Securities America’s problems over its involvement with defunct Medical Capital, a California lender, just became more complicated, as Bernstein Liebhard, a New York City law firm, pursues a potential suit against the independent broker dealer.

Bernstein Liebhard announced Wednesday that it is investigating allegations that Securities America fraudulently sold $750 million in private placement notes through Medical Capital from 2003 through 2008, the company said in a statement issued Wednesday morning. According to Liebhard’s statement, Securities America was one of the biggest distributors of Medical Capital notes, and it caused investors to lose more than $1 billion on the investments. In July 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Medical Capital and two of its executives with securities fraud.

Bernstein Liebhard is the latest law firm to pile onto the Medical Capital situation, possibly hoping to represent investors who lost money on the Medical Capital notes and recover damages for them. In its case, Bernstein Leibhard is hoping to represent clients who invested $750,000 or more in the notes. Maddox Hargett & Caruso, another New York City firm, is currently pursuing arbitration claims with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority over Securities America’s involvement in the private placement notes.

Attorneys general for Massachusetts and Montana followed with their complaints against Securities America. In January, Massachusetts accused the independent broker-dealer of withholding material information from advisors and investors regarding the heightened risks associated with the Medical Capital notes. Montana followed with similar complaints in August.

Hearings in Massachusetts began Sept. 30. Although there is no telling when they will wrap up, company executives expect the proceedings to last a couple of weeks, Natalie Hadley, a communication specialist at Securities America said this morning.  

“We believe we did our due diligence, and that the due diligence conducted was industry standard,” said Hadley. “All of the investors were accredited investors, and we will vigorously defend against these claims.”

Bernstein Liebhard did not return calls seeking comment.


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