RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif. - A San Diego-based radio personality who earned millions as a nationally known investment guru has been banned from the securities industry.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has revoked Ray Lucia Sr.'s license for spreading misleading information about his investment strategy.
Last September, Lucia Sr. told 10News, "I intend to vigorously, vigorously defend this."
Nine months later, Lucia Sr. has lost his license. The SEC also slapped him with a $50,000 fine, and his firm, Raymond J. Lucia Companies, Inc., was fined $250,000.
The SEC statement reads, "Lucia's statements were not the result of a mistake or clerical error, they were made voluntarily and knowingly."
After a series of hearings, the SEC determined Lucia Sr. falsely claimed his plan had been tested and would safely generate income for retirees for decades.
In the decision, the SEC determined that "respondents misled prospective clients by portraying their conclusions as having been actually backtested ..."
In the earlier interview with 10News, Lucia Sr. said at issue was "an honest disagreement over retiree inflation rates."
Lucia Sr. defended his plan, saying it's based on a formula adopted by other agencies.
After the SEC decision, Lucia Sr.'s attorney released this statement:
"... We respectfully disagree with the majority of the findings in the initial decision ... no seminar attendee ever complained about Mr. Lucia's seminars or claimed to have suffered any monetary losses as a result of the seminars."
Lucia Sr.'s attorney said he can still hold the seminars, but a nearly four-decade career as an investment adviser has come to an end.
The company that syndicates his program said they are 100 percent behind Lucia Sr. KOGO AM 600, the local station that airs his program, also said he's staying on the air.
Lucia Sr.'s attorney said an appeal of the decision is likely.
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