According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Dennis Lee (Lee) has been the subject of one customer complaint, four financial disclosures, and one employment separation. The customer complaint against Lee alleges that the broker made unsuitable investments, transferred funds to a new account without the client’s knowledge or consent, engaged in unauthorized trading, and submitted forged documents. The client alleges over $1,000,000 in damages due to the misconduct. Approximately two months after disclosing the customer complaint AXA Advisors, LLC (AXA) terminated Lee. The termination was for cause and stated that Lee was discharged for failing to disclose financial issues that required the broker to file a U4 amendment, mismarking trade tickets, and placing securities trades away from the firm, otherwise referred to as “selling away.”
Lee entered the securities industry in 1993 and since that time Lee has been associated with AXA until his termination in April 2015.
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 Lee 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.