For the third time this month, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has announced that it has barred yet another Morgan Stanley (MS) broker. The brokerage firm had fired financial adviser Bruce Plyer in late 2016 in the wake of allegations that he executed trades in a client’s account without authorization. Now, the self-regulatory organization is barring Plyer after he failed to appear and give testimony into FINRA’s probe into the matter.
Plyer has accepted and consented to FINRA’s findings, but he is not admitting to or denying any of them.
After being let go from Morgan Stanley, he was registered for a short time with International Assets Advisory until he left the industry early last year.
Plyer had been a broker since 1987. He worked with Lehman Brothers and Citigroup Global Markets (C). He became a Smith Barney broker in 1993. Morgan Stanley purchased that firm in 2009 after the credit crisis hit.
According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Plyer was named in four customer disputes, three of which resulted in settlements, including:
- A $190K settlement in a broker fraud case alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, unsuitability, and unauthorized trading while he was at Salomon Smith Barney.
- A $600K settlement alleging unsuitable and excessive margin trading while Plyer was a Citigroup broker.
- A $99K settlement in an auction-rate securities fraud claim alleging misrepresentations, again while he was with Citigroup.
Unfortunately, there continues to be a problem in the brokerage industry with broker-dealers, including a number of big Wall Street firms, continuing to hire brokers with a history of previous allegations of fraud, negligence, or carelessness. When this happens, more investors are placed at risk of suffering unnecessary and significant investment losses.
Examples of broker-fraud misconduct:
- Margin Account Abuse
- Unauthorized Trading
- Failure to Execute Trades
- Breach of Duty
- Misrepresentations or Omissions
News of Plyer’s FINRA bar comes less than two weeks after the SRO announced the bar of ex-Morgan Stanley broker John Halsey Buck III. The former broker consented to the bar after failing to provide the regulator with documents and information requested in a probe into allegations that he had engaged in private securities sales that were never authorized. Morgan Stanley fired Buck earlier this year.
Several days before news of Buck’s bar, FINRA announced that it had barred former Morgan Stanley broker Kevin Smith. The ex-broker had refused to testify before the SRO over allegations that he had engaged in structured products trading without the client’s permission and knowledge.
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