A hearing in the first of four arbitration cases filed against Jeffrey Forrest of WealthWise LLC in San Luis Obispo is scheduled to be held late this year.
Attorney Phil Aidikoff, whose Beverly Hills firm is representing San Luis Obispo County investors who were clients of Forrest and lost millions in a failed equity investment fund, said the first hearing begins Dec. 1 in Los Angeles.
The claims are being sought against Forrest and Associated Securities, an El Segundo-based broker-dealer with which Forrest was registered until last year.
Investors claim Forrest —charged in the civil cases with breach of fiduciary duty and fraud— told them the principal they invested in the APEX Equity Options Fund, a $46 million equity fund, would be protected. Attorneys say that wasn’t the case and allege Forrest sold investments in several businesses that were unsuitable for some of his clients.
The first claim, filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in October 2007, represents seven households that collectively invested $5 million in the APEX Equity Options Fund, which was wiped out in August 2007.
In all, the losses stemming from the four claims now total nearly $24 million, Aidikoff said. In some instances, clients had used their savings or borrowed against the value of their homes to invest, according to legal documents.