According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Justin Amaral (Amaral) has been barred for failing to respond to requests for information by the agency. The requests may have related to the reasons Morgan Stanley gave for terminating Amaral’s employment. Upon termination from Morgan Stanley the firm filed a Uniform Termination form (Form U5) stating that the reason for the firm’s termination of Amaral was due to allegations by the firm that Amaral became an executor and beneficiary in a client’s estate and that he used discretionary authority in several client accounts.
In addition, to the most recent FINRA action and bar, Amaral has been the subject of at least two customer complaints involving unsuitable closed-end funds and misrepresentations of investments involving mutual funds. According to FINRA, the agency made attempts to have Amaral appear for testimony concerning an unstated matter. Amaral failed to appear and was consequently barred from the securities industry.
It is important for investors to know that all advisers have an obligation and 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 complaints and regulatory actions against Amaral is relatively large by industry standards. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must disclose different types of events, not necessarily all of which are customer complaints. These disclosures can include IRS tax liens, judgments, and even criminal matters.
Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases where their broker has acted inappropriately. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.