San Diego-Based Brokerage Firm Under Scrutiny Over Sierra Income Sales
LPL Financial Holdings (LPLA), the largest independent brokerage firm in the United States, has finalized its acquisition of Lucia Securities, a San Diego-based broker-dealer and registered investment advisor. With over $1.5B in assets, Lucia Securities and its advisors will operate under the name Lucia Capital Group.
Even prior to the acquisition, our San Diego broker fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at Investorlawyers.com) were investigating Lucia Securities over its sale of Sierra Income Corporation investments to customers. LPL Financial also used to market and sell investments in this nontraded business development company (BDC) to investors but stopped.
Contact our San Diego law office at (619) 550-4847 if you are someone who lost money in Sierra Income because it was recommended and sold to you by a Lucia Securities (now Lucia Capital Group) broker or an LPL Financial advisor so that we can help you explore your legal options.
Sierra Income Corp. Is Unsuitable for Unsophisticated, Inexperienced Investors
Like real estate investment trusts (REITs), BDCs issue 90% of their income via payouts and can be a steady source of income. However, also like REITs, BDCs can be incredibly risky and should only be recommended to experienced investors.
This makes investing in Sierra Income investments generally unsuitable for retail investors, inexperienced investors, and many senior investors and retirees who are unable to take on much risk when investing.
Sierra Income investors paid high fees and expenses, including annual operating ratios, broker fees, advisory fees, and commissions as high as up to 10%. Unfortunately, brokers that sold Sierra Income shares to customers may not have apprised them of all of these fees.
In 2020, Sierra Income Corp. suffered huge losses after its merger with Medley Capital Corp. didn’t go through in the wake of the economic turbulence caused by COVID-19. Soon after, the business development company announced the suspension of monthly distributions.
Original Sierra Income investors had paid $10/share. By October of last year, the BDC’s shares were listed on Central Trade & Transfer for $1.50/share. Meanwhile, redistributions were reinstated for the last three months of 2020 at $.01/share.
A number of Sierra Income investors are claiming losses of up to 75%.
Representing Investors Who Have Suffered Losses in BDCs and Other Risky Investments
Prior to the acquisition, former Lucia Securities broker, now LPL Financial broker Scot Samuel Fairchild, was accused at least twice of making unsuitable investment recommendations. Those claims were settled for $45K and $175K, respectively. Fairchild is also based in San Diego.
Please reach out to our San Diego securities fraud lawyers so that we can determine if you have grounds for a claim against a Lucia Capital Group broker to recover damages. Over the years, SSEK Law Firm has recovered many millions of dollars on our clients’ behalf from the broker-dealers that have caused their customers’ financial harm.