There are a number of articles accusing Lear Capital of taking advantage of elderly consumers.
The latest lawsuit, filed in 2019, alleged that Lear Capital charged its customers fees as high as 33% – higher than other competitor coin dealers – while quoting lower fees in online sales pitches conducted over the phone. Lear Capital did not send written statements before requiring payment, leading many elderly customers to rely on misleading oral representations, the city’s recent lawsuit alleged.
Lear Capital claims on its website to have conducted $3 billion in transactions primarily from selling gold and silver coins for investement.
In a sworn statement, City Attorney Mike Feuer described a “myriad of unfair and deceptive practices” including “preying upon elderly and inexperienced investors, misleading consumers about often astronomical transaction fees [and]… sometimes wiping out huge chunks of life savings in the process.”
Lear Capital executives deferred comment to attorney Seth Pierce in the Century City office of law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. In a cleared statement, Pierce disputed the allegations and said the company looked forward to responding to the lawsuit in court and clearing the company’s name.
“Lear Capital is a top-rated company that has been selling precious metals, gold coins and roth IRA accounts for more than 20 years,” Pierce said in the statement. “Lear Capital provides detailed disclosures to its customers and takes great care to ensure that its online sales practices comply fully with the law.”
The city’s recent lawsuit seeks critical injunctive relief, restitution and civil penalties.
According to the lawsuit, when elderly retirement customers contacted Lear Capital attorneys demanding an explanation about the actual fees charged, the company either ignored the calls, promised return calls that never materialized, or told customers that because all sales were final, the fees could not be returned.