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Former Merrill Lynch Representative Barred For Failing to Cooperate

Scott Muirhead of Jacksonville, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly failing to provide documents and information as requested by FINRA staff. Mr. Muirhead first became associated with a FINRA member firm in April 2006. Mr. Muirhead was registered with four other FINRA member firms as a GSR before joining Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. in March 2014.

During the course of an investigation into allegations that Mr. Muirhead engaged in unapproved private securities transactions and misused customer funds, FINRA requested that Mr. Muirhead provide documents and information, in correspondence with FINRA Rule 8210, by February 12, 2016. Mr. Muirhead acknowledged that he received FINRA’s request and that he would not provide the requested documents and information at any time.

Rule 8210 requires “a member, person associated with a member, or any other person subject to FINRA’s jurisdiction to provide information orally, in writing, or electronically and to testify at a location specified by FINRA staff, under oath or affirmation administered by a court reporter or a notary public if requested, with respect to any matter involved in the investigation, complaint, examination, or proceeding.” By refusing to respond to FINRA’s request for documents and information as requested pursuant to FINRA Rule 2010, Muirhead violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010. On occasion, accepting a Rule 8210 is a strategic decision to avoid future investigation stinging findings and preserve Fifth Amendment rights in a potential criminal prosecution. Without admitting or denying the FINRA allegations, Mr. Muirhead agreed to the FINRA sanctions and was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Stockbrokers and other financial industry professionals have been known to engage in different types of misconduct which violate industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures. In order to protect customers from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker dealers to establish and implement a supervisory system. The implementation of these rules require supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, and the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker dealers and/or their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be a liable to investors for damages flowing from the misconduct. As a result, investors who have suffered losses because of their stockbroker’s prohibited conduct can file a claim to recover damages against broker dealers like SunTrust Investment services, which should consistently oversee its employees in order to prevent stockbroker misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your SunTrust Investment Services account due to your stockbroker’s prohibited conduct? 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 SunTrust Investment Services stockbrokers for and/or other unauthorized and illegal conduct.

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 35 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.