Category Archives: Excessive Markups/Markdowns

First Dallas Securities Sanctioned by Regulators for Overcharging Commissions-Dallas, TX

March 2017- Dallas, TX

According to publicly available records First Dallas Securities Inc.  (CRD# 24549) ,  a  brokerage firm with about 24 brokers headquartered in Dallas, Texas, discloses a recent regulatory sanction.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

First Dallas Securities consented to the entry of findings that it improperly charged ticket charges in at least 449 transactions involving 129 accounts for clients of its affiliated registered investment advisor (RIA). FIrst Dallas did not have an adequate supervisory system to ensure that customers of its affiliated RIA were not overcharged, according to FINRA.

First Dallas Securities was censured and fined $45,000.

 

If you have questions about how your account has been handled at First Dallas Securities, call to discuss your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Christopher R. Hickman-Former Cetera Advisors Broker-Discloses Settlement of Customer Disputes-Delray Beach, FL

June 2017-Delray Beach, FL

The FINRA records of  Christopher R. Hickman ,  a  former stockbroker who was last employed as a broker by Cetera Advisors and who is not currently registered, disclose a final regulatory matter, a pending customer dispute and  6 prior  customer disputes.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In June 2017 FINRA suspended Hickman for five months , ordered restitution of over $115,000 and assessed a $5,000 fine to resolve allegations that he engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs) in six customer accounts. The findings state that Hickman repeatedly recommended the purchase of UITs and then the sale of them within a year of purchase, notwithstanding the fact that the UITs had 24 month maturity dates and sales charges of 3.95%. In addition, on several occasions, Hickman recommended that his customers use proceeds from the sale of the UITs to purchase another nearly identical UIT.

In currently pending FINRA arbitration 17-01056, a customer of Cetera Advisors seeks damages of $265,000 and alleges breach of fiduciary duty, violation of FINRA rules and elder abuse.

The prior customer disputes include:

  • FINRA Case 9-05733-A customer of Banc of America Investment Services alleged damages of $334,942 for unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading. That case was settled for $75,000.
  • FINRA Case 9-5493-A customer of Banc of America Investment Services alleged damages of $1.5 million for unsuitable investments and misrepresentations. That case was settled for $650,000.

Hickman  was employed by Cetera Advisors from 9/2009-7/2015. Prior to that he was employed by Banc of America Investment Services from 3/2006-8/2009. Hickman also discloses a business affiliation with Premier Client Investments.

In 2015, Cetera Advisors was censured, fined $250,000 and ordered to pay restitution of over $450,000 for charging excessive sales fees to customers who purchased unit investment trusts (UITs).

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Christopher R. Hickman , you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Berthel Fisher & Broker Jeffrey Dragon Named in FINRA Complaint for Overcharging Commissons

April 2017-Burlington, MA

Berthel Fisher & Company and one of their brokers Jeffrey P. Dragon were named in a FINRA complaint alleging that Dragon generated more than $421,000 in concessions for himself and the firm, at the expense of customers, by recommending and effecting a pattern of unsuitable short-term trading of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs).

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

The FINRA complaint further alleges that by failing to apply sales charge discounts from 2010-2014, more than 2700 customers did not receive applicable sales charge discounts resulting in excessive charges of about $667,000.

Berthel Fisher, which has about 350 brokers in 230 branch offices, was fined over $700,000 by FINRA 3 years ago for various failures in supervision related to sales of real estate investment trusts and leveraged exchange-traded funds from 2008-2012. Follow this link to review their FINRA record. 

Jeffrey Dragon was discharged by Berthel Fisher in 9/2016. The company made the following allegation in connection with his termination: “The firm believes that the representative did not adhere to a term of his heightened supervisions agreement, which required him to run all business, including fixed indexed annuities, through the firm’s commission grid.” Link to Dragon’s FINRA record. 

Investors who suffered losses on purchases of UITs, REITs or other investments in an account at Berthel Fisher may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870