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Popular Securities Broker Fined and Suspended for Unauthorized Discretionary Trades

Manuel Mejia-Gomez, a former registered representative with Popular 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 executed three unauthorized transactions in a customer’s accounts; failed to follow a customer’s instructions to liquidate a particular security; and engaged in discretionary trading without written authorization in the accounts of three customers.

According to FINRA, Manuel Mejia-Gomez, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, executed three unauthorized transactions in a customer’s account which caused the customer to complain to Popular Securities, who then cancelled the transactions.  FINRA alleges further that instead of following his customer’s instructions to liquidate a specific bond, Mr. Mejia-Gomez allegedly consulted with his customer’s employee who had no authority to make trading decisions.  Mr. Mejia-Gomez used the instructions of this unauthorized employee to liquidate a different bond than was instructed by his customer. 

Further, Mr. Mejia-Gomez exercised discretion in another customer’s account by liquidating 14 mutual funds and purchasing 13 new ones.  He also exercised discretion in still another customer’s account by selling a mutual fund and purchasing a new one.  Mr. Mejia-Gomez allegedly had the instruction of the customer’s father, who was not authorized to direct trading.

Manuel Mejia-Gomez was assessed a deferred fine of $15,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months.  The suspension is in effect from December 19, 2016 through March 18, 2017.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial industry professionals have been known to engage in many types of misconduct which are in violation of industry rules and procedures.  In order to protect customers from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a supervisory system.  The implementation of the rules requires that supervisors monitor firm 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 fail to establish and implement these protective measures, they may be held liable to account holders for losses flowing from the employees’ misconduct.  As a result, account holders who have suffered losses stemming from unauthorized transactions by their broker or registered representative can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers, like Popular Securities, which have a duty to supervise its employees in order to prevent broker misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Popular Securities investment account due to your stockbroker’s unauthorized trades or other 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 Popular Securities stockbrokers for unauthorized and prohibited misconduct.

We have associated with an attorney in Puerto Rico, namely Lcdo. Julio Cayere Quidgley, who will meet with you to discuss your case at no charge.  Mr. Pearce and Mr. Cayere are currently representing numerous clients with claims against Popular Securities, UBS Puerto Rico, Santander Securities, Merrill Lynch and Oriental Financial Services for numerous types of stockbroker misconduct including, but not limited to, misrepresentations, overconcentration and/or unsuitable recommendations.

For dedicated representation by a law firm with over 35 years of experience in all kinds of securities, commodities and investment disputes, contact us by telephone at 561-338-0037 or toll free at 800-732-2889, via e-mail or visit our website at www.secatty.com  We may also be able to arrange a meeting with you at offices located in San Juan, Puerto Rico or in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida and elsewhere.