According to BrokerCheck records kept by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), broker Clifford Vatter (Vatter) has received six customer complaints. Furthermore, Vatter was terminated in July 2017 from Raymond James & Associates for allegedly engaging in unauthorized trading in one customer’s account.
In September 2016, a customer alleged Vatter made unsuitable investment recommendations, misrepresented and omitted material facts and breached his fiduciary duty. This dispute settled for $250,000.
In April 2009, a customer alleged Vatter made unauthorized withdrawals among other allegations. This dispute settled for $13,300.
In April 2001, a customer alleged Vatter misrepresented material facts and made unsuitable recommendations. This dispute settled for $250,000.
Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading. Unauthorized trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior consent from the investor. All brokers, who do not have discretionary authority to trade an account, are under an obligation to first discuss trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b). Further, subsequent disclosure of the trades does not cure the violation. Unauthorized trading is a type of investment fraud because the SEC has found that no disclosure could be more important and material to an investor than to be made aware that trading is taking place. Unauthorized trading is often a gateway violation to other securities violations including churning, unsuitable investments, and excessive use of margin.
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.
Vatter has spent 34 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Raymond James & Associates in Louisville, Kentucky. Previous registrations include Morgan Keegan & Company, UBS Painewebber and JC Bradford & Company.
Gana Weinstein LLP’s investment fraud attorneys represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts due to claims of unsuitability and 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.