Shreveport broker Eddie Lyons, accused of costing clients more than $5 million in risky investments that went against their wishes to invest conservatively, has signed an agreement where he is indefinitely barred from the industry.
Lyons entered into an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent agreement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Restitution to the investors is not part of the settlement; that would be part of separate actions against Lyons and the brokerage firm where Fihe used to work, Raymond James.
“He has agreed to essentially be barred for life,” said Kim Breese, a Ridgeland, Miss., attorney who is representing 41 investors who have filed claims against Lyons.
The investors, ranging from retirees to a Baptist church, accuse Raymond James and its Shreveport branch of failing to properly supervise Lyons, who they say put them in speculative, money-losing investments at a time the bull market was pulling most stock portfolios higher. The portfolios lost millions from unsuitable investments and were also dragged down by high commissions and fees, according to the claim filed with federal financial services regulators.
One investor, alleging he lost money at a time a major component of the stock market was up 89 percent, said that if his portfolio had tracked earnings of the S&P 500 Index during the four years Raymond James had his account, it would have been worth $3.5 million, instead of just over $2 million.
Breese said losses exceed $5.5 million -- a figure based on "what they should have, instead of what they do have" had the money been invested the way the clients wanted: Well-established mutual funds, blue-chip stocks and bonds.
Lyons, a champion amateur golfer, was in the brokerage business for more than 30 years. He was fired by Raymond James in April 2017.
Lyons has declined comment on the specific accusations, but has said previously the losses were tied to “an unforeseen and unprecedented drop in oil prices.”
Most of the investors live in Shreveport and include attorneys, a doctor, a college professor, business people, retirees, a church and a social service agency. Many of the individuals are in their 70s and 80s, Breese said. None has been wiped out, although one person lost all $75,000 invested with Lyons, Breese said.
"They trusted Eddie to manage their portfolios -- often their life savings -- in a prudent manner," Breese said.
Lyons won the Shreveport Amateur golf championship several times and was the state senior amateur champion last year.