Lear Capital is one of the largest bullion dealers in the US. However, they faced a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General for $10-million. The company is rated as excellent on multiple consumer platforms.
Lear Capital is a company that specializes in the sale of precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. The company was founded in 1997 by Kevin DeMeritt and is based in Santa Monica, California. Lear Capital offers a variety of precious metal products including coins, bars, and bullion. They also offer services such as IRA rollovers and precious metal storage.
It has a team of professional and trained precious metal specialists. They can provide guidance and assistance to investors who are interested in purchasing precious metals. The company aims to help investors diversify their portfolios and protect their wealth by investing in precious metals, which are considered safe-haven assets.
Find the Best Rated Gold IRA Company of your State
People Behind Lear Capital:
Lear Capital was founded by Kevin DeMeritt, who serves as the company’s Chairman. DeMeritt has over 30 years of experience in the precious metals industry. The company’s CEO is John Ohanesian.
He has over 25 years of experience in senior executive positions in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, and retail. Ohanesian is also known for developing the hair restoration company, Bosley, into a global brand. Another person Jeremy Jason manages customer relations.
While Raymond Carter and Steven Jason are customer service specialists. All of whom are dedicated to providing top-quality assistance and advice to clients.
Lear Capital has a team of experienced precious metal specialists who provide guidance and assistance to clients. These specialists have backgrounds in finance, economics, and precious metals and are trained to provide expert advice on investing in precious metals.
The company also has a board of directors, which includes individuals with diverse backgrounds in business, finance, and law. The board is responsible for providing oversight and guidance to the company’s management team and ensuring that the company operates in accordance with its values and mission.
Lear Capital Lawsuit Explained: What Happened?
Lear Capital is a precious metals investment company that has been involved in several lawsuits and regulatory actions over the years. One of the most notable cases involving Lear Capital is the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of New York Letitia James.
Lear Capital and its founder, Kevin DeMeritt, are being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James for allegedly defrauding nearly 1,000 New Yorkers out of approximately $10 million.
The lawsuit alleges that Lear convinced investors, including many older people residents of Western New York seeking to safeguard their retirement savings, to invest tens of millions in precious metals, primarily coins. Lear fraudulently charged undisclosed commissions of up to 33 percent on more than $43 million in sales, profiting approximately $10 million at the start of these investments.
More Details about the Lawsuit on Lear Capital:
Lear targeted New Yorkers’ individual retirement accounts and other savings while not being registered as a commodity broker-dealer, commodity investment advisor, or telemarketer as required by New York law.
Attorney General James emphasized that her office would do everything in its power to protect New Yorkers’ life savings and ability to retire with dignity. Lear falsely promised safe investments in precious metals and made its success inversely related to the investors’ interests.
The language detailing the exorbitant commissions was hidden, and investors were coached on answers to questions and sent invoices that omitted or made information on commissions hard to read. Lear also committed these frauds while failing to register in New York as a commodities broker-dealer, investment advisor, or telemarketer.
In addition to seeking a temporary restraining order to immediately halt Lear’s illegal activities. Attorney General James seeks an order permanently barring Lear and DeMeritt from operating in New York, restitution for investors, disgorgement, damages, penalties, and costs.
The lawsuit is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Tanya Trakht, Kenneth Haim, and Christopher Boyd. With support from Legal Assistant Eddie Aguilar, Senior Consumer Fraud Representative Karen Davis, Senior Data Analyst Akram Hasanov, and Data Scientist Gautam Sisodia.
Recent Alert: Vermont Settlement With Lear Capital Misleading Activity
The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, along with numerous other states, reached a settlement with Lear Capital involving unregistered securities activity and misleading marketing.
Vermont and a number of other states (the Participating States) alleged that Lear was engaged in unregistered securities activity as well as giving misleading information about the metals market and the expenses of investing in precious metals.
The Participating States reached a settlement in the context of Lear’s Chapter 11 case, which was embodied in Lear’s Chapter 11 plan.
Lear’s principal (Kevin DeMeritt) will contribute $5.5 million to the plan, according to the Plan. Investors who filed proofs of claim in the bankruptcy case will get a one-time distribution equal to the difference between the real spread charged on a transaction and a hypothetical 12 percent fee. The Department believes that no Vermont investors filed proofs of claim.
The remaining funds will be used to make payouts to customers who entered into a transaction with Lear between January 1, 2016, and March 3, 2022, in the same manner as distributions to customers who filed claims.
