FINRA barred former JP Turner & Company LLC broker Sean Francis Sheridan for allegedly recommending several hundreds of unsuitable mutual fund switch transactions in multiple customer accounts.
FINRA'S findings state these mutual fund shares required customers to pay unnecessary sales charges with each new purchase, causing customers to suffer losses in excess of $1 million while Sheridan received commissions of $267,000.
FINRA found that Sheridan effected these switches on a short-term basis of four-to-five months, effectively increasing customer losses while likewise increasing commissions. The findings state that Sheridan recommended and effected 205 unsuitable transactions while failing to disclose to his customers they could avoid these sales charges through the use of "Free Exchanges."
Investigators charged Sheridan with fraudulent omissions after he "randomly" switched customers between fund categories, which spurred sales charges, instead of offering or disclosing to customers that exchanging into another fund within the same fund family would avoid these charges.
Sheridan also allegedly falsified firm records by identifying the fund switch transactions as "unsolicited" even though Sheridan had solicited the sales through his unsuitable recommendations.
The affected customers were described as "unsophisticated investors," including three retired persons and two disabled clients who did no understand mutual fund transaction risks. Accordingly, FINRA claims these customers relied on Sheridan to guide them, investing a majority of their liquid net worth and retirement funds.
As a result, Sheridan was charged with the employment of "devices, schemes or artifices to defraud," making untrue statements of material facts/omitting to state necessary material facts and engaging in acts that operated as a fraud or deceit upon his customers.
If you have invested with Sean Francis Sheridan, JP Turner & Company LLC, or with any broker or firm that has engaged in unnecessary transactions or you have incurred improper sales charges resulting in losses, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.