Former Caldwell International Securities Corp. broker, Alex Etter, submitted an Offer of Settlement to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay disgorgement of ill-gotten gains of $227,395.45 and restitution to customers. Without admitting or denying FINRA’s allegations, Alex Etter consented to the entry of findings that he recommended an unsuitable active trading strategy to his customers despite a lack of understanding of the risks involved or the impact the staggering commissions and fees generated by his recommended strategy would have on his customers’ accounts.
According to FINRA, Alex Evan Etter, of Old Tappan, New Jersey, failed to conduct any due diligence into the active trading strategy he was recommending to his customers and routinely recommended the strategy despite the fact that he never reviewed his customers’ accounts to determine if the strategy was successful or suitable for this customers. FINRA found that when customers did complain, Mr. Etter allegedly failed to report the complaints, but rather tried to hide his behavior by reducing sales charges. For instance, FINRA stated that when one of Mr. Etter’s customers expressed concerned about the poor performance and excessive commissions in his account, Mr. Etter offered to stop charging commissions for the next ten trades instead of reporting the complaint. Alex Etter was suspended by FINRA for two years. The suspension is in effect from October 17, 2016 through October 16, 2018. Continue reading →