Broker Investigation: Laidlaw & Company Advisor Robert Yasnis

shutterstock_102757574According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Robert Yasnis (Yasnis) has been the subject of 3 customer complaints, and 3 regulatory actions. The customer complaints against Yasnis allege securities law violations that claim unauthorized trading among other claims. The most recent complaint was filed in June 2015, and alleged $34,350 in losses due to unauthorized trading in May 2011.

The most recent regulatory action was taken by the state of Florida in 2013, when the state alleged that a material false statement was made on an application for registration resulting in a denial of registration. In 1997, the state of Virginia alleged that Yasnis offered unregistered securities in the state and received a fine. Finally in 1994, the state of Texas revoked Yasnis’ securities license in the state due to allegations that he misled the state concerning the status of registration within the state.

Yasnis entered the securities industry in 1993. From February 2007, until July 2009, Yasnis was associated with Hallmark Investments, Inc. From November 2009, until April 2010, Yasnis was associated with Stephen A. Kohn & Associates, Ltd. Thereafter, from April 2010, until October 2012, Yasnis was associated with Buckman, Buckman & Reid, Inc. From October 2012, until January 2014, Yasnis was associated with Meyers Associates, L.P. Presently, Yasnis is associated with Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. out of the firm’s New York, New York 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 Yasnis 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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