UPDATE November 2016-VFG Securities and Jason Vanclef sanctioned by FINRA.
February 9, 2016-Plano Texas/ Culver City California
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a complaint No. 2013038283001 against VFG Securities (offices in Plano, Texas and California) and its President and CEO, Jason Bryce Vanclef, of Vanclef Financial Group alleging that the firm failed to supervise its brokers resulting in portfolios that were overly concentrated in non-traded real estate investment trusts and other illiquid investments.
FINRA’s complaint alleges that Vanclef authored a book “The Wealth Code: How the RIch Stay Rich in Good Times and Bad” which he distributed as sales literature to promote investments in direct participation programs and nontraded REITs. Between 11/2010 – 6/2012 nearly all, 95% according to the regulators, of VFG’s revenue was obtained from the sale of non-traded direct participation programs (DPPs) and non-traded REITs and other alternative investments.
The FINRA complaint heavily criticizes the representations in The Wealth Code, including these allegations:
- “Vanclef repeatedly claimed in The Wealth Code that non-traded DPPs and non-traded REITs offer both high return and capital preservation. This claim was inaccurate and misleading, and contradicted information provided in the prospectuses for the instruments that Vanclefand VFG sold. Non-traded DPPs and non-traded REITs are speculative investments that contain a high degree of risk, including the risk that an investor may lose a substantial portion or all of his or her initial investment.”
- “Vanclef also claimed in The Wealth Code that by investing in ‘*real” or “tangible” assets and other instruments that he recommended, investors could “reasonably achieve 8-12% results,” on their investments and “get consistent returns” that provided “piece [sic] of mind.” These claims were unwarranted because they were promises of future results and failed to provide the reader a sound basis to evaluate the claim.”
- “As part of Respondents’ pitch to sell non-traded DPPs and non-traded REITs, they also distributed recommendation spreadsheets to four customers that contained false and misleading liquidity timelines for non-traded DPPs and non-traded REITs. The recommendation spreadsheets also misleadingly characterized distributions from non-traded DPPs and non-traded REITs as ??income” and improperly projected performance of the recommended non-traded DPPs and non-traded REITs.”
FINRA’s complaint makes specific reference to the following DPP/ REITs and alternative investments:
- CNL Corporate Capital Trust
- Cole III REIT
- CPA (Corporate Property Associates) 17-Global Incorporated REIT
The FINRA complaint seeks sanctions and other relief.
VFG Securities has been a FINRA member since 1985. Vanclef acquired indirect ownership of VFG through the Vanclef Financial Group in 9/2009. Principal offices are in Culver City, CA.
VFG Securities has about 13 registered representatives in six branch offices, including the following:
John M. Brady-registered with VFG Securities since 11/2010.
Scot A. Clevenger-registered with VFG Securities from 2/2012-5/2013 and 5/2014-present.
Mark Trewitt-registered with VFG Securities since 11/2010. According to his FINRA record, in 9/2014 a customer complained that his $25,000 investment in KBR Barons Cove had been misappropriated . That matter was settled for $25,000. UPDATE FEBRUARY 2017 UPDATE-MARK TREWITT discloses three pending customer disputes.
Kim R. Kunz-registered with VFG Securities since 1/2013. FINRA records report six pending judgment/liens: State of CA Franchise tax, $69,130 & $8,827 ; Internal Revenue Service, $857, $187,673, $72,631, $115,042
Linda J. Wimsatt– of Coast Capital Wealth Management has been registered with VFG Securities since 9/2014. FINRA reports one customer complaint related to unsuitable/non liquid REIT investment prior to joining VFG. That matter was settled for $12,000.
Culver City, California
Demetrio J. Munoz-registered with VFG Securities since 6/2012.
Thousand Oaks, California
Christopher Michael Dukes-registered with VFG Securities since 9/2010. One customer complaint that was denied in 2008 while employed at a prior firm is reported by FINRA.
If you have losses in an account at VFG Securities, call to discuss your options for recovery of damages.
Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL, and Austin, TX, provides representation to investors nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.
Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.
Florida-561 391 1900