Former Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. Broker James Flynn Faces Multiple $1 Million-Plus Customer Complaints for Investment Losses

Posted on Friday, August 16th, 2019 at 1:52 pm    

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Barred former Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. broker James Flynn (CRD# 3082615) is alleged to recommend unsuitable REITs and illiquid investments.

Flynn was registered with IFS Securities in Greenville, South Carolina from February 2017 to February 2018, when he was terminated regarding, “Client alleges trading ahead of authorization.” Previously, he was registered with Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. in Greenville, South Carolina from 2013 to 2017, when he was terminated regarding, “The representative provided misleading information to the Firm during a complaint investigation.”

Flynn allegedly sold his customers non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other illiquid investments, which were offered by Phillips Edison and Business Development Company of America.

In September 2018, FINRA barred Flynn after he failed to request termination of his suspension within three months of the date of the Notice of Suspension.

A REIT is a company, modeled after mutual funds, that owns or finances income-producing real estate and provide investors of all types regular income streams, diversification and long-term capital appreciation. Unlike other real estate investments, REITs are often entirely illiquid. Non-traded REITs hold additional risks for investors because they often feature limited redemption programs, high fees and commissions, and internal conflicts of interest. Unlike stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, REITs are not publicly traded and cannot be sold through an exchange, only through secondary market auctions.

Flynn has been the subject of 31 customer complaints between 2015 and 2019, six of which were denied, according to his CRD report:

May 2019. “Allegations include claimants were sold a portfolio of unsuitable high-commission, illiquid and speculative financial products.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint.

May 2019. “Allegations include misrepresentation of facts, exaggeration of financial information, and that documents were not signed in state indicated on application signed in Aug. 2016.” The customer is seeking $400,000 in this pending customer complaint.

May 2019. “Statement of claim notes various alternative, illiquid and unsuitable securities were recommended by representative.” The customer is seeking $1 million in this pending customer complaint.

April 2019. “Allegations include recommendations were made for unsuitable and illiquid securities.” The customer is seeking $1 million in this pending customer complaint.

April 2019. “Allegations include misrepresentation and suitability related to the alternative/illiquid securities that were recommended.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in this pending customer complaint.

April 2019. “Allegations include recommendations were made for unsuitable and illiquid securities.” The customer is seeking $1 million in this pending customer complaint.

March 2019. “Customer alleges rep told him he would have access to his money if needed and was never made aware of the surrender charges and risks that came with product recommended in Feb. 2016. Additional allegations include exaggeration of financial information and overall unsuitableness of the initial investment.” The case is currently pending.

March 2019. “Allegations within the statement of claim include customer was advised to liquidate entire portfolio and invest in unsuitable, high risk, high fee, and illiquid investments.” The case is currently pending.

March 2019. “Allegations include investments recommended in May 2015 were not suitable for customer due to age at purchase and customer was not informed investment was not liquid and could not be actively traded.” The case is currently pending.

February 2019. “The allegations within the Statement of Claim are that representative sold the clients a portfolio of high commission, illiquid, and speculative investments without regard to their investment objectives and risk tolerance.” The case is currently pending.

December 2018. “Statement of claim includes misrepresentation and unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $100,00 in damages and the case is currently pending.

November 2018. “Allegations in Statement of Claim include unsuitable investments.” The case is currently pending.

September 2018. “Allegations include misrepresentation of facts, exaggeration of financial information, and that documents were not signed in state indicated on application signed in Aug. 2016.” The customer is seeking $400,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.

September 2018. “Allegations include improper sales of alternative investments, common law fraud and negligent misrepresentation.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.

August 2018. “Attorney representing customer alleges representative transferred assets from a 401k account into illiquid and unsuitable investments without proper diversification in August 2015. **Arbitration statement of claim includes violation of securities statutes, non-suitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty.” The customer sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $90,000.

August 2018. “Verbal complaint alleging alternative investments recommended beginning in January 2014 were not suitable.” The case was settled for $50,000.

July 2018. “Customers allege most of their liquid net worth was invested in illiquid products recommended by representative beginning in April 2014.” The case was settled for $33,000.

May 2018. “Customer alleges the recommendation for the alternative investment product purchased in June 2014 in his IRA and joint account was not suitable for his goals and objectives.” The case was settled for $75,000.

December 2017. “Customer alleges REIT purchased in June 2015 was not suitable as he was not aware it wasn’t actively traded or of risks involved.” The case was settled for $32,912.73.

May 2017. “Customer questioned suitability of REIT investments and the replacement of a variable annuity policy. REITs were purchased in 2014 and 2015.” The customer sought $115,000 in damages and the case was settled for $167,673.17.

March 2017. “Customer alleges trading activity in January 2017 was not authorized.” The case was settled.

January 2017. “Client alleges that the REIT product was unsuitable for him given his networth and investment experience and that he was unaware that he would not receive back the full value of the REIT if he liquidated it early during the tender period.” The customer sought $21,336 in damages and the case was settled for $12,500.

December 2016. “Customer alleges they should not have been allowed to invest all retirement funds into Prudential annuities in 2010 and REIT type investments should not have been recommended/purchased in 2015 with proceeds of surrendered annuity due to age.” The case was settled for $196,788.18.

June 2015. “Claimant alleged prior firm, through Mr. Flynn’s conduct, executed unauthorized, unsuitable trades involving a single stock in claimant’s former brokerage account in October 2012.” The customer sought $122,586 in damages and the case was settled for $52,500.

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, Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Flynn’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and 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.