Our securities fraud attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Howard Brous (Brous) currently associated with Wunderlich Securities, Inc. (Wunderlich) alleging unsuitable investments, common law fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims. According to brokercheck records Brous has been subject to six customer complaints, 14 regulatory sanctions, and one employment separation for cause. The majority of Brous’ regulatory sanctions involve multiple state regulators seeking heightened supervision plans and otherwise restricting Brous’ activities.
In August 2016 a customer filed a complaint stating that they had maintained an account with Brous for over 10 years and that his accounts were over concentrated in unsuitable securities. The customer alleged damages of $2,500,000. The claim is currently pending.
Brokers in the financial industry have the fundamental responsibility to treat investors fairly. This obligation includes making only suitable investments for their client. The suitable analysis has certain requirements that must be met before the recommendation is made. First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation for the investment based upon the broker’s and the firm’s investigation and due diligence. Common due diligence looks into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, the issuer, the likelihood of success or failure of the investment, and other relevant factors. Second, if there is a reasonable basis to recommend the product to investors the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives. These factors include the client’s age, investment experience, retirement status, long or short term goals, tax status, or any other relevant factor.
Brous entered the securities industry in 1968. Since March 2005 Brous has been associated with Winderlich out of the firm’s Great Neck, New York office location.
The number of events listed on Brous brokercheck is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.
Gana Weinstein LLP’s securities fraud attorneys represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts due to claims of fraud and negligence. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover