Salem, OR—Investors who purchased retail precious metals from Lear Capital are eligible to receive compensation as a part of Lear’s bankruptcy plan, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation announced today.
State securities regulators had been investigating Lear for deceptive securities and commodities activities and misleading marketing at the time of the company’s bankruptcy.
Under the terms of the bankruptcy plan, Lear will provide $5.5 million to be distributed to investors in Lear’s precious metals. Lear investors who filed a timely bankruptcy claim will receive refunds based on calculations determined by Lear’s bankruptcy plan. In addition, Lear will provide a pro rata distribution of the remaining funds to investors who did not file claims. The pro rata distribution applies to investors who bought precious metals from Lear between Jan. 1, 2016, and March 3, 2022.
As a part of Lear’s bankruptcy plan, the company has also agreed to improve its sales practices and disclosures, including agreeing to not misrepresent its fee, not offer portfolio assessments of securities holdings, not hold itself out as an investment adviser in any way, and not provide investment advice or commit securities or commodities fraud.
“We are always on the lookout for businesses that use deceptive tactics to take advantage of investors,” said TK Keen, administrator for DFR. “Lear Capital got people to invest hard-earned money without proper fee disclosures and racked up millions of dollars at the expense of investors. Our division is committed to holding companies accountable that breach the trust of their customers.”
Various regulators had alleged that the Los Angeles-based company, which sells and buys back metals through both direct-to-consumer transactions and self-directed IRA transactions, used deceptive business practices and violated investor protection laws. These actions were resolved as part of the $5.5 million bankruptcy settlement.
About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and oregon.gov/dcbs.
Jason Horton, public information officer