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Former Essex Securities Broker Fined and Suspended for Unsuitable Mutual Fund Switches

Jennifer Joice Trowbridge, a former broker employed by the Boynton Beach, Florida branch of Essex Securities LLC, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that she made unsuitable mutual fund switch recommendations which cost her customers nearly $60,000 in unnecessary commissions.

According to FINRA, Jennifer Trowbridge, of Boca Raton, Florida, recommended, on at least 29 occasions and in 7 customer accounts, a series of mutual fund switches which were unsuitable for those customers. Ms. Trowbridge allegedly recommended that the customers purchase Class A mutual funds, for which they paid commissions and sales charges. FINRA alleged she subsequently recommended that they sell the mutual funds within just 1 month to 13 months, with the average being just 6 months that the customers held the funds prior to selling. FINRA found that Ms. Trowbridge used the funds from the sales of the mutual funds to purchase other mutual funds, for which the customers paid additional commissions and fees. FINRA’s findings state that Ms. Trowbridge’s customers paid approximately $60,000 in unnecessary commissions and fees on her recommended switches between mutual funds.

Consequently, Jennifer Trowbridge was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two months. The suspension was in effect from February 15, 2015 through April 16, 2015.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial industry professionals have been known to engage in many types of fraudulent and unlawful behavior which violate industry rules and procedures. In order to protect investors from such misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system. The implementation of the rules requires supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, as well as the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker-dealers and their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be a liable to account holders for monetary losses. As a result, account holders who have suffered losses stemming from unsuitable recommendations and/or unnecessary switch transactions can file a claim to recover damages against broker-dealers like Essex Securities, which have a duty to supervise its employees in order to prevent the above-described misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Essex Securities account due to your stockbroker’s misconduct? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against stockbrokers for unsuitable recommendations, and/or unnecessary switches and other prohibited broker misconduct.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 33 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities, and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, send Mr. Pearce an email at pearce@rwpearce.com, and/or visit our website at www.secatty.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.