San Diego-based, nationally syndicated radio and TV financial personality Ray Lucia Sr. has lost his home, is living with his son, and has suffered a "serious medical setback," according to his attorney, Mark Fagel of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. He made those revelations at a hearing of the full commission of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday, July 31. It was an appeal of the agency's 2013 banishment of Lucia Sr. from the industry.
Fagel was talking of his client's misfortune in arguing that the punishment the securities agency doled out to Lucia Sr. was excessive. To follow up on the lawyer's remarks, I called San Diego attorney Rob Butterfield, a good friend of Lucia Sr. and formerly a frequent guest on his show. Butterfield confirmed that Lucia, squeezed financially, has moved out of his posh home at The Crosby near Rancho Santa Fe, and moved in with his son. Lucia Sr. suffered a heart attack recently, according to Butterfield. Lucia Sr. doesn't give $20,000 speeches or get fat consulting fees as a result of media coverage of the agency's actions, says Butterfield
At the hearing, Fagel said that with all the negative publicity about the agency's punishment, Lucia has had a hard time attracting financial advertisers to his Biz Talk Radio and Biz TV shows. Butterfield confirmed Fagel's description. "You google Ray, and all this stuff [about the SEC ban] comes up," and turns off potential advertisers, says Butterfield. It got to the point where expenses equaled income for the show.
In 2012, the agency charged Lucia Sr. with spreading misleading information about his "Buckets of Money" investment strategy. The agency said that Lucia Sr. was not telling the truth when he said his strategy was "back-tested" to see how it would have worked in prior years, such as the 1973-74 bear market. In 2013, the securities agency banned him from associating with any investment adviser, revoked his license and fined him and his former company.
Fagel argued that "Buckets of Money" was purely hypothetical and nobody was hurt in using it. An agency official argued that Lucia Sr. "flagrantly misrepresented" his strategy and "rigged the results" of its performance. The commission will decide the case later.