Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin just announced that independent broker-dealers Ameriprise Financial Services (AMP), Securities America Inc., Commonwealth Financial Network, Lincoln Financial Advisors, and Royal Alliance Associates have consented to pay another $10.75 million in restitution over non-traded REITs that were sold to clients between 2005 and now. The added charge comes four months after the five independent brokerage firms consented to pay $6.1 million in restitution and $975,000 in fines. It was investors’ complaints that spurred the regulator’s investigation into the REITs.
Along with LPL Financial (LPLA) consenting to pay $4.8 million in restitution to clients for its sale of non-traded REITs, that’s a total of $21.6 million in restitution and fines of nearly $1.5 million from the six IBDs. In a statement, Galvin acknowledged the popularity of these risky investments. The regulator noted that the state’s probe discovered problems pertaining to firms adhering to their own policies and that this was a widespread matter. He also said that there appeared to be issues related to brokerage firms abiding by the state rule that investors cannot buy REITs that are over 10% of an individual’s liquid net worth.
Our REIT lawyers represent investors that have sustained huge losses because of the negligence of brokerage firms, investment advisors, and their representatives. Contact our securities fraud law firm today. We work with clients throughout the US, as well as investors based abroad with claims against firms based in the country.