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INVEST Financial Corporation Broker Suspended for Unsuitable Mutual Fund Trading

Stephen J. Landa, of Easton, Connecticut, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was fined $5,000 and suspended for two months for recommending and engaging in a short-term mutual fund trading strategy in the accounts of retirees on a fixed income and conservative investment goals.

FINRA found that while employed with INVEST Financial Corporation, Stephen Landa engaged in an unsuitable short-term mutual fund trading strategy in two customers’ accounts.  The customers were 60 years old at the time, retired, and living on a fixed income.  Further, the customers had conservative investment objectives and moderate risk tolerances.  Notwithstanding their conservative investment profiles, FINRA found that Mr. Landa recommended they purchase mutual fund shares and shortly thereafter (on average, just six months), he recommended they sell the shares.  Consequently, the customers suffered losses of $18,156.53. 

Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Stephen Landa was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000, suspended for two months, and ordered to pay $18,156.53, plus interest, in restitution to the customers.

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 trades by their broker can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers, like INVEST Financial Corporation, which should consistently oversee its brokers’ activities in order to prevent the above-described misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your INVEST Financial Corporation account?  Did you suffer losses from a broker making unsuitable 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 INVEST Financial Corporation 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.