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Ben Belanger: Austin Rep Has 6-Figure REIT Complaint
Kestra Investment Services stockbroker Ben Belanger (CRD# 5293459) allegedly recommended unsuitable non-traded real estate investment trusts, according to a pending investor complaint. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records show that he is registered with the firm’s office in Austin, Texas.
Mr. Belanger’s BrokerCheck report describe a pending complaint against him. Filed in 2021, the complaint alleges that as a representative of First Allied Securities, he recommended unsuitable investments in two non-traded real estate investment trusts, or REITs. The complaint specifically concerns investments in ARC Healthcare Trust II, now known as Healthcare Trust, and American Realty Capital Hospitality Trust, now known as Hospitality Investors Trust. It alleges further that Mr. Belanger made misrepresentations regarding the investments, as well as “unsuitable hold recommendations.” The pending complaint alleges damages of $271,600.
As March and April 2021 reports by The DI Wire explained, American Realty Capital Hospitality Trust was a real estate investment trust that defaulted on a ground lease in February 2021 and “entered into a forbearance agreement with the lenders under the loan” that resulted in the termination of the lease. The REIT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy “to restructure its $1.3 billion unsecured debt.” It reportedly underwent a prepackaged plan of reorganization, according to a July 2021 report by the Global Legal Chronicle, which became effective on June 30, 2021.
FINRA records also describe one denied investor complaint against Mr. Belanger. Filed in 2010, the complaint alleged that as a representative of MultiFinancial Securities, he misrepresented the liquidity of an investment in real estate investment trusts. The investor sought damages of $83,500 in the denied complaint.
According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Ben Belanger holds 14 years of securities industry experience. He is a stockbroker and investment adviser registered with Kestra Investment Services in Austin, Texas. His past registrations include Ameriprise Financial Services (Scottsdale, Arizona; 2016-2021); First Allied Securities (Glendale, Arizona; 2014-2016); and Cetera Advisors (Glendale, Arizona; 2007-2014). His credentials include the passage of five securities industry qualifying examinations: the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, or Series 65; the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, or Series 63; the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or SIE; the General Securities Representative Examination, or Series 7; and the Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination, or Series 6. He presently holds 24 state licenses. (Information current as of March 8, 2022.)
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