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FINRA Files Complaint Against Bay Mutual Financial Broker For Alleged Unsuitable Recommendations

Christopher Ariola, of Santa Monica, California, was named a respondent in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) complaint alleging that he made unsuitable recommendations to elderly retirees to invest in gold and energy stocks.  As a result of his unsuitable recommendations, FINRA alleges that his customers suffered combined losses totaling approximately $140,000.

Formerly registered with Bay Mutual Financial, LLC, a Santa Monica, California based broker dealer, the now unlicensed Christopher B. Ariola is alleged to have recommended to three elderly retirees to invest a substantial portion of their limited retirement assets in gold and energy stocks.  Mr. Ariola’s alleged recommendations were unsuitable in light of the customers’ financial circumstances, investment objectives, and low to moderate risk tolerances. 

FINRA notes in its complaint that Mr. Ariola recommended that his customers invest in gold and energy stocks, including stocks that exposed them to significant investment risk.  Moreover, Mr. Ariola allegedly concentrated as much as 80% of his customers’ portfolio in risky gold and energy stocks, thereby significantly increasing the risk of losses to his customers.  FINRA’s complaint also alleges that Mr. Ariola engaged in unsuitable securities trading in another retiree customer’s account, allegedly executing 863 securities transactions and even receiving account statements and confirmations himself after the email address of record was allegedly changed to his personal email.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial professionals have been known to engage in many types of fraudulent and prohibited behavior which are in violation of industry rules and procedures.  In order to protect investors from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers to establish and implement a supervisory system in order to safeguard customer assets.  If broker-dealers and their supervisors fail to establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to account holders for investment losses.  As a result, account holders who have suffered losses stemming from a registered representative’s unsuitable recommendations can file a claim to recover damages against broker-dealers, like Bay Mutual Financial, which have a duty to supervise its employees in order to prevent the above-described misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Bay Mutual Financial account due to your stockbroker’s unsuitable recommendations or other stockbroker 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 Bay Mutual Financial 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.