According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker David Ledoux (Ledoux) was recently fined and suspended by the regulator for failing to disclose certain liens on his registration. FINRA alleged that between May 1, 2006 and June 20, 2014, LeDoux failed to timely update his Form U4 to reflect the following six liens totaling $184,795.
In addition, to the recent regulatory action and judgement and liens, Ledoux has been the subject of one criminal event and six customer complaints. The customer complaint against Ledoux allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, fraud, misrepresentation, and engaged in churning (excessive trading) among other claims.
LeDoux entered the securities industry in June 1994. From June 2001, to July 2014, LeDoux was associated with National Securities Corporation. At that time National Securities permitted LeDoux to resign due to his late reporting of liens. Since August 2014, LeDoux has been associated with Westpark Capital, Inc.
All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. Many of the claims against Ledoux involving claims of churning and excessive trading. When brokers engage in churning the investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is transacted to profit the broker through the generation of commission payments. The elements to establish a churning claim, which is considered a species of securities fraud, are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions. A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements. Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim. These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.
The number of complaints and regulatory actions against Ledoux is relatively large by industry standards. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must disclose different types of events, not necessarily all of which are customer complaints. These disclosures can include IRS tax liens, judgments, and even criminal matters. In Ledoux’s case he has a number of financial matters disclosed including judgments totaling over $184,000. Such financial matters may lead a broker to seek funds by increasing commissions by providing client’s improper advice.
Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases where their broker has acted inappropriately. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.