Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating potential claims on behalf of the investors of Western Financial Planning Corp., based in San Diego. Reportedly, Western Financial Planning has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of running a real estate investment scam. The alleged scam raised around $50 million from hundreds of investors around the nation.
Early this month, a temporary asset freeze against the financial planning firm and Louis V. Schooler, the firm’s owner, was obtained by the SEC. Securities arbitration lawyers say the SEC’s allegations state that Schooler and Western Financial sold units in partnerships, organized by Western, for the purchase of vacant land located in Nevada. Reportedly, the land would then be held to be sold at a later date for a profit.
According to the SEC’s claims, Western neglected to tell investors that they (the investors) would be paying outrageous mark-ups on the land. Investment fraud lawyers say that in some cases, mark-ups amounted to over five times the fair market value of the land. Furthermore, allegations state that Schooler failed to tell investors that the initial land purchase was financed by mortgages, which later encumbered the property.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s complaint was filed in a San Diego federal court. According to the complaint, investors have been misled by Western and Schooler since 2007 through the use of comparative prices of plots of land that were supposedly similar, but had sold for higher prices than Western was offering. In reality, the “comp” land was not comparable to what was sold to investors.
If you suffered significant losses as a result of your investments with Western Financial Planning and Louis V. Schooler, you may have a valid securities arbitration claim. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a securities arbitration lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.