Former Nylife Securities LLC broker Joel Flaningan (CRD# 5664958) accused of recommending unsuitable Woodbridge Group of Companies investments. Flanigan has been registered with Nylife Securities LLC in Fort Wayne, Indiana from 2010 to 2018, when he was terminated regarding, “Mr. Flaningan was terminated after allegations he was involved in the solicitation of New York Life (“NYL”) clients to invest in an unregistered entity named Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund (“Woodbridge”), which has filed for bankruptcy protection and is the subject of an action filed by the SEC. Mr. Flaningan failed to disclose any involvement with Woodbridge to NYL. Neither Woodbridge nor any related investment or entities were ever associated directly or indirectly with NYL or its affiliates in any way.”
In November 2018, FINRA barred Flaningan after he failed to respond to FINRA request for information.
The Woodbridge Group of Companies was a southern California luxury real estate developer. It is alleged that unregistered brokers sold unregistered securities in the purchase and sale of securities. The company missed payments on notes sold to investors and filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2017, along with 281 subsidiaries and affiliates, citing “unforeseen costs associated with ongoing litigation and regulatory compliance.” The company has $750 million in debt and has a commitment of $150 Million in DIP financing from an investor, Hankey Capital.
Flaningan has been the subject of four customer complaints in 2019, according to his CRD report:
September 2019. “Plaintiffs allege that on or about September 6, 2017, they were misled into investing $29,000.00 in an unregistered security in the form of a 1 Global Capital LLC Promissory Note. Plaintiffs seek actual damages, interest, attorney’s fees and costs.” The customer sought $29,000 in damages and the case was settled for $16,184.28.
February 2019. “Plaintiff alleges that material facts and the risks associated with an unregistered investment in Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund purchased in April 2017 were not disclosed. Plaintiff is seeking the return of his investment ($65,000) less any income received, plus 8% interest, costs and attorney’s fees.” The case was settled for $37,500.
January 2019. “Claimant alleges that beginning in or about 2016 unregistered, nonexempt securities in the form of Woodbridge Promissory Notes were sold to the decedent. Claimant alleges that the Promissory Notes along with an investment in FIP, LLC were unsuitable and inappropriate and that the risks were not disclosed resulting in a loss between $100,000.00 and $200,000.00.” The customer sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $85,000.
January 2019. “Customer seeks assistance in recovering $45,000 that he alleges he invested in May 2017 in an unregistered and unsuitable product ( American Alternative Investments) that was sold away from the Firm.” The customer sought $45,000 in damages and the case was settled for
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, Nylife Securities LLC may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Flaningan’s customers.
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