Mathew M. Serth, of Stone Ridge, Virginia, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was fined and suspended for allegedly placing unauthorized trades in customers’ accounts without their knowledge or consent.
FINRA investigators found that while registered with Morgan Stanley, Mr. Serth entered trade orders in four accounts. The net costs of the transactions ranged from $15,000 to $86,000. However, FINRA stated that none of these customers granted Mr. Serth discretionary trading authorization to trade in their accounts. Upon discovering the unauthorized trades, Mr. Serth’s member firm cancelled the trades and reimbursed a customer for margin interest incurred as a result of the unauthorized trades. Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Mr. Serth was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. The suspension is in effect from August 7, 2017 through November 6, 2017. Continue Reading