The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licenses and regulates the stock brokerage industry. It requires stock brokerage firms and their stock brokers to be qualified, registered, and approved by the agency before they may offer and sell securities to the public. FINRA also requires its registrants to immediately report regulatory events, such as suspensions, fines, and customer complaints, against the firm and broker. FINRA maintains a database of investor complaints and disciplinary and employment history for registered representatives and publishes some of this information on its BrokerCheck website, www.brokercheck.finra.org. The FINRA BrokerCheck is purportedly useful for predicting future broker misconduct. Unfortunately, not all customer complaints are accurately or completely reported on the website. We are seeking investors with information about David Lerner, the Principal of David Lerner and Associates, Inc. to determine whether the reported information on the FINRA BrokerCheck website is accurate and complete.
FINRA reports that Mr. Lerner has been registered in the securities industry since 1970. Over the years, he has been registered with 4 brokerage firms: D Lerner and Co., John W. Sterman and Associates, SSH Securities Inc. and, most recently, David Lerner and Associates, Inc. During that period, the FINRA BrokerCheck report indicates that Mr. Lerner has been the subject of 6 Regulatory Events and 11 Customer Disputes, one of which was still pending as of August 24, 2016.
The Regulatory Events include proceedings filed by FINRA, NASD and the State of Illinois for violation of federal and state securities laws as well as self-regulatory industry and Illinois rules and regulations relating to the offer and sale of securities. The most recent FINRA regulatory event related to the offer and sale of over 442 million and $2 billion nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITs) without performing adequate due diligence in violation of its suitability obligations. FINRA also charged Mr. Lerner and his firm were allegedly making false, exaggerated and misleading claims regarding the REITs' investment returns, market values, performance and prospects to over 1000 customers during at least 4 of his firm's investment seminars. Mr. Lerner's brokerage firm repeatedly gave seminar presentations to investors using seminar slides that were not fair and balanced and did not provide a sound basis for evaluating the facts in regard to the REITs programs.
One of the customer disputes against Mr. Lerner's brokerage firm resulted in an arbitration award of $260,000. There are 10 other customer disputes in court and arbitration with allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of FINRA rules, and failure to supervise that have supposedly settled for amounts ranging from $3,600 to $645,000. There is one pending arbitration reportedly filed against Mr. Lerner for the alleged misrepresentations and omissions while he was employed at David Lerner and Associates. We believe that Mr. Lerner's employers may have not accurately or completely reported all of the Customer Disputes involving him and request that all investors with complaints against Mr. Lerner contact our office immediately.
The most important of investors' rights is the right to be informed! We intend to notify FINRA of any and all unreported or inaccurate customer complaints against this firm and/or broker. This blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 35 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.