FINRA Case #2014042022401)
Brian Lawrence Stephan (CRD #4222796, Jamestown, Ohio) – Stephan was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he recommended and caused the execution of unsuitable investments for an 88-yearold customer.
The complaint alleges that Stephan recommended that the elderly customer invest in mutual fund Class A shares in 20 different mutual fund families. This recommendation was unsuitable because the customer would have been able to achieve a discount on applicable sales charges by aggregating her mutual fund purchases into fewer fund families.
Moreover, on approximately 10 occasions, Stephan recommended a mutual fund purchase in an amount that was relatively slightly less than the level required for a discount on sales charges.
Stephan’s recommendations lacked any reasonable basis and caused the customer to incur excessive sales charges, and for him to be paid more through commissions. This customer paid over $60,000 in commissions for the Class A share mutual fund transactions.
Had the customer invested in larger amounts across fewer fund families, she could have benefitted from sales charge discounts and reduced her costs by approximately $30,000.
The complaint also alleges that Stephan mismarked transactions and provided false information on his member firm’s mutual fund exchange forms. Stephan marked transactions in the customer’s account as unsolicited when they were in fact solicited transactions. Stephan erroneously stated that the exchanges were done because the customer was unhappy with the performance of the original products, when in fact, the customer did not complain about the performance of the original products.
Stephen is currently employed by American Wealth Management Inc. (CRD# 25536)
If you feel you have been misled by Brian Lawrence Stephan or a Brokerage Firm 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.