FINRA Fines and Suspends Edward Jones Broker for Discretionary Trade Violations

James P. Hilty Jr., an Ocala, Florida based broker formerly employed with Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. (Edward Jones) submitted a letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he entered discretionary trades customers’ accounts without the necessary prior written customer authorization. FINRA found that while employed as a General Securities Representative with Edward Jones, James Hilty exercised discretion in three customer accounts with the execution of 14 trades. In violation of NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rule 2010, Mr. Hilty neglected to obtain the necessary prior written authorization for discretionary trading from the customers or his member firm. FINRA stated that none of the customers were aware of the trades executed by Mr. Hilty at the time they were made. Mr. Hilty had instead previously spoken with the customers about a trading strategy, but he failed to discuss the subject trades prior to their execution or on the day of the trades.

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