Financial Advisor & Broker Jeff Kennedy – Complaints & Compensation

Retirees Are Suing for Investment Losses Allegedly Caused by Quincy, IL Area Financial Advisor and Broker Jeff Kennedy

The Levin Papantonio Rafferty (LPR) law firm announced on Friday that it has filed claims on behalf of retiree investors who are former clients of Quincy, Illinois area Financial Advisor Jeff Kennedy of the Kennedy Wealth Group and Center Street Securities.

The claims filed allege that Kennedy and the brokerage firm he works for, Center Street Securities, recommended high-risk and speculative investments. The claims allege that these speculative and high-risk investments were represented as being conservative or lower risk, or as investments that would preserve retirees’ wealth by managing the downside risk.

Instead, the investments were illiquid, suffered from significant conflicts of interest, and charged significant fees, commissions, and expenses. Many of the investments Kennedy and Center Street allegedly recommended have faced bankruptcy, including the Hospitality Investors Trust (an investment that emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy but has left investors with nothing) and GWG (an investment currently in bankruptcy proceedings).

“Many folks who were sold risky and illiquid investments may not even fully understand the damages they have suffered.” Michael Bixby, Levin Papantonio Rafferty shareholder and attorney

“Financial advisors who misrepresent the investments they sell, or who recommend unsuitable investments to their customers and cause harm, must be legally held accountable,” said LPR shareholder and attorney Michael Bixby. “We are working to help recover the unnecessary losses suffered by our clients and investigating any other claims for others who may have been harmed. Many folks who were sold risky and illiquid investments may not even fully understand the damages they have suffered.”

Town Hall on September 12 Will Review Status of Investigation and Discuss Investment Loss Recovery Options

LPR is holding a Town Hall Meeting where retirees who suffered harm from Jeff Kennedy Wealth Group Investors’ misrepresentation of investments or unsuitable investment recommendations can ask about LPR’s investigation of claims against this group and about options to recover investment losses.

The Town Hall Meeting will take place Monday, September 12, 2022, at 5 pm at the Fairfield Inn & Suites (4415 Broadway, Quincy, IL 62305). The event is free. For more information, call 850-435-7162 or email kfeller@levinlaw.com.

Investigation of Jeff Kennedy and Center Street Securities

“Our investigation has revealed that multiple Mr. Kennedy and Center Street Securities’ clients were sold illiquid non-traded investments,” Mr. Bixby continued, “including the GWG L Bonds, GWG Preferred Stock, Hospitality Investors Trust REIT, Griffin REITs, and Northstar REITs, among others.

"These investments are complex, opaque, and difficult for even sophisticated individuals to understand. FINRA has long warned advisors and firms about these types of non-conventional investments, and proper due diligence of these investments should have revealed that these investments were speculative or high-risk investments inappropriate for conservative, low-risk, or investors with a goal of protecting their principal.”

A 2003 notice from the securities regulator FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) cautioned that non-conventional investments “with particular risks may be suitable for recommendation to only a very narrow band of investors.” Despite FINRA’s warnings, Center Street and Kennedy allegedly recommended the speculative and high-risk investments to a significant number of their clients.

Fortunately, investors who were sold unsuitable or risky investments may have a right to file a claim to recover their losses. The Levin Papantonio Rafferty law firm represents investors on a contingency fee basis (no fee if no recovery) and offers free and confidential claim reviews and consultations. The firm announced it is still investigating further claims and accepting new clients.

6 Ways to Spot an Investment Scam*

Financial fraudsters use sophisticated and effective tactics to get people to part with their money. Here are six things you can do to help you spot an investment scam.

Verify credentials. Don't fall for a fancy title or other trappings of success. Fraudsters hope that if they look successful, you won't bother checking their credentials. Investment professionals must register with FINRA, the Securities and Exchange Commission or your state securities or insurance regulator. You can use FINRA BrokerCheck, a free online tool to get information on brokers and investment advisers.

Don't chase "phantom riches." Be skeptical of investment pitches that guarantee a certain return or promise spectacular profits. They are what fraud-fighters call "phantom riches" that you will never see. No salesperson can make those kinds of promises. The reality is that every investment involves risk.

Ignore the "everyone is doing it" story. Don't believe claims that "everyone" is in on the deal. Be wary of a sales pitch that focuses on how many people are investing, without telling you why the investment is sound. Remember, affinity frauds are scams that prey upon members of the same social circle, religious group or ethnic background.4 - Refuse to be rushed. If the salesperson tells you that the offer is for a limited time only, or that investment opportunities are limited, consider it a red flag. A legitimate investment will still be there tomorrow.

Refuse to be rushed. If the salesperson tells you that the offer is for a limited time only, or that investment opportunities are limited, consider it a red flag. A legitimate investment will still be there tomorrow.

Never feel obligated. Don't invest because the seller gives you something for free. Salespeople count on those freebies to guilt you into buying what they are selling.

Arm yourself with information. Learn to spot the red flags of investment fraud so you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Go to SaveAndInvest.org for more information.

*Source: FINRA

About Levin Papantonio Rafferty

The Levin Papantonio Rafferty Law Firm was established in Pensacola, Florida in 1955. We have been in business for over 65 years and have won more than $30 billion in jury verdicts and settlements. Our firm has over 40 attorneys and 150 support staff. Our securities fraud lawyers represent and seek justice for the victims of investment fraud and misconduct.

Led by attorney Peter Mougey, the past President of the national securities bar PIABA, and Michael Bixby who currently serves as a Director of the national securities bar PIABA, our Securities and Business Litigation Department has represented more than 3,000 investment fraud victims across the country in state and federal court and securities industry arbitration.

Contact LPR Securities Fraud team at 850-435-7162 or via email at kfeller@levinlaw.com.