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. Continue Reading