FINRA fined and suspended former Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated broker Michael Richard Crow of San Jose, California for the unauthorized use of discretion in non-discretionary customer accounts.
According to the investigation, Crow first entered discretionary orders in several Merrill Lynch customer accounts in 2012. The findings state that all of these accounts either were not established as discretionary by the firm and/or were not accounts over which Crow held power of attorney.
As a result of this misconduct, Merrill Lynch in August 2012 issued Crow a Letter of Admonishment.
Nonetheless, the investigation revealed that Crow again exercised discretion in a non-discretionary account without power of attorney over at least nine trades between July 2013 and October 2013, resulting in Merrill Lynch terminating Crow's employment for the repeat violation of firm and industry rules regarding discretion.
If you have invested with Merrill Lynch ex-representative Michael Richard Crow or with any other broker or financial advisor whose use of discretionary trading without firm approval or proper written consent—including the heinous act of unauthorized trading that occurs when a broker buys and sells securities in a customer's account without the client's permission or knowldedge—has 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.