Our Investigation of David Lerner Associates, Inc.

We currently are investigating Syosset, New York based broker-dealer David Lerner Associates, Inc. for its sale of Apple REITs and certain collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) to investors in, among other places, New York and Florida.

According to its website, David Lerner Associates regularly holds financial investment seminars throughout the New York metropolitan area and in Florida to attract new investors.
Upon information and belief, certain David Lerner Associates salespeople may have sold investors securities or investment products carrying high commissions that may not have been suitable for the investor’s needs, and are highly illiquid. These investment products may include the above-mentioned illiquid Apple REITs, as well as risky CMOs and Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (“REMICs”).

According to its website, since 1993 David Lerner Associates has been involved in the underwriting of eight Apple REITs, including the following:

• Apple Suites
• Apple Hospitality Two
• Apple Hospitality Five (purchased by Inland American)
• Apple REIT Six
• Apple REIT Seven
• Apple REIT Eight
• Apple REIT Nine
• Apple REIT Ten

David Lerner Associates also is believed to have its own family of funds known as the “Spirit of America” funds, which include the following:

• Spirit of America Real Estate Income and Growth Fund
• Spirit of America Large Cap Value Fund
• Spirit of America High Yield Tax-Free Bond Fund
• Spirit of America Income Fund

Last year, FINRA charged David Lerner Associates with overcharging investors on the sale of municipal bonds and mortgage securities. In 2004, the NASD (FINRA’s predecessor) fined David Lerner Associates for sales contests that promoted certain proprietary mutual funds, variable annuity, and variable life insurance products. In 2005, the firm was fined by the NASD for advertisements that exaggerated the firm’s investing record. In 2006, the firm was also fined for violating disclosure rules in connection with the sale of variable life insurance policies and annuities.

If you have lost money investing with David Lerner Associates in an Apple REIT, a Spirit of America fund, a CMO, or a REMIC, or if you are unable to redeem an Apple REIT or other investment product that you purchased through David Lerner Associates, you may be entitled to recovery through securities arbitration. To learn more about how to attempt to recover losses against David Lerner Associates, Inc. on a contingency fee basis, please contact our law firm in Chicago, Illinois for a no obligation, consultation.

James J. Eccleston, Esq
Eccleston Law Offices, P.C.
One North Franklin Street, Suite 2620
Chicago, IL 60606

Documents We Will Need to See

In order to properly evaluate your potential case, our attorneys will likely need to review some of the documents that relate to your investment with David Lerner Associates, Inc.  First, it is helpful for us to be able to review all marketing materials, offering memorandums, subscription agreements or other related documents evidencing the REITs or other “investments” made through David Lerner Associates. Second, if the client has retained them, we need to see all account documentation and marketing material sent to the client by David Lerner Associates. These include new account documents, customer agreements, monthly statements, advertising/brochures and other correspondence from the firms. Third, we need to review have a discussion with each investor that will provide needed background information on the client and his or her experiences with David Lerner Associates.  

What Will It Cost?

We work on a contingency fee basis.  This means our attorneys’ fees are a percentage of what we recover.  If we do not recover, the client is not responsible for any legal fees.   Clients are responsible for certain costs, including any arbitration filing fee and other incidental costs (such as for photocopying, messenger, travel and transportation expenses and other usual and customary costs).  In certain instances, we may be willing to advance those costs on behalf of our clients.