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Sterne Agee Stockbroker Suspended for Unsuitable Recommendations

Andrew Jay Lowe of Leesburg, Alabama submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which he was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly recommending unsuitable trades and failing to timely amend his Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (“Form U4”).

From January 2009 until September 2014, Andrew Lowe was registered with Sterne Agee Financial Services (Sterne Agee) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, during the relevant period, Mr. Lowe recommended and engaged in unsuitable trading of Class A mutual funds in 24 customers’ accounts. Certain portions of those investments were then liquidated within a short time period and were unsuitable. FINRA stated that Mr. Lowe caused these customers to incur unnecessary sales charges in their accounts. The FINRA findings found that Lowe received approximately $36,180.87 in commissions. Since then, the firm has reimbursed $102,446.47 back to the customers that resulted from the unsuitable recommendations. In conclusion, FINRA also stated that Lowe allegedly failed to timely amend his Form U4 to disclose a federal tax lien of 183,380.57.

Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Andrew Jay Lowe agreed to a fine of $20,000 and to pay $36,180.87 in disgorgement of commissions received. He was suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for nine months. The suspension was in effect from June 18, 2018, through March 17, 2019.

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 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 flow from the broker’s misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses stemming from unsuitable recommendations, unauthorized trading, and/or other misconduct by their broker can file claims to recover damages against broker-dealers, like Sterne Agee, which should consistently oversee its brokers’ activities in order to prevent the above-described misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Sterne Agee account due to unsuitable recommendations and/or unauthorized trading by your broker? Was Andrew Jay Lowe your stockbroker? 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 Sterne Agee stockbrokers who may have engaged in broker 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.