According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Thomas Kelly (Kelly), currently employed by Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis) has been subject to an astonishing 19 customer complaints during his career. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaints against Kelly concern allegations of unsuitable investments and allegations of unauthorized trading, misrepresentations and negligence mostly in equity products.
In November 2018 a customer complained that Kelly recommended investments that violated the securities laws by recommending unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence. The customer alleges $500,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.
In October 2018 a customer complained that Kelly recommended investments that violated the securities laws including misrepresentations, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty. The customer claimed $230,000 in damages and is currently pending.
In August 2018 a customer complained that Kelly recommended investments that violated the securities laws including unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty. The customer claimed $750,000 in damages and 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. Advisors are also not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading. Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. All brokers are under an obligation to first discuss trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b). These rules explicitly prohibit brokers from making discretionary trades in a customers’ non-discretionary accounts. The SEC has also found that unauthorized trading to be fraudulent nature because no disclosure could be more important to an investor than to be made aware that a trade will take place.
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.
Kelly entered the securities industry in 1997. From May 2008 until May 2018 Kelly was registered with National Securities Corporation. Since May 2018 Kelly has been registered with Aegis out of the firm’s New York, New York office location.
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.