A U.S. Court of Appeals denied Raymond Lucia Sr.’s petition to review and vacate an SEC decision. Lucia was a former investment adviser and talk show radio host who was barred from the industry last year by the SEC. The court stated “In view of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s findings that Mr. Lucia repeatedly and recklessly engaged in egregious conduct without regard to his fiduciary duty to his clients, petitioners fail to show that the commission’s sanction was unwarranted as a matter of policy without justification in fact, or that it failed to consider adequately his evidence of mitigation. According, we deny the petition for review.” His failure to win an appeal is a setback for other advisors who have been challenging the SEC’s use of administrative law judges to handle disciplinary cases. Mr. Lucia wants to have cases such as these heard in federal court, where they claim they have more rights than in administrative proceedings. Last September, the SEC voted to uphold a decision by an in-house judge from 2013 to punish Lucia for misleading investors about the efficacy of his “buckets of money” approach to building retirement assets. The SEC said Mr. Lucia used inflation rates to “back-test” the strategy that did not reflect historical rates of inflation for the time periods to which he referred. At the time, Mr. Lucia was barred from the industry and he and his firm were ordered to pay a total of $300,000 in fines.
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