David Lerner Associates, Inc. financial advisor Scott Mass (CRD# 1971403) accused of recommending unsuitable Puerto Rico bonds. Mass has been registered with David Lerner Associates, Inc. in Syosset, New York since 1996.
Puerto Rico suffers from long-term financial and economic deficiencies that rendered its credit increasingly more speculative. The deterioration of Puerto Rico’s financial condition culminated in its debt being downgraded to junk status or speculative (below investment grade). For the past several years, Puerto Rico has been struggling with compounding debt and economic decline. As a result, the value of Puerto Rico’s municipal tax-free bonds has considerably fallen. Since September 2013, when the steep decline in Puerto Rico bond values began, investors holding these bonds have suffered massive losses. In May 2017, Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in what is being described as the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in history.
Mass has been the subject of five customer complaints between 2011 and 2018, one of which was denied, one was withdrawn and one was closed without action, according to his CRD report:
July 2018. “Unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud and breach of contract in connection with the sale of Puerto Rico Bonds.” The customer is seeking $500,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
December 2016. “Client alleges unsuitability. Allegations period: 6/25/2007 through 7/31/2015.” The customer sought $90,000 in damages and the case was settled for $15,000.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, David Lerner Associates, Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Mass’ customers.
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