FINRA Bars Broker Oskar Kowalski Over Failing to Respond to Regulatory Requests

shutterstock_20354401The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating Oskar Kowalski’s (Kowalski) bar from the securities industry. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently brought an enforcement action (FINRA No. 2015046156301) against Kowalski alleging that, without admitting or denying the findings, Kowalski had consented to the bar due to his refusal to provide documents and information requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation into potential sales practice violations.

Kowalski entered the securities industry in January 2011. However, an examination of Kowalski’s employment history reveals that Kowalski moves from firm to firm very quickly. The pattern of brokers moving in this way is sometimes called “cockroaching” within the industry. See More Than 5,000 Stockbrokers From Expelled Firms Still Selling Securities, The Wall Street Journal, (Oct. 4, 2013). In Kowalski 4 year career he has worked at 4 different firms. Between August 2011 and November 2012, Kowalski was associated with Aegis Capital Corp. From October 2012, until September 2013, Kowalski was associated with brokerage firm Legend Securities, Inc. Thereafter, from March 2014 until October 2014, Kowalski was associated with Meyers Associates, L.P. Finally, from October 2014 until October 2015, Kowalski was associated with E.J. Sterling, LLC.

Some of these firms have been known to house troublesome brokers. For instance, Meyers Associates has an unusually high number of brokers with complaints on their records. According to FINRA, approximately twelve percent of registered representatives have some form of disclosure on their record. However, as we have previously reported, forty seven out of seventy five, or nearly sixty-three percent of the brokers employed by Meyers Associates, have a marked-up history as revealed by BrokerCheck. Even more disturbing is the fact that of those forty seven brokers have on average of 4.5 disclosure events per broker.

Indeed, Meyers Associates’ founder and CEO, Bruce Meyers, is one of many at the firm who have a record peppered with disclosure events. Mr. Meyers has 14 on his record, of which 7 are regulatory and 7 are from customer complaints.

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.

The investment fraud attorneys at Gana LLP represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.