Allegedly, from April 2014 and September 2019, Todd R. Anderson recommended that an elderly customer purchase $1 million worth of mutual funds across 31 fund families without considering that the customer could have qualified for volume-based “breakpoint” discounts if he had invested in fewer, according to Finra. As a result, the customer incurred $20,867 in unnecessary sales charges, the regulator said in the settlement.
Merrill terminated 38-year Birmingham, Alabama based Advisor after settling a customer claim for $4.25 million, according to Advisor Hub and FINRA Brokercheck.
Merrill fired the advisor for “conduct including making an unsuitable investment strategy recommendation and misrepresentation to a client” tied to an options investment and also for failing “to follow Firm standards related to business communications,” according to BrokerCheck.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority hired an “independent” law firm to conduct a review of its arbitrator selection procedures after a Judge rebukes FIRNA in an order vacating a Wells Fargo award in a controversial case, according to FINRA.
Finra, whom denied any flaw in its process, hired the law firm of Lowenstein Sandler after a scathing order to vacate a Wells Fargo award. The Judge had said Finra and Wells Fargo’s lawyer appeared to have a secret agreement to strike potential arbitrators from a neutral list and questioned the fairness of the process.
The concerns were reiterated by the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association, which called for “an immediate investigation” by the Securities and Exchange Commission and hearings in Congress, and by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) in a February 10 letter.
According to Advisor Hub, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has censured and imposed a $950,000 fine on Merrill Lynch Wealth Management for allegations that they engaged in ignoring flaws in its fraud detection systems allowed for two of their brokers to steal $6 million from clients.
“Merrill’s systems did not properly screen Automated Clearing House transfers from customers’ accounts to detect when one of its registered representatives was the beneficiary of those transfers,” FINRA said. Merrill’s internal fraud-detection system was only “designed to detect fraud by third parties” or “persons other than its own brokers,” it continued.
Miller Stern Lawyers is currently investigating claims against J.P. Morgan. According to Advisor Hub and industry records, J.P. Morgan Advisors was ordered to pay $4 million in damages to a former client in their San Francisco office.
Industry records confirms that Lacey Winston Keath alleged unsuitability in filings against J.P. Morgan’s traditional brokerage unit in high-risk equities and junk bonds–without authorization, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority award.
A J.P. Morgan spokeswoman declined to comment on the arbitration outcome or underlying dispute.
Miller Stern Lawyers – 410-Law-Firm is currently investigating for clients of former Morgan Stanley broker Barry F. Connell and all firms and broker dealers who may be victims of, and suffered damages and losses, due to abuses such fraud, mutual fund abuses, unsuitable mutual fund investments and failure to supervise, breach of fiduciary duty, overcharging , and unauthorized trading.
Securities and Exchange Commission closed its case against a former Morgan Stanley broker who served prison time, barring him from the securities industry after ensuring that he has repaid more than $5.1 million stolen from customers, according to FINRA.
Connell pled guilty in December 2018 to stealing the money between 2015 and 2016, spending the $5 million to support his “lavish lifestyle,” according to the SEC. He perpetrated the fraud by moving funds among client accounts and using falsified wire transfer forms and checks.
Miller Stern Lawyers – 410-Law-Firm is currently investigating clients of Merrill Lynch and Charles Kenahan and Dermond Cavanaugh who are may be victims of, and suffered damages and losses, due to abuses such as churning, beach of fiduciary duty, overcharging , and unauthorized trading.
According to CNBC and other new outlets, the State of New Hampshire “is ordering Merrill Lynch to pay $26.25 million in fines and restitution to the state and to an investor, the former Governor of New Hampshire, who claimed he suffered losses at the hands of a former Boston-based broker, to settle allegations including unauthorized and excessive trading”, or what is commonly known as Churning.
This is the largest monetary sanction in New Hampshire history and proportedly the second largest FINRA settlement in at least a decade.