*** Update: An attorney for Ray Lucia has threatened to sue me over this blog post. See his letter and my response here. ***
First Allied Securities, a San Diego-based brokerage firm, has agreed to pay nearly $2 million to settle charges that it failed to supervise one of its employees.
The SEC found that between 2005 and 2008, former First Allied broker Harold Jaschke engaged in unauthorized and unsuitable trading on behalf of two Florida municipalities, putting them at risk of losing millions of dollars while he reaped commissions of more than $14 million for himself.
First Allied is owned by FAS Holdings, which is in turn owned by Chicago-based Advanced Equities Financial Corp. A 2008 story in Forbes magazine on Advanced Equities quoted an anonymous broker for the company as saying, “This place is a stereotypical bucket shop.”
Advanced Equities is also the subject of a series of complaints filed with financial industry regulators by San Diego’s Mirch Law Firm that mention Lucia, who hosts a radio and TV show in major media markets.
Lucia offers investment advice, including his trademarked “Buckets of Money” strategy through his show and at seminars, like this one in San Diego March 20 with actor Ben Stein.
According to SEC filings, Lucia solicits business for First Allied, and receives a cut of some of the fees in return. Fees for a Ray Lucia account run as high as 2 percent, paid quarterly in advance.
Buckets of money, indeed.