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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.

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Comments

Visduh Aug. 6, 2015 @ 6:19 p.m.

Mixed emotions are what describe my reaction. Ray always came across as a blowhard of sorts, but what he did probably encouraged many folks to invest for the future, and that's not something glamorous. (Easier to go out for dinner-and-drinks, spend the surplus funds, and let the future take care of itself.) His screechy voice on AM radio was a weekend feature here in town for many years. But I'm not sure he deserves this kind of ignominious downfall. (Either that, or I'm going soft in my declining years.)

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Don Bauder Aug. 6, 2015 @ 9:10 p.m.

Visduh: If he twisted his seminar presentation as the SEC says he did, he deserves contumely. If no investor actually got hurt, and his slide presentation was purely hypothetical, as his lawyer says, then his treatment may be too harsh. Rob Butterfield, whom I quote in the item, thinks Lucia Sr."s treatment was "a travesty." But admittedly, Rob is a friend of his. Best, Don Bauder

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sonnyface Aug. 7, 2015 @ 8:49 a.m.

If you read the entire transcript of his hearings it's clear that the SEC targeted him since he was high profile. They wanted to make him an example to all planners on how they can control the industry. Under the current Administration the regulations are unbelievable and overreaching...the SEC definitely went overboard on this case but the judge already made up his mind before the hearings were done. Look at his track record and tell me he is a fair minded man...no way !!

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Don Bauder Aug. 7, 2015 @ 1:14 p.m.

sonnyface: The SEC may have been after Lucia Sr. for another reason. He favored non-traded REITs. (I wrote a column on this a couple of years ago, zeroing in on Lucia.) These are very dangerous instruments, particularly for the elderly. The SEC has warned investors about non-traded REITs. Best, Don Bauder

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Bob_Hudson Aug. 6, 2015 @ 9:42 p.m.

"His screechy voice on AM radio..."

We have to give Ray his due here: he is, or was, quite the singer - no screechiness at all - in the 1970's when he was a school teacher who performed weekends under the name Rocky Lucia as part of the nightclub duo ONE with Gary Williams.

Hope he set aside some money for old age.

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Don Bauder Aug. 7, 2015 @ 1:21 p.m.

Bob_Hudson: I never had any idea he was a singer/performer. I appeared on his show a few times and I remember that he had been a quarterback at SDSU, but I heard nothing about show biz. Best, Don Bauder

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AlexClarke Aug. 8, 2015 @ 10:04 a.m.

I wonder how many people followed his advise and lost their retirement ass. The Republicans want Joe Six Pac to take personal responsibility for their medical care (savings), education (savings) and retirement (savings) but who does "Joe" trust to tend to these funds? Even the know-it-alls of Wall Street can't get it right.

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Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 4:37 p.m.

AlexClarke: The defense claims that there were no losses from using the Buckets of Money strategy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2015 @ 4:39 p.m.

Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe: Yes, it is an interesting case. Best, Don Bauder

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