FINRA Fines Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker, Issues 15-Day Suspension
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined an ex-Morgan Stanley (MS) broker $10K and ordered him to serve a 15-day suspension after he allegedly tried to resolve a client’s complaint without the firm’s consent. The regulator is charging Lewis H. Robinson, who now works with BB & T Securities in Florida, with violating Rule 2010. The rule mandates that brokers satisfy “high standards” as they pertain to commercial honor and principles of trade.
According to FINRA, Robinson wrote $12,203 in checks to resolve three complaints made by the client. Advisor Hub reports that Robinson said that he notified Morgan Stanley as soon as the client noticed that the account was overcharged a higher commission rate than what had been agreed upon but that the firm refused to give a refund because the allegedly mistaken excess fee was charged too long ago.
Robinson said that he decided to pay back the client out of his own pocket. His BrokerCheck record reports that in 2015, Morgan Stanley let him go over allegations related to “unapproved fee reimbursements.”
SEC Charges Broker With Senior Financial Fraud
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed charges against Connecticut-based investment adviser and broker Leon Vaccarelli and his LWLVACC, LLC and Lux Financial Services accusing them of defrauding a number of elderly customers of over $1M. The regulator wants disgorgement, interest, penalties, and permanent injunctive relief for the alleged senior financial fraud.
According to the SEC, Vaccarelli and his company acted fraudulently when they persuaded the customers to make investments and then used their funds on his own personal and business expenses instead of on brokerage accounts and managed accounts as promised. He also allegedly mixed their funds with his own money, not just for his own expenses but also to pay earlier investors.
Among Vaccarelli’s allegedly wrongful acts was asking one customer to sign a document promising not to give FINRA or the SEC certain information. He also is accused of selling over $45OK in securities that were in a trust for the care of a beneficiary and using some of these funds.
Ex-Broker Accused of Stealing from Clients Sees Own Assets Frozen
The SEC has frozen the assets of Sonya D. Camarco, an ex-Colorado based broker, in the wake of allegations that she stole from clients. According to the regulator’s broker fraud complaint, for 13 years Camarco stole from client accounts and then lied about where the money had gone.
The Commission believes that she may have forged client signatures on checks, liquidated securities in client accounts to make unauthorized payments, and claimed that C Investments, to which checks were issued, was an outside investment that she was making for them. Upon being confronted by her employer, Camarco allegedly lied that she was not affiliated with C Investments.
Camarco Investments and Camarco Living Trust are relief defendants in this securities fraud case.
Finra fines ex-Morgan Stanley rep for secretly settling with client, InvestmenetNews, September 1, 2017
The SEC’s Complaint in the Vaccarelli case (PDF)
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