The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Darrach Bourke (Bourke), currently employed by Emerson Equity, LLC (Emerson Equity) has been subject to at least six customer complaints, five criminal disclosures, one employment termination for cause, and one regulatory matter during the course of his career. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Bourke’s customer complaints alleges that Bourke recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations of concentrations in energy securities among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts such as unauthorized trading.
In March 2017 FINRA sanctioned Bourke finding that Bourke consented to sanctions and findings that he exercised discretion without written authorization in the accounts of two customers. FINRA found that Bourke discussed investment strategies with these customers and then Bourke exercised discretion and executed transactions in the accounts without first speaking with the customers about the specific transactions. FINRA found that Bourke had not obtained prior written authorization from the customers to exercise discretion in their accounts, and his member firm had not approved either account for discretionary trading. FINRA fined Bourke $5,000 and suspended him for 20 business days.
Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading. Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. All brokers are under an obligation to first discuss 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 fraudulent nature because no disclosure could be more important to an investor than to be made aware that a trade will take place.