Articles Tagged with Securities America

Securities America, Inc. has agreed to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution to customers who were overcharged in certain mutual fund purchases.  According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), between July 1, 1009 and July 1, 2015, Securities America disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase Class A shares of certain mutual funds without a front-end sales charge.  The customers were instead sold Class A shares with a front-end sales charge or Class B or C shares with back-end sales charges and higher ongoing fees and expenses.

According to the Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) submitted to FINRA, Securities America failed to reasonably supervise the application of the sales charge waivers to the eligible mutual fund sales, relying on its financial advisors to determine the applicability of sales charge waivers.  Further, Securities America allegedly failed to adequately notify and train its financial advisors regarding the availability of mutual fund sales charge waivers for eligible customers.  Without admitting or denying the findings, Securities America consented to the sanctions, was censured, and agreed to pay restitution to eligible customers who were overcharged of an estimated $1,541,419.  This amount includes the approximately $1.3 million in mutual fund overcharges plus interest. Continue Reading

Stuart Horowitz, a former registered representative with the Coral Springs, Florida branch of Securities America, Inc., 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) sanction and findings that he made unsuitable recommendations and trades in CSMIF preferred notes of an unregistered limited partnership investment fund despite numerous red flags that the fund was not a viable investment.

FINRA found that Stuart Horowitz requested that his member firm, Securities America, quickly approve the CSMIF preferred notes fund so he could begin selling them.  While awaiting a third-party due diligence report, the firm agreed to allow Mr. Horowitz to offer the CSMIF preferred notes for sale to existing fund investors.  Mr. Horowitz emailed his customers with an interest in the fund and recommended they move forward with an investment conversion.  FINRA noted that recommendations were made despite the fact that Mr. Horowitz was aware of numerous red flags, including that his previous member firm had decided not to allow the sale of the CSMIF preferred notes due to concerns about the fund’s ability to generate income for investors. Continue Reading

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined a dozen independent broker-dealers (IBDs) for failing to give their clients the proper discounts available to them, known as breakpoint discounts, on sales of unit investment trusts (UITs). They were also cited for related supervisory failures. Some of the biggest fines were levied against First Allied Securities Inc. (First Allied), Fifth Third Securities Inc. (Fifth Third), Securities America Inc. (Securities America), Cetera Advisors LLC (Cetera Advisors), and Park Avenue Securities LLC (Park Avenue).

FINRA ordered the 12 firms to pay both fines and restitution totaling $6.7 million. The other firms sanctioned were: Commonwealth Financial Network (Commonwealth Financial), MetLife Securities Inc. (MetLife), Comerica Securities (Comerica), Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Ameritas Investment Corp. (Ameritas), Infinex Investments Inc. (Infinex), and The Huntington Investment Company (Huntington Investment). Continue Reading