Investment consultant Chris Bean said that Aequitas Capital Management hid the company’s financial instability from him and his clients. Bean offers one of the first insider perspectives of the firm's collapse.
These are painful mea culpas for the 41-year-old Bean. Private Advisory Group, his Redmond Wash.-based investment firm has 330 clients invested in Aequitas, more than any other financial adviser in the country. There's the 86-year-old woman in Rancho Mirage, Calif. who says she has a third of her assets riding on Aequitas. There's the retired corporate lawyer in the Bay Area who fears his $600,000 has gone up in smoke. Bean even got his own 65-year-old mother invested in the company.
.. In an interview Thursday, Bean accused Aequitas executives of repeatedly misleading him and portraying a rosy picture of the company's worsening financials.
'The last three weeks have been devastating,' Bean said. 'I made investment recommendations that seemed prudent at the time but have proven to be disastrous. I was lied to by people I trusted.'
(READ MORE: Oregon Live)
Earlier in February, after the investment firm announced massive layoffs, Aequitas notified clients that “it won't be able to pay back their 'private note' investments for an indefinite period of time because it's having financial problems,” according to Oregon Live.