On behalf of a client, securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP has filed an arbitration claim through FINRA Dispute Resolution Services against David Lerner Associates Inc. (“David Lerner”). The claim alleges that President and CEO Martin Walcoe and David Lerner unsuitably recommended that the customer purchase and hold Puerto Rico municipal bonds and misrepresented and omitted material facts concerning the risk and safety of the bonds. The recommendations and misrepresentations occurred at a time when credit rating agencies were downgrading Puerto Rico municipal bonds and indicated that further credit downgrades were imminent. At the time of the recommendations, Mr. Walcoe was an investment counselor and branch manager.
The claim also alleged that David Lerner also failed to suitably and properly allocate the customer’s brokerage account. Instead, David Lerner concentrated the customer’s account in risky, speculative, and uninsured Puerto Rico municipal bonds.
David Lerner’s recommendations to purchase and hold speculative Puerto Rico municipal bonds and its repeated recommendations to concentrate the customer’s investment accounts into speculative junk bonds were unsuitable and not in the customer’s best interest in light of the customer’s investment objectives and “middle ground” risk tolerance.