The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a complaint against broker Harry Ward Hunt, alleging that between June 2009 and May 2010, Hunt engaged in excessive and quantitatively unsuitable trading in four customer accounts, with these customers paying $66,000-worth of commissions as a result of this excessive and unsuitable trading activity.
FINRA's Department of Enforcement alleges that while he was associated with Oak Ridge Financial Services, Inc. during the period from 2009 to 2010, Hunt recommended a total of 589 securities transactions to four customers, an average of 147 trades per brokerage account.
During this period, the four accounts produced annualized turnover rates ranging from 4.5 to 12, while annualized cost-to-equity ratios ranged from 27% to 72%.
As of the conclusion of May 2010, all four brokerage accounts' net portfolio values were a lower amount than they had been in 2009, before the alleged misconduct occurred, with one customer, now deceased, experiencing a net portfolio value decrease from $119,204 on September 30, 2009 to $103,063 on May 28, 2010. The customer had paid $20,942 in commissions on the transactions Hunt had placed in the account.
The complaint further alleges Hunt did not receive permission from any of these customers to use discretion in trading securities their accounts. The Department of Enforcement believes Hunt effected the aforementioned 589 trades without first contacting the customers to obtain approval or authorization.
As of the date of this posting, the complaint, filed by FINRA, has not been adjudicated otherwise resolved.
If you have invested with Harry Ward Hunt or any other broker or firm that has engaged in excessive or unsuitable securities trading activity, and this has proven harmful to your financial interests, such as through increased commission costs at a detriment to your account's net portfolio value, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.