Publicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 29, 2018 indicate that New Jersey-based brokerage and advisory firm The GMS Group has received numerous regulatory sanctions and customer complaints. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding The GMS Group (CRD# 8000).
Formed in Delaware in 1997, The GMS Group is headquartered in Livingston, New Jersey and registered with 52 US states and territories. According to its BrokerCheck report, it has received six regulatory sanctions and twelve customer complaints that evolved into arbitration. For instance, in 2016 FINRA sanctioned The GMS Group following allegations it recommended and sold municipal bond investments below the minimum denomination, and that in several instances it failed to disclose to its retail customers that their purchase fell short of the minimum denomination; in addition, customers in certain transactions were not qualified institutional buyers, and thus did not meet the qualifications to purchase the bonds in question, according to FINRA. In this action, the firm was censured and issued a fine of $45,000.
In 2015, FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to adequately supervise a registered representative who made unsuitable recommendations and trades of non-traditional exchange-traded funds, and who also exercised discretion without proper authorization. FINRA found that the firm failed to establish and maintain supervisory procedures designed to achieve compliance with rules governing non-traditional ETF sales and that the firm also failed to provide training to the representative about non-traditional ETFs. According to FINRA, the principal supervising the representative neglected to take certain steps to do so, such as determining whether the representative was using discretionary authority, discussing the risks of non-traditional ETF trades, or discussing the commissions that were being generated. In connection to these findings, FINRA censured The GMS Group and issued it a fine of $75,000.