Contributor Since 2012
Mr. Pearce has tried, arbitrated and mediated numerous disputes involving complex securities, commodities, administrative, contract, commercial, business tort and employment law issues for over 35 years. He has represented hundreds of clients in Federal and state courts (trial and appellate) as well as administrative, arbitration, and mediation proceedings before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodities Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC"), Florida Office Financial Regulation (FlaOFR), Florida Division of Securities & Investor Protection ("FDS"), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), National Association of Securities Dealers regulation, Inc. ("NASD"), New York Stock Exchange, Inc. ("NYSE") and/or National Futures Association ("NFA"). Mr. Pearce is a Florida Circuit Court Civil Mediator and a respected mediator in the FINRA Mediation Program. He also acts as a private judge or arbitrator in mini-trials and arbitration proceedings, respectively. Mr. Pearce has also served as a Federal Court-appointed Receiver- an attorney who is called upon by Federal and state regulators (SEC, CFTC and FlaOFR) to take over companies engulfed in legal problems. Areas of Practice • Courtroom Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation Proceedings Involving • Securities and Commodities Law • Business & Commercial Law • Federal, State and Industry Enforcement Actions • Employment Law A Brokerage Employees Only • Trust / Estate / Guardianship Law • Probate & Estate Administration Education • Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York J.D. - 1979 • Hofstra University School of Business, Hempstead, New York M.B.A. - 1979 • Florida Tech B.S. – 1973 Professional Associations and Memberships • American Association for Justice • Florida Justice Association • Broward County Bar Association • Broward County Justice Association • Palm Beach County Bar Association • Palm Beach County Justice Association • Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association • South Palm Beach County Bar Association Past Employment Positions • Lerner & Pearce, P.A., January 1, 1990 - December 31, 1999 • Lerner, Harris, Pearce, P.A., March 1, 1983 - December 31, 1989 • U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, May 1, 1980 - February 28, 1983
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Inland American Real Estate Trust (Inland American REIT) for potential violations of federal securities laws. According to the report, the SEC is looking at activity of Inland American REIT to determine if the REIT committed violations related to management fees, the timing and amount of distributions paid to investors, and transactions with affiliates.
Inland American is the largest of the non-traded REITs currently available and the investigation casts a large shadow on the non-traded REIT market.
Brokerage firms have a fiduciary duty to perform adequate due diligence on any investment that they recommend and to ensure that the investments recommended are appropriate in light of the client's age, investment experience, net worth, and investment objectives.
The problems we see involving non-traded REITs generally relate to the financial advisor's failure to adequately disclose the risks and illiquidity of these investments (as well as the high commission he/she earned for selling the REIT). REITs typically pay a high commission-often as much as 15% (which often explains the stockbroker's motivation in recommending the REIT investment to the investor). Due to the relatively high interest or dividend offered by non-traded REITs, elderly and retirees are often victimized by those misrepresented and unsuitable investment recommendations.
One of the other main complaints we continually hear relates to the problems in the valuation of these investments. FINRA rules currently mandate that sponsors of non-traded REITs establish an estimated per-share valuation within 18 months after the REIT stops raising money from investors. The problem with this language is that fund raising often lasts for years which results in the per-share valuation potentially remaining unchanged for years.
The most important of investors' rights is the right to be informed! This Investors' Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 30 years, Mr. Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. Our law firm is devoted to protecting investors' rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at email@example.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.