Published on:

Huntington Representative Barred, Ordered to Pay $800k Restitution for UIT Misrepresentations

David Miller of Columbus, Ohio was named Respondent in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) complaint that alleged he made negligent misrepresentations and omissions of material fact in connection with customers’ purchases of UITs. FINRA alleged that Mr. Miller recommended 140 UIT purchases totaling over $5.3 million in 129 customer accounts without having a reasonable basis to make the recommendations, in violation of FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010.

From June 2008 through August 2013, Mr. Miller was registered as a General Securities Representative (GSR) with The Huntington Investment Company (Huntington), the broker-dealer affiliate of The Huntington National Bank (Huntington Bank). The FINRA complaint originated after Huntington filed a Form U5 on August 27, 2013, disclosing that Mr. Miller had “violated industry standards of conduct.” Upon investigation, FINRA found that Mr. Miller engaged in a pattern of recommending unsuitable UITs without having a reasonable basis for the recommendations, causing his customers to lose a total of $1,019,656.83.

According to FINRA, Mr. Miller did not “undertake reasonable diligence to ensure he adequately understood the features and risks of the UITs before recommending them.” Mr. Miller recommended UITs with portfolios consisting of the common stock of closed-end investment companies (known as “closed-end funds” or “CEFs”). UIT prospectuses disclosed that some CEFs invested in below investment-grade securities and speculative junk bonds which subjected them to greater risks. Additionally, FINRA found that Mr. Miller failed to disclose material facts to eight customers in connection with separate UIT purchases resulting in losses totaling $171,464.

For violating FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010, Mr. Miller was barred from association with any FINRA member, ordered to pay $799,161.07 in restitution and pay a fine of $15,161.54.

FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system to protect customers from the risks associated with investing. The implementation of the rules requires supervisors to monitor their employees to ensure compliance 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 fail to establish and implement these protective measures, they may be held liable to account holders for investment losses which stem from their employees’ misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses due to a brokerage firm’s failure to supervise the unsuitable recommendations of its representatives can bring forth claims to recover damages against firms, like Huntington Investment Company, which have a duty to supervise employees in order to protect their customers’ interests.

Have you suffered losses in your Huntington Investment Company account due to misrepresented or omitted information in connection with UIT investments? 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 Huntington Investment Company stockbrokers who may have engaged in misconduct and caused investors losses.

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 visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.