(FINRA Case #2016050259801)
Legend Equities Corporation (CRD #30999, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) submitted an AWC (Accept Waiver & Consent) in which the firm was censured and required to provide FINRA with a plan to remediate eligible customers who qualified for, but did not receive, the applicable mutual fund sales-charge waiver.
As part of this settlement, the firm agrees to pay restitution to eligible customers, which is estimated to total $2,300,188 (the amount eligible customers were overcharged, inclusive of interest). The firm will also ensure that retirement and charitable waivers are appropriately applied to all future transactions.
Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase Class A shares in certain mutual funds without a front-end sales charge.
The findings stated that these eligible customers were instead sold Class A shares with a front-end sales charge or Class B or C shares with back-end sales charges and higher ongoing fees and expenses. These sales disadvantaged eligible customers by causing such customers to pay higher fees than they were actually required to pay. The findings also stated that the firm failed to reasonably supervise the application of sales-charge waivers to eligible mutual fund sales. The firm relied on its financial advisors to determine the applicability of sales-charge waivers, but failed to maintain adequate written policies or procedures to assist financial advisors in making this determination. In addition, the firm failed to adequately notify and train its financial advisors regarding the availability of mutual fund sales-charge waivers for eligible customers. The firm also failed to adopt adequate controls to detect instances in which they did not provide sales-charge waivers to eligible customers in connection with their mutual fund purchases. As a result of the firm’s failure to apply available sales-charge waivers, the firm estimates that eligible customers were overcharged by approximately $2,080,690 for mutual fund purchases made since July 1, 2009.
Legend Equities Corporation terminated or withdrew registration with FINRA on January 1, 2017
If you feel you have been overcharged fees and expenses and wish to discuss legal action, please contact Darren Blum at 1-877-786-2552 (1-877-STOCK LAW), www.stockattorneys.com for a free consultation.