FINRA barred former Raymond James & Associates broker Scott Allen Sibley for effecting approximately 900 securities transactions in the account of a 62-year-old client unable to work for medical reasons. In addition to the unauthorized trading, FINRA cited Sibley for unsuitable recommendations, over-concentration, unauthorized use of discretion, creating false books and records, and willfully failing to disclose a qualifying event.
The findings state that Sibley's 62-year-old client possessed limited investment experience and indicated an investment objective of capital preservation and income. The retired customer also held a low to moderate risk tolerance level.
Nonetheless, Sibley purportedly effected 900 purchases and sales in this client's two accounts without authorization, knowledge or consent, including 139 equity options wherein Sibley sold uncovered put option contracts or closed said contracts on behalf of his customer, who had no knowledge of (nor consented to) the transactions.
As a result, Sibley's client carried a margin debit balance, also without authorization.
FINRA also found that Sibley unsuitably recommended that at least 10 customers—all seniors—purchase, sell, or exchange securities that resulted in over-concentration of up to 62% in securities related to basic materials, such as precious metals. Investigators said this concentration was unsuitable in light of the customers' investment experiences, risk tolerances, and investment objectives, finding that Sibley recommended similar strategies to these customers regardless of their particular financial situations and investment objectives.
For instance, Sibley purportedly recommended that an 83-year-old client invest in the basic materials sector and unsuitably over-concentrated the elderly client's account in basic material equities, ETFs, and closed-end funds.
In all, Sibley allegedly effected over 1,000 discretionary trades in 14 accounts without written discretionary authority and in contravention of firm policy which prohibited discretionary brokerage accounts, and marked at least 22 low-priced securities purchases as unsolicited when in fact they were solicited (Raymond James' policy prohibited such low-priced securities transactions from being of the solicited variety).
If you have invested with ex-Raymond James broker Scott Allen Sibley or with any broker or financial adviser whose unsuitable recommendation or excessive trading activity has resulted in excess fees or caused an overconcentration in complex or excessively risky products that has 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.