FINRA Suspends Texas Broker For Three Months
Kurt Jason Gunter, a Wells Fargo Clearing Services (WRET) registered representative in Bee Cave, Texas, was recently sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
The self-regulatory organization (SRO) contends that he allegedly made unsuitable unit investment trust (UIT) sales to customers. In addition to having to pay a $10K civil fine, Gunter is suspended for three months beginning December 20, 2020. The broker, who is also a registered Wells Fargo investment adviser, consented to the sanctions but is not denying or admitting to the findings.
For 30 years, Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) has represented investors throughout the state who have suffered losses due to the negligent or fraudulent actions of their financial advisors.
If you worked with Wells Fargo financial advisor, Kurt Gunter, and are wondering if your investment losses may be grounds for a FINRA arbitration claim, call SSEK Law Firm and ask to speak with one of our investment fraud attorneys in Houston at (713) 227-2400 or in Dallas at (214) 613-5306.
Experienced Texas Broker Accused of Encouraging Unit Investment Trust Switching
According to BrokerCheck, Kurt Gunter has worked for 23 years in the industry. He has been registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services since 2017.
Prior to that, he was a Stifel, Nicolaus and Co. broker and investment advisor and before that he was with Raymond James & Associates. Other firms that Gunter has been a broker and/or investment advisor with include:
- Morgan Keegan & Co.
- Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc.
- Investment Professionals
- Banc One Securities
- Fidelity Investment Institutional Services Co.
Gunter’s BrokerCheck record shows a single disclosure, which is the FINRA case. The SRO contends that the Texas broker exhibited an “unsuitable pattern” that involved short-term trading unit investment trusts in customer accounts. This included recommending to customers that they roll over a UIT prior to its maturation date so as to purchase a subsequent series involving the same unit investment trust.
The new UIT series would be typically similar to the previous series in terms of investing goals and strategies. As a result, these customers were unnecessarily charged sales fees that were unsuitable considering the frequency of the transactions and their costs. Gunter purportedly made this unsuitable recommendation over 270 times, with rollovers occurring more than 100 days before the maturity date.
FINRA also contends that Gunter sent switch letters with inaccurate information, including underplaying costs incurred because of the early UIT rollovers, to customers. The latter then had to sign the letters, admitting knowledge of the switch transactions.
UIT Investor Fraud Lawyers in Texas
Unit investment trusts are supposed to be long-term investments and are typically not for short-term trading. Broker-dealers can be held liable for the actions of their registered representatives if investors suffer resulting losses.
If you suspect you lost money or paid unnecessary fees after Wells Fargo broker, Kurt Gunter, recommended that you roll over your unit investment trust prematurely, our FINRA attorneys can help you explore your legal options.