May 2019– Rumson, NJ
The FINRA records of Gabriel (Gabe) Block, a former stockbroker who was last employed by First Standard Financial Co., disclose 4 final regulatory events,3 currently pending customer disputes and 9 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.
NJ Regulators Find That Block Was Dishonest/Unethical
On May 15, 2019, New Jersey securities regulators revoked Gabe Block’s registration and fined him $750,000 for making investment recommendations to clients that were inconsistent with their needs and risk tolerance. The NJ regulator found that Block engaged in dishonest or unethical practices in the securities business by inducing trades designed to maximize commissions for himself, without regard to its suitability for his customers. Block’s preyed upon his customers according to the regulator who cites the following examples of his victims:
- A 36-year old, quadriplegic construction-accident victim , who had funded his accounts with the proceeds of a legal settlement that were for his medical care and living expenses;
- A 43-year old, unemployed widow and mother of three children, who had funded her accounts with the proceeds of a legal settlement from a medical malpractice claim from her husband’s death; and
- a 75-year old, retired, and widowed mother-in-law , who had funded her accounts with her and her deceased husband’s retirement savings.
“Block callously steered his clients towards riskier trades that put more money in his own pocket, instead of recommending securities or an investment strategy that was suitable for investors. This was a pattern of practice that was not only illegal, but made all the more offensive because he preyed on the vulnerable,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The Bureau’s action today sends a clear message that New Jersey will vigorously enforce the law to protect investors from being taken advantage of.”
On March 13, 2018, FINRA permanently barred Block from the securities industry in connection with a complaint filed by the Delaware Investor Protection Unit alleging numerous violations, including:
- Securities Fraud
- Dishonest or Unethical practice-Narcotics Use
- Excessive Trading
FINRA found it not in the public interest, and would create an unreasonable risk of harm to the market and investors for Block to continue to associate with his firm. Block was employed by Janney Montgomery and Oppenheimer during the period of time when activity occurred leading to the regulatory action.
Gabe Block discloses settlement of the following customer disputes :
- FINRA Case 18-01038-A customer of Oppenheimer alleged that Gabe Block made unauthorized and unsuitable purchases of Puerto Rico Bonds in claimant’s account from 2011-2013. The case was settled for $55,000.
- FINRA Case 15-1551- a customer while Block was registered with Oppenheimer & Co. alleges churning, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the handling of family accounts. Damages were alleged to be $800,000. The case was settled for $675,000.
- FINRA Case 15-1550-a customer while Block was registered with Oppenheimer & Co. alleges churning, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the customer’s account. Damages were alleged to be $100,000. The case was settled for $60,000.
- Block’s FINRA record discloses two other customer disputes that wereresolved including one in which a customer alleged mismanagement of investments between 9/2005-12//2008, while Block was registered with Janney Montgomery Scott. That case was settled for $375,000.
In 2/2019 a customer of Oppenheimer filed FINRA case 19-0431 alleging that Block made trades and made unsuitable recommendations. The case is currently pending and the customer is seeking damages of $1.4 million.
IIn 3/2019 a customer of First Standard Financial filed FINRA Case #19-0550 alleging that Block made unsuitable recommendations causing losses of $300,000. That case is still pending.
Block was registered with First Standard Financial from 3/2016-3/2018. He was registered with National Securities Corporation from 3/2014-4/2016 and with Oppenheimer from 11/2008-3/2014. He discloses a business affiliation with Block Wealth Management in Rumson, NJ.
If you have losses in an account handled by Gabe Block , contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how 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.
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