Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined former Texas broker Steven Yellen $25K for allegedly making unauthorized trades while he was a registered representative for both Ameriprise (AMP) and Morgan Stanley (MS). The self-regulatory authority (SRO) notes at least 30 instances in which Yellen executed trades without customer authorization.
After more than 30 years in the industry, he is no longer affiliated with any broker-dealer after Ameriprise fired him last year. According to FINRA, from 3/2013 to 12/2015, Yellen made 14 unauthorized trades while he was a Morgan Stanley broker, exercising unauthorized discretion in a client’s account. Meantime, when filling out compliance questionnaires, he neglected to disclose these activities.
In 2016, after 32 years with Morgan Stanley, Steven Yellen became an Ameriprise broker. During this time, he allegedly made 16 unauthorized trades in 10 customer accounts. These trades went beyond these customers’ risk levels that they’d authorized.
Yellen is accused of not getting permission from the Morgan Stanley client and his Ameriprise clients to make these trades. FINRA also claims that while he was an Ameriprise broker, Yellen mismarked solicited options order tickets as unsolicited, which created inaccuracies in the broker-dealer’s records and books.
Yellen consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings but without denying or admitting to them.
This type of trading involves the buying or selling of securities without the permission of the customer. It can be grounds for broker fraud and for brokerage firm negligence if the broker-dealer failed to properly supervise the financial representative that engaged in unauthorized trading.
Other Morgan Stanley Brokers Accused of Unauthorized Trades
Yellen is just the latest former Morgan Stanley broker to get in trouble over unauthorized trades. Our broker misconduct lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) are meeting with his former clients, as well as ex-clients of ex-Morgan Stanley brokers Ami Forte and Charles Lawrence.
Forte and Lawrence were recently barred by FINRA over allegedly unauthorized trades made in the account of Home Shopping Network cofounder Roy Speer, who suffered from dementia at the end of his life. The over 2,800 unauthorized trades reportedly resulted in $9M in commissions.
Contact SSEK Law Firm today if you are an investor and suspect the losses you sustained might due to broker fraud or negligence.