Complaint / review text:
Because of threat of retaliation, I am changing my name to write this very truthful report. As an ex-employee of David Lerner Associates, I worked with sales persons and executives of the firm on a daily basis. During my tenure with the company, I was privy to the following information which may influence investors looking to invest with this firm:
* Constantly being told by a principal of the firm Martin Lerner that the firm's Apple REIT investment averaged 16% per year! Totally false! This investment made the firm the most money as it charged customers 8% commission off of the top.in fact after all fees were deducted, only some. 87 cents on every dollar is invested. If you invest $100,000 in the Apple REIT only some $87,000 is actually invested.in fact, they pay clients 8% per year on their investment in Apple Reit. They actually use monies from other investors to pay off the investors who put money into the program before them. A big PONZI scheme! When you try to liquidate your investment in Apple, you may be charged 8% to do so, or have to wait at least to the next quarter to get part or all of your money back. STAY AWAY!
* David Lerner, President and principal of the firm mentioned several times that he was a sexist! David Lerner said in front of some 300 people at a company seminar that the firm was entertaining offers from other companies who sought to purchase one of the firms REIT's. This was illegal because it sought to drive the price up of the current REIT and discourage selling of the REIT that he was referring to. This was non-public investment information, or insider trading information.in fact, a few weeks later, the director of compliance came into our office to refute the information that Mr. Lerner had said at this meeting. He knew that this information was illegal and should not be disseminated to the general public.
* David Lerner at another meeting in Teaneck, NJ spoke to some 40 investment counselors and managers regarding an upcoming presentation in December of 2009 regarding the firms' illiquid investment in what is referred to as the Great Art Fund. This is an investment that can ONLY be sold to accredited investors that have $1,000, 000 in assets and/or $200,000 per year in income for the last 2 years running. At this meeting, Mr. Lerner said, before these 40 people, "I will not let the (Federal) Government tell me how to run my business." If the clients have $800,000 or $900,000 in assets it's good enough. Have them sign the form anyway. (the form pertains to clients verifying that they have at least $1,000, 000 in assets.) In effect, Mr. David Lerner wanted all the people in that room that night to commit FRAUD!
* Pertaining to the above lecture regarding the Great Art Fund, there were 2 licensed investment principals in attendance that DID NOT take the appropriate steps or measures regarding the inappropriate and fraudulent remarks that Mr. Lerner had eluded to that evening.
*Look at the compliance record of the firm and its individuals by going to FINRA broker check.org and typing in the name of the firm. Also check out the record of Martin Lerner who was brought up on charges of committing Money Laundering a major financial felony.
* Lastly, wait until you attend an investment seminar where David Lerner be the guest speaker himself. He tells the same puns and jokes that feature sexual innuendos throughout the whole evening. Can you imagine the President of Merrill or Morgan Stanley doing that...
All I can tell you is if a salesman from David Lerner Associates calls you, have them put you on the Do Not Call List!