Five brokerage firms that sold so-called non-traded REITs improperly, will make restitution to investors of about $8.6 million and pay a total of $975,000 in fines under settlements reached with Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin, Galvin’s office said Wednesday.
REITs are real estate investment trusts.
“Our investigation into the sales of REITs, triggered by investor complaints, showed a pattern of impropriety in the sales of these popular but risky investments on the part of independent brokerage firms where supervision has historically been difficult to maintain,” Galvin said in a statement.
The firms that settled are Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. which will make $2.6 million in restitution and pay a $400,000 fine; Commonwealth Financial Network, which will make $2 million restitution and pay a $300,000 fine; Royal Alliance Associates, which will make $59,000 in restitution and pay a $25,000 fine; Securities America ,which will make $778,400 in restitution and pay a $150,000 fine; and Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., which will make $503,940 in restitution and pay a $100,000 fine, Galvin’s office said.
In addition to those settlements, Galvin announced that LPL Financial had completed the second round of its restitution in connection with similar violations settled with his office in December. The additional amount of $2.6 million from LPL brings the total restitution in Massachusetts from improper REIT sales to more than $11 million dollars and fines of more than $1.4 million, Galvin’s office said.