NY Retiree Says David Lerner Associates Broker Mike Norton Sold Her Unsuitable Energy 11 Investment

FINRA Arbitration Claim Seeks Up to $100K in Damages for Investor’s Losses

A New York widow is pursuing damages from David Lerner Associates after she suffered losses from investments she purchased at broker Michael Joseph Norton’s recommendation, including the firm’s proprietary Energy 11, LP private placement. Norton, a Syosset, NY stockbroker, has been named in several customer disputes. 

Our New York securities fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) are representing this senior investor in her Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against the brokerage firm. She is seeking up to $100K damages along with interest, costs, and legal fees. 

SSEK Law Firm has been actively investigating David Lerner Associates and the losses suffered by many of its customers who’ve invested in the firm’s exclusive financial products. Most recently we have been speaking to investors who lost money in the broker-dealer’s Energy 11, LP, Energy Resources 12, LP, and Spirit of America Energy Fund (SOAEX). 

Call us in New York at (716) 261-3529 or elsewhere in the United States at (800) 259-9010 so that we can help you explore your legal options. 

Inexperienced Investor Was Sold Speculative, Illiquid Oil & Gas-Related Private Placement 

Energy 11 is a non-public limited partnership and private placement related to oil and natural gas. It invests in non-operated working interests in about 221 producing wells and some 247 future development locations in the Sanish Field in Mountrail County, North Dakota. 

This New York investor entrusted Norton with a huge chunk of her liquid net worth. He promised not to expose her to undue financial risk. Instead, he proceeded to invest more than half of the funds in her brokerage account in Energy 11, which has limited liquidity, is highly speculative, and incredibly unsuitable for someone who is retired and an unsophisticated investor. 

The claimant’s brokerage account has since dropped in value. She contends that Norton unsuitably recommended Energy 11 to her and is also alleging unsuitability, misrepresentations and omissions, inadequate supervision, several breaches of duty, and intentional, negligent, or grossly negligent misconduct. 

David Lerner Associates should have known (or already knew) that Norton was in a position to harm the firm’s clients and yet failed to properly supervise him.

Norton Accused by Multiple David Lerner Associates of Making Unsuitable Investment Recommendations 

With 24 years in the industry, Michael Norton has been a David Lerner Associates registered representative since 1998. Previous to that, he worked with two other broker-dealers: Meyers Pollock Robbins, Inc. and Marlowe & Co. Both firms were expelled by FINRA in 2001.

Norton’s BrokerCheck record shows nine other disclosures, all of them customer disputes. While one was denied and another withdrawn, here are the others: 

  • 11/2020: Another Energy 11 fraud claim against David Lerner Associates seeking $50K in damages. This customer dispute remains pending.
  • 7/2019: A Puerto Rico municipal bond fraud case that was settled for $2,750. 
  • 4/2018: This unsuitable recommendation case, which also alleged misrepresentations and omissions, was settled for $10K.
  • 1/2018: An unsuitability case was concluded with a  $4,750 settlement.
  • 5/2016: Alleging unsuitability, the claimant received a $6K settlement.
  • 10/2013: This investor claim sought $50K in damages for unsuitability but was closed due to no action.

Many Energy 11 Investors Now Seeking to Recover Their Financial Losses 

In all of these disputes, the New York stockbroker has added comments on his BrokerCheck record that he was not named in the FINRA arbitration cases as a respondent. That is because it is common for investors to pursue their damages against the registered representative’s broker-dealer of record. 

Seasoned Investment Fraud Law Firm Fighting for Energy 11 Investors 

This New York retiree is not the only David Lerner Associate customer who was unsuitably marketed and sold Energy 11, LP, which suspended distributions last year in the wake of the volatility hitting the oil and gas market when Covid-19 struck. Now, many of them are seeking to recover their investment losses. 

To speak with an experienced broker fraud attorney related to your Energy 11 losses, contact us today so that we can help you explore legal options.

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