McNally Financial Services’ Recommendation of Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust Leads To Couple’s Losses

Investors’ Worked With Ex-McNally Financial Broker Michael O’Meara 

An older couple from Washington State has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against McNally Financial Services and its former broker Michael Charles O’Meara. The claimants seek up to six figures in damages and contend that they were unsuitably recommended and sold Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust. 

This private, non-traded real estate investment trust (non-traded REIT) was too risky and complex for inexperienced investors like them. In September 2021, Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust changed its name to Lightstone Value Plus REIT IV, Inc. 

Our non-traded REIT attorneys represent these investors in FINRA arbitration against McNally Financial Services and O’Meara. We are also investigating claims of losses involving Lightstone Group and its real estate investment trusts. Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced securities lawyers.

Claimants Invested in Risky Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust 

The self-employed investors entrusted McNally Financial and its then-broker Michael O’Meara with their savings. Inexperienced in portfolio management or securities, including non-traded REITs, the couple clearly sought safe, low-risk investments that would allow them to supplement their incomes. Instead, McNally Financial Services concentrated the couple’s assets in Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust.

More on Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust

This non-traded REIT is an unregistered, illiquid, privately traded security and should only be offered to sophisticated, accredited investors with a certain income level. Broker-dealers and their financial advisors have earned high commissions from selling them. 

Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust, now Lightstone Value Plus REIT IV, Inc., invests in debt obligations that finance development and redevelopment opportunities and originate preferred equity investments in development projects or mezzanine loans. It also reportedly participates in loan portfolios with third parties.

Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust shares were initially sold for $10/share. In March 2017, it terminated its offering after raising nearly $86M from investors since its inception. The non-traded REIT would later significantly decrease monthly distributions, contending that the 8% yearly return was no longer possible. In March 2020, its Board of Directors suspended regular monthly distributions.

Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust reopened its share repurchase program in May 2021 but only related to a stockholder’s death or hardship and with the price for such purchases set to 100% NAV/share. In a filing on March 18, 2022, with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lightstone Value Plus REIT IV, Inc.’s Board approved an estimated $8.58/share. 

Unsuitability, Negligence, and Misrepresentations and Omissions Alleged 

If McNally Financial truly believed that this Washington State couple needed real estate exposure, which they did not, then the firm and its broker could have easily recommended one of more than 200 publicly-traded REITs. Instead, they went after an investment with a limited track record, limited disclosures, and much risk. 

Unfortunately, because of the brokerage firm’s acts and omissions, these Washington State claimants have sustained financial losses. Their FINRA arbitration claim alleges misrepresentations, omissions, negligence, gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, unsuitability, and other claims. 

O’Meara is Now an LPL Financial Broker 

According to BrokerCheck, Michael O’Meara, who is currently an LPL Financial broker, has worked 26 years in the industry. He was a McNally Financial registered representative from 2013 to 2019. Other firms where he used to be a financial advisor include:

  • United Planners Financial Services of America
  • Genworth Financial Securities
  • Investors Capital
  • Questar Capital
  • US Allianz Securities
  • Raymond James Financial
  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith
  • UBS PaineWebber
  • Banc One Securities

Skilled Non-Traded REIT Attorneys

To schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation with SSEK Law Firm, call (800) 259-9010. We are continuing to investigate investors’ claims of losses involving Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust/Lightstone Value Plus REIT IV, Inc. and the brokerage firms that sold them this non-traded REIT.

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