FINRA Sanctions Joseph Daigneault Over False Account Statements

shutterstock_103665437The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brought an enforcement action (FINRA No. 2013038133001) against broker Joseph Daigneault (Daigneault) resulting in a monetary sanction and a suspension. In addition, according to the BrokerCheck records kept by FINRA, Daigneault has been the subject of at least 1 customer complaint. The customer complaint against Barthole allege unsuitable investments concerning alternative investments and claims $1,000,000 in damages.

FINRA’s findings stated that from October 2005 through September 2013, Daigneault provided consolidated statements to at least eight customers that included misleading information regarding the customers’ financial holdings. According to FINRA, Daigneault manually created the consolidated statements using a spreadsheet program. However, many of the statements that Daigneault created included values for non-traded, illiquid assets that Daigneault listed the value of the customer’s initial investment regardless of the current actual value of the investment. In addition, FINRA found that several statements had a death benefit column where investment values were listed even where the securities in question did not have death benefits.

A consolidated report is a single document that combines financial information regarding a customer’s financial holdings on one statement. Consolidated reports are supplements but do not replace customer account statements. Due to the increasing complexity of investments offered by brokers from multiple different issuers and platform FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 10-19 reminding brokers and brokerage firms that consolidated report are communications with the public that must be must be clear, accurate, and not misleading. The valuations and values provided on the statements must be consistent with the customer’s official account statement. When creating consolidated account statements broker must take reasonable steps to accurately report information.

Daigneault entered the securities industry in 1982. From January 1996 onward Daigneault has been registered with Investors Capital Corp. out of the firm’s Biddeford, Maine office location.

All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including 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 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.

Our team of investment lawyers represent brokerage customers who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts by their advisors. 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.