Martin Lerner is a stockbroker with David Lerner Associates, Inc. (“David Lerner Associates”) in Boca Raton, Florida, with a history of customer complaints.
Martin Lerner has been the subject of six customer complaints, which include one pending dispute and five resolved disputes that ended with monetary compensation being paid to a customer. The pending dispute is a securities arbitration claim filed by a customer against Martin Lerner and David Lerner Associates concerning energy-sector securities. The customer alleged that the recommendations to invest in Energy 12 L.P., an illiquid, non-traded limited partners, and Spirit of America Energy Fund (SOAEX), an energy mutual fund, were unsuitable. The customer also alleged that Martin Lerner made material misrepresentations or omissions regarding both energy-sector securities.
If you have invested in Energy 11, Energy 12, SOAEX, or lost money with broker Martin Lerner or David Lerner Associates, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.
David Lerner Associates, Inc.
David Lerner Associates, Inc. is an SEC-registered broker-dealer and FINRA member with branch offices in White Plains, NY; Westport, CT, Lawrenceville, NJ; Syosset, NY; and Boca Raton, FL.
Martin Lerner appears to be the only broker located at David Lerner’s branch office in Boca Raton, Florida.
Earlier this year, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) suspended former David Lerner Associates financial advisor, Charles Bonilla, from the securities industry for five months for recommendations of what is believed to be SOAEX and Energy 11. FINRA concluded that Mr. Bonilla lacked a reasonable basis to recommend these products because he did not perform reasonable diligence before making the recommendations and failed to understand their fundamental features and risks. To read more about the suspension of Charles Bonilla and FINRA’s allegations, click on the following link: Former David Lerner Associates Financial Advisor, Charles Bonilla, Suspended by FINRA for Unsuitable Energy-Sector Securities – Boca Raton, FL.
Iorio Altamirano LLP recently filed a securities arbitration claim against David Lerner related to unsuitable recommendations made by President and CEO Martin Walcoe. Click here to read more about the claim.
Energy Resources 12 L.P. and Spirit of America Energy Fund (SOAEX)
David Lerner Associates, Inc. (“David Lerner Associates”) is facing numerous customer complaints related to its sale of Energy 11, L.P. (“Energy 11”) and Energy Resources 12, L.P. (“Energy 12”). The complaints allege that Energy 11 and Energy 12 were not suitable investments and that David Lerner Associates failed to supervise the sales and marking of the investments. The complaints also include allegations that David Lerner Associates and its financial advisors misrepresented material facts rattling to the risks associated with these illiquid, concentrated, and high-fee products.
Energy 11 and Energy 12 are illiquid, non-traded limited partnerships sold as private placement securities. The limited partnerships invest in the oil, gas, and energy sector, which has been extremely volatile the past several years. Energy 11 and Energy 12 were not suitable for most conservative or retired investors.
Investors have reported that Energy 11 has failed to make any dividend payments since January 2020.
To read more about Energy 11 and Energy 12, click on the following link: Energy 11, L.P. and Energy Resources 12 L.P.: How to Recover Investment Losses from David Lerner Associates, Inc.
Several customers have filed securities arbitration claims against David Lerner Associates Inc. (“David Lerner Associates”) related to brokers’ recommendations to purchase the Spirit of America Energy Fund. The energy mutual fund invests 80% of its assets in energy and energy-related companies. Class A shares of Spirit of America Energy Fund (NASDAQ: SOAEX) have declined from over $91 per share in August 2014 to around $14.50 per share in mid-May 2021. Class C shares of Spirit of America Energy Fund (NASDAQ: SACEX) have declined from over $47 per share in January 2017 to around $13.50 per share in early mid-May 2021.
The Spirit of America Energy Fund primarily invests in energy-related entities such as exploration companies, production companies, transmission companies, and Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). The fund’s investment objective is to provide investors long-term capital appreciation and current income. The energy fund is not likely suitable for customers with conservative risk tolerances, short-time horizons, or liquidity needs.
To read more about the Spirit of America Energy Fund, click on the following link: Spirit of America Energy Fund (SOAEX): How to Recover Investment Losses From David Lerner Associates, Inc.
Financial Advisor Martin Lerner (CRD No. 1255769)
Martin Lerner has 35 years of experience in the securities industry and has been associated with the following brokerage firms:
- David Lerner Associates, Inc., from 1994 – the present.
- David Lerner Associates, Inc., from 1980 – 1988.
- First Investors Corporation, from 1979 – 1980.
At David Lerner Associates, Martin Lerner has been the subject of six customer complaints:
- Customer Dispute (October 2020): A customer alleged $100,000 in damages resulting from unsuitable investment recommendations concerning Energy 12 L.P. and Spirit of America Energy Fund (SOAEX). The customer also alleged that Martin Lerner made material misrepresentations or omissions regarding both energy-sector securities. The dispute is pending.
- Customer Dispute (July 2013): A customer filed a securities arbitration complaint alleging $160,424 in damages related to a real estate security. The matter was settled by the firm for monetary compensation.
- Customer Dispute (June 2013): A customer filed a securities arbitration complaint alleging $92,181 in damages related to a real estate security. The matter was settled by the firm for monetary compensation.
- Customer Dispute (May 2013): A customer filed a securities arbitration complaint alleging $431,622 in damages related to APPLE REIT investments. The matter was settled by the firm for monetary compensation.
- Customer Dispute (May 2010): A customer filed a lawsuit in Nassau County, New York, alleging fraud, forgery, misrepresentation, and breach of contract connected with a 2001 replacement of an insurance policy. The matter was settled by the firm for monetary compensation.
Martin Lerner claims that he was named in the 2013 disputes solely because his name “appears on Form BD.”
In 2006, Martin Lerner and FINRA entered into an Acceptance, Wavier & Consent agreement that resulted in a fine and 20-day suspension. The sanctions arose after FINRA alleged that Margin Lerner was functioning as a principal of the firm without being properly registered in that capacity. FINRA also alleged that Martin Lerner failed to comply with New York State Insurance Department Regulation No. 60 and failed to supervise the firm’s employees with a view towards preventing violations of the regulation. The regulation is related to the sale of life insurance and variable annuities.
David Lerner Associates, Inc. – Supervisory Duties
Brokerage firms like David Lerner must properly supervise financial advisors and customer accounts. Brokerage firms must also establish and maintain a reasonably designed system to oversee account activity to ensure compliance with securities laws and industry regulations. When a brokerage firm fails to sufficiently supervise its financial advisors or the investment account activity, it may be liable for investment losses sustained by customers.
How to Recover Financial Losses or Obtain a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one were a customer of Martin Lerner or David Lerner Associates and either sustained financial losses or suspect that the firm did not have your best interest in mind when recommending investments or account transactions, contact New York securities arbitration attorney August Iorio of Iorio Altamirano LLP. August Iorio can be reached at email@example.com or toll-free at (855) 430-4010 for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.
Iorio Altamirano LLP is a securities arbitration law firm based in New York, NY. Iorio Altamirano LLP pursues FINRA arbitration claims nationwide on behalf of investors to recover financial losses arising out of wrongful conduct by stockbrokers and brokerage firms.