Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin charged former Brookville Capital Partners LLC broker Christopher Frederic Veale for allegedly engaging in abusive sales practices including churning and using excessive markups in an 81-year-old customer's account to conceal excess commissions.
Galvin's outlook is that "rogue brokers have long been a plague on the investing public" and his office and other regulators must move "aggressively against them, as well as the firms that hire them."
The state's complaint seeks to revoke Veale and fellow broker Ali Habib Mayar's registrations and permanently bar them from selling securities in Massachusetts. Additionally, Galvin's office seeks to sanction and banish firm Brookville Capital, the employing firm when the misconduct allegedly occurred.
According to the findings, the two Brookville brokers urged their elderly client to place $874,000 into his account in order to meet margin calls and purchase securities.
The investigation states that with a turnover ratio of 200%, the 81-year-old customer incurred $320,000 in commissions and hidden markups.
FINRA's BrokerCheck for Christopher Frederic Veale reveals the former Brookville Capital representative has a history of 21 disclosure events, including 12 customer disputes, six judgment/liens, two regulatory matters and one criminal action.
According to FINRA'S 2004 regulatory allegations, Veale previously "intentionally/recklessly engaged in a patter of trading activity that was excess or 'churning' in light of the customers' objectives." Veale did not admit or deny responsibility, but accepted a suspension and ordered to pay a monetary fine and restitution to multiple customers totaling approximately $50,000.
FINRA'S 2004 action againts Veale, both coincided and preceded multiple customer complaints that Veale poorly managed investment accounts, including unsuitability, excessive trading, breach of fiduciary duty and the use of excessively high commissions.
The reported arbitration claims involving Veale have resulted in settlements in excess of $100,000.
Veale, meanwhile, denied the present allegations of misconduct, noting that he was registered to sell securities in Rhode Island, but not Massachusetts.
Rhode Island, like Massachusetts, also filed a similar action against Veale, Mayar and Brookville.
If you have invested with brokers Christopher Frederic Veale, Ali Habib Mayar or the firm Brookville Capital Partners, and you suspect instances of unsuitability, excessive trading, churning or high commissions have proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.
News: Galvin moves to boot ex-Stratton Oakmont broker from business in Mass. (InvestmentNews)