Soreide Law Group has filed a FINRA arbitration on behalf of their client (“Claimant”) against J.H. DARBIE & CO., INC., (“J.H. DARBIE”) and their registered representative, SPENCER DAVID LAUFER (“LAUFER”) CRD# 6312867 for losses in the Sunergy Land Trust, L.P.
The Claimant, a resident of Florida, is an 83 year-old retired mechanic who was allegedly cold-called by J.H. DARBIE broker, SPENCER D LAUFER, at the end of 2016. The lawsuit alleges that the elderly Claimant is hard of hearing and lacks the financial sophistication to understand complex financial transactions. Allegedly, the broker LAUFER, convinced him that he could achieve a better rate of return if he opened an account with him at J.H. DARBIE. The Claimant opened an account that consisted of approximately $340,000 of dividend producing mutual funds.
In March of 2017, J.H. DARBIE broker, SPENCER D LAUFER, allegedly told the Claimant that he could achieve a 20% annualized return “guaranteed” if he invested in the Sunergy Land Trust, L.P, (“Sunergy”). Sunergy’s stated purpose is to “purchase tracts of land for a solar farm development”. According to the lawsuit, this purported “investment” was literally claiming to be buying land in the desert.
LAUFNER allegedly had the Claimant liquidate his entire portfolio of high quality income producing funds and wire the entire amount out of the account to invest in Sunergy. The subscription agreement allows the offering of Sunergy to be presented to accredited investors only. The lawsuit alleges that the Claimant is not an accredited investor and has a liquid net worth exclusive of his home of less than $600,000. The allegations claim that J.H. DARBIE broker, SPENCER D LAUFNER, filled out the subscription agreements and suitability questionnaire for the 83 year-old and had him execute the partnership agreement on March 31st, 2017.
The lawsuit further alleges that in April of 2017, after the Claimant had already made the investment, he received a copy of the full private offering memorandum allegedly learning for the first time that SPENCER D LAUFNER was listed as the “General Partner”. The General Partner has “full control” over the investment and Sunergy receives a 2% management fee, 20% of the “profits”, in addition to liquidation fees, legal fees, and salaries. The lawsuit alleges that this was never disclosed to the Claimant before he wired his money.
The Claimant demanded the full return of his funds, and LAUFER returned only $25,000 of his $340,000 investment. The lawsuit states that it is unclear if Sunergy ever even made any real legitimate investments into anything. The investment is a total loss for the Claimant who was living off the investment income generated by his principal.
The lawsuit states that the damage analysis is presently ongoing, and J.H. DARBIE and LAUFER’S actions have caused Claimant out of pocket damages of approximately $340,000.00.
The lawsuit claims are as follows: negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, fraud, and violation of Florida’s Investor Protection Act 517.
If you or an elderly family victim suffered investment losses in the Sunergy Land Trust, L.P due to the actions or recommendations of J.H. DARBIE broker, SPENCER D LAUFER, call Soreide Law Group and speak to an experienced securities lawyer at no cost regarding the possibility of recovering your financial loss at: 888-760-6552, or go to our website: Home - Securities Lawyer.
Soreide Law Group represents clients nationwide on a contingency fee basis. Let our experience work for you.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.