Articles Tagged with unauthorized trading

Christopher Wurtzinger (CRD #: 1921024), a broker registered with American Trust Investment Services and an investment adviser registered with Sorsby Financial Corporation, was recently suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  Christopher Wurtzinger is also the subject of a client dispute regarding account churning, unauthorized trading, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty, according to his BrokerCheck record, accessed August 19, 2020. Do you have questions about Christopher Wurtzinger’s conduct as a broker? Keep reading to learn more.

On June 18, 2020, Christopher Wurtzinger entered into an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement with FINRA wherein he consented to the findings that he failed to conduct a reasonable analysis into whether he engaged in an outside business activity, or whether it should be treated as an outside securities activity. Christopher Wurtzinger consented to a suspension of four weeks, beginning on July 20, 2020, and ending on August 16, 2020. Christopher Wurtzinger has submitted a sworn financial statement and demonstrated an inability to pay, and in light of his financial status, FINRA has not imposed a monetary sanction. A copy of Christopher Wurtzinger’s AWC can be viewed here.

On August 23, 2017, a client alleged that Christopher Wurtzinger had engaged in churning, unauthorized trading, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty. The client is seeking $5,001 in damages; the dispute is pending.

Andy Grant (CRD#: 2709882), a registered representative with Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. in Melville, NY (CRD#: 119037), has been suspended from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on February 21, 2020.

What happened to lead to Andy Grant’s suspension from the securities industry? On January 17, 2020, Andy Grant entered into an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement with FINRA in which he consented to the entry of findings that he made discretionary trades in customer accounts without customer authorization. Andy Grant also consented to FINRA’s sanction: a 15-day suspension. The suspension will last from February 18, 2020 to March 9, 2020. FINRA also fined Andy Grant $5,000. A copy of Andy Grant’s AWC can be viewed here.

What does it mean to exercise discretion without authorization? Unauthorized trading happens when a broker trades within a non-discretionary account without letting their client know. Did your broker inform you before every trade they made in your portfolio? Did you recognize every trade listed on the monthly or quarterly statements your brokerage firm sent to you? If not, your broker may have exercised discretion without the proper approval, which is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010.

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