(FINRA Case #2015044921601)
Johnny Earl Burris (CRD #2850953, Surprise, Arizona) submitted an Offer of Settlement in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for five business days. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Burris consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to execute a trade for his customers according to their instructions.
The findings stated that the customers instructed Burris to liquidate one of their securities holdings, which were shares in a mutual fund, in order to fund a tax payment to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and his failure to do so caused the customers’ payment to the IRS to be rejected for insufficient funds.
The findings also stated that once the customers complained to Burris about their failed tax payment, he took multiple steps to resolve the customers’ complaint himself without informing his member firm. Burris verbally informed the customers that he would “take care of” their issue, which included executing a new trade, having a cashier’s check drafted and sent to the IRS to satisfy the customer’s remaining tax liability, sending the customers a follow-up letter apologizing for his error and assuring them he would remedy any fees or penalties that may have resulted from his error, and sending the IRS a letter requesting that the IRS forgive the customers’ fees and penalties.
The findings also included that in connection with his attempt to settle the customers’ complaint away from the firm, Burris created and sent unapproved and misleading correspondence to the customers and the IRS that did not follow the firm’s code of conduct and applicable written procedures. Burris did not, at any time, submit either letter to anyone at his firm. As a result, Burris did not obtain supervisory review or approval to send either letter to its intended recipient. Further, by using what appeared to be firm letterhead, Burris made it seem that the firm had authorized the letters and their contents, when it had not.
The suspension was in effect from April 17, 2017, through April 21, 2017. At the time of the complaint Burris worked for J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.
If you feel you have been misled by Johnny Earl Burris or any Broker 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.