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Retail Properties of America, Formerly Inland Western, Faces More Problems

For quite some time now, securities fraud attorneys have been investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses as a result of their investments in Retail Properties of America REIT, formerly known as Inland Western. Reportedly, the chief executive of Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. Inc., Daniel Goodwin, recently expressed criticism about the Retail Properties of America Inc.’s IPO timing. A new lawsuit states that in January 2011, the REIT told investors before the offering that they could expect a value of $17.25 per share. However, at the time of the offering, the REIT’s shares, adjusted for the stock split, were actually only valued at $3.20 a share. This also was significantly lower than the $10 price which the majority of investors paid per share.

Retail Properties of America, Formerly Inland Western, Faces More Problems

According to Goodwin, Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. Inc. has no control over Retail Properties of America. Furthermore, when asked if Inland would join in the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois — which is seeking class action status — Goodwin said, “We have discussed various potential actions but haven’t reached a conclusion. Our interests are clearly aligned with the shareholders.”

Investment fraud lawyers say Retail Properties of America is the third-largest shopping center REIT in the nation. In April 2012, Retail Properties of America was converted to a publicly traded New York Stock Exchange company from a non-traded REIT.

According to securities fraud attorneys, REITs typically carry a high commission which motivates brokers to make the recommendation to investors despite the investment’s unsuitability. The commission on a non-traded REIT is often as high as 15 percent. Non-traded REITs such as the Retail Property REIT carry a relatively high dividend or high interest, making them attractive to investors. However, these investments are inherently risky and illiquid, which limits access of funds to investors. This becomes a major problem for investors, especially retired individuals, who may need to access their funds sooner than the investment allows. For more information on REITs, see the previous blog post “FINRA Investor Alert: Public Non-traded REITs.”

If you suffered losses as a result of your investment in the Retail Properties of America Inc. REIT, or another non-traded REIT, you may have a valid securities arbitration claim. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact an investment fraud lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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