The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Walter Parker. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Walter Parker has been the subject of numerous customer disputes.
Walter Parker operated most recently as a Texas based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for twenty-six years. During his career, he was registered with six different securities firms. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.
- H.D. Vest Investment Securities (1991-1993)
- Fortis Investors, Inc. (1993-2001)
- BMA Financial Services (2000-2002)
- Locust Street Securities (2002-2004)
- ING Financial Partners (2004-2005)
- Titan Securities (2006-2018)
- In November 2015, a customer alleged that Walter Parker recommended an unsuitable investment and misrepresented that investment. This case was settled for $60,000 in damages.
- The next three customer complaints against him all had identical allegations. The customers in these cases alleged that Walter Parker purchased an unsuitable product for them. They claimed they were not made aware of the risks that accompanied the purchase or the fact that the investment was not liquid. The first one was filed in July 2016 and was settled for $16,500. The second one was filed in August 2016 and was settled for $70,000. The third one was filed in May 2017 and was settled for approximately $37,000.
- In October 2017, a customer alleged Walter Parker recommended unsuitable investments. This case was settled for $118,000 in damages.
- In November 2017, a customer alleged that both UDF & ARC NYC investments that Walter Parker had placed them in were not suitable. UDF IV was a private investment that was unsuitable for investors and has recently been labeled as a Ponzi scheme. This case was settled for $15,000 in damages.
- In April 2018, Walter Parker was officially sanctioned by FINRA. The findings in this matter state that Parker made investment recommendations to a customer that were not suitable given her age, risk tolerance, financial experience, and liquidity. The findings go on to state that the customer in question had almost no previous experience investing and definitely no experience investing in alternative investments. As soon as Parker opened her account, he recommended that she invest her funds into illiquid, alternative investments. The source of these funds was the customer’s retirement account. The customer suffered significant losses while she was placed in these alternative investments. Because of these losses, she was forced to get a full-time job. Due to his alleged actions in this matter, Walter Parker was fined $7,500 and suspended from acting as a securities broker in any fashion for one month.
- In October 2018, another customer alleged Walter Parker recommended unsuitable investments. This case was settled for $37,991 in damages.
- In February 2019, a customer alleged that Walter Parker handled their account negligently, over-concentrated their account, breached contract, breached his fiduciary duty, and made material misrepresentations and omissions. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $270,000 in damages.
- In June 2019, a customer alleged that Walter Parker committed fraud, managed their account negligently, breached his fiduciary duty, and breached contract in connection with United Development Funding IV, Cornerstone REIT, & Life Partners Wac Life Settlements. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $200,000 in damages.
Multiple customers alleged that Walter Parker invested them in “alternative investments.” What this means is that they were invested in privately traded securities not sold on public securities exchanges. These types of investments include non-traded REITs, non-traded BDCs, equipment leasing funds, and more. They are very poorly regulated due to their private nature. Many securities brokers, like Walter Parker, use this fact to their advantage when pitching privately traded alternative investments to potential investors.
The truth is that these private investments are incredibly high-risk and illiquid products that are unsuitable for most investors. However, despite the rampant unsuitability of these investments, securities brokers continue to push them onto investors. This is because securities brokers often only recommend these securities due to significant conflicts of interest. This could be a personal stake the broker may have in the investment, or rather just the excessively high commissions that accompany these types of securities.
United Development Funding IV
One of the specific private investments that Walter Parker was accused of placing investors in was United Development Funding IV. This particular investment is what is known as a non-traded real estate investment trust, also known as a non-traded REIT. United Development Funding IV (UDF IV), and its predecessor, United Development Funding III (UDF III) were both highly unsuitable non-traded REITs that took the deceptive nature of these types of investments to an entirely new level. Allegations that UDF IV had been acting as a Ponzi scheme began emerging in 2014. UDF IV had allegedly been creating a false appearance of growth and paying investor dividends through money coming in from later rounds of investors. To accomplish this, executives constantly transferred money back and forth between UDF IV and III to give the appearance that money was actually coming in and used the transferred funds to pay off loans and pay investor distributions. This continued until UDF filed for bankruptcy.
Oakes & Fosher Can Help
Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this manner may actually be entitled to damages.
Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Walter Parker, or with UDF IV, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.