The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against former National Securities Corporation (National Securities) broker John Labarca (Labarca). According to BrokerCheck records Labarca was barred from the securities industry in February 2016 after he refused to provide information and documents requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation of allegations made against Labarca in a statement of claim filed by a customer.
Labarca has been subject to at least three customer complaints and one financial disclosure that was a bankruptcy filing. Such 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. The customer complaints against Labarca allege securities law violations that including unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.
According to a recent study conducted by the Securities Litigation and Consulting Group entitled “How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct?” the incidents of investor harm at National Securities is extraordinarily high. The study ranked National Securities as the third worst brokerage firm finding that brokers at the firm had over a 31% misconduct rate. The study stated that investors should stay away from National Securities “Given their coworkers’ disclosure record as of 2014, 83.7% of the brokers at these six firms would be in the highest risk quintile as defined in the FINRA study and should be avoided by investors. The BrokerCheck reports for most of the brokers at these six firms should prominently display a skull and crossbones warning.”