The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Neal Scott (Scott). According to BrokerCheck records there are at least four customer complaint, one regulatory, and seven judgments or liens that have been filed against Scott. The most recent customer complaint against Scott alleges a number of securities law violations including breach of fiduciary duty and suitability among other claims. The claim is currently pending.
The most recent judgement or lien disclosure was filed in January 2009 and concerns a tax lien for $47,103. Tax liens and judgements are often a sign that the broker cannot manage their own personal finances and may be tempted to recommend high commission products or strategies to clients in order to satisfy debts.
In addition, the Virginia Securities Department alleged that Scott failed to complete his registration process in time and denied his registration in the state.
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.
The number of customer complaints against Scott 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.
Scott entered the securities industry in 1982. From November 2007 to October 2015, Scott was associated with Euro Pacific Capital, Inc. Since September 2015, Scott was associated with Meyers Associates, L.P out of the firm’s New York, New York office location.
The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP 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.