Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

October 6, 2018
We got a husband stockbroker. We got his wife. We got two family friends who are customers. They both designate the stockbroker as an agent in their health care POAs. The stockbroker's got another friend/customer who designates him as Trust beneficiary. Someone dies. Things get paid. Things don't get disclosed. Forms are not accurately filled in. Things get refunded and re-paid. Brokerage firms and regulators get unhappy. Allegations and accusations get made. Yeah, I know, it all sort of sounds like a Senate confirmation hearing of a proposed Supreme Court Justice. Sort of reminds me of that great Temptations song "Ball of Confusion."
I had hoped to be done with Elon Musk's tweets, but then the SEC sued him. It hastily filed its Complaint last Thursday, after Musk walked away from a settlement struck the night before. Then Musk changed his mind. And so, on Saturday (Saturday?), the SEC announced a settlement. The settlement included a second suit, also filed on Saturday (Saturday???), against Tesla itself. Okay, I get Elon Musk's reputation for being mercurial -- and the SEC‘s for grabbing more power than Congress gave it -- but this, on both counts, is getting ridiculous.
This is an update of the drama of Bruce Zipper's appeals from a FINRA decision denying an MC-400 Membership Continuance Application filed by his firm Dakota Securities International as a consequence of Zipper entering into a FINRA AWC that found he had willfully failed to timely amend his Form U4 to disclose three judgments and, as such, he was rendered statutorily disqualified. 

Merrill Lynch Rep Wins Expungement Of Decade Old Customer Complaint ( Blog) Blog publisher Bill Singer, Esq. has this thing about FINRA's expungement process -- he does not like it. Bill finds that it is a system rigged against the little guy and comes off more as an obstacle course than a path to achieving justice. In today's featured FINRA expungement arbitration, we come across the plight of a Merrill Lynch rep who was burdened with a ten-year-old mark on his record for something that was not of his doing. Without question, a customer sued and obtained a sizable $200,000 settlement. Clearly, the mere size of the settlement should give any regulator pause before rubbing an eraser against such a disclosure. On the other hand, the rep didn't pay a penny towards the settlement and, as the facts will show, didn't have anything to do with any wrongful aspect of the transactions that generated the customer's losses. Indeed, there are times when you are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time through no fault of your own.
A disgruntled customer alleges $633,000 in damages in a FINRA Arbitration complaint. She says she received bad advice about her home refinancing and various unsuitable investments. The stockbroker says he did absolutely nothing wrong and points with pride to the account's performance during the Great Recession. The broker-dealer makes an apparent business decision and settles for about 20% of the damages sought. The stockbroker does not contribute a penny towards settlement. About five years later, still stewing in his own juices, the stockbroker files his own FINRA Arbitration in an effort to clear his name and rid his record of what he views as a scurrilous customer complaint. READ today's Blog to see how it all turns out.

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