Erez Law is currently investigating brokers at Green Vista Capital who recommended their clients invest in conservation easements. Conservation easements help to preserve property by restricting development, commercial, industrial and other intrusive uses on the protected property in a permanent capacity. Donors may be eligible for a federal income tax charitable deduction equal to the value of their donation of the land that they purchased. Appraisers value the easement donation by calculating the difference between the fair market value of the property before and after the easement takes effect.
Green Vista Capital Conservation Easement Losses
It is alleged that Green Vista Capital recommended their clients invest in unsuitable conservation easements, marketing them as tax shelter investments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) describes conservation easements as abusive tax shelters.
Public records indicate that Green Vista Capital was in partnership with Tax Savings Professionals, now known as TSP Family Office, which is a firm in Winter Park, Florida that handles wealth and asset protection. Andrew Miles, the founder and CEO of TSP Family Office, was also registered with Green Vista Capital. The primary owner of Green Vista Capital is Philip Van Staden, who is also an executive at True North Resources with his brother, Pieter Van Staden. Additionally, Andrew Miles owns a 50% interest in True North Resources.
Veribest Vesta, LLC is a legal entity that was formed to acquire a 55-acre conservation easement in Georgia. Millstone Creek, LLC is a legal entity formed to acquire a majority interest in the conservation easement in Georgia owned by Veribest Vista, LLC. Millstone Creek, LLC was offered to investors, and offered a tax dedication on an ownership interest in Veribest Vesta, LLC; Green Vista Capital was the exclusive dealer of Millstone Creek, LLC.
With promises of 4- to 4.5-times return on their investment as tax incentives, clients of TSP Family Office invested in Veribest Vesta, LLC and Millstone Creek, LLC.
Unfortunately for many investors, the IRS notified investors of Millstone Creek, LLC and Veribest Vesta, LLC in March 2022 that while the conservation easement claimed tax deductions of $20 million-plus, the actual fair market value was just $120,000, resulting in underpayment of taxes by $7.5 million and penalties of $3 million-plus and interest against investors. Additionally, the IRS found that there was no conservation purpose to the land. It was also identified that investors paid Green Vista Capital and True North Resources fees for the investments.
Green Vista Capital also offers Savannah Preserve, LLC, which owns the rights to a conservation easement in Georgia. Investors of Savannah Preserve, LLC were promised tax dedication of 4-times the principal amount invested; Savannah Preserve, LLC claimed a $42 million tax deduction, however this deduction is currently in question as the property may not have a true conservation purpose.
It is alleged that marketing materials and representations made by brokers and their associated brokerage firms claimed to have advantageous tax treatments; unfortunately for many investors, these claims were not substantiated.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Green Vista Capital may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by its customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If you have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.