(FINRA Case #2014041539301)
James Davis Trent (CRD #2730687, Lexington, South Carolina) – An Offer of Settlement was issued in which Trent was suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for six months. In light of Trent’s financial status, no monetary sanction has been imposed.
Without admitting or denying the allegations, Trent consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he engaged in a pattern of recommending unsuitable short-term trading of Class A mutual fund shares to customers, resulting in the customers (all of whom were retired) incurring approximately $6,362.50 in unnecessary sales charges, while Trent received approximately $2,910 as his commission from the sales loads.
The findings stated that Trent recommended all of the transactions that were executed in the customers’ accounts at the firm, including short-term trading involving Class A front-end-loaded mutual funds. In the transactions at issue, Trent recommended the purchase of Class A mutual fund shares and, within less than a year, recommended the sale of the positions, resulting in an average holding period for the customers’ accounts of six months.
Given the long-term nature of investments in Class A mutual fund shares and the customers’ investment profiles, Trent lacked a reasonable basis to believe that the recommended securities transactions were suitable for the customers.
The suspension is in effect from June 5, 2017, through December 4, 2017.
Trent worked for Allstate Financial Service LLC from June 2014 until February 2017. Prior to that Trent was permitted to resign from AXA Advisors LLC in May 2014 due to an internal review of sales practices. Trent had worked for AXA Advisors LLC since October of 2012.
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