Gregory P. Washington (CRD # 5420613) is a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in Washington, DC. Gregory Washington has 10 years of experience and started in the securities industry in 2009 and has previously worked for such companies as Aegis Capital Corp, Spartan Capital Securities and Maxim Group.
In March of 2011 Mr. Washington was part of a civil judgement which resulted in a tax lien of $57,739 and in August of 2007 he had a civil lien for $1,612.64. His criminal record consists of one count Petit Larceny which is a class A misdemeanor, Disorderly conduct which came with a $250 fine and a $100 surcharge fee.
In September of 2018, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released information about a dispute between Mr. Washington and one of his clients in the sum of just over $6.5 million dollars. Investor allegations include claims of churning, unsuitable investments, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duties. All of this information can be found on Finra.org/brokercheck. A $6.5 million claim is very significant and the types of claims presented are discussed below.
The Fiduciary Standard
A financial advisor has a fiduciary duty, which is the highest standard of client care, it means that they must always act in the investors best interest, even when it’s in opposition to the broker’s own interest. A broker who becomes a fiduciary of his client must act with utmost good faith, reasonable care, and loyalty concerning the customer’s account, and owes a duty to keep informed regarding changes in the market which affect his customer’s interests, to act responsibly to protect those interests, to keep the customer.
Churning is a term used to trade more than necessary for the brokers to gain commissions. According to SEC Churning is unethical and illegal and breaks the security law 15c 1-7.
Unsuitable trading occurs when a stock or bond does not meet the objectives, needs and means of the investor. In many cases It is not what the client wants either too much or too little risk for their liking. Brokers are obligated to do the research and take the required steps to ensure the client is informed and comfortable with their investment, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA over sees this process. An unsuitable investment depends on the client with an outright scam being the only exception of an undoubted unsuitable investment.
A claim for material misrepresentations or fraud is when an advisor misleads a client and does not provides an investor proper information needed to make a smart and informed decisions.
A brokerage company’s main duty is to act as a middleman that connects buyers and sellers to facilitate a transaction. If these jobs are not met with the highest quality and best interest of the buyer the company may be accountable for the losses of the investor.
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.