The investment fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are examining multiple customer disputes filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against financial advisor Gregory Pease (Pease). According to BrokerCheck, Pease has a multitude of disclosures concerning: churning, excessive trading, unauthorized trading, unsuitability, and breach of fiduciary duty.
The most recent customer complaint filed against Pease was filed in November 2016. The complaint alleged that during the period between 1998 and 2015, Pease made unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentation, and omission of material facts regarding mutual funds. The alleged damages are unspecified and the case is still pending.
Another customer complaint against Pease was filed in March 2015 and alleged that Pease misrepresented the client’s financial objectives. According the customer, the amount of trades and fees that occurred in the accounts did not properly align with the client’s desires. The alleged damages were worth $13,266.81 and the case was later settled for $10,297.88.
In February 2012, a customer complaint alleged that Pease failed to follow investment directives concerning mutual funds that began around April 2010. The case was later settled at $4,020.00.
Pease entered the industry in 1993. He is currently registered and employed at International Assets Advsiory, LLC, where he has been employed since December 2016. His past employment include: Wells Fargo (May 2012 – January 2017), Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (June 2009 – June 2012), Morgan Stanley (May 2008 – June 2009), and Merrill Lynch (January 1994 – May 2008).
False representations include either written or oral statements containing misrepresentations or omissions of information that are material to an investor and induce the purchase, sale, or holding of a security. FINRA Rule 2210 also require representations to investors be balanced in light of all the information being provided to the investor. Advisers are prohibited from only listing the positive aspects of a security without disclosing downside risk and negative features in a balanced and fair manner. An intentional omission of the downside risk of an investment can also be a basis for a fraud claim. The benefit of the FINRA rules is that the standard by which a claimant or plaintiff pleads a fraud case are more relaxed as are the standards by which dismissal can be granted. Therefore pleading a violation of the FINRA rules in the FINRA forum greatly facilitates the ability to bring fraud claims.
The number of complaints against Pease are unusual compared to his peers. According to newsources, only about 7.3% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records among brokers employed from 2005 to 2015. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their CRD customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, and even criminal matters. However, studies have found that there are fraud hotspots such as certain parts of California, New York or Florida, where the rates of disclosure can reach 18% or higher. Moreover, according to the New York Times, BrokerCheck may be becoming increasing inaccurate and understate broker misconduct as studies have shown that 96.9% of broker requests to clean their records of complaints are granted.
Gana LLP’s securities fraud attorneys represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts due to claims of misrepresentation. 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.