The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against National Securities Corporation (National Securities) broker Daniel Alcide (Alcide). According to BrokerCheck records Alcide has been subject to at least three customer complaints and two financial disclosures including a bankruptcy. The customer complaints against Alcide alleges securities law violations that including unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and fraud among other claims.
In December 2015 a customer filed a complaint alleging $150,000 in damage stemming from a fraudulent private placement. The complaint was denied. In addition, in 2011 Alcide filed for bankruptcy. Such disclosures on a broker’s record can reveal a financial incentive for the broker to recommend high commission products or services. A broker’s inability to handle their personal finances has also been found to be relevant in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.
According to a recent study conducted by the Securities Litigation and Consulting Group entitled “How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct?” the incidents of investor harm at National Securities is extraordinarily high. The study ranked National Securities as the third worst brokerage firm finding that brokers at the firm had over a 31% misconduct rate. The study stated that investors should stay away from National Securities “Given their coworkers’ disclosure record as of 2014, 83.7% of the brokers at these six firms would be in the highest risk quintile as defined in the FINRA study and should be avoided by investors. The BrokerCheck reports for most of the brokers at these six firms should prominently display a skull and crossbones warning.”
Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client. In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements. First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.