Articles Tagged with Margin

shutterstock_163404920The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sanctioned broker Raymond Clark (Clark) and imposed findings: (1) suspending the broker for three months and fined $6,000 for using his personal email account to communicate with a customer; (2) suspended for four months and fined $10,000 for making false statements to his firm; and (3) suspended for two months and fined $4,000 for failing to report a customer complaint to his firm. FINRA imposed the suspensions to run consecutively and suspended Clark for an additional three months in all supervisory capacities and ordered him to requalify by examination as a securities representative and securities principal.

According to Clark’s BrokerCheck, the broker was registered with Paulson Investment Company, Inc. from December 2008 through May 2009. From June 2007 through January 2009, Clark was registered with J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. From May 2009 until August 2010, Clark was registered with First Midwest Securities, Inc. Finally, from August 2010, through August 2014, Clark was registered with Dynasty Capital Partners, Inc. (Dynasty Capital). Clark’s background check also reveals two regulatory complaints and at least nine customer complaints. Only a relatively small percentage of brokers have any complaints on their records and fewer still have as many as Clark.

The complaints against Clark include claims of unauthorized trading, inappropriate use of margin, securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unsuitable investments, churning, and misrepresentations.

The law office of Gana Weinstein LLP is investigating a string of securities arbitration cases involving broker Mark Lisser (Lisser) which generally allege securities violations including churning, excessive use of margin, churning, unsuitable investments, and breach of fiduciary duty. All the cases have been filed before The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Lisser was registered with Prestige Financial Center, Inc. from February 2008, until November 2010. Thereafter, he was an associated person with Global Arena Capital Corp.

shutterstock_24531604As a background “churning” occurs in a securities account when a dealer or broker, acting in his own interests and against those of his customer, induces transactions in the customer’s account that are excessive in size and frequency in light of the character of the account. In order to show that churning took place a claimant must demonstrate that the broker-dealer exercised control over the account and that the broker engaged in excessive trading considering the objectives and nature of the account.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigates broker-dealer’s actions, including cases of misrepresentation, market manipulation, theft of customers’ funds, illegal schemes and the sale of unregistered securities. If the broker-dealer violates a securities law, the SEC enforces administrative action and civil penalties. In other circumstances, an investor may file a complaint with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Recently, a complaint was filed against Robert O. Klein (Klein) and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (J.P. Morgan). The client asserted the following claims, the broker-dealer and the securities firm breached their fiduciary duty, broker-dealer’s investment strategy used unauthorized margin transactions, and the broker-dealer selected investments that were unsuitable for their account. Although Klein denies any misconduct, J.P. Morgan has settled two claims against Klein. In both instances, clients alleged that the investment strategy was unsuitable and overly concentrated in a short Treasury bond positions. Klein responded to these allegations by stating that the losses were the result of a rapid deterioration in market conditions and he employed the appropriate investment strategy.

Although each investor portfolio differs, Klein appears to be facing allegations of employing unsuitable investment strategies in four other cases pending before FINRA. The claimants allege that Klein misrepresented the level of risk and used margins to leverage managed accounts. Past allegations faced by Klein have dealt with Zero Coupon Treasury bond (Zero Coupon Treasuries).