David Lerner Associates is a privately-held securities broker/dealer with a client portfolio totaling $6 billion. The company is headquartered in Syosset, New York. It also has branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, Florida; Lawrenceville, NJ; and White Plains, NY.
Martin Lerner is a stockbroker with over 35 years of experience in the securities industry. He currently works at David Lerner Associates, a firm headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. He is also a FINRA industry arbitrator. A recent BrokerCheck report reveals that Lerner has two pending investor disputes. A 2020 complaint alleges that Lerner failed to disclose certain information or acted in bad faith, and seeks damages of $100,000. A 2021 complaint alleges that Lerner failed to disclose a conflict of interest, and breached his fiduciary duties.
Despite the fact that Lerner is a FINRA member and SEC-registered broker-dealer, the company has faced accusations of improper sales of REITs and municipal bonds. The firm was also fined a large sum of money for overcharging on municipal bonds. Since its inception, David Lerner Associates has faced at least 21 regulatory findings.
The firm is a privately held broker-dealer.
David Lerner Associates is a privately held securities broker-dealer offering various financial products. The company considers itself to be the “Sensible Middle Ground of Investing.” Its headquarters are located in Syosset, NY, and it also has five branch offices in the tri-state area and Florida.
The company was founded in 1976 and now manages about $4.5 billion in assets for clients. Its offerings include different kinds of municipal bonds, Spirit of America funds, Energy 11 LP and Energy Resources 12 LP mutual funds, and a variety of insurance products. The company was founded by David Lerner, who still leads the firm. David Lerner Associates also maintains branch offices in Boca Raton, Florida, White Plains, and Westport, Connecticut.
It is a member of FINRA
David Lerner Associates is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Since 2010, it has been under investigation by the agency for alleged violations related to unsuitable investments. The investigation was launched after a FINRA Wells Notice was issued to the firm. In May 2010, the agency’s department of enforcement filed a complaint against the firm, and a hearing officer took the case. The hearing panel heard testimony from the staff at David Lerner Associates. It was found that the firm continued to charge excessive markups, despite being warned by regulators. The firm has offices in the New York metropolitan area and Boca Raton, Florida.
After reviewing the case, FINRA imposed a fine on the firm, fining it $2.3 million and suspending head trader William Mason for six months. The firm was also ordered to pay more than $1.4 million in restitution to customers. David Lerner Associates has the right to appeal the decision to the National Adjudicatory Council.
It has a history of customer complaints
In one case, a customer alleged that David Lerner Associates misrepresented the suitability of a mutual fund. This customer did not file a securities arbitration complaint; rather, they made their complaint directly to David Lerner. David Lerner denies the allegations. Another complaint alleges that Lerner acted in violation of his fiduciary duties and failed to supervise his broker.
In another case, David Lerner Associates was sued by a retired widow for selling her savings to a financial advisor who recommended investments that were not suitable for her financial situation. The customer alleged that the financial advisor recommended that she invest her money in Energy 11 LP, an offshore oil and gas property. In two other cases, the customer alleged that Mr. Lerner failed to supervise the financial advisor and failed to do due diligence on the investment.
It has been fined by FINRA
David Lerner Associates has been fined by the financial regulator for a number of violations of FINRA rules. The firm has reportedly violated rules relating to maintaining accurate investment profiles. The firm did not comment on the FINRA findings, but it is believed that the firm lied about the impact of Covid-19 on its distributions to customers. Despite the fine, the firm is still doing business, with John Dempsey serving as the firm’s chief executive. The firm has also agreed to videotape sales seminars attended by 50 or more people over a three-year period and to pre-file its advertising with the regulator.
In a separate disciplinary action, FINRA has suspended David Lerner from the securities industry for a year and barred him from serving as a principal in any financial firm for a year. In addition, he was ordered to pay $250K in fines. In 2012, FINRA fined David Lerner Associates $3.7M for using excessive markups to sell municipal bonds and CMOs. In addition to the FINRA fine, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities also announced that David Lerner Associates had paid $650K for improperly marking up Apple REIT shares. These are just a few of the fines and suspensions that David Lerner Associates has faced.