According to the records kept by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Wade Lawrence (Lawrence) has been suspended following the broker’s failure to comply with an arbitration award or settlement and by failing to comply with the regulator’s request for information concerning compliance. In addition, FINRA permanently barred Lawrence for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he misappropriated funds from customers.
Lawrence first became registered with FINRA in 2002 with MML Investors Services, LLC. Thereafter, from June 2008 through July 2011, Lawrence was registered with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (Oppenheimer) Finally from August 4, 2011, until December 2013, Lawrence was registered with Southwest Securities, Inc. (Southwest). On December 12, 2013, Southwest filed a Form U5 that terminated Lawrence’s registration.
In addition to the FINRA regulatory actions Lawrence has been the subject of at least nine customer disputes. These statistics are troubling because multiple customer complaints on a broker’s record are rare. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. FINRA’s disclosure records do not just cover customer complaints but also include IRS tax liens, judgments, and even criminal matters. The number of brokers with multiple customer complaints is far smaller.
The complaints against Lawrence allege unauthorized trading in options, promises to cover investment losses, unsuitable investments in closed-end notes, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty. Some of the unsuitable investments appear to be in the Vixx volatility index (VXX). Trading in the Vixx is almost always unsuitable because the costs of the index over time causes it to fail to accurately track its benchmark volatility index. Thus, holding Vixx will almost always cause investment losses. Some of the claims also allege that personal loans were made to the broker that were never paid back.
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 of misappropriation of funds and trading in high risk securities. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.