses, please contact the Wolper Law Firm at 800.931.8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your specific situation and the legal options available. The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration.
Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters.