Broker, John Marshall, currently employed at Centaurus Financial. Inc., (Centaurus) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career. Both complaints allege Marshall of making unsuitable trading recommendations.
According to a BrokerCheck report, in September 2019, a customer alleged that from 2004 through 2019 misrepresented unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty. The matter settled for $55,000. Moreover, in December 2018, another customer alleged that Marshall recommended unsuitable investments throughout the period of November 2012 through August 2018. The matter is still pending and the customer is seeking damages in the amount of approximately $336.000.
Brokers have an obligation to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client. There are many investments that are not appropriate for the majority of investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors. Brokers should not present these investment options to clients. There are two screens that brokers must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client. First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors. The broker must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one. 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.
According to newsources, a study revealed that 7.3% of financial advisors had a customer complaint on their record when records from 2005 to 2015 were examined. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their BrokerCheck reports that include customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, terminations, and criminal cases. In addition, research has shown a disturbing pattern with troublesome brokers where brokers with high numbers of customer complaints are not kicked out of the industry but instead these brokers are sifted to lower quality brokerage firms with loose hiring practices and higher rates of customer complaints. These lower quality firms may average brokers with five times as many complaints as the industry average.
Marshall entered the securities industry in 1997 and is licensed to practice in South Carolina. From 1997 through 2000, Marshall was registered with D.E. Frey & Company, Inc. From 2000 through 2008, Marshall was registered with First Allied Securities, Inc. From 2008 through 2010, Marshall was registered with Gunnallen Financial, Inc. From 2010 through 2015, Marshall was registered with J.P. Turner & Company, LLC. Marshall has been registered at Centaurus Financial, Inc since May 2015.
At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to suitability violations. Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.