FINRA Bars Former Financial West Group Broker for Unsuitable and Excessive Trading

Kelly Clayton Althar, a former registered representative with Financial West Group, submitted an Offer of Settlement to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities amid allegations that he made unsuitable recommendations and excessively traded two accounts held by an elderly customer. According to FINRA, Mr. Althar, of San Pablo, California, was the registered representative for an elderly customer with hopes of retiring in a few years.  Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Mr. Althar consented to FINRA’s findings that he exercised de facto control over two of his customer’s accounts and utilized that control to place frequent trades without consulting his customer in order to generate increased commissions for himself.  FINRA found that Mr. Althar often purchased, sold, and subsequently repurchased the same security in his customer’s accounts in order to generate commissions while his customer suffered substantial losses.   During the relevant period, FINRA stated that Mr. Althar generated approximately $91,000 in commissions from his excessive IRA trades, and an additional $48,000 in commissions in his customer’s individual. His customer, who was close to retirement and purportedly only wanted low-risk investments, suffered extensive losses in the value of her two accounts, which dropped by more than 50%.

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