New York-based David Lerner Associates Inc. has signed a consent order from the New Jersey Department of Securities resolving allegations that it unlawfully sold nontraded REITs in the state.
In signing the consent order, the firm agreed to a penalty of $700,000, of which $200,000 was suspended as a result of the firm's cooperation with the state investigation. The firm also was assessed $100,000 for costs, and will pay $50,000 into a fund that will be used by the state for investor education.
The non-traded real estate investment trusts involved in the case were Apple 7, Apple 8 and Apple 9, which owned several hotels. In March 2014, Apple 9 completed a merger with Apple 7 and Apple 8 and changed its name to Apple Hospitality REIT Inc. On May 18, 2015, company's shares were listed and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the consent agreement, David Lerner Associates said that "at current traded levels and including distributions received, no shareholder who was an investor in the initial public offering of any of the three Apple REITs has experienced a loss on a total return basis."