Broker Spotlight: Citigroup Broker David Honingstock

shutterstock_150746According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker David Honingstock (Honingstock) has been the subject of at least two customer complaints, two financial disclosures, and three judgments and/or liens. The customer complaints against Honingstock allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations and false statements, among other claims

In addition to these claims, Honingstock declared bankruptcy in October 2014 in New York. In addition, Honingstock former brokerage firm, Morgan Stanley, initiated an action against the broker alleging a debt of $1,635,123 owed to the firm that in a compromise settlement was reduced to $218,000. Honingstock has several other debts listed on his disclosures including a hospital bill from 2013, and a New York State Tax lien for over $17,000. A broker’s inability to manage his own finances or having trouble making ends meet may suffer from potential conflicts of interests in making recommendations to his clients.

Honingstock entered the securities industry in 1986. From January 2003, until May 2007, Honingstock was registered with UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS). Upon leaving from UBS, from May 2007, through June 2009, Honingstock was associated with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (Citigroup). From there, Honingstock was associated with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney form June 2009, until December 2009. Finally, Honingstock has been registered with Citigroup since 2013.

Advisers have an obligation to deal fairly with investors and that obligation includes making suitable investment recommendations. In order to make suitable recommendations the broker must have a reasonable basis for recommending the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation of the investments properties including its costs, benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. In addition, the broker must also understand the customer’s specific investment objectives to determine whether or not the specific product or security being recommended is appropriate for the customer based upon their needs.

The number of complaints and regulatory actions against Honingstock 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.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana 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.