In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") Arbitration Statement of Claim filed in October 2010, Claimants Roseann and Charles Lee (represented during the arbitration by Mr. Lee) sought $30,000 in compensatory damages and $20,000 in punitive damages. The Lees' claim appears to have something to do with
In the Matter of the Arbitration Between Roseann Lee and Charies Lee, Claimants, vs. Brian Young, Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 10-04626, August 17, 2011)
SIDE BAR: Truly, I wish that someone at FINRA would undertake some modicum of quality control before publishing most of that organization's arbitration decisions.
For starters, it should be clear - at the very least! - what the respondent(s) are charged with. As a veteran securities-industry lawyer who has represented far too many brokerage firms, brokers, and public customers, I allow for the fact that sometimes the claims themselves are flawed and the allegations present more of a guessing game than a definitive statement of fact. However, at some point, it generally becomes clear to the arbitrators what a claimant alleged or meant to allege.
In this case, it's virtually impossible to read the Arbitration Decision and understand exactly what the Claimants were complaining about. It seems to have had something to do with allegations that shares of Exxon were improperly bought or sold or not bought or not sold. It also seems to have had something to do with an alleged 30-day freeze of the Lees' account.
What were the disputed Exxon transactions? Sorry, dunno.
Was there a 30-day freeze? Sorry, dunno.
Why would there have been a 30-day freeze of the Lees' account? Sorry, dunno.
Was the alleged 30-day freeze related to the Exxon transactions at issue? Sorry, dunno.
And while we're tossing the sorries around, I'm sorry, but it's just not a good enough presentation by FINRA (even though the decision is written by a compensated arbitrator). If a case is adjudicated by FINRA's arbitration forum, then the decision must explain what the specific allegations were or, if the allegations are unclear because of a claimant's ineptitude, then at least state that.
Respondent Young requested that the claim be denied and the matter expunged from his Central Registration Depository record ("CRD"). The FINRA Arbitration Decision notes that Respondent Young was represented by "Meredith A, Felde, Esq., E*Trade Securities LLC, Roseville, CA."
SIDE BAR: Why do I note Attorney Felde's employer E*Trade? Oddly, the FINRA Decision doesn't tell us where the disputed transactions and freeze occurred, and doesn't tell us where Respondent Young was employed during the relevant time period. As such, I'm merely speculating by way of inference that he was employed by E*Trade during the relevant period, but I could be wrong.
The sole FINRA Arbitrator denied the claims and recommended the expungement of Resondent Young's CRD. The Arbitrator concluded that the allegations against Respondent Young were false. Pointedly, the Arbitrator determined that "the trades were self executed and Respondent had nothing to do with the trades in question."
SIDE BAR: Hmmm . . . so if some "trades were self executed" then that likely means that Claimants were complaining about trades that were entered in their account rather than trades that were not entered. As such, we now know that Respondent Young had nothing to do with the trades in question but we don't know what those trades were or why Claimants were complaining about them. Yeah, I know, very helpful.
Although not referenced in the FINRA Decision, other FINRA regulatory records disclose this information, which appears to pertain to the Lees' arbitration claims. I can't confirm that my inference and connecting of the dots is correct, but I offer this tidbit in an effort to shed some light on this shadowy case:
PLATINUM DAY TRADER CLAIMS LOSSES DUE TO TRADES THAT WERE INTERRUPTED DURING THE "FLASH CRASH" OF MAY 6, 2010. IN PARTICULAR, THERE ARE CLAIMS THAT A HIDDEN STOP LOSS ORDER DID NOT EXECUTE, CAUSING LOSSES. HE FURTHER CLAIMS THAT MR. YOUNG IMPROPERLY REFUSED TO CREDIT HIS ACCOUNT AND/OR FILL ORDERS UPON A POST-TRADING-DAY REVIEW OF THE ACTIVITY.