Articles Tagged with broker complaint

According to Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association’s (PIABA) latest report, FINRA’s efforts to curb broker expungement and clear records of misconduct have failed to reduce the number of times it occurs. According to PIABA, between, 2012-14 expungement was granted in 87.8% of cases in which it was sought.

When brokers are granted expungement for alleged wrongdoings, this record is wiped out from FINRA’s BrokerCheck and FINRA is concerned that it might cause an impression about the broker’s ethic that is misleading.

Since 2014, FINRA has increased arbitrator guidance and training and introduced rules that prohibit arbitration settlements with expungement as a condition. FINRA has sought to grant expungement as an “extraordinary remedy” only to be available in cases where the broker’s record has no value for investor protection. FINRA’s arbitration task force is considering creating a Special Arbitration Panel comprised of specially trained arbitrators to make decisions on expungement requests.

According to a recent Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) submitted by broker Brian Berger with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mr. Berger has been banned from associating with a broker-dealer in the securities industry.  According to the AWC, in June 2015 FINRA “initiated an investigation into allegations that Mr. Berger had misappropriated funds from elderly customers with registered with Wells Fargo Advisors LLC and MetLife Securities, Inc.”  Mr. Berger was reported to be licensed by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC from July 2010 through July 2014, and with MetLife Securities, Inc. from July 2014 to April 2015.  It is further reported that he was briefly licensed by a different broker-dealer named Newbridge Securities Corporation from April to June 2015.

As stated in the AWC, Mr. Berger did not to voluntarily participate in FINRA’s investigation, and as a result was barred from the securities industry.

Mr. Berger’s publicly available CRD Report describes several customer complaints that he has faced since 2011.  The CRD Report shows that a customer alleged that there were unauthorized payments made against the customer’s account for discover card accounts owned by the financial advisor.  Though reported that the customer alleged damages of approximately $175,000, the allegations were reported as settled for approximately $186,000.

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