‘Ponzi-like’ private placement mess GPB slides into receivership

Private placements like GPB are supposed to be sold to wealthy or accredited investors, who, the reasoning goes, can absorb any losses from high risk and illiquid investments. In reality, many of the 4,000 seniors who invested in the GPB partnerships likely could tell a different story and are hurting because they have no access to funds and have seen no return on their investment for more than half a decade.

The GPB investors haven’t seen a nickel of distributions for more than five years and have essentially been dead in the water since 2018. That’s when the company, brainchild of Long Island accountant David Gentile, failed to file audited financial statements on its largest funds, a huge red flag for financial advisors and securities regulators. Accountants and auditors resigned, and in the winter of 2019, the firm’s offices were raided by the FBI.

In other words, GPB was a firm founded by an accountant, Gentile, who couldn’t do the accounting.

In 2021, Gentile and other executives were charged with fraud by the Justice Department; their trial is to start in June in federal court in Brooklyn.

GPB promised to pay distributions, think dividends, to investors from funds from operations of the portfolio companies it owned in five separate limited partnerships. The businesses GPB acquired to kick off the investor returns included auto dealers, garbage collecting businesses and health care companies.

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