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Buffalo-based Lear Capital to repay $6M to investors

A $50 gold coin
Lear Capital

In June 2021, state Attorney General Letitia James' office filed a lawsuit against Buffalo-based Lear Capital, charging that the company persuaded investors to invest tens of millions of dollars in precious metals, while fraudulently charging undisclosed commissions of up to 33 percent.

That was in violation of state laws requiring commodity broker-dealers and telemarketers to register with the state.

On Monday, James announced that Lear and its founder Kevin DeMeritt are providing $6 million for repayment to customers harmed by its violations, including some who invested their retirement savings.

“New Yorkers must be able to invest their life savings with confidence and know that their investments will be protected,” James said. “After years of misleading consumers, costing them millions in fees, Lear Capital’s illegal practices end now."

The company must also reform its business practices, provide customers with clear and conspicuous disclosures of its fees and provide a 24-hour cancellation period for transactions involving retirement accounts and some others with higher fees.