Advisor David Weisberg Suspended Over Excessive Trading Charges

shutterstock_135103109-300x200According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker David Weisberg (Weisberg), formerly associated with Worden Capital Management LLC (Worden Capital), has been subject to at least four customer complaints and one regulatory action during his career.  Several of those complaints against Weisberg concern allegations of unauthorized trading activity and the regulatory action includes allegations of excessive trading also referred to as churning among other securities laws violations.

In April 2020 FINRA filed a regulatory action finding that Weisberg consented to sanctions and findings that he engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading in the account of an elderly customer. FINRA found that Weisberg began soliciting stock trades and some of Weisberg’s recommendations involved in-and-out trading and many of them used margin. FINRA determined that the customer relied on Weisberg’s advice and in virtually every case the customer purchased or sold exactly the quantity of shares that Weisberg suggested. FINRA found that the costs of Weisberg’s trading in the customer’s account were significant and Weisberg did not track the trading costs or take them into consideration when making recommendations. FINRA found that the trading generated commissions of approximately $75,638 while the customer lost approximately $55,627. Finally, FINRA also found that Weisberg used discretion to initiate stock trades in customers’ accounts without written authorization and his member firm who never accepted the accounts for discretionary trading.

In July 2019 a customer complained that Weisberg violated the securities laws by alleging that Weisberg engaged in sales practice violations related to negligence, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and omissions. The claim is alleges $21,579 and is currently pending.

When brokers engage in excessive trading, sometimes referred to as churning, the broker will typical trade in and out of securities, sometimes even the same stock, many times over a short period of time.  Often times the account will completely “turnover” every month with different securities.  This type of investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is engaged in only to profit the broker through the generation of commissions created by the trades.  Churning is considered a species of securities fraud.  The elements of the claim are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions.  A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements.  Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim.  These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.

According to newsources, a study revealed that 7.3% of financial advisors had a customer complaint on their record when records from 2005 to 2015 were examined.  Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their BrokerCheck reports that include customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, terminations, and criminal cases.  In addition, research has show a disturbing pattern with troublesome brokers where brokers with high numbers of customer complaints are not kicked out of the industry but instead these brokers are sifted to lower quality brokerage firms with loose hiring practices and higher rates of customer complaints.  These lower quality firms may average brokers with five times as many complaints as the industry average.

Weisberg entered the securities industry in 2009.  From November 2016 until July 2019 Weisberg was registered with Worden Capital out of the firm’s New York, New York office location.

At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to excessive trading and churning violations.  Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation.  Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA.  Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.

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