Violation Tracker Individual Record
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ordered David Lerner Associates, Inc. (DLA) of Syosset, NY, to pay approximately $12 million in restitution to affected customers who purchased shares in Apple REIT Ten, a non-traded $2 billion Real Estate Investment Trust DLA sold, and to customers who were charged excessive markups. As the sole distributor of the Apple REITs, DLA solicited thousands of customers, targeting unsophisticated investors and the elderly, selling the illiquid REIT without performing adequate due diligence to determine whether it was suitable for investors. To sell Apple REIT Ten, DLA also used misleading marketing materials that presented performance results for the closed Apple REITs without disclosing to customers that income from those REITs was insufficient to support the distributions to unit owners. FINRA also fined DLA more than $2.3 million for charging unfair prices on municipal bonds and collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) it sold over a 30 month period, and for related supervisory violations.
FINRA is a securities industry self-regulatory body authorized by the federal government.