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.
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