Published on:

FINRA Suspends Former Cambridge Investment Research Broker for Unsuitable Mutual Fund Trades

Curtis Randle El, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly recommending and executing unsuitable unit investment trust and mutual fund trades, including switches, in the accounts of elderly customers with conservative investment goals, causing the customers to suffer losses of approximately $33,185.00.

FINRA alleged that Mr. Randle El recommended and effected unsuitable trades in the accounts of three elderly customers who had conservative investment objectives.  Whereas Class A mutual funds and unit investment trusts (UITs) are designed to be longer-term investments, Mr. Randle El allegedly recommended that the customers sell them after an average of just 60 days.  Furthermore, some of the transactions involved mutual fund switching – a practice where Class A mutual fund shares’ proceeds are used to purchase other Class A mutual fund shares. Mutual fund switching violates the antifraud provisions of federal securities laws when stockbrokers, in order to increase their compensation, induce investors to incur the fees associated with redeeming shares of one mutual fund and purchasing the shares of another fund and the benefit to the customer does not justify those costs.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Mr. Randle El agreed to FINRA’s findings and was suspended from association with any FINRA member for a period of three months and fined $5,000.

Stockbrokers have been known to engage in many practices that may be in violation of industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures.  In order to protect investors from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a supervisory system.  The implementation of these industry rules require supervisors to monitor their employees to ensure compliance 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 fail to establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to investors for damages which flow from the broker’s misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses stemming from unsuitable recommendations and/or mutual fund switches by their broker can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers, like Cambridge Investment Research, which should consistently oversee its brokers’ activities in order to prevent the above-described misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Cambridge Investment Research account?  Did you suffer from a broker making unsuitable UIT or mutual fund trades or switches in your investment accounts?  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 Cambridge Investment Research stockbrokers who may have engaged in stockbroker 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.