National Planning Corp., along with their financial advisor, Joseph Russo, was ordered to pay $1.2 million in damages after Russo allegedly recommended a risky real estate investment to an elderly client. In 2003, the investor and his wife invested $2.5 million, which was practically all of their savings, in a commercial building with a single tenant lease. A decade after the initial investment there was no tenant, which meant no income for the investors. The property ended up going into foreclosure and the investor received $141,000 from the sale of the property. National Planning claimed that the investor made $1.8 in income from the property and received tax deferrals from owning it. The investor’s lawyer argued that the real estate investment was too speculative and concentrated for an elderly couple.
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