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Fallout From Medical Capital Debacle Continues

The collapse of Medical Capital Holdings has led to numerous lawsuits and arbitration complaints by investors against the brokerages that failed to perform their due diligence before selling them private-placement investments in the troubled company. Now, for what is believed to be a first, an individual has been criminally charged with securities fraud for his role in selling Med Cap notes.

Nine counts of securities fraud were filed Feb. 23 by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office against John Brady Guyette. According to the Weld County complaint, the former Colorado stockbroker sold $1.3 million of Medical Capital investments to investors between August and December 2008. During that time, Medical Capital was showing signs trouble and had already missed several payments to investors in certain note offerings.

As reported Feb. 27 by Investment News, the focus of the complaint against Guyette concerns allegations that he sold Medical Capital notes to investors after the company failed to make payments to investors.

One of those investors is Lucille Linde, 92, who lost her life savings in Medical Capital investments. She began investing in Medical Capital and with Guyette in 2005. Three years later, in August 2008, she invested $300,000 in Medical Capital VI, says the Investment News article.

“Linde reported that prior to writing the checks on Aug. 15, 2008, [she] had been told by a fellow MedCap investor, Borge Villemsun, that MedCap had been late in making principal and interest payments to [him],” the complaint reads. “Linde reported confronting [Mr. Guyette] with this information. Linde reported that [Mr. Guyette] assured [her] that Villemsun had been paid and that the MedCap VI investment was guaranteed safe.

“Linde was not aware that when [she] wrote the checks on Aug. 15, 2008, MedCap II had failed to make principal and/or interest payments due to MedCap II investors. [Mr. Guyette] failed to disclose this information to Linde.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed fraud charges against Tustin-based Medical Capital Holdings in 2009, freezing its assets and appointing a receiver to oversee its financial books. A number of independent broker/dealers subsequently came under fire from regulators for failing to disclose key information about Medical Capital to investors.

Securities America was the independent broker/dealer subsidiary of Ameriprise. It was one of the broker/dealers of Medical Capital Investments, selling some $700 million of the private placements. In August 2011, the B-D was acquired by Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. for a reported $150 million in cash.

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