FINRA Bars Broker Andrew Kramer Over Securities Practices

shutterstock_61142644-300x225Broker Andrew Kramer (Kramer) was recently sanctioned by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in an enforcement action.  According to the FINRA AWC (Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent) FINRA found that Kramer consented to sanctions that he failed to respond to FINRA’s requests for documents and information related to an examination concerning a customer complaint.

The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the six customer complaints brought against Kramer. The customer complaints allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments among other claims.  Accorded to one complaint, it was alleged that Kramer implemented a bear market strategy.  When brokers recommend these strategies they are rarely profitable and almost always unsuitable for the client.  Historically the market is only negative a small fraction of the time.  Accordingly, a sustain bear market strategy always bets against the odds rarely makes sense.

The most recent claim was filed in December 2016 alleging Kramer engaged in unsuitable trades causing $1,000,000 in damages.  The complaint is currently pending.

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.

Kramer entered the securities industry in 1988.  July 2010 until September 2014, Kramer was associated with Northeast Securities, Inc.  Finally, from September 2014 until May 2016 Kramer was registered with Capitol Securities Management, Inc. out of the firm’s Brooklyn, New York branch office location.

The number of customer complaints against Kramer is high relative to his peers.  According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records.  Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints.  In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters.  However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck.  More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

The investment lawyers at Gana LLP represent investors who have suffered investment losses due to allegations of wrongdoing. 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.