According to the reports, the settlement resolves the issues raised by Lear’s previous behaviour but does not rule out further enforcement in the event of future violations.
More Information About Lear Capital
Several clients have sued Lear Capital for various types of lawsuits, however, a majority of clients accused this company of fraud. This might be a major drawback for this company and a serious red flag for potential clients. Let’s have a look at a few of them:
Lear Capital offers Individual Retirement Account (IRA) services for investors who want to include precious metals as part of their retirement portfolio.
To invest in a Lear Capital IRA, here are the general steps to follow:
Open a Lear Capital IRA account: You can start the process by visiting its website and filling out the account application form. You will also need to provide identification documents and other personal information required to set up your account.
Fund your account: Once your account is set up, you can fund it by transferring funds from an existing IRA or rolling over funds from a 401(k) or other qualified plan. Lear Capital offers assistance with this process, including help in transferring your funds.
Choose your precious metal products: With a funded IRA account, you can then choose the precious metal products you wish to invest in. They offer a wide range of products. Including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bullion, as well as rare coins and numismatics.
Complete your purchase: Once you have selected your desired products, you can complete your purchase through Lear Capital. The company will then arrange for the delivery and storage of your precious metals.
However, I don’t recommend opening an IRA with them. Why? Because there are plenty of better options available for you.
Opening a precious metals IRA is a major decision. That’s why I suggest checking out our top gold IRA providers list. There, you can find the best precious metals dealer of your state and choose accordingly.
Also, the list will help you understand what the industry’s best has to offer and what you might miss out on.
Lear Capital Products:
Lear Capital is a company that deals with precious metals. This company offers a range of products that include gold, silver, and platinum.
Some of the products they offer include:
Gold Bars and Coins: $10 Liberty Gold Coin, $20 Gold Liberty, $5 Liberty Gold Coin, American Gold Eagle Coin (all sizes), Gold Polar Bear & Cub, Gold 10 Ounce Bar, Gold American Eagle Proof, Gold Australian Kangaroo, Gold Snowy Owl Coin, Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins, Gold Krugerrand (1 oz ) Coin, Austrian Vienna Philharmonic Gold, Gold British Sovereign Coins, The Canadian Royal Mint, and many more.
Silver Bars and Coins: American Eagle Silver Coin, Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coin, Morgan Silver Dollar, American Silver American Eagle, Canadian Silver Polar Bear Coin, Silver Rounds (1 oz), and many more.
Platinum Bars and Coins: Platinum Bar 1 Oz. (Varies), Platinum Canadian Maple Leaf, Platinum American Eagle, and many more.
In addition to these products, Lear Capital also offers various collectible and exclusive coins. Such as the Silver Polar Bear, Silver Grizzly Bear, Silver Snow Falcon, Silver Arctic Fox, Silver Orca Coin, Silver Spirit Bear, and more. They also offer IRA accounts for precious metals investments.
The minimum investment at Lear Capital is $25,000. However, the website does not state whether that amount has increased today. Lear Capital charges various fees and charges for its products and services, including:
Annual storage fee: Customers who purchase physical precious metals through Lear Capital’s storage program are charged an annual storage fee of $180 per year per account. This fee covers storage, insurance, and 24 x 7 access to an online account.
Purchase commissions: Lear Capital charges commissions on purchases of physical precious metals. Which vary depending on the product and quantity purchased. The commissions can range from 1% to 5% or more and may be higher for less common or specialty items.
Storage fees on purchases of gold: If you choose to store your gold or other precious metals with Lear Capital, they will charge storage fees. That will be based on the amount and type of metal being stored. These fees can vary depending on market conditions and other factors.
Other fees: Lear Capital may charge other fees for additional services. Such as account transfers, wire transfers, or special delivery requests.
Many Prices and fees are not listed on their website. So before investing you should always first consult with customer care executives for better pricing. It’s important to carefully review and understand all fees and charges associated with any investment or financial product before making a decision to invest.
Lear Capital Reviews and Complaints:
On Google, Lear Capital has 4.8 stars out of 5-star ratings based on customer reviews. There are a total of 302 customer reviews on Google. Most of them are positive, with customers praising the company’s excellent customer service, professionalism, and expertise.
On TrustLink, Lear Capital has 4.5 stars out of 5-star ratings based on 325 customer reviews. Most of the reviews are positive, with customers praising the company’s customer service, expertise, and quick shipping.
