The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brought and enforcement action (FINRA No. 2015045289901) against broker Jeffrey Snyder (Snyder) resulting a permanent bar from the securities industry. In addition, according to the BrokerCheck records kept by FINRA, Snyder has been the subject of at least 6 customer complaints, and 1 regulatory event. The customer complaints against Snyder allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, engaged in churning (excessive trading), misrepresentations, negligence, fraud, and unauthorized trading other claims.
FINRA’s findings stated that although Snyder appeared for an on-the-record interview, he refused to respond to certain questions concerning allegations that he paid a customer compensation for investment losses without the knowledge or authorization of his member firm. Snyder’s refusal resulted in an automatic bar.
An examination of Snyder’s employment history reveals that Snyder moves from troubled firm to troubled firm. The pattern of brokers moving in this way is sometimes called “cockroaching” within the industry. See More Than 5,000 Stockbrokers From Expelled Firms Still Selling Securities, The Wall Street Journal, (Oct. 4, 2013). In Snyder’s 12 year career he has worked at 6 different firms. Snyder entered the securities industry in 2003. From February 2006, through June 2008, Snyder was associated with New Castle Financial Services LLC. Thereafter from June 2008 until August 2008, Snyder was a registered representative of The Concord Equity Group, LLC. From August 2008, until April 2012, Snyder was registered with Spartan Capital Securities, LLC. From April 2012 until April 2015, Snyder was associated with Rockwell Global Capital LLC. Finally, in March 2015, Snyder was registered with Network 1 Financial Securities Inc. until September 2015 out of the firm’s Danbury, Connecticut office location.
In addition, almost all of the complaints against Snyder involve claims of churning. When brokers engage in churning the broker will typical trade in and out of securities, sometimes even the same stock, many times over a short period of time. Often times the account will completely “turnover” every month with different securities. This type of investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is engaged in only to profit the broker through the generation of commissions created by the trades.
The elements to establish a churning claim, which is considered a species of securities fraud, are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions. A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements. Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim. These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.
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.