Broker Investigation: Claims Against Advisor Brett Murphy

shutterstock_145123405-200x300The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Brett Murphy (Murphy). According to BrokerCheck records Murphy has been subject to at least two customer complaint, and one financial disclosure. The customer complaints against Murphy allege securities law violations that including unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading among other claims.

In August 2016, a customer filed a complaint alleging that Murphy was not properly supervised, and excessively traded the account in unsuitable unit investment trusts while employed at Oppenheimer & Company Inc. from July 2011 through August 2016 causing $2,000,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

One customer complaint filed in March 2015, alleged that Murphy made unauthorized transactions in customers account causing aggregate losses of approximately $5,000.

Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading. Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. The broker must first discuss all 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 of fraudulent nature.  This is because the omission that the broker intends to engage in trading is material information that the investor is entitled to have prior to the trade’s execution.

Brett Murphy entered the securities industry in 1994. From July 2011 through March 2015, Murphy was associated with Oppenheimer & Company Inc. Since March 2015, Murphy has been registered with Revere Securities LLC out of the firm’s Boca Raton, Florida office location.

The number of events listed on Murphy brokercheck is high relative to his peers.  According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records.  Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints.  In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters.  However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck.  More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

Gana Weinstein LLP’s securities fraud attorneys represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts.  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.

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