On Yellow Pages, Lear Capital has 5 out of 5-star ratings based on only 1 customer review. The review is positive. The customer is praising the company’s knowledgeable and friendly staff, quick shipping, and competitive prices.
Business Consumer Alliance (BCA):
On BCA,Lear Capital has again 5 out of 5-star ratings based on only 5 customer reviews. The review is positive. The customer praised the services of the company. There they have an AAA company rating on the BCA website.
Better Business Bureau (BBB):
On the Better Business Bureau website, Lear Capital has a B+ rating. The company has 2.56 stars out of 5-star ratings based on 18 customer reviews. There are both mixed positive and negative reviews. They are since 25 years in the industry. A total of 38 complaints are closed in the last 3 years. And this business is also not BBB accredited on Better Business Bureau website.
On Yelp, Lear Capital has 3.5 stars out of 5-star ratings based on 58 customer reviews. Reviews are a mixture of both positive and negative customer ratings.
On Consumer Affairs, Lear Capital has 4.7 stars out of 5-star ratings based on 1179 customer reviews. The majority of the reviews are favorable, with customers commending the company’s customer service, knowledge, and prompt delivery.
On the Trustpilot website, Lear Capital has 4.8 stars out of 5-star ratings based on customer reviews. There are 1,286 customer reviews on the website, and most of them are positive, with customers highly appreciating the company’s exceptional customer service, professionalism, and expertise.
Some customer reviews from various online business rating websites:
#1. Stoyan D. highly recommends LEAR Capital for precious metal investments, stating that they have the best bullion coins and a great sales team. He gives them a 10-star rating out of 5 and appreciates their no-pressure sales approach and excellent customer service. Whether you’re a new or experienced investor, LEAR Capital can help you with your precious metal investments.
#2. Dillon S. shares his experience with buying precious metals through Morgan Gold on an IRA, which unfortunately resulted in buying when prices were high and incurring exorbitant fees. After Morgan Gold went out of business, Dillon was contacted by Lear Capital and Pierre Kim. He spoke with multiple individuals and decided to do a rollover of his existing precious metals to Lear Capital for better diversity. The entire process was conducted over the phone, including the transfer, which was convenient for Dillon since he was driving.
#3. Ben F expresses his gratitude towards Debbie Kasper from Lear Capital for her exceptional help with his first silver purchase. He considers referring to family and friends as the highest compliment and Debbie has earned his trust and respect, making her deserving of it. He eagerly anticipates future transactions with her.
#4. Grey B expresses gratitude towards Jeremy, the Public Relations Director at Lear Capital, for providing assistance in resolving concerns. According to Grey, Jeremy demonstrated a professional attitude and showed a willingness to help customers of Lear Capital. While appreciative of the help received, Grey urges potential customers to conduct thorough research before making a purchase and to persist in their efforts.
#5. Kendall J had a positive experience with Lear Capital as a first-time silver buyer. After seeing the company on Newsmax, Kendall called and worked with Matt, who provided attentive and knowledgeable service.
Are There Any Lear Capital Complaints? Should You Be Concerned?
Yes, there are a few Lear Capital complaints. You should always check out those complaints before investing. These complaints are attached below.
#1. According to Robert M, they are not as they claim to be as he was overcharged on his gold and silver purchases.
#2. Robert claims that when he invested his IRA with Lear Capital, he did a Precious metal transfer, but they marked up the prices of gold coins and silver coins, resulting in a loss of approximately $26,000.
#3. Richard reports that a representative from Lear Capital called him despite his request for a kit instead of a phone call. He claims that he provided his address, but the representative interrupted him and suggested discussing the matter on the phone. He declined and continued to provide his address, but the representative ended the call without saying goodbye properly. Richard believes that these are old-school tactics and he refuses to invest any of his hard-earned money with Lear Capital. He also plans to warn others not to invest with them.
Is Lear Capital Legit? Should You Invest With Them?
Although they are a legitimate company, I don’t think you should invest with them.
Recently, Lear Capital has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Act. This means that the company is seeking court protection while it develops a plan to restructure its debt and operations.
As part of the bankruptcy process, those with monetary claims against the company are advised to obtain a Proof of Claim form and submit their claims to the court. The deadline for submitting claims was August 29, 2022.
The company has 4.8-star ratings on Trustpilot and also has the same ratings on Google Reviews too. So, you can call them legitimate.