Non-traded real estate investments trusts, or REITs, have come back to bite brokers/dealers and investors alike in recent years. Most recently, LPL Financial announced that it would pay a multimillion-dollar settlement connected to allegations by Massachusetts’ securities regulator that it failed to supervise representatives who sold investments in the products.
Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin filed a complaint against LPL in December 2012. In the complaint, Galvin alleged that LPL was in violation of both state limitations and the company’s rules. The Securities Division also charged LPL with dishonest and unethical business practices.
The Massachusetts complaint focused on seven REITs: Inland American, Cole Credit Property Trust, II, Cole Credit Property Trust, III, Cole Credit Property 1031 Exchange, Wells REIT II, W.P. Carey Corporate Property Associates 17 and Dividend Capital Total Realty.
As part of the Massachusetts settlement, LPL will pay restitution of $2 million to Massachusetts investors who bought the seven non-traded REITs in question, as well as a $500,000 administrative fine.
Maddox Hargett & Caruso continues to investigate sales of non-traded REITs on behalf of investors. If you believe you suffered losses in a non-traded REIT investment because your broker/dealer or financial adviser misrepresented certain facts, please contact us.