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Essex Securities Broker Suspended by FINRA for Forged Customer Signatures

Lawrence Thomas, a registered representative formerly employed with Essex Securities LLC, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he directed his assistant to forge the signatures on account documents without the customers’ knowledge or approval.

FINRA’s findings state that Lawrence Marshall Thomas, of North Attleboro Massachusetts, instructed his assistant to forge the signatures of three customers on approximately ten occasions from January 2015 through September 2015.  Mr. Thomas’ assistant copied and pasted authentic client signatures onto new firm documents, including new account forms and applications.  Although the customers requested the underlying transactions, they did not know of or approve of the falsified signatures.

For violating FINRA Rule 2010, which requires registered representatives to “observe high standards of commercial honor,” Mr. Thomas was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. The suspension is in effect from October 17, 2016 through January 16, 2017.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial professionals have been known to engage in different types of fraudulent and prohibited behavior which violate industry rules and regulations.  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 do not 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 misconduct 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 falsified account documents 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 Essex Securities 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.