FINRA barred former Accelerated Capital Group (Irvine, California) broker Bahram Mirhashemi for churning and making excessive and unauthorized trades in customer accounts, including those belonging to several elderly clients. The regulator concluded that Mirhashemi's churning cost his customers at least $815,000 in overall commissions and resulted in account losses of at least $770,000.
FINRA also punished Mirhashemi for making unsuitable recommendations to customers and filing late and misleading forms. Relative to excessive and unsuitable equity swing trading in customer accounts, FINRA concluded that Mirhashemi's actions "made it virtually certain that the customers would lose money over time."
This is Mirhashemi's 15th disclosure since 2011 when he worked at Ameriprise Financial Services in Artesia, CA, and 10th since 2014; according to BrokerCheck, Mirhashemi faces or has already paid out at least $250,000 in total damages to customers alleging excessive and unauthorized trading, misrepresentation and omission of material fact, breach of fiduciary duty, suitability violations, and elder financial abuse.
According to the investigation, the "willful" violations of the Securities Act, laws and regulations revolved around a group of older customers in their eighties, one who was over 90 years old, and who were living on fixed incomes; six of these clients were widowed while all sought investments with moderate risk, and indicated on forms that they would always follow Mirhashemi's recommendations.
FINRA found that even though the customers indicated a preference for holding periods of at least one to three years, Mirhashemi nonetheless sold mutual fund shares after an average holding period of just six months or less. Additionally, FINRA characterized Mirhashemi's short-term mutual fund trades as "both excessive and unsuitable," noting that over 2,000 unauthorized trades cost customers over $150,000 in overall commissions.
The report states that Mirhashemi subsequently engaged in excessive and unsuitable equity swing trading, placing thousands of swing trades in customer accounts by buying and selling the same securities within days and without regard to the customer's interests. Mirhashemi's churning purportedly resulted in a $770,000 collective loss and cost the customers over $665,000 in overall commissions.
Finally, investigators charged Mirhashemi with making several false or misleading statements to customers, such as failing to inform them that Accelerated Capital had suspended him from trading.
If you have invested with Southern California ex-rep Bahram Mirhashemi or with any broker or financial adviser who has churned, excessively traded, made unsuitable recommendations or made false, omissive or misleading statements that have proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.