Broker Investigation: Laidlaw & Company Advisor Joseph Fedorko

shutterstock_178801073According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Joseph Fedorko (Fedorko) has been the subject of an astonishing 16 customer complaints. The customer complaints against Fedorko allege securities law violations that claim churning and excessive trading, unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, fraud, misrepresentations, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims. The most recent complaint was filed in March 2014, and alleged $292,771 in losses due to an unsuitable investment strategy from 2011 until 2013. The case settled for $120,000. Another complaint filed in November 2012, alleged $400,000 in damages stemming from trading that began in 2011. Other complaints against Fedorko when combined allege millions in investor losses.

Fedorko entered the securities industry in 1989. From January 2002, until May 2009, Fedorko was associated with with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Presently, Fedorko is associated with Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. out of the firm’s Stamford, Connecticut branch office location.

All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. In order to make suitable recommendations the broker must have a reasonable basis for recommending the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation of the investments properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. In addition, the broker must also understand the customer’s specific investment objectives to determine whether or not the specific product or security being recommended is appropriate for the customer based upon their needs.

The number of customer complaints against Fedorko 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 represents investors who have suffered investment losses due to broker wrongdoing, such as churning and unsuitable investments. 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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