The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against former Finance 500, Inc. (Finance 500) broker Marc Jaffe (Jaffe). According to BrokerCheck records Jaffe was recently sanctioned by FINRA and discharged by his prior employer in or about September 2015. The FINRA action found that Jaffe failed to timely disclose tax liens on his record. Shortly thereafter, Finance 500 terminated Jaffe for cause stating that the broker entered into a commission sharing agreement in a state where he was not registered.
In addition, Jaffe has been subject to an eye popping 36 customer complaints and two judgements or liens totaling over $700,000 in tax lien debt. The lien disclosures on a broker’s record can reveal a financial incentive for the broker to recommend high commission products or services. A broker’s inability to handle their personal finances has also been found to be relevant in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.
Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client. In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements. First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation 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 and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.