The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (Cetera Advisor) broker Jaret Mutter (Mutter). According to BrokerCheck Records, Mutter is currently subject to a pending regulatory matter in which the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC) has sanctioned Mutter for the violation of various securities laws. Mutter has also been subject to seven customer disputes, one of which is still pending. The majority of these disputes concern the misrepresentation and unsuitable recommendation of investments in Unit Investment Trusts (UITs).
In April 2018, VSCC placed a Special Supervision Order on Mutter due to numerous disclosures and complaints from customers at Cetera Advisor, Mutter’s firm of employment. Consequently, Mutter has been placed under special supervision for a year.
In addition, Mutter has been subject to multiple customer disputes. Most recently, in May 2015, a customer alleged that Mutter misrepresented investments to the customer and placed the customer in investments that were unsuitable to their investment portfolio and objectives. The customer was awarded $50,310 in damages.
In April 2015, a customer alleged that Mutter falsely represented the fees and risk of losing principal payment in the investment. The customer has requested $4,838 in damages.
In April 2015, a customer alleged that Mutter misrepresented UITs as a low risk investment to the customer. The customer has requested $37,362 in damages.
Brokers are obligated to make suitable investments for clients by following certain criteria. First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation based upon the broker’s research and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factors.
The number of complaints against Mutter are unusual compared to his peers. According to newsources, only about 7.3% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records among brokers employed from 2005 to 2015. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their CRD customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, and even criminal matters. However, studies have found that there are fraud hotspots such as certain parts of California, New York or Florida, where the rates of disclosure can reach 18% or higher. Moreover, according to the New York Times, BrokerCheck may be becoming increasing inaccurate and understate broker misconduct as studies have shown that 96.9% of broker requests to clean their records of complaints are granted.
Mutter entered the securities industry in October 2002 and has been registered with Cetera Advisor since 2017. From August 2014 to October 2017, Mutter was registered with Investment Centers of America, Inc. From December 2007 to August 2014, Mutter was registered with Suntrust Investment Services, Inc. From May 2005 to December 2007, Mutter was registered with Jefferson Pilot Securities Corporation. From October 2002 to April 2005, Mutter was registered with US Financial Services, Inc.
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 false representation and unsuitable investments. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.