The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) charged Gopi Vungarala with lying to members of a Native American tribe about commissions he received related to more than $190 million in nontraded real estate investment trusts and business development companies that the tribe invested in over three years. Vungarala generated more than $11 million in commissions for his firm. From 2011 until January 2015, he regularly lied to his customer, ST, a Native American tribe, regarding investments he recommended. Vungarala was serving as a registered representative with Purshe Kaplan Sterling at the time. He was also employed by the tribe as its treasury investment manager and participated in decisions regarding the tribe’s investments. He then recommended the tribe invest more than $190 million in nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITs), even though it was a conflict of interest for him to do so. He told the tribe he would not receive any commissions for the trades, which was also untrue. As a result of his transgressions, the tribe failed to receive more than $3.3 million in volume discounts to which it was eligible. His firm, Purshe Kaplan, also failed to reasonably supervise him during this time.
According to his online Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, Vungarala was registered with American General Securities Inc. in Midland, Michigan from October 2004 to December 2007. He is currently registered with Purshe Kaplan in Midland and has been since December 2007. Please call our securities law firm in Chicago if you would like to speak to an attorney about your options of suing his firm, Purshe Kaplan, in the FINRA arbitration forum.
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