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FINRA Suspends Merrill Lynch Broker for Misrepresenting Mutual Funds

Jarred M. Lawson, of Jacksonville, Florida, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was fined and suspended for allegedly making negligent misrepresentations with respect to the sale of Class A and C mutual funds.

FINRA alleged that while registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith (Merrill Lynch), Mr. Lawson made negligent misrepresentations or omissions regarding the sale of Class A and C mutual funds during phone calls with numerous customers.  According to FINRA, Mr. Lawson failed to discuss the share classes and the fees associated with them.  Further, Mr. Lawson allegedly misrepresented the fees associated with a managed account. 

Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Mr. Lawson was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member for one year.  The suspension is in effect from April 3, 2017 through April 2, 2018.

Stockbrokers have been known to engage in many practices that may violate industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures.  In order to protect investors from such stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a supervisory system.  The implementation of these industry rules requires 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 result from the broker’s misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses stemming from misrepresentations and/or omissions by their broker can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers, like Merrill Lynch, which should consistently oversee its brokers’ activities in order to prevent the above-described misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Merrill Lynch account?  Did your broker misrepresent mutual fund trades 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 Merrill Lynch 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.