(FINRA Case #2016049485101)
Stephen J. Landa (CRD #2172148, Easton, Connecticut) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Landa was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000, suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for two months, and ordered to pay $18,156.53, plus interest, in deferred restitution to customers.
Without admitting or denying the findings, Landa consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he employed an unsuitable short-term mutual fund trading strategy in the individual account of a customer and the joint account of that customer and another customer.
The findings stated that at the time, the customers were both 60 years of age or older, retired and living on fixed incomes. Both of the customers had conservative investment objectives and moderate risk tolerances. Nevertheless, Landa recommended that the customers purchase mutual fund shares and shortly thereafter, recommended that they sell the shares. Landa did not have a reasonable basis for believing that such transactions were suitable. Even though mutual funds are intended as longer-term investments, Landa recommended that the customers sell the mutual fund shares after an average holding period of less than six months.
All of these transactions involved Class A mutual fund shares, which included front-end sales loads. As a result of these transactions, the customers suffered collective losses of approximately $18,156.53. The suspension is in effect from June 5, 2017, through August 4, 2017.
Landa had worked for Invest Financial Corp. since 2005, and voluntarily resigned in September of 2015 during a review of accounts being conducted for possible violations concerning mutual funds.
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