Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

June 12, 2021
In a recent FINRA OHO Decision, we have a former LPL rep who paid commissions to a former colleague. Sometimes that's okay. Not this time, or at least that's LPL's and FINRA's position. For reasons that are not disclosed, when confronted with FINRA's allegations of misconduct, the rep opted to have his day in court (or hearing) and offer explanations for his actions. I'm guessing that the settlement offer made by FINRA Staff was much higher than what the FINRA OHO Panel imposed. Not saying that's right. May not be. Just offering my best guess.
The Wall Street career of Gopi Krishna Vungarala is a smoldering train wreck. Without question, Vungarala and his family had their personal struggles, which makes this story more poignant and tragic. That backstory notwithstanding, it's hard to argue against FINRA's imposition on Vungarala of a Bar and the SEC's ratification of same; and it's equally difficult to dispute a FINRA arbitration panel's imposition of compensatory and punitive damages against him.
In a recent FINRA regulatory settlement, we got two friends, one of whom is a stock broker. The stockbroker may well have thought that he was doing his friend a favor by trading options. In fact, the friend may also have appreciated the gesture. That is until the friend/customer didn't quite appreciate the stockbroker's trading; and we're talking about lots of trading.
You're unhappy at your present employer. You negotiate a deal with another employer. Apparently you're really wonderful at what you do because you're offered a nice compensation package. Further, you did such a fabulous job selling yourself that your likely-new-employer requests a million bucks in liquidated damages in the event you don't start working for them by a mutually agreed-to date. So . . . like what could go wrong with all of that? Apparently, a lot because we got a 17-page FINRA Arbitration Award and decisions from two federal courts!