Iorio Altamirano LLP is currently investigating former MML Investor Services, LLC broker Oscar Francis, who reportedly recommended that his customers invest in private placement securities issued by GPB Capital. The GPB notes, which are private securities offerings exempt from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are inherently risky investments. These investments are suitable only for highly sophisticated investors who understand the risks and can afford a significant monetary loss. Unfortunately, many brokerage firms and brokers sold the GPB Capital securities to retirees and unsophisticated investors because they paid a high up-front commission.
Mr. Francis was a broker at MML Investors Services, LLC, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, from July 2008 to May 2017. At that time, MML terminated his employment connected with an investigation into an undisclosed outside business activity, selling away, and an unauthorized non-securities life insurance transaction. In August 2018, Mr. Francis pleaded guilty to wire fraud after admitting that between June 25, 2012, and May 31, 2017, he devised a scheme to defraud at least eleven investors out of approximately $665,000. Mr. Francis was subsequently sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay over $420,000 in restitution to clients. In May 2019, he was also barred by the SEC from association from associating with any broker, dealer, or investment advisor.
Iorio Altamirano LLP is also investigating the sales practices and due diligence of MML Investors Services, LLC related to its sale of GPB Capital funds. It is believed, according to reports, that MML has been subjected to numerous lawsuits from customers in the form of FINRA securities arbitration claims to recover investment losses.